- Orley, Bernard van
- (ca. 1491-1542)The most celebrated of 16th-century painters in Brussels, Bernard van Orley was born about 1491. Although he is known to have traveled to Italy in the early 1500s, the earliest documented account of his life begins in 1515, the year he established himself in Brussels, where he 1ived in a house along the Senne River near the church of Saint-Géry.He shared with Jean Gossaert in the work of painting portraits of the children of Philip I, including the future Charles V. In 1518, he was named court painter by Margaret of Austria, a post he held under her successor Mary of Hungary as well. Portraits of court personages constituted a staple in his corpus and he also completed a number of sketches for tapestries. Considered the greatest exponent of the Italian style in tapestry painting, Orley made The Legend of Notre-Dame du Sablon (1516-1518) and the series titled Honneurs (Honors) created for Emperor Charles V in 1520. In his last years, he designed cartoons for stained-glass windows, including four in the Chapelle du Saint-Sacrement in the Cathédrale des Saints-Michel-et-Gudule. His work shows the influence of Raphael and also of Albrecht Dürer, who visited Orley twice in Brussels and who painted his portrait in July 1521.On 4 May 1527, Orley was brought before the Inquisition in Leuven on a charge of welcoming reformed preachers into his home. He died in Brussels on 6 January 1542. He signed few of his works. Those that do carry his signature include the triptych Tribulation of Job.
Historical Dictionary of Brussels. Paul F. State.