Rogier van der Weyden
(1399/1400–1464), was a South-Netherlandish
painter, chronologically halfway up the list of mediaeval
West-European innovators, ranking between
Jan van Eyck
Hugo van der Goes,
known as the Flemish primitives.
Rogier van der
Weyden was born Rogier de la Pasture in Doornik (Tournai). As far
as we know, he entered late into the services of master painter
Robert Campin, in 1427, a year after marrying Elizabeth Goffaert.
His career took off
quickly after that. In 1432 he established himself as a master in
Doornik, rising to the position of Brussels City Painter in 1435.
From that day on he only worked under his Flemish name. There are
clues that he stayed in Bruges between 1432 and 1435; whatever the
case, the influence of Van Eyck on his work is clearly felt.
Brussels at the time was a good place to work in as it was quickly
developing into a regional center.
In the Holy Year of
1450 Van der Weyden traveled to Rome. Along the way he composed
several works for the Medici family in Florence.
Van der Weyden
painted mostly religious themes – with the exception of
several portraits his worldly work has been lost. He never signed
his work, so art historians to this day are trying to discover
which works are his. Most likely he ran a workshop with a large
number of assistants and students.
his work are the clear composition and the lively use of colors, in
which he incorporated much symbolism. His altarpieces are
considered his highlights, including the Descent from the Cross and
the multitych with the Last Judgment in Beaune, where he tried to
rival Van Eyck's Lamb of God. Van der Weyden strongly influenced
later painters, among whom his student
Rogier van der
Weyden died in Brussels in 1464, where he was buried in the St.
Gudula Church, now known as the St. Michael's Cathedral. He was
reasonably prosperous and renowned during his life. For at least
half a century his style was much imitated.