The Seilern Triptych - The Entombment


Attributed to
ca. 1375/1379-1444 (Life dates)


The Seilern Triptych - The Entombment

Date of Production

(circa) 1425


oil paint and goldleaf on panel


Height: 65.2 cm
Width: 53.6 cm

Accession Number


Mode of Acquisition

Count Antoine Seilern, bequest, 1978


The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust)


On display


Label Text

This devotional work is one of the finest masterpieces of Northern European painting. It is also an early example of oil painting. In contrast with the traditional egg-based paint (called ‘tempera’), oil paint enabled artists to depict translucent effects and precise modelling, making figures and objects more lifelike and immediate.
The triptych depicts Christ’s burial, moments after he is taken down from the cross. His body is lowered into a stone tomb while four angels carry instruments associated with his suffering. The right wing depicts Christ’s triumphant Resurrection two days later. The triptych was probably commissioned by the anonymous kneeling man depicted on the left wing. The gold background is adorned with raised motifs representing an intricate vine, as wine was a symbol of the blood shed by Christ.
Attributed to Robert Campin, a leading painter in Tournai (present-day Belgium), the work is often called ‘The Seilern Triptych’ after the collector who bequeathed it to the Courtauld.


Italian provenance, indicated by 19th century inscriptions on back (Mancinelli, no. 32 Defalco(?), Colonna); Colonel R F W Hill, Bickleigh, Devon, sold Christie's, 14 August 1942 (13, as by Adriaen Isenbrandt). Acquired by Count Antoine Seilern (1901-1978) London, 1942; Princes Gate Bequest, 1978.

Exhibition History

National Gallery (permanent display during closure), National Gallery, London, 14/09/2018-03/09/2021

Flemish Art 1300-1700, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1953-54

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