The back row lineup in the Panel of the Archbishop (with the exception of the figure of the French chronicler Jean Wauquelin) is sourced from two paintings by the Spanish artist Bartolomé Bermejo (c1440 – c1501) and his altarpiece dedicated to St Dominic of Silos:
The central panel shows St Dominic enthroned as a bishop. His likeness is utilised by Van der Goes for the Archbishop in the St Vincent Panels.
The lilkeness of the surrounding prelates can all be matched with the figures featured in Bermejo’s other painting: King Ferdinand I of Castile welcoming St Dominic of Silos.
A second painter, Martin Bernat, was also contracted to assist with this work. He and Bermejo are featured in this wing panel and also the Archbishop section of the St Vincent Panels.
The King Ferdinand panel was contracted to be delivered by May 1479. This date provides an indication that the Panel of the Archbishop was not painted until after then.
My thanks to Pam Bishop for directing me to the likeness of the St Dominic portrait with the Archbishop figure in the St Vincent Panels.
• More on this in a future post.