Jan van Wavere

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Jan Van Wavere
Jan Wavere

Known forPolychromy
Winged triptych made by Jan van Wavere in 1520 (Vienna, Austria)
Winged triptych made by Jan van Wavere in 1515 (parish church of Jäder, Sweden)

Jan Van Wavere ( ? -1521/22) was an influential Flemish polychromer of late gothic Brabantine altarpieces (also called retables), mainly produced in the Brabantine towns of Antwerp, Brussels and Mechelen. During the 15th–16th century, over 1000 altarpieces were traded and exported to many European countries.[1] More than 300 complete examples of Brabantine altarpieces can still be found in museums and churches all over Europe, from the Baltic countries (e.g. St. Nicholas' Church, Tallinn ) down to Spain.

Life and work[edit]

Little is known about his life. Jan van Wavere, who worked in Mechelen, was one of the few 16th century polychromers with sufficient reputation to sign his works.[2] Three carved wooden altarpieces are signed with the name Jan van Wavere.[2]

- Signature: "I. V. Wavere"
- Date: 1520
- Created in Mechelen[1]
- Date: 1515
- Executed in the workshop of Jan Borman in Brussels[7]
- Artists: Jan Van Coninxloo (painter) and Jan van Wavere (polychromer)
- Signatures: "1514/Jan van Coninxloo/Brussel" and "Ian van Wavere heeft dit ghehad"
- Date: 1514

His name was also mentioned in the account books of Pand market, operated by the Cathedral of Our Lady (Antwerp), an annual trade fair for the exhibition and sale of works of art (1460–1560)[8]


  1. ^ a b De Boodt, Ria (2004). "Retabelkasten, ornamentiek en beeldsnijwerk. Onderzoek naar de mate van formele standaardisatie in de Antwerpse retabelproductie van de zestiende eeuw". PhD dissertation (4 vols) (in Dutch). Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
  2. ^ a b c "Jan van wavere". Art Encyclopedia. Oxford University Press. Retrieved October 16, 2007.
  3. ^ "Detailed description of the St Dymphna altarpiece". Picture Library. Royal Institute for the Study and Conservation of Belgium's Artistic Heritage. Retrieved November 7, 2007. (in French)
  4. ^ Tourist Information Geel (2001). Guide of the St-Dympnachurch (Geel). St. Dympna and Hospital Museum.
  5. ^ Five different sculpted altarpieces are standing in the church of St Dymphna (Gheel, Belgium). According to Ria Deboodt (Nov. 2007),

    Jan van Wavere did not paint the sculptures of the Dimpna-altarpiece on the main altar (made in Brussels by 1490–1500). He was the polychromer of the altarpiece with the reliquary of the Saint placed on top of the Dimpna-altarpiece.

  6. ^ "Detailed description of the Jäders altarpiece (Belgian archives)". Picture Library. Royal Institute for the Study and Conservation of Belgium's Artistic Heritage. Retrieved October 17, 2007. (in French)
  7. ^ a b "Detailed description of the Jäders altarpiece (Swedish archives)". Medeltidens bildvärld – Picture Library. Historiska museet. Retrieved November 7, 2007. (in Swedish)
  8. ^ Ewing, Dan (December 1990). "Marketing Art in Antwerp, 1460–1560: Our Lady's Pand". The Art Bulletin. 72 (4): 558–584. doi:10.2307/3045762.


  • Roosval, Johnny (1903). "Om altarskåp i svenska kyrkor och museer ur mäster Bormans verkstad i Bryssel (altarpieces in Swedish churches and museums made by Master Jan Borman's workshop in Brussels)". Bidrag till Södermanlands äldre kulturhistoria (BISÄK). Upplands Svenska historiska föreningen: 5–104.
  • Donnet, Fernand (1921). "Jean van Wavere, peintre ou sculpteur malinois". Bulletin du cercle archeologique, litteraire et artistique de Malines (in French). XXVI: 1–21.
  • Roosval, Johnny (1933). "Rétables d'origine néerlandaise dans les pays nordiques". Revue belge d'archéologie et d'histoire de l'art (in French). 3 (2): 1–25.
  • Lindqvist, Gunnar (1958). "Senmedeltida altarskåp från Bryssel och Antwerpen i Sverige". Licentiatavhandling framlagd i Konsthistoriska institutet vid Stockholms högskola vårterminen (in Swedish). Stockholms universitet: 131 ff.
  • Andersson, Aron (1980). "Medieval Wooden Sculpture in Sweden". III – Late Medieval Sculpture. Almqvist and Wiksell International.
  • Flodin, Barbro (1989). Jäders Kyrka, Österrekarne härad, Södermanland. Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International. ISBN 91-7192-757-3.
  • De Boodt, Ria; Schäfer, Ulrich (2007). Vlaamse retabels: een internationale reis langs laatmiddeleeuws beeldsnijwerk (in Dutch). Leuven: Davidsfond. ISBN 978-90-5826-485-5.

External links[edit]