Hugo Van der Goes

Between Pain and Bliss, Gemäldegalerie

Hugo van der Goes oder Umkreis, Bildnis eines Mannes, um 1475/80, New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

The Gemäldegalerie in Berlin is home to some of the most extraordinary works of art from different periods and styles. One of the masterpieces that attract visitors from all over the world is the famous painting by Hugo Van der Goes, a Flemish painter who lived in the fifteenth century. His painting, known as the “Portinari Triptych,” is considered one of the most significant works of art of the Flemish Renaissance.

The Portinari Triptych is a three-panel altarpiece that was painted for the church of Santa Maria Nuova in Florence, Italy, in the 1470s. It depicts the Adoration of the Shepherds, a religious scene that portrays the birth of Jesus Christ. The central panel shows the Virgin Mary and the infant Jesus, who are surrounded by angels and the shepherds who have come to adore the newborn baby. The left panel depicts the donor, Tommaso Portinari, who is shown kneeling in prayer with his family, and the right panel shows St. Joseph.

What makes this painting so remarkable is its exquisite detail and the emotional intensity that is conveyed through the figures’ expressions and gestures. The use of light and shadow creates a sense of depth and atmosphere that draws the viewer into the scene. The figures are depicted with such realism and naturalism that they seem to come to life before our eyes.

Hugo Van der Goes was a master of color and composition, and his use of vibrant hues and bold contrasts adds to the painting’s dramatic impact. The intricate details of the clothing, textiles, and objects in the painting are also noteworthy, as they demonstrate the artist’s exceptional skill and attention to detail.

The Portinari Triptych was acquired by the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin in 1829, where it has been on display ever since. The painting has undergone several restorations over the years, which have revealed new details and enhanced its beauty.

In conclusion, the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin is a must-visit destination for art lovers, and the Portinari Triptych by Hugo Van der Goes is a masterpiece that should not be missed. Its exceptional beauty, realism, and emotional power make it one of the greatest paintings of the Renaissance and a testament to the enduring power of art to move and inspire us.

Website: Hugo van der Goes

Between Pain and Bliss


31.03.2023 to 16.07.2023

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