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Adriaen van Wesel

(b. c. 1417)


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(b c. 1417; fl Utrecht, 1447–89). North Netherlandish wood-carver. His name first appears in 1447 when he became a warden of the saddlers’ guild in Utrecht, an office that he held nine times and for which a minimum age of 30 was specified, suggesting a birth date of about 1417. The first record of his work dates from 1475, when, at the age of at least 58, he received a commission for a carved altarpiece from the Confraternity of Our Lady,'s Hertogenbosch. The altarpiece was completed within the two years allocated, and van Wesel was paid an additional 36 Rhenish guilders above the 350 specified in the commission. Two small carved oak shutters representing the Emperor Augustus and the Tiburtine Sibyl and St John on Patmos survive in the possession of the confraternity and form a basis for the identification of other fragments from the carved wooden altarpiece. The shutters would have served a raised central section about 1.25 m wide, while large carved wings would presumably have been attached to the main body of the altarpiece, which alone must have been about 3.5 m wide. A reference to images beneath the altarpiece in 1477/8 suggests that there was also a predella. The altarpiece was polychromed in 1508/9, and two further shutters, added in 1488/9, were painted on the exterior by Hieronymus Bosch at an unspecified date and on the interior by Gielis van Panhedel in 1522/3.

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From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Renaissance Art.



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