Bernard van Orley

1487 - Jan 6, 1541

Bernard van Orley, also called Barend or Barent van Orley, Bernaert van Orley or Barend van Brussel, was a versatile Flemish artist and representative of Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painting, who was equally active as a designer of tapestries and, at the end of his life, stained glass. Although he never visited Italy, he belongs to the group of Italianizing Flemish painters called the Romanists, who were influenced by Italian Renaissance painting, in his case especially by Raphael.
He was born and died in Brussels and "served as a sort of commissioner of the arts for the Brussels town council". He was the court artist of the Habsburg rulers. He was extremely productive, concentrating on the design of his works, and leaving their execution largely to others, in the case of painting, and entirely so, in the case of the tapestries and stained glass. This he may have learned from Raphael, whose workshop in Rome was unprecedentedly large.
Due to his reliance on workshop execution, his many surviving works vary considerably in quality. Many drawings, mostly studies for designs for tapestries and stained glass, also survive.
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