Resurrection of Christ and view on Jerusalem with devotional portraits of Jean Godin and family

General information
Original location Valenciennes or Cambrai? (where Jean Godin probably lived)
Current location Belgium, private collection
Provenance Collection Maertens de Noordhout, Ghent
Artist Anonymous
Date After 1465 (see remarks
Material Canvas
Dimensions 83 x 96 cm
Visual elements
Short description Hilly landscape with the Resurrection of Christ in the lower left corner, behind it (separated from it by a hill) the Deposition of Christ from the cross. On the viewer's right, in the same geographical space as the Resurrection, but divided from it by a wooden fence, the kneeling family Godin. The first person is Jean Godin, accompanied by a patron saint (John the Baptist?) and his nine sons, depicted smaller. Then Jean's wife Jeanne de Salembiens with John the Evangelist(?) and the couple's eight daughters, in the same fashion. Deceased family members are indicated by a small cross in their hands. Behind the hills in the background is a view on the city of Jerusalem, occupying almost half of the painting.
Text On the frame: Le pourtraict de la ville de Iherusalem, qua rapporte d'illecq feu Jehan Godin chevalier du dict Iherusalem, icy dépainct en l'an 1465
Number of pilgrims 2
Depicted pilgrims (from left to right)
Personal information
Name Jean Godin
Social status / profession Knight of Jerusalem, vassal of the bishop of Cambrai, lord of Bavay and Aberchicourt
Other known portraits Pair of portraits of of Jean Godin and Jeanne de Salembiens (private collection)
Year of pilgrimage to Jerusalem 1465
Attributes Jerusalem pilgrimage Palm; Embroidered Jerusalem cross on white cloak
Year of death 1522
Location of grave Bavay
Personal information
Name Jacques XV Godin
Social status / profession Knight of the Holy Sepulchre; Town counselor (schepen) of Valenciennes
Other known portraits Pair of portraits of Jacques Godin and Catharine le Comte (private collection)
Year of pilgrimage to Jerusalem 1503
Attributes Jerusalem pilgrimage Palm; Embroidered Jerusalem cross on white cloak
Year of death 1525
Additional information related to this person
Personal remarks This identification is unsure, since it is not mentioned in the text. However, he was the only son of Jean Godin known to have been to the Holy Land, as is among others attested by his portrait.
Additional information
General remarks
  • The father of Jean Godin, also called Jean, had taken a vow in 1456 to make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem as well, but died before he could do so.
  • It is very well possible that the painting was made (long) after 1465, contrary to the claims by the text on the painting. There are some strong indications for this assumption:
    • The date 1465 would predate the other known portraits of Jerusalem pilgrims by decades, which would be unlikely.
    • Among the children of Jean Godin on the painting, one is carrying a palm branch as well. I have identified this as his son Jacques, the only known son of Jean who also traveled to Jerusalem, in 1503. His inclusion as Jerusalem pilgrim might indicate that the painting was made in or after that year.
    • The white cloak with a red Jerusalem cross worn by the pilgrims reflects the cloak worn by members of the modern order of the Holy Sepulchre (revived in 1847), but is not known from any contemporary depictions of knights of the Holy Sepulchre.
    • The view of Jerusalem, as seen from the east with the Temple Mount in front, has no parallel in contemporary franco-flamand painting, and is furthermore only known after depictions of Erhard Reuwich of Mainz, from the printed and widely distributed travel report of Bernhard von Breydenbach (1485), Konrad Grünemberg (1487), and Jan van Scorel (1520), on which other views of the city from this perspective are clearly based.
    See also the portraits of Jean and Jacques, which were also probably made long after the sitters had deceased.
  • Maertens de Noordhout, J., Notice sur Jehan Godin, Chevalier de Jérusalem (Ghent 1937)
Description of the RKD
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