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Joos van Cleve (also Joos van der Beke; c. 1485 – 1540/1541) was a painter active in Antwerp around 1511 to 1540. He is known for combining traditional Netherlandish painting techniques with influences of more contemporary Renaissance painting styles.
An active member and co-deacon of the Guild of Saint Luke of Antwerp, he is known mostly for his religious works and portraits of royalty. As a skilled technician, his art shows sensitivity to color and a unique solidarity of figures. He was one of the first to introduce broad landscapes in the backgrounds of his paintings, which would become a popular technique of sixteenth century northern Renaissance paintings.
He was the father of Cornelius or Cornelis van Cleve (1520-1567) who was also a painter and is believed to have suffered from a mental illness and was therefore referred to as 'Sotte Cleef' (mad Cleef)."
Joos van Cleve was born around 1485. The birthplace of Joos van Cleve is not precisely known. In various Antwerp legal documents he is referred to as ‘Joos van der Beke alias van Cleve’. It is therefore likely that he came from the Lower Rhenish region or city named Kleve, from which his name is derived. It is assumed that he began his artistic training around 1505 in the workshop of Jan Joest, whom he assisted in the panel paintings of the high altar for the Nikolaikirche in Kalkar, Lower Rhine, Germany.
...From the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries, the name of Joos van Cleve as an artist was lost. The paintings now attributed to Joos van Cleve were, at that time, known as the works of “the Master of the Death of the Virgin,” after the triptych currently in the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum (Cologne). In 1894 it was discovered that the monogram on the back of the triptych was that of Joos van der Beke, an alias of Joos van Cleve. ...