The Hornstein Donation in Montreal (3)

Adrian Isenbrant (active in Bruges from 1510)
The Adoration of the Magi, 1520 (?)
Oil on Panel - 33.5 x 27.4 cm
Montréal, Musée des Beaux-Arts
Photo : Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal

13/11/12 - Acquisition - Montreal, Musée des Beaux-Arts - Among the seventy paintings donated by Michal and Renata Hornstein to the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Montreal [1] (see news items of 29/5/12 and 1/11/12), the Flemish Primitives are well represented, notably with an Adoration of the Magi by Adriaen Isenbrant (also known as Isenbrandt or Ysenbrandt) which corresponds to the tradition of painters from Bruges, particularly Gérard David who was apparently his master at one time ; this painting does in fact recall The Adoration of the Magi by David (c. 1498) residing at the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. The Metropolitan in New York also holds a portable triptych by Isenbrant entitled Scenes from the Life of the Virgin (after 1521) whose left panel is a reduced version of the composition in Montreal.
The painter distinguished himself with the delicate character of the human figures, his mastery of the sfumato, the softness of the reliefs, the warmth and subtlety of the colors. Frequently, the opening towards the landscape is partly obstructed by an architectural structure, a technique borrowed from Gossaert and the line of the horizon is placed high up.
In 2004, the Musée Cluny had acquired a beautiful triptych of The Assumption of the Virgin by this same artist (see article in French).

Version française

Bénédicte Bonnet Saint-Georges, mercredi 14 novembre 2012


[1] The information in this news item was drawn from the article by Hilliard T. Goldfarb published in the Revue du Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, September-December 2012.

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