Lambert Lombard


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(b Liège, 1505/6; d Liège, Aug. 1566).

Netherlandish painter, draughtsman, engraver, architect, and antiquarian, active mainly in Liège. He trained in Antwerp and was influenced by Gossaert and Jan van Scorel. A man of scholarly inclinations, Lombard visited Rome in 1537–8 and made drawings of the antique, some of which were engraved in the workshop of Jerome Cock. He corresponded with Vasari, providing him with information about Netherlandish artists, and Vasari said of him: ‘Of all the Flemish artists I have named none is superior to Lambert Lombard of Liège, a man well versed in letters, a painter of judgement, a learned architect and—by no means his least title to merit—the master of Frans Floris, and Willem Key.’ This opinion was echoed by van Mander, who wrote in 1604: ‘One can confidently rank him among the best Netherlandish painters, past and present.’ Few paintings survive to bear witness to his high contemporary reputation, but his work is known from drawings (almost 500 by him are preserved), copies, and engravings. A formidable Portrait of the Artist in the Musée de l'Art Wallon, Liège (another version is in the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Kassel) is among the best paintings given to him, but some critics think it is by his pupil Frans Floris. The portraits associated with Lombard—lively and strongly characterized—generally appeal more to modern taste than his somewhat academic religious paintings.

Subjects: Art.

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