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A Spectacular Acquisition

from February 22 2014 until March 16 2014

Jan van Eyck, workshop or follower. Maaseik ?, circa 1390/1400 -  Bruges 1441, Crucifixion, circa 1440-1450, Goldpoint and silverpoint, pen and black ink on prepared paper

The mysterious drawing that attracted a great deal of attention in 2012 during the exhibition ‘The Road to Van Eyck’ is back in the museum. This time in a space just as mysterious as the work itself. Each of the many details in the drawing tells its own story. This spectacular discovery is on display in the museum for the next few weeks before it goes to Paris.

In 1971 W.A. Hofman bought a drawing depicting the ‘Crucifixion of Christ’ at a house-clearance auction in Slochteren for ten guilders. The image reminded him of a painting by Jan van Eyck and he believed the drawing must date from the same period. It remained almost completely unknown until 2012, when it was included in the exhibition‘The Road to Van Eyck’. Following extensive research, Hofman was vindicated: it is indeed an exceptionally important work from the fifteenth century. But precisely who made it and when is still the subject of intense discussion among art historians. It is one of the most spectacular discoveries in the field of early Dutch drawing in recent decades.

The details in the drawing are highlighted in the exhibition through interactive displays and there is an ARTtube video about Jan van Eyck and painting in the Middle Ages.