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Master of the Embroidered Foliage: 22 interesting facts

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By Gwylym Owen

Master of the Embroidered Foliage (active 1480 – 1510) was a Netherlandish painter or a bureau of painters who worked out of Bruges and Brussels.

In 1926 the German art historian Max Jakob Friedländer certified a group of paintings of the Virgin and Child in a landscape, in identical poses to “Master of the Embroidered Foliage.” The foliage painted in these works was likened by Friedländer to the repeated pattern of stitches in embroidery, thus the uncommon name for the artist. The paintings play-act elements of previous works by Rogier van der Weyden and Hans Memling. Of the five paintings considered by Friedländer, three are in the United States, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and Clark Art Institute, and the supplementary two in Europe, at the Groeningemuseum, Bruges, and the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lille. Other paintings official to this group of artists are in the Louvre in Paris, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and in the National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh; these also proceed a very thesame Virgin and Child, but neighboring somewhat rotate backgrounds.

The Clark Art Institute conclude their scrutiny of the “Virgin and Child in a Landscape” paintings as follows: “Our analysis, based upon laboratory psychiatry and consideration of fifteenth-century workshop practices, demonstrates that these panels were whatever produced amid 1482 and the to the fore 16th century not by one but by several artists, perhaps sharing a common template for the main figures. Unless further resolved evidence comes to light, however, we will continue to attribute the paintings to the Master of the Embroidered Foliage, while acknowledging that this is a catch-all declare referring to a number of painters supple in Brussels and Bruges in the late 15th century.”

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