Campin, Robert

Campin, Robert

Campin, Robert (kämˈpĭn), 1378–1444, Flemish painter who with the van Eycks ranks as a founder of the Netherlandish school. He has been identified as the Master of Flémalle on the basis of three panels in Frankfurt-am-Main said to have come from the abbey of Flémalle near Liège. Campin was active in Tournai, having become a citizen of that city in 1410 and the dean of the painters' guild in 1423. To him have been attributed the Mérode Altarpiece in the Cloisters, New York City, a Nativity in Dijon, the Annunciation and Marriage of the Virgin in Madrid, the Madonna of Humility in London, and a number of other panels in various collections. His works are characterized by a robust and highly developed realism and concern for the details of daily life, which constituted an important stage in the stylistic progression leading to the art of Jan van Eyck. It is believed that Roger van der Weyden was apprenticed in Campin's workshop.


See E. Panofsky, Early Netherlandish Painting (1953); M. S. Frinta, The Genius of Robert Campin (1966).

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Campin, Robert


Born circa 1378; died Apr. 26, 1444, in Tournai. Flemish painter.

Campin, who worked in Tournai, has been identified as the Master of Flémalle. His works reflected the 14th-century Flemish tradition of miniature painting and sculpture. Campin was the first Flemish painter to apply the artistic principles of the Renaissance. His works are more archaic than those of his younger contemporary J. van Eyck. However, they are distinguished by unaffectedness, simplicity, and, at times, earthy treatment of religious subjects. Campin’s works include the Merode altarpiece (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) and the Werl altarpiece (1438, Prado, Madrid). He greatly influenced his Flemish successors, including his pupil Rogier van der Weyden. Campin was one of the first European portraitists.


Frinta, M. S. The Genius of Robert Campin. Paris, 1966.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.