Pieter Pourbus

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The Last Supper, 1562, Church of Our Lady, Bruges

Pieter Jansz. Pourbus (c. 1523, in Gouda – 30 January 1584, in Bruges) was a Flemish Renaissance painter, sculptor, draftsman and cartographer who was active in Bruges. He is known primarily for his religious and portrait painting [1]


Pieter Pourbus was born in Gouda. He moved to Bruges at the age of 20. Likely he was invited to Bruges by the painter Lancelot Blondeel, whose daughter he would later marry.[2] Je became a member of the Bruges Guild of Saint Luke in 1543.[1]

Besides a painter, he was also a surveyor and engineer.[1]

His pupils were his son, Frans Pourbus the Elder, Antonius Claeissens, and his grandson Frans Pourbus the younger. He died in Bruges.[1]


Pourbus is known primarily for his religious and portrait painting.

Pourbus' early work was a mix of the traditional Flemish style of the early sixteenth century and Italianate influences brought north by his peers such as Frans Floris. He later gradually absorbed Italian influences. His later works are considered early Flemish mannerism, which still contains some idioms of the traditional northern style. He never traveled to Italy and instead looked to his peers for stylistic inspiration. The Groeningemuseum in Bruges displays many of his works. The Museum Het Catharina Gasthuis in Gouda possesses also works by the artist. The Sint Janskerk and the Church of Our Lady, Bruges have some of his art on display.


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