Altarpiece of the Chartreuse de Champmol

Altarpiece of the Chartreuse de Champmol

Artist Melchior Broederlam

Date 1394-99

Movement International Gothic

Medium Tempera on panel

Dimensions each 65 x 49.25″

Housed at Musée des Beaux-Arts, Dijon, France


Together, these panels depict the Infancy of Christ. The shapes of these wings are awkward due to the complex shape of the altarpiece. The intense detail of even the smallest features here help to typify the International Gothic era. As his predecessors did before him, Broederlam utilizes architectural devices and landscapes to fill the space of the wings—the use of both Romanesque and Gothic architecture helps to symbolize the bridge from the Old to the New Testament. The lily in the left-hand panel, along with the enclosed garden next to it, help to symbolize Mary’s purity.