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Herri Met de Bles biography

Facts about Herri de Patinir or Herri Met de Bles life

Bles was a mysterious character in the Flemish art. He was related to Joachim Patinir. Bles joined St Luke’s Guild at Antwerp in 1535. Karel van Mander wrote much about him; he spent much time and effort on his paintings. They were mostly small in size with tiny trees, rocks, towns and people.
Bles was nicknamed “painter of owls” since most of his pictures had a small owl, concealed; so much so the viewers often bade who would find it first and spent spent a lot of time on this.

Bles adapted Leonardo da Vinci’s instructions to create depth in landscape and, how distant objects disappear in light mist; eg St John on Patmos.
“Procession to Golgotha” belongs to this category of tragic gospel episodes. Bles has presented a splendid ceremonial procession of “Adoration of the Magi’. It is so mystifying that it appears the evangelism is utilized for the sake of the landscape.

Bles, along with his uncle Joachim Patinir did many works in distinct northern Renaissance style; landscapes combined with history or religious subjects into well defined compositions with atmospheric effects. He continued the tradition of fantastic imagery into Northern Mannerism. For this he worked with a group of Bosch’s followers in Antwerp that included Jan Mandyn, Pieter Huys and Jan Wellens de Cock. Not much information is available about his life time and his end.


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Herri Met de Bles
(c. 1480/1500-1550/60)

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