In the fifteenth century, a number of master painters, including Jan van Eyck and Roger Campin, flourished in the Netherlands. However, by the early nineteenth century many of their works had been dispersed by the upheavals of the French Revolution.
Any contemporary understanding of these artists and their paintings must take into account that historical data about them remains fragmentary and that art historians from different disciplines have approached them in varying ways.
Rather than offering a chronological discussion, Early Netherlandish Paintings: Rediscovery, Reception and Research presents early Netherlandish paintings as individual objects that have confronted scholars with countless interpretive challenges.
Part One analyzes the style and provenance of each work, the insights gained from it, and the questions that remain, while Part Two is devoted to the history of collecting and of art historical research and interpretation during the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century. Part Three addresses how three fields of modern art-historical research - technical examination, archival research into patronage, and iconology - have produced analyses of these artworks.
Early Netherlandish Paintings advances the scholarly dialogue about an important period in European art by assembling the current scholarly research in the field and underscoring the common ground among scholars from different disciplines.