Master of the Legend of St Catherine

(fl. 1470—1500)

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Dieric Bouts (c. 1420—1475)


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(fl Brussels, 1470–1500). South Netherlandish painter. The name was given by Friedländer to the painter of a panel illustrating scenes from the Legend of St Catherine (Brussels, van der Elst priv. col.; see Friedländer, 1949). The Master's narrative compositions combine the anecdotal with the expressive, and his style is a stereotyped version of that of Rogier van der Weyden. Faces are narrow with large, high-set ears, elongated eyes with vacant expressions and long noses. The Master shows a pronounced taste for architectural representations, and greyhounds and griffins appear frequently in his works. The evident links with the work of Rogier van der Weyden have led Friedländer and subsequent art historians to identify the Master as Rogier's son Pieter, who continued to run his father's studio. Some of the compositions and landscapes, however, are reminiscent of those used by the Bruges school of painting. Works attributed to the Master on the basis of style include, among others: the triptych of the Last Supper (Bruges, Mus. Groot Semin.), a dramatic composition lacking the sacred quality of its prototype by Dieric Bouts (see Bouts, (1)); the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes, which is the central panel of the Melbourne Triptych (c. 1492–5; Melbourne, N.G. Victoria); the scenes from the Life of St Peter and the Visitation with the Donor Claudio Villa from the Job altarpiece (c. 1485–90; Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz-Mus.); the altarpiece of the Virgin (c. 1490; Granada, Capilla Real); and the triptych of the Virgin Enthroned with Angels and SS Catherine and Agnes (Bourges, Hôtel Jacques Coeur). On two of these, the Melbourne and Job altarpieces, he collaborated with the Master of the Legend of St Barbara. In 1978 two wings were added to the Master's oeuvre: the Annunciation and the Presentation in the Temple (both Florence, Bargello). In his reconstruction of a single triptych, Deroubaix included these with a newly discovered Adoration of the Magi (Switzerland, priv. col.) as the central panel and a Nativity (Brussels, Mus. A. Anc.) as the upper right wing.

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

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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