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Master of the Saint Bartholomew Altarpiece

active about 1470 to about 1510

The Saint Bartholomew Master (or Master of the Saint Bartholomew Altarpiece) is named after the painting from the church of St Colomba, Cologne (now in the Alte Pinakothek, Munich), which shows Saint Bartholomew accompanied by Saint Agnes and Saint Cecilia. His real name is not known.

The painting was probably made about 1505-10. The panel of 'Saints Peter and Dorothy' in the National Gallery may have been the left wing of this altarpiece.

The Saint Bartholomew Master was the leading painter in Cologne in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. Two other altarpieces by the Master survive at Cologne, and there are many smaller religious paintings and some portraits attributed to him. Like Stephan Lochner, his famous predecessor in Cologne, the Saint Bartholomew Master was deeply influenced by Netherlandish painting, particularly that of Rogier van der Weyden. His style is characterised by its expressive figures and by its distinctive use of ornament as a means of expression.