Master of the Thuison Altarpiece

Entry into Jerusalem

Entry into Jerusalem
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: Master of the Thuison Altarpiece
Painting, Oil on panel, 116.5x51.5 cm
Origin: France, Second half of the 15th century

All four Gospels describe Christ's entry into Jerusalem, which marks the start of Christ's Passion, his week of suffering leading to his death and resurrection. This work comes from the Abbey of St Honorius in Thuison and formed one wing of a folding wooden altar, the remaining seven parts of which are now in the Art Institute in Chicago.

In the front ground is Christ mounted on an ass, the twelve apostles following on behind. To the right are the city gates and the inhabitants of Jerusalem who have come to greet Christ carrying palm branches and throwing their clothing to the ground before him. The painter revealed his keen skills of observation in the expressive and realistic faces of the crowd, the details of architectural ornament and the flowers and grasses along the roadside. But the construction of space is typically medieval, with planes laid in tiers one upon the other. Gothic traditions are also felt in the elongated proportions of the figures and the angular folds of drapery. On the basis of the combination of Netherlandish influences and typically French details, it has been suggested that the painting was the work of a master from the north east of France.

Personage: Christ
Style: Renaissance
Source of entry: Collection of Prince A.G. Gagarin, Petrograd, 1919
Theme: The Bible and Christianity

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