Portrait of Robert de Masmin - Robert Kampen.
Among the works of Robert Kampin, a special place is occupied by portraits painted with incredible accuracy, with the smallest details, conveying the individual features and inner world of real people.
Among them there are two copyright versions of the same chest image of a man, slightly different in size and color. It is believed that this is a portrait of the knight Robert de Masmin, governor of the county of Gennegau, who died in the battle in 1431. He was an adviser to Philip III, Duke of Burgundy, and among the first twenty-four knights he became a knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece.
Before us is a middle-aged man, far from the ideals of beauty: a full face, a massive second chin, a large nose with a bent tip, close-set eyes.
Slightly overhanging eyelids, bags under the eyes, wrinkles, rays extending from the eyes and folds on the bridge of the nose give out his age. A cap of short-cut dark brown hair opens a high forehead.
Quietly posing for the artist, the knight cannot be distracted from his thoughts; his gaze is turned into himself. But along with wisdom, brown eyes read decisiveness and firmness.
The master writes soft, smooth lines, an oval of the face, a small dimple on the chin, full lips. But this gentleness is deceiving, before us is an intelligent, strong-willed and domineering person who knows his own worth.
Unusual for the artist is the almost ascetic palette of colors - deep black and various shades of flesh and brown. Small, inconspicuous strokes the artist conveys the light blue shaven cheeks and chin, the warm color of a slightly tanned skin, pale pink scars, dark overflows of rich fur clothing. The light monophonic background of the picture is also not characteristic of the master, but thanks to him, the image attracts all attention.
The artist does not idealize the appearance of Robert de Masmin, we see a living, real person, with his inner power and life experience. The highest skill of Robert Kampen is admirable, his portraits occupy a worthy place among the masterpieces of world painting.