Economic recession, a stagnating textile market and the departure of international merchants from the city: this is the picture of Bruges during the second half of the sixteenth century. The glorious fifteenth century, the age of the Flemish primitives, is long gone. Despite the city's continuing international prestige, its inhabitants struggle to scrape a living. Inventiveness is order of the day. This applies equally for artists like Pieter Pourbus, the Claeissens family and Marcus Gerards. This exposition focuses on the search for new patrons by these artists and on the marketing choices they were forced to make. Little-known masterpieces will be assembled in an exhibition that offers a powerful image of creativeness in times of hardship.