Juan Flandes

Juan Flandes - 1

  • Year of birth: 1460
  • Date of death: 1519
  • Country: Spain


Juan de Flandes – a rather mysterious person, after all, no exact dates of birth and death, nor his full name is unknown to us. His life remained very sparse information, so that the main witnesses of the existence of this talented artist remain his immortal paintings.

This master was born around 1460-ies in the Netherlands. This country was then a province of Spain, so the artist is considered an outstanding representative of Spanish painting of the Renaissance. Even his name, known to us now may just be a reference to its origin – “Juan Flandes Yes” can mean only “Jan from Flanders”. It is also called simply the Master from Ghent or Ian Salaita. The exact name in the history is not preserved.

We know that from 1496 on 1519 years he worked as court painter to Queen Isabella of Castile and other dignitaries of the country. The first reference dates back to 1496, and two years later he recorded the documents in this official post. He served at the court of Queen until her death in 1504. Then in the following year he moved to Salamanca, where he created several paintings for the Altar of St. Michael the local Council and for the University.

After 4 years, by order of Bishop de Fonseca, the master writes retablo for Valencia Cathedral. It is accepted in Spain, the type of altarpiece. It consisted of 12 pieces and has survived to the present day, continuing to impress the faithful with its expressiveness, and art lovers, craftsmanship.

The life path of the artist ended in Valencia, presumably in October 1519, because later in the documents his wife is listed as widow.

It is believed that this wizard combines features of Flemish and Spanish paintings. Particularly noticeable is the influence of works by van Eyck and the whole of the Northern Renaissance as a whole. It should be noted that Spanish painting, and the art of many other European countries in that period were under the strong influence of Dutch painting.

At the court of Queen Isabella of Castile, the artist produced numerous portraits of members of the reigning family, some of which have survived to the present day. For example, in the portrait of the Queen Juana the Mad clearly has traces of Dutch painting. They are visible in the careful writing out facial features and in the study of the smallest details, especially in fine embroidery and gold braid fancy dress royalty.

In addition to expressive and very fine portraits, the master actively wrote on the subject of the Church. Also surviving retablo in Valencia, they had created a portable product, which had as many as 48 small images. Unfortunately, not all of them have stood the test of time. Less than half of them are now located in various museums and private collections around the world. His work is expressive and memorable, thanks to Juan de Flandes is the first from the now-famous court painters and portrait painters of Spain.