Hans Bol
Flemish, 1534-1593
Collected by a major museum
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

One of the most successful Flemish landscapists of the 16th century, Hans Bol is best known for his intricately detailed watercolor miniatures, depicting mythical, allegorical, or biblical scenes that fuse naturalism with artifice. Apprenticed at the age of 14 to a painter of Waterschilderen—a method of painting large-scale watercolor or tempera scenes onto canvas—Bol also learned from his two painter uncles. When his own large watercolors were widely copied, Bol dedicated himself to miniatures, also producing works in oil, illuminated manuscripts, drawings, and engravings. His most famous work, Landscape with the Fall of Icarus (c. 1580), takes as its theme the story from Ovid’s Metamorphosis, which Bol returned to in his work on several occasions.

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