MASTER OF THE INVESTITURE OF ST. ILDEFONSO

Creator

MASTER OF THE INVESTITURE OF ST. ILDEFONSO
b. The Netherlands, late 15th C.
The Master of St. Ildefonso was named after his most important work, a triptych depicting The Investiture of St. Ildefonso. The unidentified master, a close follower of Hans Memling, was active in Bruges in the late 15th century. Bruges was a flourishing port city and the favored residence of the dukes of Burgundy in the fifteenth century. Trade in the port of Bruges and the textile industry turned the Netherlands into the wealthiest part of Northern Europe at the end of the 15th century. Thus, nobles and rich traders in the area were able to commission artists, creating a class of highly skilled painters and musicians who were admired and requested around the continent. This led to frequent exchanges between the Low Countries and Northern Italy. After this we begin to see Renaissance influences, but unlike the Italian Renaissance, Gothic elements remain important. Biblical scenes were depicted with more naturalism, which made their content more accessible to viewers, while individual portraits became more evocative and alive. Though the medium of oil paint had been in use since the late Middle Ages, the artists of the North more fully exploited this medium’s unique characteristics. Using thin layers of paint, called glazes, northern artists created a depth of color that was entirely new, and because oil paint can imitate textures far better than fresco or tempera, it was perfectly suited to representing the material reality that was so important to Renaissance artists and their patrons. In the Northern Renaissance, we see artists making the most of oil paint—creating the illusion of light reflecting on metal surfaces or jewels, and textures that appear like real fur, hair, wool or wood.

Citation

MASTER OF THE INVESTITURE OF ST. ILDEFONSO, b. The Netherlands, late 15th C., and The Master of St. Ildefonso was named after his most important work, a triptych depicting The Investiture of St. Ildefonso. The unidentified master, a close follower of Hans Memling, was active in Bruges in the late 15th century. Bruges was a flourishing port city and the favored residence of the dukes of Burgundy in the fifteenth century. Trade in the port of Bruges and the textile industry turned the Netherlands into the wealthiest part of Northern Europe at the end of the 15th century. Thus, nobles and rich traders in the area were able to commission artists, creating a class of highly skilled painters and musicians who were admired and requested around the continent. This led to frequent exchanges between the Low Countries and Northern Italy. After this we begin to see Renaissance influences, but unlike the Italian Renaissance, Gothic elements remain important. Biblical scenes were depicted with more naturalism, which made their content more accessible to viewers, while individual portraits became more evocative and alive. Though the medium of oil paint had been in use since the late Middle Ages, the artists of the North more fully exploited this medium’s unique characteristics. Using thin layers of paint, called glazes, northern artists created a depth of color that was entirely new, and because oil paint can imitate textures far better than fresco or tempera, it was perfectly suited to representing the material reality that was so important to Renaissance artists and their patrons. In the Northern Renaissance, we see artists making the most of oil paint—creating the illusion of light reflecting on metal surfaces or jewels, and textures that appear like real fur, hair, wool or wood., “MASTER OF THE INVESTITURE OF ST. ILDEFONSO,” UCSB ADA Museum Omeka, accessed September 25, 2022, http://art-collections.museum.ucsb.edu/items/show/3190.