Herri met de Bles

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Herri met de Bles, Landscape with Sodom on fire, Lot and his daughters, National Museum in Warsaw.

Herri met de Bles (also known as Henri Blès, Herri de Dinant, Herry de Patinir, and Civetta) (c. 1510 – c. 1555–1560) was a Flemish Northern Renaissance and Mannerist landscape painter, native of Bouvignes-Dinant (Wallonia). He is also defined as a "Mosan landscape painter active during the second third of the 16th century (i.e., second generation of landscape painters)".[1]

Very little is positively known about the artist. He is believed to be a certain Herry de Patenir who joined Antwerp's Guild of St. Luke in 1535 as a painter and is also believed to be a court painter for the d'Este Dukes of Ferrara, where he ended his career known as "Il Civetta". He contributed, along with his possible-uncle Joachim Patinir, to a distinct style of Northern Renaissance landscape painting that combined small history or religious scenes into compositions defined by perspective and atmospheric effects. Also, along with a group of Antwerp-based followers of Hieronymus Bosch that included Jan Mandyn, Pieter Huys, and Jan Wellens de Cock, Met de Bles continued the tradition of fantastic imagery into northern Mannerism.

In Richard Powers's novel, "The Gold Bug Variations (1991)," one of the main characters is working on a dissertation whose subject is Herri met de Bles. The obscurity of the painter as well as the weirdness of his imagery works into the motifs of the novel.


  • Hans Devisscher: "Bles [Blesio, Blesius, Blessio; de Dinant, de Patinir], Herri met de [Henri, Henrico; Herry (met de)] [Civetta]" Grove Art Online. Oxford University Press, [accessed 16 May 2007].
  • Norman E. Muller (Ed.): Herri met de Bles: Studies and Explorations of the World Landscape Tradition. Brepols, Turnhout 1998, ISBN 0-943012-25-2
  • Michel Weemans. "Herri met de Bles's sleeping peddler: an exegetical and anthropomorphic landscape". Art Bulletin, Sept 2006.
  • Weemans, Michel. "Herri Met de Bles's Way to Calvary: A Silenic Landscape," Art History, 32,2 (2009), 307-331.


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