MASTER of the Legend of Saint Ursula (I)
(active 1480-1500 in Bruges)


Flemish painter. The artist was named by Friedländer after the altarpiece of eight panels illustrating the Legend of St Ursula, with two additional panels showing The Church and The Synagogue (before 1482; all Bruges, Groeninge Museum), formerly in the convent of the Augustinian Black Sisters in Bruges. Among several surviving portraits, the Portrait of a Donor (c. 1479; Philadelphia, Museum of Art) apparently portrays Lodovico Portinari; it was originally part of a diptych, accompanied by a Virgin and Child (Cambridge, Fogg Art Museum). Among important surviving works, the Virgin and Child with Three Donors (Antwerp, Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten) is dated 1486.

A number of the paintings include depictions of the city of Bruges and may be dated to before 1483 or between 1493 and 1499, depending on the state of the belfry, which underwent additions and alterations at these times. The artist's style is apparently derived from Rogier van der Weyden but also shows the influence of Hans Memling. Many of the Master's works were formerly attributed to Hugo van der Goes. The central panel of the triptych of the Nativity (c. 1495-1500; Detroit, Institute of Art) shows the influence of Memling's compositions, while the left wing indicates a knowledge of the Visitation panels (Leipzig, Museum der bildenden Künste, and Turin, Galleria Sabauda) that have been attributed to Rogier van der Weyden.