Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen (c. 1475-c. 1533) – (2) the painter and his workshop

Excellent blog for in depth look at history of art. Often objects determine authenticity.

Rembrandt's Room

The subtitle of the current Van Oostsanen exhibitions is: “the first Dutch Master”. He was not: artists such as Geertgen tot Sint Jans and anonymous Masters preceded him. Perhaps it depends on one’s definition of “Master”? Certainly Jacob Cornelisz was the first painter working in Amsterdam who is known by name and who left a substantial oeuvre consisting not only of paintings, but also of woodcuts, church vault paintings and designs for liturgical vestments and stained glass.


There is very little archival evidence regarding Jacob Cornelisz’ life. Our main source is Karel van Mander’s Schilder-boeck (1604), but even that tireless art historian (and painter in his own right) has to confess that he does not know when Jacob Cornelisz was born or when he died, although he remarks that the painter died “at a great age”. Jacob’s son, the painter Dirck Jacobsz, is better known to Van Mander. Dirck…

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