The High Renaissance




Joos van Cleve




Joos van Cleve [van der Beke]

(b ?Cleve; d Antwerp, between 10 Nov 1540 and 13 April 1541).

He is mentioned in several Antwerp legal documents as ‘Joos van der Beke alias van Cleve’ and was most likely born in either the city or the Lower Rhenish province of Cleve. His first known teacher was Jan Joest, whom he assisted in painting the wings of the high altar in the church of St Nikolai, Kalkar (begun 1505, installed 1508; in situ). Bialostocki (1972) identified a self-portrait of Joos in the Raising of Lazarus panel of this altarpiece; there are also strong similarities between the figures of Adam and Eve in the background of the Presentation in the Temple panel of this altarpiece and the earliest dated paintings attributed to Joos, the Adam and Eve altarpiece wings (1507; Paris, Louvre). These panels also show the influence of the Bruges painters Hans Memling and Gerard David, and although South Netherlandish influences are found in Jan Joest and other Lower Rhenish artists, it is possible that the Adam and Eve formed part of an altarpiece produced in Bruges. Most authors believe it possible that Joos was active in Bruges from c. 1507. Two portraits date from these early years: the Portrait of a Man (1509; Germany, priv. col.; sold New York, Sotheby’s, 7 June 1984, lot 13) and that of Maximilian I (Vienna, Ksthist. Mus., on loan to Vienna, Schatzkam.), for which a terminus ante quem is provided by a dated replica (1510; Paris, Mus. Jacquemart-André). The depiction of Maximilian holding a pink may reflect a lost Netherlandish model from c. 1477–80.

Virgin and Child

c. 1535
Wood, 75,5 x 54,5 cm
Landesmuseum, Oldenburg


Virgin and Child


St Anne with the Virgin and Child and St Joachim

Wood, 109 x 74 cm
Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels


Virgin and Child

Wood, 52,5 x 42 cm
Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest



Portrait of an Unknown Woman
oil on wood
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence


Adam and Eve


Portrait of an Unknown Man
oil on wood
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence


The Last Judgment

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