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The Magdalen Reading
Photo credit: The National Gallery, London

The Magdalen Reading before 1438

Rogier van der Weyden (c.1399–1464)

The National Gallery, London

(b Tournai, c.1399; d Brussels, 18 June 1464). The outstanding Netherlandish painter of the mid-15th century. He was one of the greatest and most influential European artists of his time, but there is little secure knowledge about his career. None of the surviving paintings associated with him are signed, dated, or verified by indisputable contemporary documentation, but several can be identified from early sources, and the style these show is so distinctive that a coherent oeuvre has been built up around them. His early career, however, is still a particularly problematic area, as the sparse evidence relating to it is teasingly equivocal. In 1427 a certain ‘Rogelet [little Roger] de la Pasture’ began an apprenticeship with Robert Campin in Tournai, and in 1432 he became a master in the city's painters' guild.

Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)

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