I Adriaen Isenbrant and the Problem of his Oeuvre Thoughts on Authorship, Style and the Methodology of Connoisseurship JEAN C. WILSON Adrianus Isebrandus Brugensis, Gerardi Davidis pictoris Veteraquensis discipulus fuit, in nudis corporibus, et vultibus humanis delineandis egregius. Sanderus, Flandria illustrata, 1624 Sanderus` could not have known how heavily subsequent authors would rely on his words to define the oeuvre of Adriaen Isenbrant.2 Throughout the late nine- teenth and twentieth centuries, connoisseurs have invoked this description, 'dis- ciple of Gerard David', as a basis for attribution and attempted to link with Isenbrant numerous works evincing a wide variety of Davidian characteristics. Circumstantial evidence is repeatedly offered to support the probability of Sande- rus's assertion: for example, the fact that both painters were active in Bruges and that portions of their periods of activity overlap. However, documentary investi- gations have brought to light no piece of evidence which securely identifies an extant work by this painter, and none of the works currently attributed to Isen- brant bears a signature or even a monogram. In spite of this minimal documentation, an oeuvre for Isenbrant has been assem- bled and currently includes nearly five hundred works of many distinctly different styles.
Oud Holland - Quarterly for Dutch Art History – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1995
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