BRUYN, Barthel the Elder
(b. 1493, Cologne, d. 1555, Cologne)


Barthel (Bartholomäus) Bruyn the Elder was a German painter in Cologne, chiefly of portraits. His religious works are much influenced Netherlandish painters of the late 15th century, and his portraits, which are grimly realistic representations of unaristocratic sitters, are very close to those of Joos van Cleve. In 1515-16 he is documented as a painter of altarpieces, and the Xanten Altar was commissioned in 1529. His career, 1515-55 invites parallels with Holbein and Lucas van Leyden, although a beautiful Nativity of 1516 (Frankfurt) is closer to Geertgen.