Early Netherlandish Paintings

A catalogue of Netherlandish paintings made by painters born before 1500, including Lucas van Leyden and Quinten Massijs, as well as important anonymous masters such as the Master of the Virgo inter Virgines.

beeld The Virgin and Child with Four Holy Virgins, Master of the Virgo inter Virgines, c. 1495 - c. 1500

See all the works included in this catalogue

Each entry can be found by scrolling down on the artwork page and clicking on ‘Catalogue entry’ below the image.

The collection of early Netherlandish paintings in the Rijksmuseum consists of 365 paintings from the Northern and Southern Netherlands; several from the fifteenth century, most from the sixteenth.

At the beginning of the nineteenth century there were almost no paintings from this period in the Netherlands' public collection apart from a few paintings, assembled as early as around 1800, by such artists as Geertgen tot Sint Jans, the Master of the Virgo inter Virgines, Joos van Cleve and Quinten Massijs, which, however, were erroneously attributed to the internationally acclaimed Jan and Hubert van Eyck, Hans Holbein and Il Parmegianino. As a result of the lack of interest in cultural heritage shown by the Dutch State during that time, only ninety-five early paintings had been acquired prior to the opening of the Rijksmuseum in 1885. In the following fifteen years, however, the collection grew to approximately half of what it is today.

The catalogue of Early Netherlandish Paintings by artists born before 1500 contains 164 paintings. With numerous highlights, this group gives a good overview of Northern Netherlandish painting in the late fifteenth century and especially the sixteenth. Forty-seven artworks are catalogued as by anonymous painters about whom nothing is known today because records are sparse. Some forty paintings can be dated to the fifteenth century, most of them made in the last quarter. Exceptions include the Memorial Tablet for the Lords of Montfoort (c. 1400), the Portrait of Lysbeth van Duvenvoorde (c. 1430) and the ‘Roermond Passion’ (c. 1435). Southern Netherlandish painting is represented by around thirty-five paintings containing a few highlights such as works attributed to Aert van den Bossche and Quinten Massijs.

The emphasis, however, lies on works painted in the first decades of the sixteenth century from the most famous workshops in the cities of Alkmaar, Amsterdam, Haarlem, Leiden and Utrecht, created by important painters such as Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen, Lucas van Leyden, Jan Mostaert, Jan van Scorel and Maarten van Heemskerck.

Early Netherlandish Paintings catalogue information: