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Title: Les trois degrés de la vision selon Ruysbroeck l'Admirable et les bergers du Triptyque Portinari de Hugo van der Goes
Author(s): RABIER, Delphine
Journal: Studies in Spirituality
Volume: 27    Date: 2017   
Pages: 163-179
DOI: 10.2143/SIS.27.0.3254101

Abstract :
In his monumental Portinari triptych, Hugo van der Goes attributed a significant place for the shepherds. Represented on the same scale as the Holy family, they penetrate the sacred space of the stable to adore the Child. United in their humility, the shepherds surrender themselves respectfully to the holy vision of the Nativity. However, Hugo van der Goes granted to each of them a distinctive personality. As the shepherds arrive, these characters, divided according to the three stages of life, undergo a metamorphosis leading them into the sphere of contemplation. This transformation deserves to be studied in relation to the three lives (active, interior and contemplative) and the visions evoked by Ruysbroeck the Admirable in The Spiritual Espousals (Die Cierheit der gheesteliker brulocht). It is established that the library to Rooklooster, the priory where the painter withdrew after 1475, kept copies of Ruysbroeck’s work back then.

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