(b Douai, c. 1470; d Douai, between June 1535 and March 1536).
South Netherlandish painter and designer. His father, George Bellegambe, a cabinetmaker and musician, was a prominent citizen of Douai. Jean is first mentioned in a document of 1504, when he is referred to as a master painter, a burgher and married. His teacher is unknown, but his work bears some imprint of the art of Jan Provoost, who inherited Simon Marmion’s studio. However, Bellegambe might equally have been apprenticed in Bruges or Brussels (possibly in the atelier of the Master of the Legend of St Mary Magdalen, for example), or even in Antwerp. The calm and serenity of Bellegambe’s compositions, his treatment of landscape, his lightness of technique, his pursuit of clear, soft colours and delicate harmonies all indicate links with the work of Gérard David and Quinten Metsys. In the 17th century Bellegambe was known as ‘the Master of Colours’.
Bellegambe executed many altarpieces for the churches of Douai and nearby abbeys, as well as designing numerous costumes and embroideries. Many of his commissions are well documented. Around ...