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Juan de Flandesfree

Flemish, 15th – 16th century, male.

Active in Spain.

Died before 16 December 1519, in Palencia.

Painter. Religious subjects, portraits.

Juan de Flandes was a painter at the court of Isabella of Spain from 1496 to 1504. He produced small paintings for the queen's oratory, working with Michel Sittow, of which 15 are still extant in Madrid. He also painted the master altar of the university chapel in Salamanca, as well as the master altar of the cathedral in Palencia, which shows 12 scenes from the Life of Christ, and an altarpiece featuring St Michael. His other works include Young Girl with a Rose in her Buttonhole, and Child with a Dead Bird. He painted only in muted colours - mauves, pinks and blue greys - and his figures give the impression of being weightless. The suave delicacy and fragility of his art recall the work of Hugo van der Goes.

Juan's work has featured in several thematic exhibitions, including: 1994, Hans Memling, in the section devoted to copies of lost works; 2002, The Age of Jan Van Eyck: the Mediterranean world of early Netherlandish painting, 1430-1530 at the Groeningsmuseum in Bruges; and 2003, Hispano-Flemish Gothic Painting, Bartolomé Bermejo and his time, at the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya in Barcelona. His work was also shown in an individual exhibition in 1985 at the Memlingmuseum in Bruges.

Museum and Gallery Holdings

Brussels (Mus. royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique): Child with a Dead Bird

Detroit (IA)

Geneva (MAH): The Beheading of St John the Baptist

London (Apsley House, Wellington Mus.): The Last Supper, with the institution of the Eucharist and Christ washing the Disciples' Feet (before 1504, oil/panel, fragment of a series of 47 wings painted for the Queen of Spain, Isabella, now in numerous collections)

London (NG): Christ Appearing to the Virgin with the Redeemed of the Old Testament (before 1505, oil/wood)

Madrid (Prado)

Paris (Louvre)

Vienna: Christ Bearing the Cross; Christ Nailed to the Cross

Washington DC (NGA): The Temptation of Christ (c. 1500-1504, oil/panel); The Nativity (c. 1508-1519, oil/panel); The Baptism of Christ (c. 1508-1519, oil/panel); The Annunciation (c. 1508-1519, oil/panel); The Adoration of the Magi (c. 1508-1519, oil/panel)

Auction Records

London, 23 June 1967: The Marriage at Cana, Gns 83,000

London, 21 June 1968: Annunciation, Gns 3,200

Cologne, 8 May 1969: Portrait of a Gentleman, DEM 23,500

London, 10 Dec 1986: Christ at the Pillar (oil on panel, 15 × 11 ins/38 × 27 cm) GBP 15,500

Bibliography

  • Vandevivere, Ignace: Juan de Flandes, exhibition catalogue, Memlingmuseum, Bruges, 1985.
  • Juan de Flandes, Sarpe, Madrid, 1990.
  • The 'Retablo de la Reina Católica', dissertation, University Microfilms International, Ann Arbor, 1990.
  • Juan de Flandes, Ediciones Rayuela, Valencia, 1992.
  • Borchert, T.: The Age of Jan Van Eyck: the Mediterranean world of early Netherlandish painting, 1430 - 1530, exhibition catalogue, Groeningemuseum, Bruges, Thames and Hudson, London, 2002.
  • Hispano-Flemish Gothic Painting. Bartolomé Bermejo and his time, exhibition catalogue, Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Barcelona, 2003 (text in Spanish, Catalan and English).