LOMBARD, Lambert
(b. 1505, Liège, d. 1566, Liège)


Flemish painter, draughtsman, architect, humanist and numismatist. He belonged to the generation of artists who sought to revive Flemish painting by turning to the art of antiquity and the Italian Renaissance. However, because of his northern training, he assimilated his models with difficulty and produced a hesitant form of art, one that was academic and cold. He was nonetheless an important innovator in the Low Countries through his investigation of the forms and compositions of Classical art. He also founded the first academy of art in the Low Countries and was influential through the prime role he accorded to scholarship in the training of the artist. Lombard was active as a designer of prints and as an architect, and seems to have run a large workshop, particularly in his later career. He was enormously influential on the development of art in Liège in the 16th Century, and his resolutely classicizing anti-primitive taste established a tradition which lasted in Liège throughout the following century as well.

His masterpiece is the celebrated altarpiece panels for the Saint-Denis retable done circa 1533. (The panels are currently divided between the church of Saint-Denis and the Musée de l'Art Wallon, in Liège, and the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Brussels). Apart from the Saint-Denis panels, very few paintings by him are known.