UNKNOWN MASTER, Flemish
(active around 1500 in Antwerp)
Portrait of the Artist and his Wife1496
Oil on panel, 38 x 26 cm
Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp
Few of the worldly paintings of the 15th century have survived intact. An interesting example of this type of painting is the double portrait by an unknown master referred to as the Master of Frankfurt. Despite his misleading title, the artist in question was an anonymous master working in Antwerp. His Portrait of the Artist and his Wife is one of the first profane double portraits in the art of the Southern Netherlands. All that now survives is the centrepiece of what was originally a triptych, which is evident from the shape of the panel and the traces of hinges which are still visible. The date 1496 and the age of the subjects - 36 and 27 respectively - are given at the bottom.