Paintings by Hugo van der Goes
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Hugo van der Goes (c. 1430/1440 – 1482) was one of the most significant and original Flemish painters of the late 15th century. Van der Goes was an important painter of altarpieces as well as portraits. He introduced important innovations in painting through his monumental style, use of a specific color range and individualistic manner of portraiture. The presence of his masterpiece, the Portinari Triptych in Florence, from 1483 onwards played a role in the development of realism and the use of color in Italian Renaissance art.
Hugo van der Goes left a large number of drawings. These drawings or the paintings themselves were used by followers to produce large numbers of copies of compositions from his own hands that are now lost. After van der Goes’ death, the book illustrator Alexander Bening, who was married to a niece of van der Goes, likely came in the possession of van der Goes’ drawings and patterns. Simon Bening, the son of Alexander Bening, is believed to have introduced these drawings in Bruges later on since compositions by van der Goes appear in an illustrated book of hours created by the Ghent-Bruges school of illuminators.
A drawing of Jacob and Rachel preserved at the Christ Church Picture Gallery, Oxford is thought to be a rare surviving autograph drawing by van der Goes. It was possibly a preliminary study for a stained glass window.