Outward signs

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So why did Rogier van der Weyden make reference to Jan van Eyck in all of the seven sacraments of the famous altarpiece he painted just a few years after Jan’s death?

Augustine of Hippo defined a Sacrament as an outward sign of inward grace instituted by Christ. Was Jan perceived to be grace-filled – not only “one so excellent in his art and science” as once described by Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, but also in faith and life as a Christian?

There can be no doubt that Van der Weyden was an adherent of Van Eyck. The Seven Sacraments Altarpiece is not the only painting by Rogier to depict Jan in the frame. There are at least three other works.

More on the Seven Sacraments Altarpiece and the presence of Van Eyck at this link.

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