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Joachim Patenier

(Entourage of)Panoramic landscape with Pietà

Panel: 16 x 25 cm

introduction

With this Panoramic landscape with Pietà, the painter adheres to the rules of the tradition of landscape painting in Antwerp. The depth of field arising from the staggered parallel planes, which blend into one another thanks to the skilful use of the colour blue, give a wonderful perspective to this landscaped expanse. The artist is careful to choose a slightly elevated viewpoint in relation to the scene in order to present the viewer with a Pietà scene, placed in the centre of the painting.

On the left-hand side, we can see holy figures preparing the tomb, while at the top of the rocky crag, men are busy taking down the bodies of those crucified alongside Christ. These small scenes, which often compose an iconographic rendering of the lamentation, blend perfectly with the landscape. Little by little, landscape became a genre of its own and gradually took precedence over biblical scenes. As we can see here, besides the three episodes following the descent from the cross, small figures, whose presence is of minor interest, have joined the composition.

This Panoramic landscape with Pietà is one of the most representative examples of the landscapes painted by the masters in Joachim Patenier’s entourage, the best of whom is undoubtedly Massys, while heralding the innovative paintings of Lucas Gassel and Herri Met de Bles. Our attention is thus drawn to the extraordinary city situated in the upper right-hand part of the panel: Bethlehem stands out evanescently from the whitish misty glaze of the sky. These mountains, directly inspired by the work of Patinier, are painted in sfumato, a legacy from Leonardo da Vinci. Contrasting with the steep slopes on the left, is the sumptuous fortress on the right with Gothic and Flemish touches.

But besides the religious episodes related here, this work invites contemplation: the bustling human activities stand in opposition to the imposing tranquillity of an unchanging nature. Clearly, landscape as conceived by this painter is resolutely innovative.

Provenance :
Pieter de Boer Gallery, Amsterdam;
Sanct Lucas Gallery, Vienna;
Private collection, Austria.

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