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Colijn de Coter

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Title: Colijn de Coter  
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Subject: Manuel I of Portugal, Bonnefanten Museum, List of people from Brussels, List of Flemish painters, National Museum, Warsaw, Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, 1440s in art
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Colijn de Coter

Colijn de Coter (c. 1440–1445 – c. 1522–1532) was an early Netherlandish painter who produced mainly altarpieces. He worked primarily in Brussels and Antwerp in present-day Belgium (at the time in the Duchy of Brabant). His name was sometimes given as Colijn van Brusele (Colijn of Brussels), indicating that he hailed from Brussels or at the least lived there most of his active life. He also signed several paintings with Coliin de Coter pingit me in Brabancia Bruselle ("Colijn de Coter painted me in Brussels in the region of Brabant").

De Coter was born around 1440–1445. This can be deduced from a 1479 document in the Brussels archives, naming him as a husband, painter and tenant of a house; in other words, he must have already reached adulthood in that year. Another document, dating from 1483, refers to him as Colijn van Brusele (Colijn of Brussels). This document states that he had registered with the Guild of Saint Luke in Antwerp and decorated a vault in the chapel of that guild in the Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp. The archives of the Brussels Brotherhood of Saint Eloy list three payments to Colijn de Coter in 1509–1511 for painting a church tabernacle. From the archives of this brotherhood, we can also deduce that the painter's death probably fell somewhere in the period 1522–1532.

Although unproven, art historians believe Colijn de Coter headed an influential workshop with a number of pupils. This conclusion is based on the diversity in style and quality of the work attributed to him. The Leiden painter Cornelis Engebrechtsz. may have been one of his pupils.[1]


Some paintings attributed to Colijn de Coter are:

  • Saint Lucas painting the Holy Virgin (1493) at the Church of St. Louis in Vieure (France). The painting shows both painter and model, while a carpenter is busy building the picture frame. Colijn de Coter is seen at work in his workshop.[2]
  • Saint Veronica (c. 1510), now at the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum in Cologne, probably the right-side panel of a triptych.[3]
  • The lamentation of Christ (c. 1510–1515), now at the Bonnefanten Museum in Maastricht.[4]
  • The Family of King D. Manuel I of Portugal at the Fons Vitae (1518), in the House of Misericórdia, in Porto.[5][6]
  • Saint Michael the Archangel and Saint Agnes, now at the Bob Jones Museum and Gallery in Greenville (South Carolina, USA) [7]
  • The Holy Virgin with the Four Apostles and Saint Michael (c. 1500–1510), now at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels, two fragments of an altarpiece of the Last Judgment, possibly commissioned for the main altar of the Church of St. Pantaleon in Cologne.[8]
  • The Johanna Van de Maerke Triptych or Descent from the Cross Altarpiece (1522), now at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium.[9]
  • Descent from the Cross (XV sec.), now in the Museo Regionale di Messina (it)


  • Rijkmuseum Amsterdam
  • The Grove Dictionary of Art


External links

  • Full list of works
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