Providing a bridge between the austerity of Jan van Eyck and the excess of Rubens, Jan Gossaert's innovative blend of techniques from Northern and Southern Europe place him among the most significant artists of his day.

Providing a bridge between the austerity of Jan van Eyck and the excess of Rubens, Jan Gossaert's innovative blend of techniques from Northern and Southern Europe place him among the most significant artists of his day. The first major exhibition of his work for over 45 years, Jan Gossaert's Renaissance features over 80 works by Gossaert himself, together with painting and sculpture from influential contemporaries such as Dürer and Lucas Van Leyden. It follows the artist from his origins in the Netherlands, through the stylistic influences of his time in Italy to their fruits on his return.In 1508, as part of a diplomatic mission, Gossaert travelled to Rome. Sketching not only the landscapes but the antique sculptures, he is credited with introducing these alien influences " mythic heroes and heroines, sensuous in their nakedness " to the North.This interest in the nude spans the breadth of Gossaert's career, taking a variety of forms. His earliest Adam and Eve, based on Durer's 1504 engraving, swathes the pair in prominent musculature and curving flesh. The result, though nominally modest, has a tender eroticism. Gossaert's mythical works " many commissioned by his patron, Philip of Burgundy " share this same sophisticated sensuality, notably his Hercules and Deianira, in which the couple's legs are coiled together with anticipatory urgency.

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