The Charterhouse of Bruges: Jan van Eyck, Petrus Christus and Jan Vos

Exhibition: 18 September 2018 - 13 January 2019

For the first time in twenty-four years and only the second time in their history, two masterpieces of early Netherlandish painting commissioned by the Carthusian monk Jan Vos will be reunited. These works, The Frick Collection’s Virgin and Child with St. Barbara, St. Elizabeth, and Jan Vos, commissioned from Jan van Eyck and completed by his workshop, and The Virgin and Child with St. Barbara and Jan Vos (known as the Exeter Virgin, after its first recorded owner), painted by Petrus Christus and now in the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, will be shown with a selection of objects that place them in the rich monastic context for which they were created. The exhibition will explore the works’ patronage, function, reception, and spiritual environment, offering a focused look at devotional practices in Bruges during the mid-fifteenth century.

Petrus Christus (1415/20-1475/76), The Virgin and Child with St. Barbara and Jan Vos (detail), ca. 1445-50
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie, Berlin

In 1441, Jan Vos was elected prior of the Bruges Charterhouse of Genadedal, an important monastery patronized by the dukes of Burgundy and some of Bruges’s foremost patrician families. Vos commis­sioned at least four works during his decade-long tenure at the helm of the prestigious charterhouse, but only the Virgin and Child and the Exeter Virgin survive today. The panels both achieve remarkable monumentality while incorporating myriad minute details.

The Charterhouse of Bruges will be on view in the museum’s Cabinet Gallery and is curated by Emma Capron, the 2016–18 Anne L. Poulet Curatorial Fellow at The Frick Collection. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated scholarly catalogue.

Jan van Eyck (ca. 1390-1441) and Workshop, The Virgin and Child with St. Barbara, St. Elizabeth and Jan Vos, ca. 1441–43
The Frick Collection, New York