Colijn de Coter was an early Netherlandish painter who produced mainly altarpieces. He worked primarily in Brussels and Antwerp. His name was sometimes given as Colijn van Brusele (Colijn of Brussels), indicating that he hailed from Brussels or at the least lived there most of his active life. He also signed several paintings with Coliin de Coter pinxit me in Brabancia Bruselle ("Colijn de Coter painted me in Brussels in the region of Brabant").
De Coter was born around 1440–1445. This can be deduced from a 1479 document in the Brussels archives, naming him as a husband, painter and tenant of a house; in other words, he must have already reached adulthood in that year. Another document, dating from 1483, refers to him as Colijn van Brusele (Colijn of Brussels). This document states that he had registered with the Guild of Saint Luke in Antwerp and decorated a vault in the chapel of that guild in the Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp. The archives of the Brussels Brotherhood of Saint Eloy list three payments to Colijn de Coter in 1509–1511 for painting a church tabernacle. From the archives of this brotherhood, we can also deduce that the painter's death probably fell somewhere in the period 1522–1532.
Although unproven, art historians believe Colijn de Coter headed an influential workshop with a number of pupils. This conclusion is based on the diversity in style and quality of the work attributed to him. The Leiden painter Cornelis Engebrechtsz. may have been one of his pupils.
Contracts survive for two lost works by de Coter one dated 1493 for the decoration of a vault of a chapel and the other dated 1509–10 for the commission for the church tabernacle mentioned above. While the dates of these documents mark the known boundaries of his active period, his surviving work shows that this period more likely spanned from the years 1480 to 1525. Three signed paintings are known: St Luke Painting the Virgin in the parish church of Vieure, Cosne d’Allier, the altarpiece of the Trinity (Paris, Louvre) and the Virgin Crowned by Angels (Düsseldorf, private collection). These works are the basis for the attributions of other works to this artist.