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Hugo van der Goes

Goes, Hugo van der (hōˈgō vän dĕr gōs) [key], d.1482, Flemish painter. Probably born in Ghent, he was a member of the painters' guild there in 1467 and became dean of the guild in 1474, a year before his semiretirement to a monastery near Brussels. Early works, such as The Fall of Man (c.1468; Vienna), recall earlier Flemish art, such as that of the van Eycks and Justus of Ghent. The Monforte Altarpiece (c.1472; Berlin) reveals a classical sonority in color and serene figures. Later works, such as the great Portinari Altarpiece (c.1476; Uffizi), begin to show the tension and the dissonances in color and spatial arrangement that characterize his last works. His Death of the Virgin (c.1480; Bruges) is remarkable for the staring melancholy of the apostles' faces. Hugo suffered an attack of madness c.1481, which resulted in his death the following year. The ducal court and Italian and local merchants in Flanders admired his exquisite technique, powers of observation, and representation of human character, to be seen in his portraits at the Metropolitan Museum and Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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