About This Artwork

South German

Holy Family, 1440/60

Oil on panel
19 3/4 x 18 3/4 in. (50.2 x 47.8 cm)
Painted surface: 19 1/2 x 18 5/8 in. (49.5 x 47.3 cm)

Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection, 1933.1044

This view of the Holy Family in an interior is filled with the trappings of a comfortable bourgeois existence. Its unknown maker was probably working from a repertory of pattern drawings derived from the most innovative Netherlandish painters of the early 15th century, Rogier van der Weyden and Jan van Eyck. The pose of the Virgin and the buffet with its brass and pewter vessels are particularly indebted to their work. At the same time, the painting’s dry style and its use of a spruce rather than an oak panel for the support are indications that it was made in Southern Germany.

— Permanent collection label

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings by the Dutch and Flemish Masters: Collection of Louis R. Ehrich, 1888, no. 154, as by Roger van der Weyden.

New York, American Fine Arts Society, Loan Exhibition of Louis Eh-rich Collection, 1894 (no cat.).

Groeningemuseum, From Van Eyck to Dürer: Artistic Exchanges between the Netherlands and Central, Eastern and Northern Europe, c. 1420-1530, 28 October 2010 - 30 January 2011, no. 197.

Publication History

[Clarence Cook], “The Ehrich Collection of Old Dutch and Flem-ish Pictures,” Studio, n.s., 4, 1 (1888), pp. 2–4 (ill. detail), pl. opp. p. 10 (engraving by Kurtz).

“Painted by the Dutch: Exhibition of the Art Institute,” Chicago Herald, Nov. 22, 1888.

“Pictures by Dutch-men: The Ehrich Collection at the Art Institute,” Chicago Daily Tribune, Nov. 22, 1888, p. 3, cols. 1–2.

“Old Dutch and Flemish Masters: Mr. Louis R. Ehrich’s Collection of Paintings at the Fine Arts Society,” New York Times, Oct. 26, 1894, p. 5, col. 5.

Rose Mary Fischkin, “Martin A. Ryerson Collection of Paintings and Sculpture, XIII to XVII Century, Loaned to The Art Institute of Chicago,” unpub. MS, 1926, Ryerson Library, The Art Institute of Chicago, pp. 77–78.

The Art Institute of Chicago, A Guide to the Paintings in the Permanent Collection, 1932, p. 180, no. 2879.24.

W[ilhelm] R. Valentiner, “A Pupil of Jan van Eyck,” Art Quarterly 8 (1945), pp. 297–302, fig. 2.

J. Duverger, “Brugse schilders ten ti-jde van Jan van Eyck,” Bulletin des Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique 4 (1955), p. 102.

John G. Johnson Collection, Cata-logue of Flemish and Dutch Paintings, Philadelphia, 1972, p. 88, under no. 320.

Martha Wolff in Martha Wolff et al., Northern European and Spanish Paintings before 1600 in the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, 2008, pp. 414-19, ill.

Till-Holger Borchert et al., Van Eyck to Dürer: Early Netherlandish Paintings and Central Europe, 1430-1530, Tielt: Lannoo Publishers, 2010, pp. 377.

Ownership History

Louis Ehrich, New York, by 1888; placed on deposit at Yale Uni-versity Art Gallery, 1888–94 Chicago Herald 1888; and [Cook] 1888; for the Ehrich pictures on deposit at Yale, see [Clarence Cook], “The Ehrich Collection of Old Dutch and Flemish Pictures,” Studio, n.s., 3, 9 (1888), pp. 132–34]; sold, Fifth Avenue Art Galleries, New York, Jan. 22–23, 1895, no. 93, as Roger van der Weyden. Martin A. Ryerson (d. 1932), Chicago, by 1924 [according to registrar’s receipt; Ryerson probably acquired it at or shortly after the Ehrich sale, since he possessed a guarantee (now Art Institute Archives) signed by Ehrich referring to “number 93” in the sale and giving a price of $775]; on loan to the AIC from 1924; bequeathed to the AIC, 1933.




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