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Josse Lieferinxe: life and works

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By Gwylym Owen

Josse Lieferinxe (working ca 1493–1503/08) was a South Netherlandish painter, formerly known by the also known as the Master of St. Sebastian.

Originating in the diocese of Cambrai in Hainaut, then ration of the territories ruled by the Dukes of Burgundy, Josse Lieferinxe was documented as a “Picard” in the regions of Avignon and Marseille at the terminate of the fifteenth and in the to the front sixteenth centuries. He was first mentioned in Provence in 1493. Thus he figures along with the painters of the Provençal school, whose most prominent members in an earlier generation had plus been from the far and wide north of the French-speaking world—Barthélemy d’Eyck and Enguerrand Quarton. In 1503 he married Michelle, a daughter of Jean Changenet, the most prominent painter of Avignon, in whose atelier Lieferinxe may have matured his style. He was last mentioned vivacious in 1505, and in 1508 as deceased.

Before he was identified by Charles Sterling who partnered his accomplishment with a document, his artistic personality was recognized, as the “Master of St. Sebastian”, through a former retable of eight scenes depicting the acts and miracles of Saint Sebastian and Saint Roch, protectors neighboring the plague, which was commissioned in 1497 for the church of Nôtre Dame des Accoulés in Marseille. Bernardino Sismondi, who originally expected the commission, died, however, before he could finish the work. By the to the fore twentieth century the panels had become widely dispersed in museums (see below). Panels from a Life of the Virgin were then identified bearing in mind the anonymous Sebastian master: two panels painted on both sides in the Musée Calvet, Avignon—a Circumcision backed by a Saint Catherine and an Annunciation backed by Saint Michael Killing the Dragon—and another, a Marriage of the Virgin in the Musées Royaux, Brussels; a fragmentary third panel, also painted on both sides, is in the Musée du Louvre.

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