Painter, master builder, architect, block-cutter, commercial artist, draughtsman, humanist, technologist and canon
"Jan van Scorel was born on 1st August 1495 in Schoorl near Alkmaar. After attending the Latin school in Alkmaar, he probably received his first training in Cornelis Buys' studio there. He started an apprenticeship with Jacob Cornelisz. van Oostsanen in Amsterdam in 1512. In 1519 Van Scorel went on an extensive wandering, which led him via Cologne, Strasbourg and Nuremberg to Carinthia. It was here that the so-called ""Clan Altar"", dated from 1520, was created and is still located in Obervellach today. In autumn 1520 the painter travelled to the Holy Land. In the middle of the following year Van Scorel returned to Italy. After studying mainly contemporary Venetian painting, he went to Rome, where he intensively studied antiquity and the works of Raphael and Michelangelo. At the beginning of 1522, Pope Hadrian IV, who was originally from Utrecht, appointed Van Scorel as the new supervisor of the papal collection of antiquities in the Belvedere. After the pope's death in September 1523, Jan van Scorel returned to the Netherlands, where he settled in Utrecht in 1524. Still provided by Hadrian IV with the right to a canon's position in Utrecht, he there became first vicar, then canon at St. Jan's Church, since 1528 at St. Mary's Church. From 1527 to 1529 Van Scorel lived and worked in Haarlem. As a result he remained − apart from shorter journeys − in Utrecht, where he died on 6th December 1562.
Following his education in the Netherlands, Jan van Scorel initially followed the usual paths of Dutch art of the early 16th century. His clan altar in Obervellach in Carinthia makes this clear: although there are already individual Italian Renaissance elements used here, the painter's style is essentially still in the tradition of the 15th century. Only his direct contact with and intensive examination of contemporary Italian art led to a decisive and lasting change in Van Scorel's artistic expression, as the Lokhorst Altar at the Centraal Museum in Utrecht, created around 1526, shows. After his return to the Netherlands, he played a decisive role in spreading the Italian High Renaissance ideas there."