Joachim Patinir
The High Renaissance & Mannerism
Joachim Patinir
Joachim Patinir, Patinir also spelled Patinier, or Patenier (born c. 1485, Bouvignes, near Dinan, Namur—died Oct. 5, 1524, Antwerp), painter, the first Western artist known to have specialized in landscape painting. Little is known of his early life, but his work reflects an early knowledge of the painting of Gerard David, the last of the Early Netherlandish painters. He may have studied under Hieronymus Bosch, the painter of fantastic allegories and landscapes.

Patinir seems to have made a practice of supplying landscape settings for figure compositions painted by other Flemish masters, but the only known example of his collaborations is the “Temptation of St. Anthony” (c. 1520–24; Prado, Madrid), in which Quentin Massys painted the figures. He did not, however, paint pure landscape pictures, and all his work has a nominal religious subject. Its novelty, anticipated in a different vein by Bosch, lay in the fact that the religious motif in such works as the “Flight into Egypt” (1515–20; Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp), the “St. Christopher” (c. 1515–24; Prado, Madrid), and the “St. Jerome” (Prado) was much reduced in scale and immersed in the phenomena of the natural world. The basic elements of his landscape style—the high viewpoint overlooking vast tracts, where earthy brown foregrounds merge into woodland and meadow greens and again into the hazy blues of distant mountains—do not differ from those of his predecessors, particularly Gerard David. Yet the picturesque melancholy with which he invests the woods and rivers and the great ghostly rocks that jut up abruptly in the middle distance of such paintings as his “Baptism of Christ” (c. 1515–20; Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna) and his “Crossing the Styx” (c. 1520–24; Prado) strike a personal note that won Patinir instant success and many imitators. Patinir’s favourite subject was the “Rest on the Flight Into Egypt,” which he depicted in many versions.


Baptism of Christ
Oil on oak, 59,5 x 77 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Crossing the River Styx
Oil on panel, 64 x 103 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

St Christopher Bearing the Christ Child
Oil on panel, 48 x 59,5 cm
Rockox House, Antwerp

Landscape with the Flight into Egypt
c. 1524
Oil on panel, 51 x 96 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Landscape with the Flight into Egypt
Oil on panel, 17 x 21 cm
Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp

Landscape with the Flight into Egypt
Oil on panel, 32 x 58 cm
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

Landscape with the Rest on the Flight
Oil on wood, 68 x 83 cm
Strossmayer Gallery, Zagreb

Landscape with the Rest on the Flight (detail)
Oil on wood
Strossmayer Gallery, Zagreb

Landscape with St John the Baptist Preaching
Oak, 36,5 x 45 cm
Musйes Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels

Rest on the Flight to Egypt
c. 1520
Oil on panel, 121 x 177 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

Rocky Landscape with Saint Jerome
Oil on wood, 47,2 x 37,3 cm
Museum Mayer van den Bergh, Antwerp

St Jerome in the Desert
c. 1520
Oil on wood, 78 x 137 cm
Musйe du Louvre, Paris

Landscape with St Jerome
Oil on panel, 74 x 91 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

St Jerome in Rocky Landscape
c. 1520
Oil on oak, 36,5 x 34 cm
National Gallery, London

Temptation of St Anthony
c. 1515
Oil on panel, 155 x 173 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

c. 1520
Oil on wood, 118 x 81 cm (central), 121 x 36 cm (lateral)
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York