Triptych: The Crucifixion Flanked by the Kneeling Donor and His Wife

Joos van CleveFirst half of the 16th century

The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo

The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
Tokyo, Japan

This triptych altarpiece is thought to be a work of Cleve's later period. The center panel shows the Crucifixion backed by a typically detailed Flemish landscape, with the donors of the work, kneeling, shown in the side panels. The pervasive use of richly visionary craggy rocks reminiscent of Patinir and the application of overpainting, or "glacis," in the landscape areas are typical elements of 16th-century Flemish landscape painting. The rich colors seen in the soldiers and in Mary Magdalene, with her vase of ointment, are indicative of the decorative quality of religious paintings of the day. In addition to Cleve's realistic portraits, he was widely acclaimed for his large production of this type of elegant religious paintings. Another of Cleve's work of the same format and same subject is now in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum, New York. This work, created with a blend of oil and tempera based pigments, is a remarkably well preserved panel painting with extremely little discoloration or flaking of pigment. The whole image is covered with a porcelain-like finish which lends a sense of transparency to the edge of the horizon line.(Source: Masterpieces of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 2009, cat. no. 10)


  • Title: Triptych: The Crucifixion Flanked by the Kneeling Donor and His Wife
  • Creator Lifespan: c. 1485 - 1540/41
  • Creator Nationality: South Netherlandish
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Date Created: First half of the 16th century
  • Location Created: The Netherlands
  • Provenance: Thomas Harris, London, 1929; Auc. Christie's, London, 26 November 1976, lot no. 39
  • Physical Dimensions: w1550 x h1170 mm
  • Painter: Joos van Cleve
  • Object title (Japanese): 三連祭壇画:キリスト磔刑
  • Object notes (Japanese): この三連祭壇画はクレーヴ後期の作品と推定される。中央部にフランドル絵画特有の精妙な風景描写を背景に「キリスト傑刑」が表わされ、左右の翼部にはこの祭壇画の寄進者夫妻の跪く姿が描かれている。パティニールの影響を思わせる幻想味豊かな奇岩を随所に配しながら、グラッシ(上塗り)で丹念に描き込んだその風景描写は16世紀フランドルのいわゆる世界風景画の特色をよく伝え、同時に、香油壺の前に跪くマグダラのマリアや兵士たちなどに見られる華麗な色彩には、当時の宗教画の装飾的傾向がよく表われている。クレーヴは写実的な肖像画の他、このような豪華な宗教画を数多く描いて好評を博したのである。この祭壇画と同形式・同主題のクレーヴ作品がニューヨークのメトロポリタン美術館にある。本作品の保存状態は非常に良く、全体が磁器のような肌を持ち、地平線の果てまで透明感が画面を支配している。(出典: 国立西洋美術館名作選. 東京, 国立西洋美術館, 2006. cat. no. 10)
  • Artist Name (Japanese): クレーフェ、ヨース・ファン
  • Type: Paintings
  • Rights: http://www.nmwa.go.jp/en/information/privacy.html
  • External Link: The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
  • Medium: Oil on panel

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