The Wilton Diptych: Making and Meaning (National Gallery London Publications)

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Press:National Gallery London National Gallery London (October 26, 1994)
Publication Date:1994-10-26
Author Name:Ms. Dillian Gordon


The Wilton Diptych is one of the most beautiful, yet most enigmatic, paintings ever made. 
The intricacy of detail, the refinement and sublety of its varied techniques and decorative effects, the lushness of its colours and the exquisite tooling of the gold, all in a remarkable state of preservation, are unmatched in any contemporary English or European panel painting.
Superficially the imagery is straightforward.
It shows Richard II (King of England 1377-99) being presented to the Virgin and Child by two royal English saints, Edward the Confessor and Edmund, and Richard's patron saint, John the Baptist.
On the exterior are the king's personal emblem of the white hart and his coat of arms.
Thereafter the diptych remains an enigma: no one knows precisely when, why, or by whom it was painted.
The author explores new evidence which helps to clarify the diptych's meaning.
As a result of recent investigations by the Gallery's Scientific and Conservation Departments, valuable technical information is presented about the materials used in its painting, which has a bearing on both its origin and serves to emphasize the extraordinary craftsmanship of the diptych.

About the Author

Dillian Gordon is former curator of Italian paintings before 1460, Ashok Roy is director of collections, and Martin Wyld is former director of conservation, all at the National Gallery, London. 
Caroline M.
Barron is professor emeritus at Royal Holloway, University of London.


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Comment List (Total:2)

  •     Very informative on condition and techniques used in construction.
  •     OK, we still don't know who, where, just why or for whom this Richard II diptych was painted, but the discussion and guesses were great. Lots of information.

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