Bio: Quentin Massys
(approx. 1466-1530)

Special thanks to the Microsoft Corporation for permission to use following biographical information from Microsoft® Encarta 2000:

Quentin Massys was a Flemish painter whose work represents an early effort to synthesize the artistic tradition of the Northern Renaissance with that of the Italian Renaissance.

The founder of the Antwerp school, he was probably born in Leuven, in what is now Belgium. Massys painted both religious pictures and secular portraits. Undated early works, such as Virgin and Child (Mus es Royaux de Beaux-Arts, Brusselss), show the influence of earlier Flemish masters in their intense religious feeling, sumptuous colors, and lavish attention to detail. In later works, particularly in portraits and in everyday scenes, Massys strove to depict his subjects in characteristic actions. In Money Changer and His Wife (1514, Louvre, Paris), the subtly hinted conflict between greed and prayer represented in the couple illustrates a new satirical quality in his paintings. His portraits, particularly Portrait of an Elderly Man (1513, Mus e Jacquemart-Andr , Paris), show the influence of Leonardo da Vinci in their unflinchingly honest, sometimes grotesque, physiognomies. His most advanced work, the Ugly Duchess (1515?, National Gallery, London), is probably not a portrait of an actual person but an illustration he created for The Praise of Folie, by Dutch scholar Desiderius Erasmus, and carries Massysís secular and satirical style to its culmination.

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