The Rape of Europa
|Medium and support:||polychrome and gilded oak wood|
|Dimensions:||40 × 29 × 8 cm|
In the Netherlands, sculpture and painting workshops produced carved altars, reliefs and painted panels on a large scale, so the trade of these artefacts increased throughout Europe. The market needed to be regulated, and so the sculptors and painters began to use maker’s marks, burnt into the wood. Such marks were a sign of quality, and they enabled the object to be easily identified. The sculptors of the guild in Antwerp marked their sculptures with the form of a small hand from 1470 onwards. The fragment of an altar with the figures of three men also has this guild marking.