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ducal records in 1443, and Hue de Boulogne died in 1449; when his son, Jehan de Boulogne, succeeded him as “paintre" and “varlet de chambre.” But the post of governor of Hesdin was given to Pierre Coustain, who took the title of "paintre des princes,” and appears upon the register of the Corporation of St. Luke, under that name, in 1450.
Pierre Coustain and Jâcques Hennecart were “paintres de M. D. S.," and managers of the “entremetz” at Bruges, when Charles the Rash was married, in 1468.1 Olivier de la Marche has given us a glowing account of these “ entremetz,” which startled lords and ladies by their cumbrous mechanism. His enthusiastic pen describes the famous lions who roared so well, without hurting the company, and the beauteous shepherdess who turned her compliment so elegantly to the new princess ; but he forgets the arts, and despises pictures. He recollected upwards of ten “histories" in the streets that led to Charles's palace ; but their subjects had escaped him, with the exception of two representing Eve and Adam in Paradise, and the Marriage of (!) Alexander and Cleopatra. He tells us of two figures painted as supporters to the arms of Burgundy—one St. Andrew, and the next St. George ; but mentions no pictorial work produced by any of the painters present at that time as being worthy of record or admiration. Van der Goes, we know, was one of these, and his well-known talents might have elicited something worthy of remark; but silence reigns upon that point. It seems that Tournay, Gand, Yprès,
i See, for all these court painters, De Laborde, Les Ducs de Bourgogne, ut sup., vols. i. and ii.
2 Olivier de la Marche, Mémoires, 80, Gand. 1566, p. 524.
Cambrai, Arras, Douai, Valenciennes, Louvain, Antwerp, Brussels, Bois le Duc, Dordrecht, Gorcum, each furnished painters, sculptors, or workmen for the occasion. One Amand Regnault was paid 10 sols per diem for running to Ghent, to Audenarde, and other “good towns,” in search of the best workmen in the country—“ painters as well as others.” Jacques Daret, master-painter of Tournay, leader of other painters, is one of those who received the highest pay, having had for sixteen days' work, at the “ entremetz," 27 sols per diem. The pay of others varied from 6 to 24 sols, and more ; the wages being paid according to a tariff made out for the occasion by the elders and juries of the corporation of painters in Bruges. Out of a list of upwards of three hundred thus employed and paid, but a few are remembered at this day except Van der Goes ; of him no notice has been taken by De la Marche.
The earlier painters of Haarlem are almost as unknown as those whom De la Marche omitted to record. Franz Mostert, who lived in Haarlem in 1550, was ignorant of the artists who first practised there ;' and it is only to Van Mander that we owe the preservation of the names of Albert Van Ouwater and Gerard of St. John, Albert Van Ouwater was the author of an altar-piece in the chapel of the Romans of Haarlem Cathedral, founded by the pilgrims to St. Peter's. The subject of the altarpiece was illustrative of the founders, and represented pilgrims, in a landscape, in the various stages of their
De Laborde, Les Ducs de
1 Reiffenberg, ut sup., Appendix. Bourgogne, ut sup.
2 Van Mander, p. 206.
progress to the holy city. Two life-size figures of St. Peter and St. Paul were also depicted there. Van Mander describes the distance as skilful ; saying that, according to the testimony of the oldest painters of Haarlem, the best style of landscape in the Netherlands was practised in their city. Among the admirers of Ouwater was Heemskerk; but the proof that Ouwater's talent was more in the fashion of his landscape than in other descriptions of painting is the testimony of the Anonimo di Morelli, who says that many pictures of landscapes in the Collection of Cardinal Grimani were by Alberto d’Olanda. Van Mander adds, however, that Ouwater was a fair master of the naked form, and mentions a “ Raising of Lazarus,” of which he saw a copy, and admired the naked figures. The draperies, the faces, hands, and feet, were also, he said, skilfully rendered. The pictures of Van Ouwater having disappeared, and Van Mander neglecting or unable to give the dates of his birth or death, it is impossible to speak of any of his productions. Attempts have been made to attribute panels to this master; but, in most instances, without sufficient grounds. The “ Descent from the Cross,” of the Wallraff Collection at Cologne, bearing the mutilated inscription, “O W A,” is assigned to him, and has some resemblance to the productions of the mixed schools of Van der Weyden, Cologne, and Nuremberg. The “ Dead Christ,” in his meagre forms, and lony attenuated frame, painfully ex
1 “The picture of Lazarus represented the saint near a temple with colonnades — the Jews and people on one side, and the apostles on the other. This was the picture which Heemskerk is said to have admired.” — Van Mander, p. 206.
aggerates the disagreeable peculiarities of Van der Weyden, whilst the figure of the man who holds the Saviour's shoulders is remarkable for the ill-shapen leg and foot of the followers of Stephen of Cologne. Other parts of the picture remind us of Wohlgemuth. This panel bears the date of 1480 ;. and if it be by Van Quwater, it stamps that painter as one of the numerous imitators who thronged the Netherlands and the Rhine at the beginning of the sixteenth century. But we can scarcely conceive how Van Mander could call such a man clever in landscape and anatomy. Another point to be noticed is this, that had Van Ouwater lived as late as the year 1480, he could scarcely be forgotten so soon as he appears to have been at Haarlem. We are inclined to suppose, therefore, that Van Ouwater is an earlier painter than the author of the “Descent from the Cross ” of Cologne; and, assuming this, he must no longer be admitted as the author of other pictures which various writers have assigned to him. It is remarkable, indeed, that none of the pictures attributed to Van Ouwater are like each other in style and manner. The “ Crucifixion” of Berlin, given to him by Hotho, is unlike, and superior to the “Christ” of Cologne, and may be classed amongst the works of an artist who imitated Memling. The “ Crucifixion” of the Belvedere Gallery, at Vienna, is of the school founded by Lucas of Leyden.” Passavant, in 1841, supposed that the Danzig altar-piece
1 The wings of this picture bear the date 1499. See infra, “Influence of Flemish Art abroad.”
? No. 573, Berlin Cat. See infra, “ Imitations of Memling and Van Eyck."
3 No. 10, room second, Belvedere Cat, See supra, p. 106.
must be attributed to Van Ouwater, because of its likeness to the “ Crucifixion” at Vienna.' The final result of this examination is, that a painter once lived at Haarlem whose name is preserved, but whose works are lost.
Similar uncertainty marks the period when Gerard of St. John lived and died. “Gerard of St. John,” says Van Mander," was the pupil of Albert Van Ouwater, and took his name from the monastery of the Knights of St. John at Haarlem, where he usually resided. He died at the early age of twenty-eight.”? Albert Dürer, at sight of a picture by him, is reported to have said, he must have been born a painter.: Gerard is stated by Van Mander to have painted a large tryptic for the Cathedral of Haarlem ; the centre representing the Crucifixion, the wings scenes from the life of the Saviour. Gerard also painted for Haarlem Cathedral a view of the interior of that edifice. These, together with other works of the master-one amongst the rest executed for the convent of Regulars, near Haarlem--and many that were preserved in the Collection of Cardinal Grimani, in Venice, are no longer known. Two panels, which once formed a wing of the tryptic at Haarlem (so say Michiels and other authors), are now in the Belvedere Gallery at Vienna. They represent the“Descent from the Cross” in the grouping and composition—of which subject we remark the study of Van der Weyden's manner-and the Life and Death of St. John
i Passavant, Kunstblatt, 1841, No. 10.