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The Three Marys at the Tomb

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  • Jan Blanc asked

    Hello and thank you for your fantastic work on this piece!
    I wanted to know if anyone had worked on the reflections that we see on the breastplate of the central soldier, in which we can quite clearly recognize the blue sky as well as rough shapes that could be the surrounding mountains. This use of the mirror breastplate seems interesting to me, as it is one of the first examples of a motif that was later used extensively by Flemish painters. Thank you for your advice!

  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen answered

    Hi Jan, nice to see your enthusiasm! I'd have to refer you to our exhibition catalogue The Road to Van Eyck (2012), there you'll find all the relevant literature about this painting. Unfortunately I saw that the English version of the catalogue is sold out, but maybe you'll be able to find it elsewhere online. There's also a lot of information about the painting in this video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5usqn0xSa8 Good luck! Sarie

  • Bert Menco asked

    Misschien een rare vraag, maar toen ik onlangs Boijmans bezocht en weer dit prachtige schilderij zag, viel me de Hebreeuwse tekst op de mantels van 2 Maria's op. Dit hielt me sindsdien bezig. Ik probeerde dit te vinden op de Internet, helaas tevergeefs. Weet u wat deze teksten inhouden? Tevens, is er een afbeelding hoe het hele schilderij er uitgezien zou kunnen hebben. Bij voorbaat dank en met een vriendelijke groet, Bert Menco

  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen answered

    Beste Bert, De Hebreeuwse teksten op de mantels zijn pseudo-teksten, het lijkt Hebreeuws maar er staat niet echt iets (dit komt overigens zeer vaak voor rond deze tijd). Er is geen afbeelding van hoe het schilderij er ooit in zijn geheel heeft uitgezien. We hebben eigenlijk te weinig informatie om een goede reconstructie te kunnen maken. Zo is het onduidelijk of het aan weerszijden groter was of maar aan een kant, en als het groter was welke voorstellingen er zouden zijn afgebeeld. Er zijn wel vermoedens maar dat is te weinig voor een echte reconstructie. Met vriendelijke groet, Friso Lammertse, Conservator oude kunst

  • Amy E Abrigo asked

    Hello, do you have an author for the description for "The Three Marys at the Tomb", and do you have a date that this page was last updated? I would like to cite it on a research project.

    Link: http://collectie.boijmans.nl/en/object/3729/The-Three-Marys-at-the-Tomb/Jan-van-Eyck

  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen answered

    Dear Amy,
    The text is written by the curatoratorial and educational team Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. The date that this information was published on the site is march 10th, 2010.
    Kind regards,

  • matthew chea asked

    On the three marys at the tomb painting by Van Eyck there is a white chalk number on the back of the panel. Can you tell me what that chalk number is for?

  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen answered

    Hi Matthew, we asked our conservator for you. He told us that this number that you saw on the back of the painting (in the restoration video?), is probably just an old inventory number from one of the former owners. I hope this has been useful! Kind regards, Tanja


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More information
  • What do you see?

After the burial of Christ, three women go to his grave to anoit the body. When they arrive at the tomb, they see that the stone has been rolled away and an angel tells them that Christ has risen.This moment is described in all four gospels and the Van Eyck brothers have depicted it on this large panel. The soldiers who were standing guard at the grave are still sunk in deep sleep.

Mary Magdalene, in her red dress, is kneeling. She is looking at the angel seated on the stone that had sealed the tomb and at the same time pointing at the empty tomb.The angel is making a gesture of greeting. Who the otther two women are is not hundred percent clear. The Mary in the blue gown could be the mother of Christ, but in the gospel of John she is called Mary Cleophas. The third woman is Mary Salome. A medieval city is shown in the background. It is a reasonably faithful representation of Jerusalem in the 15th century. This large panel is the only work by the Van Eyck brothers in the Netherlands.

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Collection book

Collection book Order


Title The Three Marys at the Tomb
Material and technique Oil on panel
Object type
Painting > Painting > Two-dimensional object > Art object
Location This object is in storage
Dimensions Width 90 cm
Height 71,5 cm
Artists Toegeschreven aan: Jan van Eyck
Accession number 2449 (OK)
Credits Verworven met de verzameling van / Acquired with the collection of: D.G. van Beuningen 1958; De restauratie van dit schilderij in 2012 is mogelijk gemaakt door / The restoration of this painting in 2012 was made possible by: Nedspice.
Department Old Masters
Acquisition date 1958
Age artist Between 35 and 45 years old
Collector Collector / D.G. van Beuningen
Research Alma
Geographical origin Southern Netherlands > The Netherlands > Western Europe > Europe

All about the artist

Jan van Eyck

Maaseik circa 1390/1399 - Brugge 1441

Jan van Eyck worked at various royal courts, and was, for example, court painter to Philip the Good of Burgundy. It is suggested that Jan van Eyck discovered...

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