ALMOST all the early altar painting in Holland has been destroyed so that, as far as our limited knowledge goes, Geertgen tot Sint Jans becomes the representative of the fifteenth century. He worked at Haarlem, and does not seem to have left Holland but apparently was not entirely unaffected by the art of the Flemish towns. 1His very real originality must be regarded in the first place as a personal quality, then-- though with caution--as national Dutch. Though the discovery of the one work by Ouwater, the Raising of Lazarus ( Berlin) unfortunately bore no further fruits it has been possible from our master's accredited chief work--the pictures in Vienna that formed the front and back of an altarpiece wing clearly described by van Mander--to establish a con- siderable oeuvre for him and to gain a many-sided idea of his personality.
We have two Madonnas, one unusually large ( Berlin, Kaiser-Friedrich Museum) one unusually small ( Milan, Ambrosiana), no less than three Adorations ( Amsterdam, Prague, Dutch private collection)2, the charming diptych in Brunswick,3 the Raising of Lazarus in the Louvre, the St. John in the Wilderness, Berlin, the symbolic representation of the Holy Kindred in Amsterdam, the problematic View of a Church in Haarlem--that gets us nowhere--the Man of Sorrows in Utrecht, the night scene of the Nativity in the v. Onnes Collection, Holland, 4 and finally a not fully accredited portrait, formerly in the Leuchtenberg Collection, St. Petersburg, 5 which represents the second wife of the Duke of Cleves. These thirteen works were done at approximately the same time. If van
Trésors d'Art en Russie, 1904.* Two important recent additions to Geertgen oeuvre published by Friedländer (in "Maandblad voor beeldende Kunsten", XXV, 1949, p. 187, and XXVI, 1950, p. 10) are the Virgin and Child in the Van Beuningen Collection, Vierhouten, and the Adoration of the Kings in the Cleveland museum.