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Adriaen Isenbrandt

The Adoration of the Magi


Adriaen Isenbrandt
Antwerp (?) – Bruges 1551Active in Bruges from 1510


The Adoration of the Magi


1520s (?)


Oil on wood


33.5 x 27.4 cm


Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Michal Hornstein, inv. 2012.49


Western Art

Isenbrandt is first mentioned when he became a master in the Bruges painters’ guild in 1510. While he is often documented in guild records, only a single painting by him can be tentatively dated. Furthermore, his works often cite earlier artists, complicating his artistic chronology. Seventeenth-century sources describe him as a pupil of Gerard David (about 1460-1523), and Isenbrandt clearly was influenced by that earlier master in his depictions of tranquil landscapes and his tender representation of human figures, especially in religious subjects. Isenbrandt quotes from such outstanding artists of the previous two generations in Bruges as Van Eyck and Van der Goes. His appealing and highly skilled painting and conservative style embody the final expression of the venerable tradition of the earlier great masters of the school of Bruges. However, Isenbrandt tends to use a warmer palette than his predecessors, setting his figures in a softening atmosphere.

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