Van Oostsanen

15 March - 29 June 2014

After nearly 500 years, Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen (ca. 1475- 1533) is returning to Amsterdam, the city in which he lived and worked. He is the earliest Amsterdam artist whom we know by name. In this first retrospective on Van Oostsanen, the seminal Dutch master’s principal works are brought together in a world premier presented by the Amsterdam Museum, the Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar and St Lawrence’s Church in Alkmaar. Van Oostsanen provides a unique opportunity to explore the artist’s magnificent and diverse oeuvre from 15 March to 29 June 2014.

Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen was a celebrated artist in the 16th century. His studio on the Kalverstraat, then already a fashionable street, developed into a highly productive workshop, taking commissions from patrons in Holland and beyond. He painted portraits and religious compositions, as well as combinations of the two, in print or oils. In 2014 the time had come to restore Van Oostsanen to the fame and prominence he enjoyed among his contemporaries.

Van Oostsanen is one of the great masters from the Northern Netherlands who laid the foundation for the flourishing success of Dutch art that followed. His works show how art developed during his lifetime from the late medieval period to the early Renaissance. His taste for unexpected details and the exceptional quality of the 30 or more surviving paintings, as well as his 200 woodcuts, make for spectacular viewing.

With ‘Het Amsterdam van Jacob’ [Jacob’s Amsterdam], the Amsterdam Museum placed the artist in his contemporary context: a small city full of monasteries with a growing population who were becoming a new source of power. Visitors felt themselves transported to the Amsterdam of 500 years past where they came in contact with Van Oostsanen’s altarpieces and patrons. Also acknowledged in the exhibition were his direct descendants Dirck Jacobsz and Cornelis Anthonisz, who kept Van Oostsanen’s studio going until well until the 16th century.

For more information about the ‘Van Oostsanen: The first Master Dutch Painter's', see the dedicated website.