Neptune and Amphitrite are standing on a low plinth surrounded by water in a domed structure supported by columns. We are looking into the mighty sea-god's shrine, in which he appears to us with his spouse in statuesque symmetry, but with a sense of being a living physical presence. On the plinth is the artist's proud signature "IOANNES MALBODIVS PINGEBAT", dated 1516. Top right are the device and name of the patron, Philip of Burgundy (1464-1524). This large picture was part of a lavish decoration that Philip had commissioned for his castle. Gossaert had accompanied his patron to Rome in 1508, where he drew ancient buildings and sculptures for him. This was one of the earliest Italian journeys undertaken by Netherlandish artists, which led them to address and come to terms with Italian art. This impressive composition is inspired by these travels and impressions, and also by ideas derived from Albrecht Dürer and Jacopo de' Barbari.


  • Title: Neptune and Amphitrite
  • Creator: Jan Gossaert
  • Date Created: 1516
  • Physical Dimensions: w124.0 x h188.0 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • External Link: Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Medium: Oil on oak wood
  • Style: Netherlandish
  • Copyright Text: Text: © http://www.prestel.com, Prestel Verlag / Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Rainald Grosshans // Photo: © http://www.bpk-images.de, b p k - Photo Agency / Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Jörg P. Anders
  • Collection: Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Artist information: Jan Gossaert is also known by his adopted name Jan Mabuse. There are no known facts about his early life but his work bears relation to Van der Weyden, suggesting he was familiar with the artist's work. His paintings are principally characterized by the impressions from his journey to Italy, which he made with his employer Philip of Burgundy. His experiences there went on to inspire Flemish artists up to Rubens and van Dyck to similarly embark on an obligatory journey to Italy in search of inspiration. During his active period, he executed several altar paintings and, along with Jacopo de Barbari, worked on the expansion and the interior decoration of the castle of Middleburg. His 'Saint Luke Painting the Virgin' (1520-25) is recognized as one of his finest.
  • Artist Place of Death: Bruges, Belgium
  • Artist Place of Birth: Antwerp, Belgium
  • Artist Gender: male
  • Artist Dates: 1478/1532-10-01

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