(fl Brussels, c. 1500). Name associated with a south Netherlandish workshop of painters and draughtsmen. The work of this group was formerly attributed to a single artist, Aert Ortkens of Nijmegen (see Arnoult de nimègue). In 1917 Friedländer attributed to Ortkens a tapestry design (London, BM), annotated by a later hand Adam van Ort, 1424, which he believed misread a lost inscription with the name Aert and the date 1524. On the basis of this sheet, he also ascribed to Ortkens a group of drawings at Leipzig, previously thought to be by the Master of the Leipzig Cabinet. Subsequent writers assigned to Ortkens and his school about 50 drawings (largely designs for glass roundels; see colour pl. 3:III, fig. 1), 20 painted glass roundels, windows such as the Tree of Jesse now at St George's, Hanover Square, London, and the designs of a tapestry series of the Aeneid (London, Hampton Court, Royal Col.). All these works have doll-like figures with rounded faces and circular, heavily lidded eyes; drapery that falls in deep folds, sometimes bunched on the ground in zigzag shapes; and spatial relationships that are often awkward. The subjects are varied and include religious scenes (e.g. Samuel Anointing David; Paris, Fond. Custodia, Inst. Néer.), illustrations of Classical texts (e.g. the second of Virgil's Eclogues; Oxford, Ashmolean) and secular subjects (e.g. Man Struggling with Death; New York, Morgan Lib. & Mus.). The drawings, usually in pen and ink, employ parallel lines and extensive cross-hatching rather than wash to indicate shading. The similarities in figure type to the works of Bernard van Orley and Jan van Coninxloo II suggest that the drawings were made in Brussels.
From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Renaissance Art.