Master of the Regent

(fl. c. 1540)

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Guillim Scrots (fl. 1537—1553) portrait painter


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(fl c. 1540).

South Netherlandish painter. He was court painter, either in Brussels or in Mechelen, to Queen Mary of Hungary, who was Regent and Stadholder of the Netherlands from 1531 to 1555. He was one of the weaker portrait painters who worked in the tradition of Hans Holbein II. The Master's paintings are small or average in size, and the sitters are portrayed from the waist upwards, against a flat, neutral background. The sitters’ hands—often with stretched fingers and gloved—are depicted motionless at the bottom edge of the image (e.g. William, 1st Baron Paget, ?1549; London, N.P.G.). A characteristic feature of this Master is the way in which the eyes of the sitters are rendered: a shadow in the outer corner of the lower eyelid pushes the eye forward; towards the temple the upper and lower eyelids overlap, and the lines around the eye are very pronounced. The sitter's lips are usually pressed together so that his expression tends to be one of gruff pride. The Master's style of painting is characterized by short brushstrokes and a rough application of paint. Another typical feature that distinguishes this south Netherlandish Master from many Holbein followers from elsewhere is the shadow in the background cast by the sitter's head. Friedländer discovered dates on two portraits, one of 1537 and the other of 1538. The Master of the Regent can possibly be identified with guillim Scrots, a painter mentioned in the inventories of Mary of Hungary.

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

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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