(b. ca. 1472, Oostzan, d. 1533, Amsterdam)


Self-portrait, 1533

Netherlandish painter and designer. He worked mainly in Amsterdam, where he was the leading designer of woodcuts, liberating the Dutch woodcut from the miniature tradition and giving it a new power and breadth. Comparatively few of his works have been preserved: among the woodcuts is a series illustrating the Passion (1512-17) and among the paintings are a Self-portrait (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 1533) and an Adoration of the Shepherds (Museo de Capodimonte, Naples, 1512) which contains pudgy angels playing toy-like instruments, singing and decorating with garlands an improbable Renaissance manger. Although his work is somewhat provincial, he marks the beginning of the great artistic tradition of Amsterdam, and his keenness of observation was to be one of the trademarks of later Dutch art. Jan van Scorel was his most important pupil. His rather conservative workshop later was run by his painter son, Dirck Jacobsz (c. 1497-1567).