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Pieter Pourbus | Renaissance painter

Pieter Jansz. Pourbus (1523-1584) was a Flemish Renaissance painter, draftsman, engineer and cartographer who was active in Bruges during the 16th century.
He is known primarily for his religious and portrait paintings.
Pourbus was the leading figure of his generation in Bruges, often pioneering techniques.
Stylistically speaking, he is part of the generation of Frans Floris.


This generation of painters realized the breakthrough of the Italian Renaissance in the Low Countries.
For example, Pourbus' Joyous Entry of Charles V and Prince Philip II, which dates from 1549, is a prime description of Renaissance architecture in Northern Europe.
In addition, Pourbus developed a recognizable hand that was influenced by classicism and its characteristic use of restraint and clear lines.

Pourbus' works are often considered by scholars to be the last examples of the traditional Bruges school of painting.
He tutored both his son and grandson, Frans the Elder and Frans the Younger, who then became respected artists in their own right and contributed greatly to the beginning era of the Golden Age.


Pourbus managed to make a name for himself during his lifetime as one of the most important painters of his generation, both in Bruges and elsewhere; for example, Italian contemporaries such as historian Ludovico Guicciardini and artist biographer Giorgio Vasari make favourable mentions of him.

Ludovico Guicciardini names him as one of the most important painters of his time in his Decrittione di tutti i Paesi Bassi or Description of all the Low Countries in 1567.
There are no portraits of Pieter Pourbus, but, according to Paul Huvenne, he may have included a self-portrait on the left altar wing of the "Tryptych of the Holy Sacrament fraternity" in the St Saviour's Cathedral, Bruges.













Pieter Pourbus (Gouda, 1523 - Bruges, 30 gennaio 1584) è stato un pittore Fiammingo.
Stabilitosi a Bruges intorno al 1540, nel 1543 fu ammesso alla corporazione dei pittori della città; nello stesso periodo si sposò con la sorella del pittore locale Lancelot Blondeel.
Rimase a Bruges fino alla sua morte nel 1584.
Eccelleva nei generi di ritratti, tra cui ritrattistica di gruppo, scene allegoriche e pittura religiosa, come il monumentale dipinto ad olio Il giudizio universale (228,5 x 181 cm) ospitato nel Groeningemuseum di Bruges.


La sua produzione comprende 40 dipinti firmati o documentati ed altri 30 attribuiti.
Realizzò anche progetti architettonici per la celebrazione dell'ingresso a Bruges del principe Filippo II di Spagna nel 1549.
Suo figlio Frans Pourbus il Vecchio (1545-1581) e suo nipote Frans Pourbus il Giovane (1569-1622) furono anche pittori e discepoli insieme ad Antoon Claeissens.