Artibus et Historiae no. 15 (VIII)1987, ISSN 0391-9064
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MOSHE BARASCH - The Crying Face
The depiction of the crying face is the final result of a process in which several stages can be distinguished. Full articulation of the crying face is found in the works of Rogier van der Weyden (tears rolling down the cheeks). The motif became quickly popular in Flemish 15th-century painting. Literary traditions, continuing since the early Middle Ages, suggest that tears gradually acquired the meaning of redemption rather than being a manifestation of pain only. In Flemish art only saintly figures are allowed to shed tears.