Reference Entry

Scorel, Jan van

in Benezit Dictionary of Artists

ISBN: 9780199773787
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199899913 | DOI:
Scorel, Jan van

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  • Painting
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  • 17th-Century Art
  • Byzantine and Medieval Art (500 CE to 1400)


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Dutch, 16th century, male.

Born 1 August 1495, in Scorel, near Alkmaar; died 6 December 1562, in Utrecht.

Painter, engineer, architect. History painting, portraits, group portraits.

Utrecht School.

Jan van Scorel worked until he was 14 in the workshop of Cornelis Buys the Elder in Alkmaar, and from 1510 to 1512 with Cornelis Willemsz. in Haarlem. He then went to Amsterdam and joined Jacob Cornelisz. van Ootsanen, whose 12-year-old daughter fell in love with him. He worked with various masters in several cities, including Antwerp, and about 1517 he was in Utrecht with Jan Mabuse (Gossart). There are also references to him in Cologne, Spire, Strasbourg, Basel, and with Albrecht Dürer in Nuremberg. However, there is no evidence at all that he ever joined a guild or became a master. In 1517 he worked in Stiers, Corinthia, for a baron who also wanted him to marry his daughter. He went to Venice, where he made contact with painters from Antwerp, and went on to Jerusalem. In 1520 he was in Rhodes and on the return journey visited Italy. He arrived in Rome during the pontificate of Adrian VI. During his stay, the pope put him in charge of the Belvedere collections which had been the responsibility of Raphael until his death in 1920. The pope died in September 1923 and a few months later Van Scorel returned to the Netherlands via France. He turned down an invitation from Francis I to work at the French court. He moved to Utrecht and then, in 1525, to Haarlem where M. van Heemskerk worked with him. By 1528, when he became a canon of the church of St Mary, Utrecht, he had a considerable reputation. He worked from 1536 to 1538 at Breda Castle, and in 1540 and 1549 for the visits of Charles V and Philip II to Utrecht. He also worked for the King of Sweden and in 1550, in collaboration with Lancelot Blondeel, he restored the Van Eyck triptych in Ghent. From 1530 he lived with Agatha van Schoonhoven, who bore him six children. He was also an engineer, a musician and a poet.Previously the painting ...

Reference Entry.  1563 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Painting ; Architecture ; Professional Interior Design ; 17th-Century Art ; Byzantine and Medieval Art (500 CE to 1400)

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