Joos van Cleve (c. 1480-1540/41) set up a major painting workshop in Antwerp at the beginning of the sixteenth century. It flourished, in no small part due to his business instincts and leadership skills. The city’s international role in trade and the arts and the contacts between his clients made Van Cleve famous at home and abroad.
Van Cleve’s oeuvre runs to more than 300 works. He and his assistants produced portraits, devotional panels and altarpieces. Those paintings served as a source of inspiration for other artists, who tried to hitch a ride and share in his success.