Online Collections at UoB - Objects
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.