Room 63 in The National Gallery is such a understated title for such a powerhouse of a room. It contains 15th century painters from the Low Countries such as Jan van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden, Petrus Christus, Hieronymus Bosch and Robert Campin. Dirk Bouts and Hans Memling make it complete [one of Memlings works is shown above]. It also the next stop on my ongoing tour to see all the Hans Memling and Dierk Bouts paintings that exist [how far i get is another question?!]. After seeing the The Last Judegement alterpiece in Gdansk and various others including Virgin and Child in Venice – pre covid- and returning again and again to their work via books and writings such as Svetland Alpers, I am now decided that the only thing to do is stand before them and see. As Alpers writes northern artist of the 15th century believed the eye was a road to knowledge.
This tour is off the back of new research that explores the representation or picturing of ideas or imagined visuals. All born out of attending Francis Ruters lab at Salzburg Academy, where I used imagery and text to describe visualisations I’d had. However in sharing the work I seperated it out so people couldn’t see all the parts at once and in doing so aimed to cultivate an imaginative response. And it’s this inner visual response, just like Memling and Bouts know where our work is finally done and where learning begins.