Description These companion images represent the abbot Nicolas à Spira (on the right) in prayer to his patron saint, the 4th-century bishop St. Nicholas. On the backs of the panels are remnants of an Annunciation scene, with Gabriel on one panel and the Virgin on the other. The panels were part of an altarpiece, with the Annunciation visible as a unified scene on the exterior of the wings when the altarpiece was closed. On the interior, the two Nicholases flanked a lost central image, perhaps a Madonna and Child. The altarpiece, signed and dated by the little-known Jacques de Poindre, was commissioned by the abbot for his Abbey of Grimbergen in the southern Netherlands. Depicting the saintly bishop and the living abbot in similar ecclesiastical vestments lends dignity to the latter.
Provenance Abbey of Grimbergen, Brabant, 1563 until the late 18th century; de Malherbe Collection, Valenciennes; Sale, October 17-18, 1883, no. 46; Comte Jacques de Béraudière, Paris; Sale, Cabinet Foucart, October 10-12, 1898, no. 65; de Somzée Collection; Sale, Brussels, May 24, 1904, no. 565; Private Collection, Netherlands; Nathan Katz (?); Galerie Pardo, Paris, by 1952; Walters Art Museum, 1984, by purchase.
Credit Museum purchase with funds provided by the W. Alton Jones Foundation Acquisition Fund, 1984
Download Image Add to Collection Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Creative Commons License