(also Q. Metsys). Born 1465 or 1466, in Louvain (?); died 1530, in Antwerp. Flemish painter.
Massys became a member of the Antwerp painters’ guild in 1491. He was influenced by Rogier van der Weyden, D. Bouts, and A. Dürer. In his triptychs, which made him famous—including the St. Anne Altarpiece (1507-09), Museum of Ancient Art, Brussels) and the Lamentation of Christ (1508-11, Royal Museum of Fine Art, Antwerp)—stiff and somewhat two-dimensional composition is combined with lively characterizations of persons and bright color schemes. Some of Massys’ works, for example, Virgin and Child (National Museum, Poznan) and the extremely grotesque Portrait of an Elderly Man (1513, Jacquemart André Museum, Paris), reveal his familiarity with the work of Leonardo da Vinci. His liking for realism, which at times conflicted with Late Gothic tendencies, led Massys to paint genre pictures with an implied moral content, for example, The Money Changer and His Wife (1514, the Louvre, Paris). In a similar vein, he painted portraits, some of which, such as the paired portraits of Erasmus of Rotterdam (1617, National Gallery [Palazzo Corsini], Rome) and of Petrus Egidius (1517, Longford Castle, England), bear witness to the master’s spiritual affinity with humanist circles.
REFEERENCESBoon, K. G. Quinten Massys. Amsterdam, 1957.
Friedlander, M. Early Netherlandish Painting, vol. 6 (Quinten Massys). Leiden-Brussels, 1971.
N. N. NIKULIN