Friday, September 28, 2018

Portrait of a Carthusian by Petrus Christus

From The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide, 1983.

Click to enlarge.
58 PETRUS CHRISTUS, Netherlandish, act. by 1444—d. 1475/76
Portrait of a Carthusian
Oil on wood; painted surface 111/2 x73/8 in. (29.2 x 18.7 cm)

In its effect of realism this picture owes much to the example of Jan van Eyck (no. 56). The sitter whose personality is so powerfully projected has been identified as a Carthusian lay brother. On the sill of the simulated frame with the date (1446) and his signature "carved" into it (XPI is an abbreviation of the Greek form of Christus), the artist has painted an astonishingly lifelike fly, perhaps as a reminder of the ever-present temptation of evil. (See also Robert Lehman Collection, no. 11.) The Jules Bache Collection, 1949, 49.7.19
Love the light and colors.

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