Jan Gossaert was probably born around 1478. He is often called Mabuse after his birthplace in Maubeuge in Hainaut, a town in present-day France. Nothing is known about his early training, though it is sometimes suggested that he worked in Bruges. Gossaert is first mentioned in Antwerp in 1503 when he became a master in the painters' guild. He presented pupils to the guild in 1505 and 1507. By 1508 Gossaert was in service to Philip of Burgundy, an illegitimate son of Philip the Good, and when, in October 1508, Philip set out on a diplomatic mission to the Vatican, his entourage included Jan Gossaert. Surviving from this trip are drawings of antique statuary and architectural monuments that the artist made for his patron.
Sometime after July 1509 Gossaert returned from Rome to service in Philip's castle in Middelburg. Jacopo de' Barbari was also working for Philip at this time; later, when Gossaert worked for Margaret of Austria at Malines, he stayed at the home of sculptor Conrad Meit. In 1517 Philip of Burgundy was appointed Bishop of Utrecht and Gossaert seems to have gone to Utrecht with him. After Philip's death in 1524 the artist entered the service of Philip's half-brother Adolph of Burgundy, but also continued to receive commissions from other private patrons such as Jean Carondelet, Chancellor of Flanders, and King Christian II of Denmark, who had fled to the Netherlands in 1523. Gossaert spent many of his final years in Middelburg and died there before 13 October 1532.
[Hand, John Oliver, and Martha Wolff. Early Netherlandish Painting. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1986: 98.]
Glück, Gustav. "Mabuse and the Development of the Flemish Renaissance." The Art Quarterly 8 (1945): 116-139.
Jean Gossaert dit Mabuse. Exh. cat. Museum Boymans-van Beuningen and Groeningemuseum, Rotterdam and Bruges, 1965.
Friedländer 1930, vol. 8 (vol. 8, 1972).
Herzog, Sadja. "Jan Gossaert called Mabuse (ca. 1478-1532): A Study of his Chronology with a Catalogue of his Works." Ph.D. diss., Bryn Mawr College, 1968.
Herzog, Sadja. "Tradition and Innovation in Gossaert's Neptune and Amphitrite and Danae." Bulletin Museum Boymans-van Beuningen. 19 (1968): 25-41.
Hand, John Oliver and Martha Wolff. Early Netherlandish Painting. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1986: 98.