Master of the Brandon Portrait

Quick Reference

(fl c. 1530). South Netherlandish painter. He worked in Bruges and owes his name to his portrait of Charles Brandon, Earl of Suffolk (c. 1530), courtier to Henry VIII, King of England. It is clear from this one painting that his work is south Netherlandish in character. Apart from this piece, Friedländer attributed five other portraits with similar characteristics to the Master. The calm dignity expressed by these portraits and the careful, neat manner in which they were executed suggests that they were painted by a follower of Gerard David. The style of this Master is also reminiscent of that of Adriaen Isenbrandt, although the former's sitters are more sharply individualized, and there is a more distinctive and even glassy range of colours in his work. One further distinguishing feature of these portraits is the striking use of light in the modelling of the sitters’ heads. Generally, the portraits show a tendency towards geometrical stylization, which makes them look rather empty and bare. This effect is partly due also to certain details, such as the tightly closed mouth, with vertical lines on either side, and the glazed expression of the sitters. Friedländer mentioned a number of south Netherlandish painters who were working in England at the court of Henry VIII between 1520 and 1530 and who might therefore be identified with the Master of the Brandon Portrait. The first artist he suggested was jan Rav, who became a member of the painters’ guild in Bruges in 1512 and who was living in England c. 1530. Two other artists mentioned by Friedländer are Gerard Horenbout and his son Lucas Horenbout (see Horenbout, (1) and (2)), who moved to London some time between 1521 and 1526.

From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Renaissance Art.