MASSYS (METSYS), Quentin

(c. 1466-1530)
Quentin Massys, founder of the Antwerp school of painting, blended the me­dieval Flemish tradition with the style of the Italian Renaissance. Inspired by Leonardo da Vinci, Massys utilized architectural settings, richer ornamentation, and broad sunlit landscapes in his compositions. He also painted scenes from everyday life in a straightforward and realistic manner.
Born in Louvain in 1466, Massys decided to become a painter instead of a blacksmith like his father and his older brother. His apprenticeship remains a matter of conjecture, but it is probable that he did receive formal training under the direction of one of the sons or other followers of the great Dirk Bouts of Louvain. Massys had evidently moved his family to Antwerp by 1491, for in that year he registered as a master with the St. Luke Guild of painters. From at least 1495 to 1510 Massys accepted apprenticeships to assist him in painting two large-scale, five-panel altarpieces: the St. Anne Altarpiece painted for St. Peter's in Louvain (1507-9), and the St. John or Lamentation commissioned by the joiners' guild for their chapel in the Cathedral of Antwerp (1508-11). After 1510 Massys no longer took on apprentices. Since he had turned from the public arena of large-scale religious painting to the private sphere of smaller-scale portrait and votive-panel painting, Massys required less assistance. Also, what help he needed came from his two sons, Cornelius and Jan, who worked under him in an undeclared apprenticeship. Both sons simultaneously achieved the status of master painter upon the death of their father in 1531.
One of Massys's greatest achievements was his experimentation with color. Compared with the relatively uniform and solid blocks of color used in the fifteenth century, the variable and broken colors used by Massys in The Mon­eychanger and His Wife (1514) are electrifying. Massys was also an innovator in the field of portrait painting, and his brushstrokes captured the humanistic quality of men like Erasmus of Rotterdam* (1517) and Petrus Aegidius or Pierre Gillis (1517). With the adoption of portraitlike half-lengths in his later years, Massys gave his figures emotional intensity. Whether they are repulsive, like the secular figures of The Old Woman (c. 1520-21) or The Ill-matched Pair (c. 1523-24), or comely, like the sacred figure of the Rattier Madonna (1529), the viewer is captivated.
Bibliography
L. Silver, The Paintings of Quinten Massys with Catalogue Raisonne, 1984.
Whitney Leeson

Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary. . 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Metsys, Quentin — born с 1465/66, Louvain, Brabant died 1530, Antwerp Flemish artist. According to tradition, Metsys (whose name was also spelled Massys and Matsys) was trained as a blacksmith but studied painting after falling in love with an artist s daughter.… …   Universalium

  • Metsys, Quentin — ► (1465 1530) Pintor flamenco. Atraído por la técnica del esfumado y por la expresión psicológica, llegó al extremo de caricaturizar a los personajes. Impulsado por la necesidad de una verdad más natural se orientó también a experiencias… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Quentin Massys — nach einem Porträt von Joachim von Sandrart Quentin Massys (als Vorname ist auch Quinten oder Kwinten, als Nachname Massijs, Matsijs, Matsys oder Metsys überliefert) (* ca. 1466 in Löwen; † 1530 in Antwerpen) war ein flämischer Maler und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Quentin Massys — Quentin Metsys Pour les articles homonymes, voir Metsys. Quentin Metsys Naissance 1466 Louvain (Belgique) Décès 14 septembre 1530 Anvers Nationalité …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Quentin Matsys — Quentin Massys (als Vorname ist auch Quinten oder Kwinten, als Nachname Massijs, Matsijs, Matsys oder Metsys überliefert) (* ca. 1466 in Löwen; † 1530 in Antwerpen) war ein flämischer Maler und Mitbegründer der Antwerpener Malerschule.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Quentin Matsys — Quentin Metsys Pour les articles homonymes, voir Metsys. Quentin Metsys Naissance 1466 Louvain (Belgique) Décès 14 septembre 1530 Anvers Nationalité …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Quentin Metsy — Quentin Metsys Pour les articles homonymes, voir Metsys. Quentin Metsys Naissance 1466 Louvain (Belgique) Décès 14 septembre 1530 Anvers Nationalité …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Massys — (spr. ßeis), Matsys oder Metsys, Quentin oder Quinten, niederländ. Maler, geb. um 1460 zu Antwerpen, gest. das. 1530; Hauptwerke: Grablegung Christi (Antwerpen), Geschichte der heil. Anna (Brüssel). Die ihm zugeschriebenen Genrestücke (Geldzähler …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Metsys — Metsys, Quentin, niederländ. Maler, s. Massys …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Massys, Quentin — VER Metsys, Quentin …   Enciclopedia Universal


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