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Rogier van der Weyden and Jan van Ruusbroec: Reading, Rending, and Re-Fashioning the ‘Twice-Dyed’ Veil of Blood in the Escorial Crucifixion

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Chapter Summary

This chapter is part of a larger investigation into Jan van Ruusbroec's role in shaping and embellishing the vibrant, visual exegesis of two of the most innovative artists of the northern Renaissance, Rogier van der Weyden and Robert Campin. The remainder of the chapter considers the gazes and gestures of St. John and the Virgin Mary, which operate as additional meditative prompts in the Escorial Crucifixion, bolstering the significance of Christ's 'twice-dyed' veil of blood. The chapter also presents the devotional exercise of gazing, as prompted by both Rogier and Ruusbroec. Gazing at the panel, the Carthusians may have pondered Christ's Eucharistic entrance into the Old Testament Holy of Holies to celebrate the Christian mass with his own blood, and in a complementary way, they may have reflected on his sacramental presence in the spiritual tabernacle of their own hearts.

Keywords: Carthusians; Christ's twice-dyed veil of blood; Escorial Crucifixion; Jan van Ruusbroec; Old Testament; Rogier van der Weyden; St. John; Virgin Mary



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