Rogier van der Weyden

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Weyden, Rogier van der


(also Rogier de la Pasture) Born circa 1400; buried June 18, 1464, in Brussels. Netherlandish painter. An important artist of the Early Renaissance in northern Europe.

Rogier probably studied in Tournai with R. Campin. Beginning in 1435 he headed a large studio in Brussels. In 1450 he made a pilgrimage to Italy. Rogier’s early works have not survived, although some researchers believe that the works attributed to the Master of Flémalle are actually those of the young Rogier.

Rogier’s style is characterized by an exceptional emotional intensity, a severity of linear rhythms, a crystalline vision, and a harsh palette, in which lucid, cold tones predominate (Descent From the Cross, Prado, Madrid; Crucifixion, Historical Museum of Art, Vienna). Concentrating the action in the foreground without undue attention to the details of landscape and everyday life and deliberately introducing conventional backgrounds, Rogier rejected van Eyck’s passionate desire to convey reality and turned his attention entirely to man’s inner world. His work contained certain Late Gothic elements, for example, the angularity of the figures. However, the depth and complexity of the human images Rogier depicted, especially in his portraits (Francisque d’Este, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Portrait of a Lady, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.), attest to the early-humanist direction of his work.


Gershenzon-Chegodaeva, N. M. Niderlandskii port ret XV veka. Moscow, 1972. Pages 108–30.
Panofsky, E. Early Netherlandish Painting: Its Origins and Character, vols. 1–2. Cambridge, Mass., 1953.
Davies, M. Rogier van der Weyden. Brussels, 1973.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.