What is medieval art? That’s a tough question and it’s answer depends on a lot of factors, for instance: it’s meaning, the available knowledge and taste of both artist(s) and patron. The two Antwerp made altarpieces of the church of Ricey Bas are perfect examples of this development.

Gothic all’antica

The oldest altarpiece looks medieval with its late gothic pinnacles and tracery, though some details give hints of the Italian renaissance. Evidence of this can be detected in the architectural decor of The Flagellation. The gilded palace behind one of Christs’ torturers has a medallion with an en profil portrait of a man. The profile view, which was favored in ancient coins, was frequently adopted in 15th century renaissance Italy and became fashionable in the northern parts of Europe in the 1510-1530s. This altarpiece clearly illustrates the middle ages were not abruptly exchanged for the renaissance- but rather certain modern all’antica elements were embraced in known structures of these altarpieces.