CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Le Maître au Feuillage Brodé, les primitifs flamands: secrets d’atelier

Master of the Embroidered Foliage. Secrets of the workshops: artists’ procedures and methods of attribution to an anonymous Flemish primitive conference: 23 June - 24 June 2005

Museum information

The conference on the “Maître au Feuillage Brodé” (Master of the Embroidered Foliage), to be held in Lille , is the result of co-operation between French and American museums under the auspices of FRAME (French Regional American Museum Exchange). It is organized around an exhibition in two parts. In Williamstown and Minneapolis, four paintings of a Madonna and Child of similar composition but painted in different decors are studied and analyzed using infrared, X-ray and dendrochronological techniques. The exhibition The Master of the Embroidered Foliage: secrets of Flemish workshops of the late 15th century (13 May – 24 July 2005 ) in Lille, will bring together the main works attributed to this Master Painter. The comparisons should raise numerous questions relating to methods of attribution and procedures of artists in the Brussels workshops at the end of the 15th Century. Two study days organized during the exhibition will make it possible to define terms and new areas of research and to publish initial findings.

Art historians have selected two main criteria for the attribution of works to the “Maître au Feuillage Brodé” (Master of the Embroidered Foliage): the systematic rendering of leaves as small dots and the study of the Madonna by the Master Painter based on studies borrowed from Rogier van der Weyden. In addition to the production of his own workshop, the Master Painter seems also to have painted landscapes in some collaborative works. But, as with many Flemish primitives, the artistic personality of the Master and his workshop remain difficult to define. It may be possible to reconstitute an array of painters around his corpus of works, raising the questions of co-operation between artists and of attribution criteria, all within the context of production and frequent copying.

Talks will cover the works attributed to the Master Painter, the organisation of the Brussels workshops, the treatment of flowers and plants in paintings, studies in the works attributed to the Maître au Feuillage Brodé (Master of the Embroidered Leaves), copying techniques observed in the paintings attributed to the Master Painter, their relationship with tapestries.

Speakers (non-exhaustive list)

  • M. W. Ainsworth, Curator, Metropolitan Museum of Art New-York
  • T. Borchert, Curator, Groninge Museum Bruges
  • L. Campbell, Curator, National Gallery London
  • A. Châtelet, Professor, Strasbourg University
  • D Martens, Professor, Free University of Brussels
  • W. Whitney, Lecturer, Paris I University, restorer
  • Ph. Lorentz, Professor, Strasbourg University (Chairman of meeting)
  • C. Perier d’Ieteren, Professor, Free University of Brussels
  • A. Scherer, Doctor of History of Art
  • G. Steyaert, Doctor of History of Art, Free University of Brussels, restorer

Conference proceedings

All speakers’ talks will be published with illustrations. The discussions will also be published.