Cleve, Joos van

(Joos van der Beke; c. 1485-1540/1541).
   Painter from the city of Cleve in the lower Rhine who was active in Antwerp after 1511. Van Cleve was elected dean of the Guild of Painters in Antwerp in 1515, and again in 1525. He is believed to have trained with Jan Joest with whom he worked on the Altar of St. Nicholas in Calcar in 1505-1508. He also collaborated with Joachim Patinir, as Karel van Mander informs. The Rest on the Flight into Egypt (c. 1515-1524; Brussels, Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts), previously given exclusively to Patinir, is now viewed as a collaboration with van Cleve. Sometime after 1530, van Cleve went to work for Francis I of France in whose court he became acquainted with Leonardo da Vinci's style. His portrait of Francis in the John G. Johnson Collection in Philadelphia (after 1530) shows the king as a voluminous figure, modeled through the use of chiaroscuro— elements borrowed from Leonardo, combined with the Northern emphasis on the details of the face and hands that lean on a parapet. Van Cleve's Last Judgment (c. 1520-1525; New York, Metropolitan Museum) also presents a blend of Northern and Italianate elements. The Mannerist crowding of figures and their elongation and contortions demonstrate van Cleve's interest in the latest Italian movements. The brilliant colors, nonclassical nudes, and nonidealized figure of Christ are common features of Northern art. Van Cleve, together with Jan Gossart, Jan van Scorel, and Bernard van Orley, is classified as a Romanist master and credited with introducing to the Low Countries the Italianate mode of painting.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

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