The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate,
MD, Senior Contributing Editor.
Had he been born just a generation or two later his light would have
shone perhaps just a little brighter and shed itself more widely. As it is,
his star has been dimmed by his neighboring luminaries, all of them contemporaries—Michelangelo,
Raphael, Leonardo, Dürer, Holbein, Giorgione, Botticelli, Bosch, Cellini,
the Bellinis, Titian, Tinteretto, Lippi, Lotto, Grünewald, Correggio,
Parmigianino, del Sarto, Cranach—and those just for starters. But then
he would no longer have been Jan Gossaert (c 1478-1532), or, as he was also
known, Mabuse. (The latter name comes from his birthplace, Maubeuge, a town
in the province of Hainaut, then in the southern Netherlands, now in France.)
Unlike his northern and southern contemporaries, Gossaert was neither wholly
Gothic nor wholly Renaissance. Rather, he straddled the Alps, in his early
career demonstrating many of the characteristics of the northern, Gothic style,
and later, after a trip to Rome, adopting many of the features of the Italian
Renaissance style. For want of a better term, he is often called a "transition"
painter, or a Romanist, which is a term used to identify Netherlandish painters
of the 16th century who came under the influence of Michelangelo.
Southgate MT. Portrait of a Merchant. JAMA. 2001;285(14):1811. doi:10.1001/jama.285.14.1811