Metsys, Or Messys, Quintin Matsys, a Flemish painter, born in Louvain about 1460, or according to some authorities in Antwerp in 1450, died in Antwerp about 1530. He was brought up as a blacksmith, in which trade he continued until about his 20th year, when, according to the popular story, he became enamored of a painter's daughter, and to win her hand forsook the anvil for the easel. He painted in the hard style of the early Flemish masters, colored highly, and was distinguished for minuteness of finish and force of expression, particularly in religious subjects; although elsewhere he exhibits a cheerful conception of life, and occasionally considerable humor. His chief work is the great altarpiece in the museum at Antwerp, consisting of a centre and two wings; in the former is represented the "Descent from the Cross," of which Sir Joshua Reynolds says: "There are heads in this picture not exceeded by Raphael;" the latter are devoted to incidents in the history of St John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist. The artist received but 300 florins for this work; but Philip II. subsequently endeavored in vain to purchase it, and Elizabeth of England is said to have offered 64,000 florins for it.
One of his best authenticated works is that in Windsor castle known as " The Misers," of which several repetitions are in existence. The heads are painted in a masterly manner. About 70 pictures are ascribed to him, and these are widely distributed throughout the chief galleries of Europe, and are highly prized.