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Hieronymus Bosch’s works demonstrate his accomplished mastery of oil painting, as well as his ability to evoke a sinister and fantastical world. His paintings contrast with more orthodox devotional works by his contemporaries from the Northern Netherlands, also shown here, for which there was constant demand.

Gerard David spent most of his working life in Bruges, and his delicately beautiful images of the Virgin, combined with his richly illusionistic depiction of textiles, follow the tradition established by earlier artists such as Jan van Eyck. David was also a highly innovative and skilful painter of landscape.

Quinten Massys was the leading painter in Antwerp. From his large workshop, he produced portraits and devotional pictures noted for their subtle colouring and the graceful idealisation of the figures. These are very different from his satirical works such as An Old Woman, in which the ugly and grotesque are offered up for our horror or amusement.