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ID number:  BIRBI-51.5
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  ascribed to Beer, Jan de (about 1475 - before 1528)
Title / Object name:  Joseph and the Suitors (recto), The Nativity (verso)
Object type:  Painting
Place made:  Antwerp
Culture:  Early Netherlandish
Date made:  about 1515/20
Materials:  Oil on wood
Measurements:  137 x 137 cm
Provenance:  Sir Richard Frederick; sold February 1874; Cook Collection; purchased by the Barber Institute, 1951 for £1,800.

This panel is painted on both sides and it formed part of an altarpiece or a screen illustrating the life of the Virgin Mary. She is shown in a nocturnal scene adoring the infant Christ. Two shepherds approach through the door to the right, and Joseph with a lantern enters from the left. A different note is struck by the angels who are grief-stricken by the realisation of Christ’s fate. The infant lies on a stone, symbolising the altar used for the mass, and on a wheat sheaf, representing the communion bread.

Notes:  Exhibited: New Gallery, London, 'Masters of the Flemish and British Schools', 1899 (no.13); 'Exposition des Primitifs Flamands et d' Art ancien', Bruges, 1902 (no. 233); Barber Institute, Lady Barber Gallery, 'Truly Bright and Memorable', autumn 2019.

1 Related People

Beer, Jan de
c. 1475
before 1528

4 Related Publications

Art and the Renaissance in Northern Europe
Benesch, Otto

Die Altniederlandische Malerei
Friedlander, Max. J.

A Catalogue of the Painting at Doughty House
Cook, Herbert

Jan de Beer
Ewing, D. C.

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