See Klara Csillery, “A Bench with a Movable Rest,” Materialy 26 (Sanok, Poland: Muzeum Budownictwa Ludowego w Sanoku, 1980), in Polish with English abstract.


The modern scholar who first ferreted out the disguised symbolic meaning of this and most of the objects in the Merode Altarpiece was the great art historian Erwin Panofsky. See Erwin Panofsky, Early Netherlandish Painting: Its Origins and Character (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 1953; reissue, New York: 1971).


See T.L. de Bruin, “Le Maitre de Flemalle et sa Crypto-Signature,” Gazette des Beaux Artes 67 (June 1966), pp. 5–6. This is an ingenious piece of detective work, but, of course, not all scholars agree with his conclusions.


Quoted by the art historian Meyer Shapiro (“Muscipula diaboli: The Symbolism of the Merode Altarpiece,” Art Bulletin [1945], pp. 182–187), who came up with this most convincing interpretation.


See Panofsky, Early Netherlandish Painting.


See Cynthia Hahn, “Joseph Will Perfect, Mary Enlighten and Jesus Save Thee,” Art Bulletin (1986), pp. 54ff.


Quoted by Panofsky, Early Netherlandish Painting.