By Appointment Only Leuven Belgium 32475648678
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Late 15th C., Tüchlein with Saint Egidius in a Boat

Origin Belgium
Period Pre 18th Century
Materials Tüchlein, handpainted
W. 37.4 in; H. 53.54 in;
W. 95 cm; H. 136 cm;
Condition Good.
Description The work is a so-called 'Tüchlein'; also referred to in the archives as 'drap peint' or 'drap de peintre'. This term is used to denote paintings made with watercolour on canvas. The technique is a product innovation from the 15th century and was intended to offer a cheaper alternative to the expensive woven tapestries. This way of working had advantages over panel painting. The painting went faster, and the artist was also able to work in a larger format. Often several pieces of cloth were sewn together to get a large surface. The disadvantage was that the colours were duller than those of a panel painting.
Under the scene, the Dutch text in Gothic script under the scene betrays that the painting was made in the Burgundian Netherlands.
The Tüchlein is part of a series on the life of Saint Egidius, a saint of Greek origin who lived in the 8th century.
The legend in old Dutch describes the scene: “Dar nar als hye over mer wolde vare(n) vnd sich gans van der werelt keren dvt schyff v(er)loyst … van des wreedes sturm vnd syner wirdynen kvnt van des kalden ..”. The text speaks of Egidius' plan to sail away and the raising of a fierce storm. According to the legend, he saw how people almost died because of the storm. He would have muttered a prayer, and the battery would have calmed down.
One of the places in the Burgundian Netherlands where Saint Egidius was revered, was Bruges. An archival document from 1486, more specifically an official report drawn up by order of the official of the Archdiocese of Reims, mentions that miracles and healings took place in the Saint-Gilles Church in Bruges when people touched the relics of Saint Egidius. It is quite conceivable that such situations gave rise to the commission of Tüchlein by church administrators. Since the canvas is executed in the style of early Netherlandish painting, it is possible that it was made in Bruges's art centre. Stylistically, the work also resembles paintings by Dirk Bouts, who mainly worked in Leuven and who also has several Tüchlein to his name.
Styles / Movements Traditional
Dealer Reference Number CE_0131
Incollect Reference Number 491669
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