The Renaissance style found in Jan Gossaert’s (1478 – 1532) paintings precedes him and defines him. Only a few of his most poignant works exist today, and the information that remains about his personal life is significantly limited. Even his correct name is shrouded with mystery; he may have been known as Jan Mabuse or Jennyn van Hennegouwe.
Today, nearly five centuries since his death, he is commonly called Jan Gossaert.
Despite a small number of his commissions surviving throughout the years and little commentary being left by contemporary artists, Gossaert has been revered as one of the greatest painters of antiquity and regarded (in the 1500s) as the “nostrae aetatis Apellum” or the “Appelles of our age.” (Apelless of Kos was an infamous Grecian painter from the middle of the second century.)
It is believed that Gossaert’s style developed as he mimicked great artists who came before him. All the while, the work he produced greatly influenced artist who followed in his footsteps.
As with many Renaissance artists, Gossaert concentrated on biblical themes. Specifically, he painted scenes that depicted Adam and Eve, The Virgin and Child and the Crucifixion. He also breathed life into mythological themes and painted many of his characters nude. In doing this, it appears Gossaert approached painting historical and mythological figures with the fine detail and acuity of a sculptor.
In addition to the detail he put into painting characters, he also concentrated on the architectural backgrounds of his paintings. They often included many large, detailed structures and ornate décor.
Much of his style is believed to come from his time training at the Guild of Saint Luke in Antwerp. Antwerp was known for producing artists that had stylistic traits including, “cluttered compositions, fantastic architecture, elegant, exaggerated poses of attenuated figures, swirling draperies, and excessive embellishments of all kinds.”
Many of Gossaert’s paintings appear to take the traits of other famous artists like Jan van Eyck and Hans Memling. It is possible that Memling inspired Gossaert’s portraits of Mary Magdalen and Jean Carondelet.
Before being commissioned by Philip of Burgundy, who asked him to paint murals for the church of Middleburg, Gossaert had a well-known piece hang on the high altar of Tongerlo Abbey, titled, “Descent from the Cross.” While working for Philip of Burgundy, Gossaert accompanied him on a trip to Italy where he adopted many stylistic techniques of the Leonardeques. More so, an Italian journey became part of Flemish custom, especially for painters.
Three signed paintings exist in the time closely following Gossaert’s trip to Italy. They include Neptune and Amphitrite of 1516, the Madonna, and a portrait of Jean Carondelet of 1517.
After the death of Philip of Burgundy in 1524 he found himself connected to Henry III and his wife Mencía de Mendoza. Some of Gossaert’s most famous work may have found its way into Mendoza’s art collections. Virgin and Child in a Landscape of 1531 may be been titled as “Joanyn de Marbug” in one of her inventories. Also, Christ on the Cold Stone of 1530 was also believed to be in her possession.
When looking for information about Jan Gossaert in established art resources of today, it is hard to find agreeable facts. What is known about this Flemmish painter is the style he used and the paintings brought to life. Like other Renaissance painters, Gossaert has work that has been etched into history. Today, his work inspires artists by showing his grandiose approach to architecture, care for ornate details and statuesque characters.
Many facts about Jan Gossaert’s life remain a mystery but in legacy he lives on as a great painter of antiquity.
However, this post is meant to recognize his artist style and some major pieces. For those who want to read more of Joaquín Gossaert ‘s story, visit this link: http://www.segmation.com/products_pc_patternset_contents.asp?set=GOS . Also, Segmation is proud to offer 27 digital Joaquín Gossaert patterns. By downloading these paint by numbers masterpieces, you can emulate one of the most fascinating artists who ever lived.
Read more Segmation blog posts about other great artists:
Joaquín Sorolla – The World-Renowned Spanish Painter
Be a Artist in 2 minutes with Segmation SegPlay® PC (see more details here)