Quentin Massys (alternative spelling Quinten or Quintin Metsys or Matsys) was born in Louvain, the son of a blacksmith. On 10 September 1494 Massys declared to the magistrates of Louvain that he was twenty-eight years old. Thus he must have been born sometime between September 1465 and September 1466. There is no record of Massys having been trained as a painter in Louvain. Later biographers such as Van Mander have suggested that he was self-taught or that he began by coloring woodcuts.
Massys was first mentioned as a painter in 1491 when he entered the Guild of Saint Luke in Antwerp, the city that was to be his home until his death in 1530. He never held office in the Guild, but presented pupils in 1495, 1501, 1504, and 1510. In 1531, shortly after the artist's death, two of his many children, Jan and Cornelis, entered the Antwerp Guild; they went on to become painters of note. However, the extent, if any, to which they collaborated in their father's paintings is uncertain.
[Hand, John Oliver, and Martha Wolff. Early Netherlandish Painting. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1986: 145.]
Friedländer 1929, vol. 7 (vol. 7, 1971).
Bosque, Andrée de. Quentin Massys. Brussels, 1975.
Campbell, Lorne, et al. "Quentin Massys, Desiderius Erasmus, Pieter Gillis and Thomas More." The Burlington Magazine 120 (1978): 716-724.
Silver, Larry. The Paintings of Quinten Massys, with Catalogue Raisonné. Montclair, New Jersey, 1984.
Hand, John Oliver and Martha Wolff. Early Netherlandish Painting. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1986: 145.