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Joachim Patinir

active 1515; died not later than 1524

Patinir was a pioneer of specialist landscape painting. He was from Dinant, but spent his short career in Antwerp, where he is first recorded in 1515. His compositions fall into two basic types: the panoramic landscape, and that in which the view is partially blocked by a tall rock formation. Patinir seems to have been closely associated with Quinten Massys, who had moved to Antwerp when the town began to supersede Bruges as the economic centre of the Netherlands. Massys apparently supplied figures for some of Patinir's landscapes; after Patinir's premature death Massys became the guardian of his two daughters.

Patinir's landscapes recall the background landscapes in the work of contemporary Netherlandish painters like Gerard David. Although they are still populated with figures enacting a specific story, often from the Bible or the lives of the saints, the figures are usually small and the landscapes assume increasing importance. His panoramic landscapes influenced Bruegel.