A Goldsmith in his Shop

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Petrus Christus, active by 1444 – died 1475/76, A Goldsmith in his Shop, 1449.

  • 100% Silk
  • Double-sided
  • Designed and Printed in Britain
  • 90cm x 5cm

The painting used on this scarf is widely celebrated as a masterpiece of Northern Renaissance Art. It is dated 1449 and signed by Petrus Christus, the leading painter in Bruges (Flanders) after the death of Jan van Eyck. The panel is likely a vocational painting, which portrays the profession of goldsmithing and perhaps a specific goldsmith. It has been suggested that he is Willem van Vleuten, a Bruges goldsmith who worked for Philip the Good, duke of Burgundy. In 1449, the date of this painting, the duke commissioned from van Vlueten a gift for Mary of Guelders on the occasion of her marriage to James II, King of Scots. It is thought the couple may well be depicted in this painting, portrayed buying a wedding ring that is being weighed on a scale. The convex mirror, which links the pictorial space to the street outside, reflects two young men with a falcon (a symbol of pride and greed) and establishes a moral comparison between the imperfect world of the viewer and the world of virtue and balance depicted here.

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