Hendrik van Balen / The Trinity / c. 1620Hendrik van Balen
The Trinity
c. 1620

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Creator Name: Balen, Hendrik van
Creator Nationality: European; Flemish
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: 1575 - 1632
Gender: M
Creator Name-CRT: Hendrik van Balen
Title: The Trinity
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1615
Creation End Date: 1625
Creation Date: c. 1620
Object Type: Paintings
Materials and Techniques: oil on wood
Dimensions: Unframed: 114.6cm x 73.9cm
Inscriptions: signed lower left: H.V. Balen
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1996.26
Credit Line: Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund
Rights: http://www.clemusart.com/museum/disclaim2.html
Provenance: Sotheby's, London, 11 July 1979 (no. 37), reproduced. Alex Wengraf, London (1984). Private collection until 1993. Konrad O. Bernheimer, Munich (1996).
Context: This altarpiece, painted with luminous pastel colors, was made in Antwerp, the center of religious learning in Catholic Flanders. The reform movement within the Catholic church, known as the Counter Reformation, encouraged the production of didactic religious images, with the result that Antwerp painters such as Rubens, van Dyck, as well as Hendrik Van Balen were granted large numbers of commissions.Depictions of the Trinity showing God the Father holding the dead Christ with the dove of the Holy Spirit hovering above had been very popular through-out Europe between 1300 and 1500, but became rare in the 1600s. In this work, the artist conformed to the Counter Reformation demand that God the Father wear the purple tiara of the Pope. The angels, with their multi-colored wings of various designs, hold the instruments of Christ's Passion. On the clasp of God the Father's elaborate cape is a small figure of Saint Barbara, which may be a clue to the original location of the work, perhaps a chapel dedicated to the saint.
AMICA ID: CMA_.1996.26
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art

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