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Salvator MundiSalvator MundiAttributed to Quentin Massys and Studio (also known as Quinten Metsys)Flemish Schoolca. 1500-151021 x 14.5 in (53.3 x 36.8 cm)Oil on panelNorth Carolina Museum of ArtRaleigh, North Carolinahttp://ncartmuseum.org/art/detail/salvator_mundi<p>Quinten Massys (Quentin Metsys), Louvain, 1466- Antwerp, 1530</p><p>Until the 19th-century very little was known about Quinten Massys and his unusual training, save for a handful of unreliable legends.  Massys was in fact the son of a fairly successful blacksmith, and the artist first became familiar with his father’s trade before starting a career as a painter. In 1491, he became a member of the guild of Saint Luke in Antwerp and most likely registered as a master painter. He remained in Antwerp throughout the duration of his prosperous career, leading a prolific workshop that produced mostly religious altarpieces as well as portraits.</p><p>Scholarship has associated Massys’s painting style with several notable Flemish masters including van Eyck and Hans Memling, although the occasional influence of Dürer and even Leonardo can be detected in his works.  However, recent technical studies have demonstrated an extraordinary level of innovation in his works.  Massys experimented with particular pigments (such as <em>kesselbraun </em>or Van Dyke brown) in order to produce a particular color or effect in his paints. The complex structure of his works, even in the case of his tempera paintings, is further demonstrated by the intricate detail found throughout his brocaded patterns, jewels, and architectural designs.  Signature characteristics of Massys’s technique include the use of a dry brush to create tonal transitions and the application of fabric to the surface of still-wet paint to create textured effects.</p><p>This painting representing Christ as Savior of the Earth and King of Heaven was possibly half of a diptych with a companion panel of the Virgin Mary (either depicted as <em>Mater Dolorosa</em> or in Adoration). Diptychs of similar characteristics attributed to Massys are currently located in the National Gallery of London and in the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten (Antwerp). Another related painting of <em>Christ Blessing</em> (Bradford-on-Avon) has been recently attributed to Massys and his circle.  The painting is only half of the original panel as its companion piece is currently thought to be the <em>Virgin in Adoration</em> in a private collection.</p><p>Debates relating to the painting's attribution are ongoing. Colin Eisler argues in the catalogue of the Kress Collection (1977) that the painting was executed by the circle of Massys after an original, but Larry Silver attributes the painting to Massys in the latest catalogue raisonné of the painter’s body of work (1984). </p><p><a href="http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/technical-bulletin/dunkerton2008">The Technique and Restoration of The Virgin and Child Enthroned, with Four Angels by Quinten Massys</a></p><p>Article published by the <em>National Gallery Technical Bulletin</em> that describes the study of techniques and materials used by Massys in the panel of <em>The Virgin and Child Enthroned with Four Angels</em> through technical analysis. The author takes a special look of the gilding techniques and uncommon materials used by the artist. </p><p><a href="http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/technical-bulletin/roy1988">The Technique of a "Tüchlein" by Quinten Massys</a></p><p>A "Tüchlein" is a painting executed with glue tempera on linen and is identified as an early Netherlandish technique. <em>The Virgin and Child with Saints Barbara and Catherine</em>, attributed to Quinten Massys, is an example of such technique. Technical studies allowed the identification of unusual materials and revealed the underdrawing of the painting.  </p><p><a href="http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/technical-bulletin/methods_and_materials1997">Methods and Materials of Northern European Painting in the National Gallery, 1400–1550</a></p><p>This article published in the National Gallery Technical Bulletin presents an extensive study of Northern European painting, and discusses sources, guilds, workshops and painting techniques. </p><p><a href="http://vlaamseprimitieven.vlaamsekunstcollectie.be/en/research/webpublications">Flemish Primitives - Online Publications</a></p><p>A wonderful collection of online technical and art historical publications focusing on a range of Flemish painters and their related workshops.</p><p>Dunkerton, Jill. “The Technique and Restoration of <em>The Virgin and Child Enthroned, with Four Angels</em> by Quinten Massys.” In <em>National Gallery Technical Bulletin</em>, 29 (2008): 60-75.</p><p>Eisler, Colin. <em>Paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection: European Schools excluding Italian. </em>Oxford: Phaidon Press, 1977.</p><p>Glatigny, Jean-Albert. "Technique de construction des panneaux flamands." In <em>La Pintura Europea Sobre Tabla Siglos XV, XVI y XVII</em>, 42-47. Madrid (?): Ministerio de Cultura, 2010.</p><p>Roy, Ashok. “The Technique of a ‘Tüchlein’ by Quinten Massys.” In<em> National Gallery Technical Bulletin</em>, 12 (1988): 36-43.</p><p>Roy, Ashok (ed.) “Methods and Materials of Northern European Painting in the National Gallery, 1400-1550.” In <em>National Gallery Technical Bulletin</em>, 18 (1997): 6-55.</p><p>Silver, Larry. <em>The Paintings of Quinten Massys with Catalogue Raisonné. </em>Montclair: Allanheld & Schram, 1984.</p><p>Stainer-Hutchins, Kiffy, Simon Watney and Hugo Platt. “A rediscovered prototype by Quinten Metsys: ‘Christ Blessing with the Virgin in Adoration.’ ” In <em>The Burlington Magazine (</em>February 2010): 76-81.</p><p>Stainer-Hutchins, Kiffy and Hugo Platt. “<em>Christ Blessing</em> with <em>The Virgin in Adoration</em> by Quentin Metsys, c. 1491-1505: A Technical Investigation.” In <em>The Picture Restorer (</em>Autumn 2010): 18-21.</p><p>van Schoute, Roger and Helene Verougstraete-Marcq. “L’Execution Picturale chez Quentin Metsys: Considérations sur Deux de ses Oeuvres aux Musées Royaux.” In<em>Bulletin: Musée Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique</em>, Vol. 38-40, 1-3 (1989-1991): 205-216.</p><p>Wolfthal, Diane. <em>The Beginnings of Netherlandish Canvas Painting: 1400-1530. </em>Cambridge, New York, New Rochelle, Melbourne and Sydney: Cambridge University Press, 1989.​</p>A step-by-step description of Quentin Massys’s (also known as Quintin Metsys or Matsys) working method based on a technical study of the Salvator Mundi (now located at the North Carolina Museum of Art) that was originally part of a diptych. The techniques and materials outlined include the preparation of a panel support, sizing, a chalk ground, black chalk/charcoal underdrawing, imprimitura, oil painting, mordant gilding, and varnishing.

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