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Exterior of a Triptych with Saints Lawrence and Leonard
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Exterior of a Triptych with Saints Lawrence and Leonard


Description Provenance Credit
Description Altarpieces with hinged wings were closed except on major feast days, so that ordinarily only the exterior panels of the wings were visible. They were often less sumptuous than the interior, though no less intriguing. Here, everyday details and fantasy are intimately linked. The vigorously painted figures of Saints Lawrence (holding the grill on which he was burned alive) and Leonard stand in front of a brocade cloth hung from simple hooks in a low-ceilinged room. The saints stand in a meadow strewn with little flowers. At Saint Leonard's feet is the spring, which he discovered using a divining rod, and the animals drawn to its waters. The interior is much more flamboyant, with an architecturally-defined center panel, originally housing painted wooden statues of saints (now missing) and individual saints on the wings. The name of the painter is unknown, but the style, including the characteristic circles under the eyes, is close to that of the Altarpiece of the Legend of Saint Michael from a church in Arguis, Spain (now in the Prado Museum, in Madrid). However, the attribution is uncertain; indeed, comparisons have also been made with Austrian painting of the period.
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore, after 1929, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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Period
ca. 1450 (Late Medieval)
Medium
oil, gold leaf, and wax on wood
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
37.868
Measurements
framed: 52 1/2 x 81 x 10 1/2 in. (133.4 x 205.7 x 26.7 cm); open: 54 x 81 1/4 x 11 1/2 in. (137.16 x 206.38 x 29.21 cm)
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