Master of the Saint Lucy Legend
Netherlandish, active c. 1480 - c. 1510
Master of the Legend of Saint Lucy


The Master of the Saint Lucy Legend was named by Max J. Friedländer for an altarpiece in the church of Saint James, Bruges, which is dated 1480 and depicts three scenes from the life of Saint Lucy. A second painting of the Virgin and child with female saints is also recognized by Friedländer as by the same hand, and with these two works as the foundation, twenty-five to thirty-five paintings have been attributed by Friedländer and others to the Master of the Saint Lucy Legend.

The master was active in Bruges from the 1480s into the early years of the sixteenth century. The belfry in Bruges is often depicted in his paintings, and Nicole Veronee-Verhaegen has proposed a chronology for several paintings based on changes in the belfry's appearance between 1483 and 1501. Ann Roberts has suggested that the master is Jan de Hervy who was active in Bruges and died before 1512. The master's influence extended outside the boundaries of Flanders. Several of his paintings have Spanish provenances, and it has been suggested that the artist spent time in Spain and may have trained Spanish painters in his Bruges studio. [This is an edited version of the artist's biography published, or to be published, in the NGA Systematic Catalogue]


Friedländer, Max J. "Die Brügger Leihausstellung von 1902." RfK 26 (1903): 84-85.
Verhaegen, Nicole. "Le Maître de la légende de Sainte Lucie. Précisions sur son oeuvre." Bulletin de l'Institut royal du Patrimoine artistique 2 (1959): 73-82.
Friedländer 1928, vol. 6 (vol. 6, part 1, 1971: 41-43, and part 2, 1971: 123-124).
Anonieme Vlaamse Primitieven. Exh. cat. Groeningemuseum, Bruges, 1969: 47-54.
Roberts, Ann. "The Master of the Legend of Saint Lucy: A Catalogue and Critical Essay." Ph.D. diss., University of Pennsylvania, 1982.
Hand, John Oliver and Martha Wolff. Early Netherlandish Painting. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1986: 177.

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