Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Metsys, Quinten

The Virgin in Prayer
40 x 25 cm
Other detail unknown

"in his time a smith and afterwards a famous painter" (inscription of the relief plaque on the facade of the Antwerp Cathedral about Metsys.)

Quinten Metsys, also spelled Quentin Massys (1466–1529) was a painter in the Flemish tradition and a founder of the Antwerp school. Trained as a blacksmith in his native Louvain, Massys is said to have studied painting after falling in love with an artist's daughter. In 1491 he went to Antwerp and was admitted in to the painters' guild. He was active in Antwerp for over 20 years, creating numerous works with religious roots and satirical tendencies.

Although his portraiture is more subjective and personal than that of Albrecht Durer or Hans Holbein, Massys's painting may have been influenced by both German masters. He painted many notable portraits, including one of his friend Erasmus.