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Justus of Ghent

active about 1460 - 1480

Justus of Ghent was the best-known Netherlandish painter active in Italy in the 15th century. He was employed at the court of Federico of Montefeltro at Urbino in the early 1470s. His work there was known to the young Raphael.

Justus is recorded as a master in Antwerp in 1460 and from 1464 to 1469 he was active in Ghent. He was in contact there with Hugo van der Goes, who was probably younger than Justus but an important influence on the development of his style.

Justus visited Rome before 1475. At Urbino he apparently headed a studio where he was assisted by other painters, including the Spaniard Pedro Berruguete. The main works he executed there were the altarpiece of the 'Communion of the Apostles', for which Uccello painted the predella (in the Urbino Gallery), and a series of mainly imaginary portraits of famous men for the study of Federico's palace at Urbino.