Herri met de Bles
(born in Bouvignes c.
Landscape with the temptation of St Anthony
Panel, 25 cm diameter
Acquired in 1942; inv. 5788
The artists’ biographer Karel van Mander (1604) gave Herri met de Bles (Herri with the blaze) his nickname on account of the white lock of hair on his forehead. He can be identified as Herry de Patinir, possibly a nephew of Joachim Patinir, who became a master of the Guild of St Luke in Antwerp in 1535. Bles must have been in charge of a productive workshop there in the mid-sixteenth century. This makes attributions difficult, all the more so because we know of no signed work and dates are problematic.
Bles painted imaginary landscapes in the tradition of Patinir, as he did here, sometimes with Boschesque motifs.