Petrus Christus

1410 - 1476

Petrus Christus was an Early Netherlandish painter active in Bruges from 1444, where, along with Hans Memling, he became the leading painter after the death of Jan van Eyck. He was influenced by van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden and is noted for his innovations with linear perspective and a meticulous technique which seems derived from miniatures and manuscript illumination. Today, some 30 works are confidently attributed to him. The best known include the Portrait of a Carthusian and Portrait of a Young Girl; both are highly innovative in the presentation of the figure against detailed, rather than flat, backgrounds.
For the period between the death of Jan van Eyck in 1441 and Hans Memling establishing himself in the city in the mid-1460s, Christus was the leading painter in Bruges, which was then the leading Netherlandish centre of painting.
Christus was an anonymous figure for centuries, his importance not established until the work of modern art historians. Giorgio Vasari barely mentions him in his biographies of painters, written in the Renaissance, and near contemporary records merely list him amongst many others.
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