Goes, Hugo Van Der ca. 1440–1482 Netherlandish Painter

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Goes, Hugo van der
ca. 1440–1482
Netherlandish painter

The religious paintings of Hugo van der Goes were very popular in his day and widely copied by other artists. In 1467 van der Goes became a master in the painter's guild* of the Flemish* city of Ghent. The following year he was among a group of artists asked to provide decorations for the marriage ceremony of Charles the Bold, the duke of Burgundy. In 1475 van der Goes joined a monastery, where he continued to paint. He suffered from depression and toward the end of his life had a mental breakdown.

Because van der Goes did not sign or date the few paintings of his that survived, scholars have used written records to connect him to certain works. For example, in the mid-1500s the writers Giorgio Vasari and Lodovico Guicciardini referred to a painting by "Hugo of Antwerp" that later scholars identified as van der Goes's 1475 work Adoration of the Shepherds. This huge triptych (three-panel painting) presents a richly colored and detailed scene of the Virgin, Joseph, angels, and shepherds around the Christ child. The highly original composition contains expressive figures, changes in scale, and a remarkable feeling of spatial depth.

(See alsoArt; Art in the Netherlands. )

* guild

association of craft and trade owners and workers that set standards for and represented the interests of its members

* Flemish

relating to Flanders, a region along the coasts of present-day Belgium, France, and the Netherlands

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Goes, Hugo Van Der ca. 1440–1482 Netherlandish Painter

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