WESEL, Adriaen van
(b. ca. 1417, Utrecht, d. 1499, Utrecht)

Biography

Netherlandish sculptor who lived and worked in his native town Utrecht. He became one of Utrecht's leading citizens, a major figure in the militia and the town council. He is considered to have been one of the principal artists of the Northern Netherlands.

In the second quarter of the 15th century, Utrecht developed into an important centre for sculpture production, exemplified by the limestone figures of saints (ca. 1455) attributed to Jan Nude in Utrecht's Centraal Museum, originally in the cathedral. Other rare survivals from this period include figurative epitaphs and chimney pieces. Utrecht's leading position was intimately linked to the presence within its walls of Adriaen van Wesel. Although aware of developments in other centres such as Brussels, he elaborated a personal style full of courtly elegance and restrained pathos, well suited to small oak groups, such as the remaining fragments of the altarpiece from the cathedral, 's-Hertogenbosch (1475-77, now in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam and the Staatliche Museen, Berlin).