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Jan van der Asselt: life and works

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By Gwylym Owen

Jan van der Asselt or Jan van der Hasselt (ca. 1330–1335 – between 1395 and 1398) was a Flemish painter.

Jan van der Asselt was born in Ghent somewhere in the company of 1330 and 1335, as the son of grocer Jan van der Asselt. The first insinuation of Van der Asselt as a painter is in 1364, when he garlanded the chapel in the Prinsenhof in Ghent, the dwelling of Count Louis II of Flanders. On 9 September 1365 Van der Asselt officially became the court painter for the count, a accomplishment he held until at least 1377. In 1379 he made a wall painting of the Virgin Mary in the Prinsenhof.

In and re 1372, Van der Asselt bejeweled the Gravenkapel in Kortrijk, which would become the burial chapel of supplement Louis. This large cycle of wall paintings included 28 full length portraits of everything Counts of Flanders, 4 saints, and a Last Judgment. Only some fragments of these works have survived. They were terribly regarded in their time, with Philip the Bold giving a monetary reward to van der Asselt in 1373.

The utter mention of Jan van der Asselt as a painter is a payment he standard in 1386 for an altar painting in the church of the Franciscans in Ghent. He was last mentioned flesh and blood in 1395, and was dead by October 1398.

It is reachable that he was also swift as a miniature painter and that he is held responsible for the works currently grouped below the notname Master of Lodewijk van Male (“Lodewijk van Male” is the Dutch make known for Louis II). This master was active more or less 1366, and five works are certified to him: a breviary, a missal, an antiphonary and a bible (all kept in the Royal Library of Belgium), and choice missal in the Museum Meermanno in The Hague.

Jan van der Asselt was twice convicted for cruelty against women, in 1359 and 1388.

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