Medieval Mystery

Who Is the Master of the Embroidered Foliage?

The Exhibition Schedule

  • Williamstown MA / USA
    Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute

    Oct 6, 2004 - Jan 2, 2005
  • Minneapolis MN / USA
    Minneapolis Institute of Arts

    Jan 22, 2005 - May 1, 2005
  • Lille / France
    Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille

    May 13, 2005 - Jun 24, 2005

In 1926 the German art historian Max Friedländer attributed a group of late-fifteenth-century Netherlandish paintings of the Virgin Mary and Christ Child in identical poses to an unknown artist whom he called the "Master of the Embroidered Foliage." Friedländer likened the way that the foliage was painted in these works to the repeated pattern of stitches in embroidery, thus the unusual name for the artist. In 1968 one of these paintings was given to the Clark Art Institute by the executors of the estate of Herbert Lehman, governor of New York State from 1933 to 1942, and the Edith and Herbert Lehman Foundation. This exhibition brings together three related paintings attributed to the Master of the Embroidered Foliage from museums in Bruges, Lille, and Minneapolis.