David was born in Oudewater, near Gouda, in c.1460. It is not known under
whom David trained, some scholars think that he was one of Memling’s
apprentices, but others state that the influence of Van
der Weyden and Van der Goes in
his early work is unmistakable.
In 1483, David settled in Bruges, where, in 1484, he became a member of the Bruges Guild of St. Luke. Some scholars think that he visited Italy in about 1511, where he got acquainted with works by Pinturiccio, Mantegna, Pierro della Franchesca and others. For some time he lived in Antwerp where he also became a member of St. Luke Guild and learned the works of Massys and Patinir.
Gerard David's works are mostly compositions on religious topics, which are executed with emotional and warm attitude towards depicted. The painter preferred the genre, everyday interpretation of the religious subject. His great skill in uniting figures and landscape was of great importance for future development of painting in Netherlands. Gerard David had many followers in Bruges, particularly among miniaturists.
The painter died in 1523 in Bruges.
Painting of Europe. XIII-XX centuries. Encyclopedic Dictionary. Moscow. Iskusstvo. 1999.