Dieric Bouts

The odd one out among the Flemish Primitives

Dieric Bouts (ca. 1410-1475) was one of the most important Flemish Primitives. The Dutch painter moved to Leuven and married the affluent Catharina Van der Brugghen in 1448. He remained in Leuven until his death. While in Leuven, he painted The Last Supper and The Martyrdom of Saint Erasmus, two of Bouts’ most important works. 

Bouts is considered the odd one out among the Flemish Primitives because he consistently avoided any dramatism in his works. Due to his typical style of painting, which exudes an atmosphere of restraint, he was often called ‘the painter of silence’.

In 1472, Bouts was appointed town painter of Leuven, an honorary title. His wife died in 1473, and he remarried a year later. Bouts himself died in 1475, and he was buried beside his first wife in the Franciscan church in Leuven. Both his sons, Dieric and Albrecht, continued their father’s artistic tradition into the 16th century.

Read more about two of Bouts’ most important works

Dirk Bouts

The Last Supper

Dirk Bouts

The Martyrdom of Saint Erasmus