REYMERSWALE, Marinus van
(b. ca. 1490, Reymerswale, d. ca. 1567, Reymerswale)


Marinus van Reymerswale was a painter of three themes, all more or less caricatural. He painted a number of straightforward S. Jeromes, all derived from Dürer's picture of 1521 (Lisbon) but stressing the crabbedness of scholarship. The other two themes are interdependent: two exceedingly ugly and covetous Tax Gatherers and a Banker and his Wife (the banker counting his profits). The Banker is closely related to Massys's picture of the same subject, and it may be that the Tax Gatherers derive from Massys's borrowings from the caricatures of Leonardo da Vinci.

There are about thirty versions of the Tax Gatherers (the best is in London, National Gallery; another has the date 1552), and what nobody has so far explained is why so many people should want to own a picture of tax collectors (and excessively ugly ones at that) gloating over their imposts. There are also examples in the British Royal Collection and in Antwerp, Berlin, Ghent, Madrid, Munich and Vienna.