Thanks to the escutcheons and mottoes in their illuminated breviaries, these portraits from c. 1525 have been identified as those of Lieven van Pottelsberghe (1531), councillor and general collector for Flanders under Maximilian I and Charles V, and his wife, Livina van Steelant, descendant of another prominent family from the Waasland region. The maker was probably the Ghent panel painter and illuminator Gerard Horenbout. In the early 16th century, he was in the service of Governess Margaret of Austria, working in the wake of the Flemish Primitives. These are the only paintings that can be attributed to him with any degree of certainty. They are of a very high quality. It is likely that they were the exterior panels of a triptych.
The two rich donors, who were benefactors of Ghent institutions, are accompanied by their guardian angels and their five children. Three sons and one little daughter were already deceased at the time these portraits were made, as indicated by the golden crucifixes between their folded hands.
SizeH: 43 cm
MediumOil on panel