The Master of the Saint Bartholomew Altarpiece was an Early Netherlandish painter active in Germany, mostly Cologne, between 1475/1480 and 1510. Despite his anonymity, he is one of the most recognizable artists of the early Renaissance period in German art.
It has been said that the Master is the last "Gothic" painter to be active in Cologne. Approximately twenty-five paintings have been attributed to him on the basis of his highly individual style, which does not seem to bear any affinity to that of any other school then active locally. Despite the fact that he seems to have been the leading painter of his time in Cologne, no evidence of any followers, or of a school in the usual sense, may be found.
A number of influences, mainly Netherlandish, have been traced in the Master's paintings. These include Dirck Bouts and Rogier van der Weyden, whose influence may be seen in the Munich Madonna and Child with Saint Anne. Stylistically, the Master's paintings are characterized by their use of bright, enamel-like colors and an affinity to the International Gothic style of painting.