Mechtelt van Lichtenberg

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Mechtelt van Lichtenberg (ca. 1520 – 1598), also known as Mechtelt toe Boecop, was a 16th century Dutch painter and one of the few northern Dutch painters of the period whose name is known.[1]


Mechtelt (sometimes spelled Mechteld) van Lichtenberg was born in Utrecht, Holland, the daughter of Gerrit Lichtenberg (d. 1549), a member of the guild of saddlers and a city councilman, and Cornelia de Vooght van Rijnevelt.[2][1] Sometime between 1546 and 1549 she married Egbert Boecop (d. 1578), a church master in Kampen. They had a son and five daughters, and two of their daughters — Margaretha toe Boecop (before 1551 – after 1610) and Cornelia toe Boecop (1551 – after 1629) — also became artists.[2][1]


It is unclear how van Lichtenberg learned to paint, although it is possible she was apprenticed to Jan van Scorel.[1] Her work shows both his influence and that of his pupil Maarten van Heemskerck.[1][3]

Her earliest known work is an oil on panel entitled Pieta with Mary Magdalene from 1546, now in the collection of the Centraal Museum in Utrecht.[2][1] The Stedelijk Museum Kampen has other works by her, including Adoration of the Shepherd (1572) and a large painting of The Last Supper on two panels (1574).[2][1] The Last Supper features members of the Boecop family as apostles.[4] Few other pieces are known to have survived.

She signed her early work 'Mechtelt van Lichtenberg' and her later work 'Mechtelt van Lichtenberg otherwise known as Boecop'.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Lichtenberg, Mechtelt van (ca. 1520–1598)". Huygens ING website.
  2. ^ a b c d "Lichtenberg, Mechtelt van." In Digital Vrouwenlexicon of the Netherlands.
  3. ^ Greer, Germaine. The Obstacle Race, p. 170.
  4. ^ Cashion, Debra Taylor, et al., eds. The Primacy of the Image in Northern European Art, 1400–1700. Boston: Brill, 2017, p. 107 FN.