First Hand: Petrus Christus

Petrus Christus.jpg

Petrus Christus, A Goldsmith in his Shop (1449), 39 x 33″; courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Compared to Portrait of a Carthusian and the supernal The Lamentation, both of which are within a 10-minute walk at the Met, A Goldsmith in his Shop (1449) isn’t much more than an inventory populated by a trio of marionettes. But what an inventory it is! The reflection in the convex mirror at bottom right is the least of it. The cabinet of goods on the back wall, along with the cloth ribbon unfurling at stage right, are beguiling enough to transform a higgledy-piggledy composition into a tour de force.

© 2019 Mario Naves

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