Rogier van der Weyden
Rogier van der Weyden (Dutch:
There are few certain facts of van der Weyden's life. What else is known of him has come from civic records and secondary sources, and some of it is contestable. However the paintings now attributed to him are generally accepted, despite a tendency in the 19th century to attribute his work to others.
Van der Weyden worked from life models, and his observations were acute, yet he often idealised certain elements of his models' facial features, and they are typically statuesque, especially in his triptychs. All of his forms are rendered with rich, warm colourisation and a sympathetic expression, while he is known for his expressive pathos and naturalism. His portraits tend to be half length and half profile, and he is as sympathetic here as in his religious triptychs. Van der Weyden used an unusually broad range of colours and varied tones; in his finest work the same tone is not repeated in any other area of the canvas; even the whites are varied.
Due to the loss of archives in 1695 and again in 1940, there are few certain facts of van der Weyden's life. Rogelet de le Pasture (Roger of the Pasture) was born in
In 1426, Rogier married Elisabeth, the daughter of a
From the second of March 1436 onward, he held the title of 'painter to the town of Brussels' (stadsschilder), a very prestigious post because Brussels was at that time the most important residence of the splendid court of the
Little is known about Rogier's training as a painter. The archival sources from
However, on 5 March of the following year, the records of the
His later entry into apprenticeship might be explained by the fact that during the 1420s the city of Tournai was in crisis and as a result the guilds were not functioning normally. The late apprenticeship may have been a legal formality. Also Jacques Daret was then in his twenties and had been living and working in Campin's household for at least a decade. It is possible that Rogier obtained an academic title (Master) before he became a painter and that he was awarded the wine of honour on the occasion of his graduation. The sophisticated and learned iconographical and compositional qualities of the paintings attributed to him are sometimes used as an argument in favour of this supposition.
The social and intellectual status of Rogier in his later life surpassed that of a mere craftsman at that time. In general, the close stylistic link between the documented works of Jacques Daret and the paintings attributed to Robert Campin and van der Weyden are the main arguments to consider Rogier van der Weyden as a pupil of Campin.