Geertgen (1455/1465-1485/1495) was probably born in Leiden and died in Haarlem. His teacher seems to have been Albert van Ouwater. In 1480, Geertgen took up residence at St John's Brethren monastery in Haarlem - hence the name ‘tot Sint Jans’. While not a monk, he worked for the order as a lay brother, painting a large altarpiece for the church. According to biographer Karel van Mander, Geertgen died aged 28 and was buried in the monastery graveyard. Twelve works are known by the artist, all on religious topics. Given their exceptional quality, and the fine and surprisingly precise detail of these works, Geertgen tot Sint Jans has been hailed the founder of Northern Netherlandish art.