Joos van Cleve was a leading painter active in Antwerp from his arrival there around 1511 to his death in 1540 or 1541. Within Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painting, he combines the traditional techniques of Early Netherlandish painting with influences of more contemporary Renaissance painting styles.
An active member and co-deacon of the Guild of Saint Luke of Antwerp, he is known mostly for his religious works and portraits, some of royalty. He ran a large workshop, with at least five pupils and other assistants, which produced paintings in a variety of styles over his career. As a skilled technician, his art shows sensitivity to color and a unique solidarity of figures. His style is highly eclectic: he was one of the first to introduce broad world landscapes in the backgrounds of his paintings, sometimes collaborating with Joachim Patinir, which would become a popular technique of sixteenth century northern Renaissance paintings. Some works reflect the popular style of Antwerp Mannerism, while others are variations on early Netherlandish masters of two or more generations before, or reflect recent Italian painting.