Gerard David / Portrait of a Monk / early 1500sGerard David
Portrait of a Monk
early 1500s

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Creator Name: David, Gerard
Creator Qualifier: Circle of
Creator Nationality: European; Netherlandish
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: 1824 - 1911 - 1523
Gender: M
Creator Name-CRT: Gerard David
Title: Portrait of a Monk
Title Type: Primary
Title: A Monk at Prayer
Title Type: Former
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1500
Creation End Date: 1523
Creation Date: early 1500s
Object Type: Paintings
Classification Term: Painting
Materials and Techniques: oil on panel
Dimensions: Unframed: 36cm x 30.4cm
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1942.632
Credit Line: Bequest of John L. Severance
Provenance: Rodolphe Kann, Paris (1907)

This panel originally formed the right half of a diptych, a hinged two-paneled painting used for private worship. The missing left panel probably depicted the Virgin and child. Thus the entire composition showed the monk, with his prayer book open, kneeling in an interior before Mary

and the infant Jesus. This panel is very similar to another painting of a monk now in the National Gallery (London) by Gerard David.

Although we do not know the monk's name, this painting tells us something about him. He must have lived in the Netherlandish city of Bruges, because behind him appear two of that city's most famous towers: on the left is that of the Onze Lieve Vrouw (Our Dear Lady) Church; at the right is that of the Cathedral of the Saviour. Also, his simple gray clothes and tonsure (partially shaved head) indicate that he belonged to a religious community, probably either the Augustinian or Cistercian monastic order.

AMICA ID: CMA_.1942.632
AMICA Library Year: 2002
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art

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