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The Cover
April 11, 2001

Portrait of a Merchant

Author Affiliations

The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate, MD, Senior Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2001;285(14):1811. doi:10.1001/jama.285.14.1811

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.

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