de jonckheere old masters

Master with the Parrot

Active in Antwerp during the first third of the 16th century

A painter of figures and religious compositions, this anonymous master from Antwerp who was active during the first half of the 16th century, was given this name by M. J. Friedländer owing to the parrot which – although it does not have the value of a signature – features in several of his paintings of the Madonna, where the Child is playing with the bird.

His portrayals of the Virgin and Child and Mary Magdalene, depicted as young aristocrats dressed in the fashion of the 1530s, are similar to the works of his contemporary, the Master of Half Figures, whose highly mannerist style and method of production are sometimes – and more rarely – confused with figures by Pieter Coecke van Aelst. The portrayal of the Virgin, with her oval face, the expression of her features, the slender fingers and the elongated body of the Child, are common to both anonymous artists who continuously rendered a disguised homage to the ideal grace and sensitivity of the noblewomen of the court of Margaret of Austria and Mary of Hungary.