CLEVE, Joos van
(b. ca. 1485, Antwerpen, d. 1540, Antwerpen)

Portrait of a Man and Woman

1520 and 1527
Oil on wood, 57 x 42 cm (each)
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Known for a long time as the Master of the Death of the Virgin, from one of the first important works he executed, Joos van Cleve is mentioned for the first time in 1511 when he became a member of the corporation of Antwerp painters.

A talented and highly esteemed portraitist, he was chosen to paint the portraits of Francis I of France, his wife Eleonora of Austria, the Emperor Maximilian and the young Henry VIII.

The diptych of the Uffizi, which represents the portrait of an unknown man and woman, was once thought to be o self-portrait of Quentin Massys and his wife. Later its author was identified as the Master of the Death of the Virgin, Joos van Cleve.