David, Gerard (d. 1523). Netherlandish painter. He was born at Oudewater, now in southern Holland, but he worked mainly in Bruges, where he entered the painters' guild in 1484 and became the city's leading artist after the death of Memling in 1494. At this time the economic importance of Bruges was declining, but it still maintained its prestige as a center of art and David played an important role in the flourishing export trade in paintings that it developed in the first quarter of the 16th century.
His work -- extremely accomplished, but conservative and usually rather bland -- was very popular and his stately compositions were copied again and again. Among his followers were Ysenbrandt and Benson, who carried on his tradition until the middle of the 16th century. Most of his work was of traditional religious themes, but his best-known paintings are probably the pair representing The Judgement of Cabyses (Groeningemuseum, Bruges, 1498), a gory subject to which his reflective style was not ideally suited.
Photographs by Carol Gerten-Jackson.
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