Drama and Devotion: Heemskerck's <i>Ecce Homo</i> Altarpiece from Warsaw

Drama and Devotion: Heemskerck's Ecce Homo Altarpiece from Warsaw

  • Anne T. Woollett, Yvonne Szafran, and Alan Phenix

    Maerten van Heemskerck (1498–1574) was one of the most active and inventive Dutch painters of the sixteenth century. Over the course of his long career, he created lively mythological scenes, dramatic altarpieces for guilds, and smaller works for wealthy individuals. Several of his religious paintings were destroyed by Protestant iconoclasts in 1566.

    One of his extant masterpieces, the Ecce Homo triptych of 1544, once graced the family chapel of Jan van Drenckwaerdt, a wealthy merchant and sheriff, in Dordrecht's Augustinian church. This unusually complete triptych, with its original decorated frame, was brought from the National Museum in Warsaw, Poland, for treatment and study at the J. Paul Getty Museum as part of the Conservation Partnership program.

    This richly illustrated book documents the dramatic process of revealing the brilliance of a sixteenth-century masterpiece and sheds light on the artist's technique, iconography, and the role of the altarpiece in the turbulent history of the era. Drama and Devotion accompanies an exhibition at the J. Paul Getty Museum that opened on June 5, 2012.

    Anne T. Woollett is curator of paintings at the J. Paul Getty Museum and author of Rembrandt in Southern California (Getty Publications, 2009). Yvonne Szafran is senior conservator of paintings at the J. Paul Getty Museum. Alan Phenix is a scientist at the Getty Conservation Institute.

    “Nothing short of revelatory. . . . This publication succeeds beautifully at situating a magnificent artifact within its historical and discursive milieu. Any scholar of early Netherlandish art will benefit from reading it.”
    Renaissance Quarterly

    “Large color illustrations compare the artistry in the triptych to Heemskerck’s other known works and to works by other northern European artists. Detail shots of the triptych accompany text that thoroughly describes the technical examination and chemical analysis that was performed.”
    Maine Antique Digest

    “Informative and generously illustrated.”
    Easy Reader

    112 pages
    9 x 10 inches
    68 color and 21 b/w illustrations
    ISBN 978-1-60606-112-1
    paperback

    Getty Publications
    Imprint: J. Paul Getty Museum

    2012


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