15th century Flemish masterpiece still inspires

The Portinari Altarpiece, a three-part Flemish religious painting created by Hugo van der Goes in the late 15th century, was sent as a gift to the hospital of Santa Maria Nuova. Martin Gayford looks at the importance of the painting for The Spectator (photo)

From the article:

Portinari would have known all about the rich fabrics worn by the higher-ranking angels in the right foreground. He himself was paid a fortune for supplying silks and cloth of gold — presumably a sideline from banking — for the wedding of Charles the Bold and Margaret of York in 1468 (for which van der Goes provided street decorations). But even this angelic finery is exceeded as a feat of virtuoso naturalism by the still life in the lower centre — described with pardonable exaggeration by the art historian Dirk de Vos as ‘the most beautiful in art’.