Master of Delft

Died 1520

The Master of Delft was a Dutch painter of the final period of Early Netherlandish painting, whose name is unknown. He may have been born around 1470. The notname was first used in 1913 by Max Jakob Friedländer, in describing the wings of a Triptych with the Virgin and Child with St Anne with the central panel by the Master of Frankfurt, which is now in Aachen. This has donor portraits of an identifiable family from Delft, that of the Burgomaster of Delft, Dirck Dircksz van Beest Heemskerck, with his wife and children.
He can also be connected to Delft by the inclusion of the Nieuwe Kerk tower, which was completed in 1496, in the background of his Scenes from the Passion of Christ triptych in the National Gallery, London, generally agreed to be his masterpiece, and the "most representative and best preserved triptych in the group" attributed to him. This can be dated fairly precisely to 1509 as none of the prints it borrows details from are dated later than that. The monastic donor kneeling at the left of the centre panel may be Herman van Rossum, provost of the Koningsveld convent just outside the city. There is a larger, related, triptych in a Cologne private collection.
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