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 Gerard David  (1460 - 1523)

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Lived/Active: Flemish/Belgium      Known for: genre painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Gerard David was born in 1460 in Oudewater, Belgium.  A Flemish painter, he was the last great artist of the 15th century in Bruges.  He was trained in Haarlem, perhaps with or under Geertgen Tot Sint-Janes.  He was a member of the Bruges Guild in 1484.   

He was at first an eclectic who borrowed motifs from Jan Van Eyck and Rogier Van Der Weyden.  After the death of Hans Memling, he became the official chief painter of Bruges in 1494..  Although he is credited with a number of canvases on stylistic grounds, only three of his paintings are documented.       

Severe symmetry and decorative opulence combined with solidly balanced and harmonious composition, tenderness and skill in depicting the human form and perfection of craftsmanship are the qualities we associate with the art of Gerald David.  Famous in both Bruges and Antwerp during his lifetime, David was forgotten soon after his death in Bruges in 1523.   

Written and compiled by Jean Ershler Schatz, artist and researcher from Laguna Woods, California.

Sources include:   
Metropolitan Museum of Art Miniatures: Masterpieces in the Philadelphia Museum of Art   
Phaidon Encyclopedia of Art and Artists.

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