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Title St Jerome; The Agony in the Garden
Alternative Title Bowes Museum Altarpiece
Collection Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle
Artist Attributed to Master of Saint Gudule (early Netherlandish painter, active ca.1470-1500) and studio
Previously attributed to school of Dürer, Albrecht (German printmaker and painter, 1471-1528)
Previously attributed to German (Westphalian) School
Date Earliest about 1465
Date Latest about 1475

This double-sided panel is a component of an elaborate altarpiece with scenes of the Passion, which includes a carved Crucifixion and six painted panels. Saint Jerome is one of the Four Fathers of the Church represented on the verso of the altarpiece shutters. Attired in cardinal's robes, Saint Jerome sits with an open book on his knees, holding a golden double cross, the lion by his side.

The recto shows Christ praying in the garden of Gethsemane, while three of his disciples sleep. In the background is a view of Jerusalem and secondary scenes with the Arrest of Christ, his betrayal by Judas, and Saint Peter attacking Malchus.

Current Accession Number B.M.1018
Subject religion (St Jerome, Agony in the Garden, Passion, Arrest of Christ, St Peter, Judas)
Measurements 133.5 x 60.5 cm (estimate)
Material oil on panel
Acquisition Details Bequeathed by the founders John and Joséphine Bowes 1885.
Provenance Purchased by John and Joséphine Bowes from Monbro, 1859, as Rétable ancien a 6 portes peintes by school of Dürer, 1500 fr.
Principal Exhibitions Loan Exhibition of Pictures from the Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, Agnews, London, 1952, cat. no. 22, as 'Westphalian School'.
Publications Dubois, H., 'Sources d'inspiration du Maître a la Vue de Sainte Gudule et de son atelier', Annales d'histoire de l'art & d'archeologie, Université Libre de Bruxelles, no. 11, 1989, pp. 39 - 52, ill. 8; Woods, K. W., 'Five Netherlandish Carved Altarpieces in England and the Brussels School of Carving c. 1470 - 1520', Burlington Magazine, vol. 138, 1996, pp. 788-94.

Other painted panels from the altarpiece are inv. numbers: B.M. 1019; B. M. 1020; B. M. 1021; B. M. 1022; B.M.1023.

The influence of Rogier Van der Weyden in the work of the Master of the View of St Gudule is evidenced in the iconographical choices he made to represent St Jerome in this altarpiece. References to Jerome's role as a scholar and writer are combined with anecdotal aspects of his life narrated in Jacopo da Voragine's Golden Legend, which accounts for the presence of the lion.

H. Dubois noted the relationship between the panel depicting the Agony in the Garden and the same subject as depicted by Martin Schongauer.

K. W. Woods suggested a date between 1480-85 for the altarpiece, the carved elements of which she related to the style of Rogier van der Weyden.

The inclusion of the Four Fathers of the Church can be related to the influence of the Devotio Moderna movement and its emphasis on biblical sources and the writings of the Latin Fathers.

Rights Owner The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, Co. Durham
Author Dr Mercedes Cerón; Dr Howard Coutts



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