National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION

Tour: Netherlandish and Spanish Altarpieces in the Late 1400s and Early 1500s
Overview

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All of the paintings on this tour were commissioned for Spanish churches or convents during the reign of Ferdinand and Isabel. The king and queen, famous for their patronage of Christopher Columbus in 1492, also unified Spain and forged strong cultural ties with the Netherlands, roughly present-day Holland and Belgium.

The painters, although employed by the Spanish court, were either born and trained in the Netherlands or had been influenced by styles and techniques from the Low Countries. As court artists, they worked anonymously to glorify the monarchy and the Church. Until research can establish the identity of an artist, he is referred to as "The Master" of his best-known painting.

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