Hemessen, Jan Sanders van

(c. 1500-c. 1564)
   Netherlandish artist from the region of Antwerp who became dean of the Guild of Painters in that city in 1548. In 1551, van Hemessen moved to Haarlem where he spent the rest of his life. He is the father and teacher of Caterina van Hemessen who specialized in portraiture and religious subjects. Jan is best known for his crude, often comical figure types that are crowded into the pictorial space. One of his favorite subjects was the story of the prodigal son, with the version in the Brussels Musées Royaux of 1536 providing one of the best examples. He also painted genre scenes, such as The Surgeon (c. 1555) in the Prado Museum, Madrid. Other works by van Hemessen include Jesus Summons Matthew to Leave the Tax Office (1536; Munich, Alte Pinakothek), the Mocking of Christ (c. 1560; Douai, Museé de la Chartreuse), and Christ Driving the Merchants from the Temple (1556; Nancy, Musée des Beaux-Arts).

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

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