(c. 1399-1464) The outstanding Netherlandish painter of the mid-15th century. He was one of the greatest and most influential European artists of his time, but there is little secure knowledge about his career. None of the surviving paintings associated with him are signed, dated, or verified by indisputable contemporary documentation, but several can be identified from early sources, and the style these show is so distinctive that a coherent oeuvre has been built up around them His early career, however, is still a particularly problematic area, as the sparse evidence relating to it is teasingly equivocal.
Rogier's reputation rests mainly on his religious works, which are remarkable for their magisterial power of design and their emotional intensity and sensitivity. He was know to have felt and expressed emotions and sensations - mostly of a bitter or bittersweet nature-that no painter had ever recaptured.
He had many assistants and pupils and ran a busy workshop. His pictures were exported to France, Germany, Spain and Italy (where he was one of the few northern artists of the time to be highly regarded), and many of the types and motifs he invented or popularized became part of the common currency of artistic ideas until well into the 16th century. He is also known as Rogier of Bruges. (Ian Chilvers)