FLANDES, Juan de

Creator

FLANDES, Juan de
d. 1516, Spain
Born around 1460 in Flanders (modern Belgium), Juan de Flandes is first officially accounted for in the Spanish court. He evidently trained in his home country, most likely in Ghent, as his work shows similarities to that of Joos van Wassenhove, Gerard David and other Ghent artists. He is only documented after he became an artist at the court of Queen Isabella I of Castile, where he is first accounted for in 1496. By 1498, he is described as a court painter in royal record, and apparently continued in the queen's service until her death in 1504. He mostly painted portraits of the royal family, but he also contributed a series of small panels to a polyptych altarpiece for the queen. After Isabella’s death in 1504 Juan de Flandes turned to ecclesiastical commissioners from Spanish churches, beginning in Salamanca, where he worked from 1505-1507. His work demonstrates the Early Ghent-style of biblical narrative-realism, adapted to the Spanish taste and landscape. His colouring was refined, with a preference for acid hues, while his feeling for space and light is sophisticated, with a tendency to divide space into a succession of thin planes in his later work. Furthermore, he employed natural symbols like rose buds when portraying royal sitters which allow for a variety of interpretations. Softly constructed, defined by delicate lights and shadows that increased the sense of volume, Juan de Flandes’ subjects, both portrait sitters and Biblical characters, typically conveyed a dreamy elegance. This new style is classified by art historians as Hispano-Flemish. The Catholic Kings played an important role within the development of this trend, reflecting their own artistic preference for the realist art of Flanders. Aware of the importance of their image, these monarchs inserted their own portrait into religious works with the expertise of Flemish artists like de Flandes.

Citation

FLANDES, Juan de, d. 1516, Spain, and Born around 1460 in Flanders (modern Belgium), Juan de Flandes is first officially accounted for in the Spanish court. He evidently trained in his home country, most likely in Ghent, as his work shows similarities to that of Joos van Wassenhove, Gerard David and other Ghent artists. He is only documented after he became an artist at the court of Queen Isabella I of Castile, where he is first accounted for in 1496. By 1498, he is described as a court painter in royal record, and apparently continued in the queen's service until her death in 1504. He mostly painted portraits of the royal family, but he also contributed a series of small panels to a polyptych altarpiece for the queen. After Isabella’s death in 1504 Juan de Flandes turned to ecclesiastical commissioners from Spanish churches, beginning in Salamanca, where he worked from 1505-1507. His work demonstrates the Early Ghent-style of biblical narrative-realism, adapted to the Spanish taste and landscape. His colouring was refined, with a preference for acid hues, while his feeling for space and light is sophisticated, with a tendency to divide space into a succession of thin planes in his later work. Furthermore, he employed natural symbols like rose buds when portraying royal sitters which allow for a variety of interpretations. Softly constructed, defined by delicate lights and shadows that increased the sense of volume, Juan de Flandes’ subjects, both portrait sitters and Biblical characters, typically conveyed a dreamy elegance. This new style is classified by art historians as Hispano-Flemish. The Catholic Kings played an important role within the development of this trend, reflecting their own artistic preference for the realist art of Flanders. Aware of the importance of their image, these monarchs inserted their own portrait into religious works with the expertise of Flemish artists like de Flandes., “FLANDES, Juan de,” UCSB ADA Museum Omeka, accessed September 25, 2022, http://art-collections.museum.ucsb.edu/items/show/3194.