Early Netherlandish Paintings
rediscovery, reception and research
The so-called Flemish Primitives, a group of fifteenth-century painters from the southern Netherlands, acquired their name in the nineteenth century. Among them were world-famous artists such as Rogier van der Weyden, Hans Memling, the brothers Van Eyck, and Huge van der Goes. Their masterpieces, oil paintings minutely detailed in luminous color, are a high point of Western European art, which, together with the Italian Renaissance paintings, laid the foundations for modern art. This book focuses on the artistic, religious, and social significance of their art and its iconographic interpretations, as well as how the paintings themselves were collected, evaluated, and studied over the centuries.