Master of 1456 (fl 1456). Painter, possibly of south Netherlandish origin. He is named after the Portrait of a Man dated 1456 (510×420 mm; Vaduz, Samml. Liechtenstein), acquired in 1677 by Prince Karl Eusebius von Liechtenstein. Nothing is known of the sitter, the painter or the commission. The nature of the support (parchment glued probably after the fact on to a pine panel) sheds no light on the stylistic origin of the portrait, which is one of the most exceptional of the 15th century, the only one known in which the sitter is shown bust-length, almost frontally, with life-like proportions; in this it differs from previous south Netherlandish portraits, and in particular those by Jan van Eyck, which have cramped shoulders. The south Netherlandish training of the artist is attested, however, by the adoption of a neutral background, the use of a parapet in the foreground on which the hand rests and the direct gaze of the sitter, the concern for naturalistic detail in the features and the sensuous rendering of textures. Although the panel is larger and less rectangular in shape than south Netherlandish panels, it is still far from the square format employed by jean Fouquet in his portrait of Charles VII (Paris, Louvre) and from its life-size, waist-length figure.
From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Renaissance Art.