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The saints are, from left to right, Martin (identified by the beggar in the background), Bernardino (the donor's patron) and Donatian. The donor was secretary to the Chapter of Saint Donatian's (Bruges) from 1489, becoming canon in 1498.

The painting may have originated as the left wing of a diptych for the altar of Saints John and Mary Magdalene there, commissioned in 1501. The right wing is probably the 'Crucifixion' in the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin.

Details

  • Title: Canon Bernardijn Salviati and Three Saints
  • Creator: Gerard David
  • Date Created: after 1501
  • Physical Dimensions: 103.4 x 94.3 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on wood
  • School: Netherlandish
  • More Info: Explore the National Gallery’s paintings online
  • Inventory number: NG1045
  • Artist Dates: active 1484; died 1523
  • Artist Biography: Gerard David was the last great 15th-century painter from Bruges working within the tradition of realism founded by van Eyck. A subtle colourist, he succeeds in creating atmosphere through his evocative landscapes. David's work suffered critical neglect for a long time, but is now highly regarded for its technical skill and gentle mysticism. He is thought to have come from Oudewater where he was probably trained by his artist father. The influence of Rogier van der Weyden is discernible in his work. He entered the painters' guild in Bruges in 1484 and was mainly active there, becoming the leading painter after the death of Memling ten years later. He shared with the other artists from Bruges a concern for precise characterisation and the depiction of the minute details of objects. This makes his pictures rewarding to examine closely.
  • Acquisition Credit: Bequeathed by William Benoni White, 1878

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