barber institute of fine arts
university of birmingham

Truly Bright and Memorable: Jan de Beer’s Renaissance Altarpieces

Famed in his lifetime and for several generations after his death for his stylish and elegant paintings, Antwerp’s Jan de Beer (c. 1475 – 1527/28) created dazzling altarpieces that appealed to churches at home and abroad, copyists, patrons and collectors.

However, his star subsequently waned until the early 20th century, when experts and connoisseurs began to re-evaluate his significance. De Beer’s known oeuvre now comprises about 40 works, principally devotional paintings and triptychs, but also drawings and a stained-glass window.

This exhibition – the latest in the Barber’s ‘Masterpiece in Focus’ series – focuses on the Barber’s own double-sided altarpiece featuring The Nativity and the Apocryphal tale of Joseph and the Suitors, and brings together for the first time all his paintings and drawings from public and private collections in Britain.


Image credit: Jan de Beer and assistant, ‘Adoration of the Magi’, c. 1515 © Private collection

Fra Bartolommeo (1472-1517)

An Italian Town (recto), A Farm Among Trees (verso)

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BSL Exhibition Tour

Saturday 9 November, 1 - 3pm

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Talks and Tea: in Search of the Three Magi

Saturday 7 December, 1.30 - 4.30pm

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Agostino Carracci (1557-1602)

Ecce Homo