Flemish Northern Renaissance Painter, ca.1500-1551
There are only a few documentary records of his life, and some mentions in literature from his lifetime or soon after, but he cannot be documented as the creator of any surviving work; everything else consists of hypothesis. It is possible that he was born in Haarlem or even in Antwerp about 1490. It is not known where or with which painter he served his apprenticeship.
He is named for the first time in 1510, when he came to Bruges and bought his burghership. In November of the same year he already became master in the painters?? Guild of St. Luke and the goldsmiths?? guild of St. Elooi. He was later elected nine time a deacon and twice the governor of the guild.
Soon he had an important workshop, probably in the Korte Vlaminckstraat in Bruges. This was close to the workshop of Gerard David, at the Vlamijncbrugghe and the former workshop of Hans Memling. Bruges, at that time, was one of the richest towns in Europe. Rich traders and merchants ordered diptychs and portraits for personal use. Isenbrandt painted mainly for private clients. However, there were some paintings that were created without any particular commission. He had enough work to even put out work to other painters in Bruges, as a legal suit from 1534 by Isenbrandt against Jan van Eyck (not the famous one) for non-delivery of paintings he had ordered, demonstrates. He was also appointed the agent in Bruges of the painter Adriaan Provoost (son of Jan Provoost), who had moved to Antwerp in 1530. Contemporary sources therefore mention Isenbrandt as a famous and well-to-do painter.
He married twice, the first time with Maria Grandeel, daughter of the painter Peter Grandeel. They had one child. After her death in 1537, he married again in 1547 with Clementine de Haerne. This second marriage resulted in two daughters and a son. He also had an extramarital daughter with the innkeeper Katelijne van Brandenburch (who was at the same the mistress of his friend Ambrosius Benson).
When he died in 1551, he was buried alongside his first wife at the cemetery of the St. Jacob church in Bruges; his children inherited no less than four houses with surrounding property.
ID: 2042 The Mass of St.Gregory Museo del Prado, Madrid