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seems, for example on the retable of Claude de Villa, to be a mark of the screenwerkers generally, who worked in concert with the image makers. To them was allotted the part of carrying out the general architectural forms. Then came the turn of the composer of the picture, the sculptor of the figures, and the painter and gilder. An interesting document exists among the archives of Louvain, in which Jan Borreman agrees to execute by his own hand all the figures of a certain piece of sculpture to be made by the screenwerker Petercels.
Our national museum at Kensington acquired so long ago as 1855 an extremely fine specimen of an altarpiece of the latter part of the fifteenth century. It is of considerable dimensions, uncoloured—in its present condition at least—and, of course, of oak. The illustration here given will obviate the necessity of more than a brief description (Plate 1v.). The general formation, with a central panel and two wings is much the same as in many others of the style and period, but plainer and not so rich in ornament. The figures of the apostles, now placed upon it, may or may not have been originally connected with it. The principal subject represents the death of the Virgin: on the wings are the Nativity and the Visit of the Magi. We may remark that the character of the drapery is excessively tourmentd in the multiplicity and the arrangement of the folds. The piece is said to have come from the cathedral of St. Bavon at Ghent. It would be interesting if we could verify this origin. The fine retable, formerly in the church at Anderghem, and now in the Brussels Museum, is a good example of the coloured and profusely gilded Flemish flamboyant style of mid-fifteenth century. Within a moderate compass the groups of figures form a living composition, each in its way superior to more realistic work, as, for example, in the choir at Ulm. Naturally, Belgium and the museums of the chief city of the modern state are rich in specimens. In the Mused du Cinquantenaire are some superb examples, which alone are sufficient to illustrate the subject at its best. These are the retables of Haekendover, of the Cte. de Nahuys, and above all that known as the retable of Claude de Villa. The first-named is an instructive example of the preservation of types, for though, without doubt, work of the end of the fifteenth century—perhaps by Maitre Devis or Jan van Connixloo—the costumes and architectural style are of a century earlier, carrying us back to the formulae of Jacques de Baerze at Dijon. The retable of Claude de Villa (Plate v.) is a triptych, with each compartment crowned by an architectural decoration of ogival arches, the points of which at one time may have carried statuettes of which the culs-de-lampe now only remain. The rest of the tabernacle work is a mass of delicate tracery, lacelike in complication, yet of extreme lightness. In the centre is the principal subject, the Crucifixion. Allowing for some differences, and for more or less detail, this is the type of the pictorial compositions which are general in this class of altarpiece, and may be thus described: In a landscape a mountain of figures—men, women, soldiers on horse and on foot, the crowd of sightseers, officials and legendary figures that we associate always with the sacred scene—leads up to the extremely tall and narrow-limbed cross. On either side of this, on similar crosses, are bound the thieves, contorted in agony. With the exception of the most holy personages, all the figures are in the costume of the period, that is, of the last quarter of the fifteenth century, the date of the work itself being about 1460 to 1470. The patrician ladies of the crowd, and even some of those whose names the scriptural narrative and legends attach to the sacred event, are in the richest robes of brocade and tissue of the latest and most extravagant fashion: ddcolletdes and decked with chains and jewels. Amongst