The Master of Saint Giles (French: Maître de Saint-Gilles) was a Franco-Flemish painter active, probably in Paris, about 1500, working in a delicate Late Gothic manner, with rendering of textures and light and faithful depictions of actual interiors that show his affinities with Netherlandish painting. It is not clear whether the Master of Saint Giles was a French painter who trained in the Low Countries (perhaps more likely), or a Netherlander who emigrated to France.
His pseudonym was given him by Max Friedländer, who reconstructed part of the anonymous painter's oeuvre, starting from two panels devoted to Saint Giles (a Miracle and a Mass) in the National Gallery, London, that were part of the lefthand shutter of an altarpiece, and two further panels now in Washington from the same altarpiece. The hand of an assistant can be discerned in the Baptism of Clovis at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, who also have a panel with Episodes from the Life of a Bishop-Saint - perhaps Saint Leu, Saint Denis or Saint Remy. All four panels have, or had, single grisaille figures of saints (Saints Peter, Giles, Denis and an unidentified bishop-saint) in niches, imitating sculpture, on the reverse. The Washington pair, which were in poor condition, have been separated and are lost, although photographs exist. Undoubtedly there were further panels, whose subjects cannot be guessed, as the combination of scenes is original.
The Mass of St Gilles
Medium oil and egg tempera on oak
Dimensions Height: 62 cm (24.4 in). Width: 46 cm (18.1 in).