"As might be expected in a show that covers art from the late Middle Ages to the early 20th century, the styles and purposes of the drawings are all over the place. There are Leonardo's scribbled studies of Mary Magdalene, Pieter Breugel the Elder's detailed line drawing of a peasant scene that would be used to make a print, and a watercolor by Cezanne meant as a finished piece.... Exceptionally high quality is the glue that holds the show together. So this is an exhibit that presents art as pretty much ahistorical and at its most fundamental -- pure visual pleasure, of which there is plenty."
Jones writes that the Altarpiece is one of Van der Goes' "finest extant works... the paintings reveal a king and queen at prayer, flanked by saints, in a church that is painted in depth - a real, resonant space. The stillness and gravity of the people, the rich details of their dress and the books from which they pray, share the sombre poetic realism of this artist's most famous masterpiece, the Portinari Altarpiece... Spiritual vision and acute realism are mystically at one."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.