The painted architecture is reminiscent of the portals of Gothic cathedrals. lt defines the pictorial space as a place for sacred events. Painted reliefs, with scenes from the lives of Christ and Mary in the hollow moulding of the portals, place the events portrayed beneath them in the chronology of the history of salvation. Events from the Old Testament on the column capitals help to interpret the principal scenes. The left-hand panel shows Mary worshipping the child, who is lying in her lap. She is sitting humbly on the floor. Joseph is at her side, leaning on his staff his head bent slightly forward in sleep. The central panel shows the lamentation of Christ. Mary is holding the body of Christ in both arms and Joseph of Arimathaea and John are standing beside her. The empty cross rises behind them. The right-hand panel shows the risen Christ appearing to his mother, to comfort her and to tell her about his bodily resurrection. These three events bear witness to Mary's role in the work of redemption. Angels with crowns and banderoles praising the virtues of the Mother of God hover at the apex of the portals.


  • Title: The Altar of Our Lady (Miraflores Altar)
  • Creator: Rogier van der Weyden
  • Date Created: around 1440
  • Physical Dimensions: w213.0 x h43.0 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • External Link: Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Medium: Oak wood
  • Style: Netherlandish
  • Copyright Text: Text: © http://www.prestel.com, Prestel Verlag / Rainald Grosshans // Photo: © http://www.bpk-images.de, b p k - Photo Agency / Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Jörg P. Anders
  • Collection: Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Artist information: Rogier van der Weyden was an early Netherlandish painter and a student of Robert Campin. He gained the title of master on 1 August 1432. Between 1436 and 1437 he was awarded the post of official city painter of Brussels. Van der Weyden exerted considerable influence on European painting, not only in France and Germany but as far away as Italy and Spain, due to his vigorous, subtle, expressive painting and popular religious conceptions. The detail in his work is painted in a stunningly realistic and affectionate way. His most famous paintings were four large panels representing the Justice of Trajan and Justice of Herkenbald. These panels were commissioned by the city of Brussels for the golden chamber of the Brussels town hall.
  • Artist Place of Death: Brussels, Belgium
  • Artist Place of Birth: Tournai, France
  • Artist Gender: male
  • Artist Dates: 1399/1464

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