c. 1455
Dieric Bouts (Flemish, c.1420-1475)
On View

One of the leading Northern European artists of his generation, Dieric Bouts favored a contemplative approach to painting that embodied an austere, powerful spirituality. As Christ rises from the tomb, the drama and theatricality of the moment are stilled by His serene yet intent gaze and by the lyrical landscape background. The scene unfolds in front of a wide, placid expanse of land, depicted with a sure-handed knowledge of luminous, atmospheric perspective. Successful and revered in his lifetime for his approach to landscape painting as well as his half-figure images of the Madonna and Child, the Haarlem-born Bouts oversaw an active workshop in Louvain after the 1440s—that is, for the majority of his career. His work draws from a variety of Northern and Southern Netherlandish predecessors, most notably Jan van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden.

The Resurrection belongs to a now-dismembered four- or five-part altarpiece that tells the story of the life of Jesus. Other pieces of the original ensemble are now at the National Gallery in London (The Entombment) and the Getty Museum in Los Angeles (The Annunciation). Like pastel, the medium—distemper on unprimed linen (in German, tüchlein)—is inherently delicate and its colors fugitive, which makes it all the more extraordinary that this early canvas has survived in such a remarkably well-preserved condition. Now discolored from hundreds of years of exposure to light and dirt, the sky was originally a colorful display of pinks and blue, still evident along the upper border where the canvas was protected by a previous frame. The same pattern is apparent in its companion picture at the London National Gallery.


  • Artist Name: Dieric Bouts (Flemish, c.1420-1475)
  • Title: Resurrection
  • Date: c. 1455
  • Medium: Distemper on linen
  • Dimensions: 35-3/8 x 29-1/4 in. (89.9 x 74.3 cm)
  • Credit Line: The Norton Simon Foundation
  • Accession Number: F.1980.1.P
  • Copyright: © The Norton Simon Foundation

Object Information

Foscari family (Venice and Vienna, c. 1810).
Count Diego Guicciardi, 1814-15.
Guicciardi family, Milan, by 1858.
Vittorio Melzi, Milan 1872.
Private collection, Milan (Vittorio Melzi?);
[Matthiesen, London, ca. 1946, sold ca. 1958 to];
Private Collection, London, (sale, London, Sotheby's, 16 April 1980, lot 114);
The Norton Simon Foundation.

Delle opere d'arte antica

  • Milan, Palazzo di Brera, 1872-08-26 to 1872-10-07
  • Duret-Robert, François, Connaissance des Arts, p. 87
  • Miegroet, Hans Van, Mededelingen van de Koninklijke Academie voor Wetenschappen, Letteren en Schone Kunsten van België, fig. 15 pp. 95-96, 102, 105-106
  • Brooks, Valerie F., Art News, pp. 19-20
  • Koch, R., The Burlington Magazine, fig. 12 pp. 514-16
  • Leonard, Mark; Frank Preusser, Andrea Rothe and Michael Schilling, The Burlington Magazine, pp. 517-520
  • Villers, Caroline, The Burlington Magazine, pp. 258-259
  • MSS. National Gallery, London, Eastlake Notebooks 1858-1860, 1858,
  • Milan, Brera, Catalogo delle opere d' arte antica esposte nel palazzo di Brera 26 Agosto-7 Ottobre, 1872, no. 38 p. 11
  • Baudouin, Frans, Dieric Bouts, 1957, no. 1 p. 20
  • Boon, K.G., Bouts, Justus of Ghent, and Berruguete, 1958, p. 11
  • Davies, Martin, Early Netherlandish School, 1968, p. 16
  • Veronee-Verhaegen, Nicole, Early Netherlandish Painting, 1975, nos. 81 & 116, pl. 122 pp. 76, 89
  • Reynolds, Catherine, Art at Auction: The Year at Sotheby Parke Bernet 1979-1980, 1980, fig. 1 pp. 19-21
  • Bomford, David, Ashok Roy, and Alistair Smith, National Gallery [London] Technical Bulletin, 1986, fig. 6 pp. 41, 45-46, 51
  • Bordeaux, Jean-Luc, Connaissnace des Arts, 1986, p. 37
  • Marijnissen, R. H., Academiae Anatecta. Mededelingen van de Koninklijke Academie voor Wetenschappen, Letteren en Schone Kunsten van België, 1988, pp. 112-113
  • Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum, 1989, p. 22
  • Wolfthal, Diane, The Beginnings of Netherlandish Canvas Painting: 1400-1530, 1989, fig. 60 pp. 38-41
  • Dunkerton, J., et al., Giotto to Dürer: Early Renaissance Painting in the National Gallery, 1991, fig. 32a pp. 296-297
  • Bauman, Guy; and Walter A. Liedtke, et al., Flemish Paintings in America: A Survey of Early Netherlandish and Flemish Paintings in the Public Collections of North America, 1992, fig. 127 pp, 63, 319
  • Harbison, Craig, The Mirror of the Artist in Northern Renaissance Art in its Historical Context, 1995, fig. 37 pp. 63, 65
  • Luchinat, Cristina Acidini; Luciano Bellosi, Miklxós Boskovits, Pier Paolo Donati, Bruno Santi, Scritti per L'istituto Germanico di Storia dell'arte di Firenze, 1997, fig. 1 pp. 199-202
  • Stroo, Cyriel, et al., The Flemish Primitives II: The Dirk Bouts, Petrus Christus, Hans Memling and Hugo Van Der Goes Groups; Catalogue of Early Netherlandish Painting in the Royal Museums of the Fine Arts of Belgium, 1999, nos. 54, 57, fig. 49 pp. 113, 114, 118, 119, 122
  • Humfrey, Peter, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Giovanni Bellini, 2002, fig. 20 pp. 82-83
  • Snyder, James, Northern Renaissance Art, 2004, fig. 7.13 p. 147
  • Christiansen, Keith, Giovanni Bellini and the Art of Devotion, 2004, fig. 30 pp. 37-39
  • Nuttall, Paula, From Flanders to Florence: The Impact of Netherlandish Painting, 1400-1500, 2004, Fig. 199
  • Campbell, Sara, Standing By His Bid - Unless He Sat, 2010, p. 93
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, 2010, cat. 1646 p. 430
  • Silver, Larry, Bruegel, 2011, Fig. 212 p. 252
  • Artur Rosenauer, The Grimani Risen Christ, an early Titian rediscovered, 2016, fig. 11 pp. 15-16 ill.
  • Rosenauer, Artur, Titian: The Grimani Risen Christ. An Early Masterpiece, 2016, p. 16
  • Han Belting, Keith Christiansen, et. al., Giovanni Bellini: Landscapes of Faith in Renaissance Venice, 2017, Figure 3 pp.17-18 (ill.); 23;104-109
  • Peter Carpreau, Stephan Kemperdick, Till-Holger Borchert, Valentine Henderiks et al., Dieric Bouts: Creator of Images, 2023, pp. 118-131, p. 122 (ill.), pp. [134]-[135] (ill. detail)
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