Hugo van der Goes

ca. 1440 - 1482

Flemish artist, one of the greatest of the second half of the 15th century. Born in Ghent he enters the artists' gild in 1467. Several times over dean of the guild. Moves into the Red Cloister monastery near Brussels around 1478, presumably because he was suffering from attacks of mental illness.

Characteristic of his work are his monumental figures. He does not master the art of perspective but proportions and relations of figures and background far surpass that of his predecessors. Faces and hands are very expressive.

Hugo van der Goes does not sign his work. The only piece that may be ascribed to him with certainty - because it is mentioned by Vasari - is the altarpiece that he is assigned to create by Tommaso Portinari, the Bruges' representative of the Medici's from Florence.

In 1481 Van der Goes suffers a nervous breakdown. Although he recovers, he dies the following year.

work by Hugo van der Goes