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The Flemish school of painting 

3 1924 008 751 194 



Principal of the National Art Training School, South Kensingto7i 

; ,^ r~{l, 1- 



Flemish School 


Ouvrage Couronne par I'Academie Roy ale de 



Mrs. henry ROSSEL. 


1885. f.^ 

[all eights reserved.] 

,.,.111 1\ >^ 











Introduction i 

Jirst ^trioK. 
Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries. 
I. Origin of' Flemish Painting .... 13 

StconB ^nio». 

Fifteenth Century. — Gothic School. 

11. The Van Eycks — Discovery of Painting in Oil 33 

III. Roger Van der Weyden and his Contem- 

poraries 52 

IV. The Followers of Van per Weyden . . 66 

V. Hans Memling and his Followers ... 84 

VI. The Guild of St. Luke of Antwerp, and 


VII. Influence exercised abroad by the School of 

Bruges ........ 105 

Sri&irt ^ttiolf. 
Sixteenth Century. — The Romanists. 
VIII. Antwerp in the Sixteenth Century . . 115 

IX. The Last Gothic Painters 120 

X. The National Painters 130 

XI. Bernard Van Orley and the Romanists in 

Brussels and Mechlin 146 

XII. Lambert Lombard and the Romanists at Liege 154 

XIII. Frans Floris and the Romanists in Antwerp 157 

XIV. Peter Breughel the Elder . . . .170 
XV. The Flemish Painters Abroad . . . .177 


Seventeenth Century.— Rubens and his School, 

XVI. The Forerunners of Rubens . . . 199 


XVII. Peter Paul Rubens . . . • 
XVIII. Van Dyck and the Pupils of Rubens 
XIX. Jordaens and the Painters of History 

XX. Cornelius De Vos and the Portrait Painters 274 

XXI. Snyders, Fyt, and the Painters of Animals 
XXII. Teniers and the Painters of Genre 
XXIII. The Painters of Batile Scenes 
XXIV. The Landsc:ape Painters 
XXV. The Painters of Still Life 
XXVI. The Grandsons of Rubens . 
XXVII. The Flemish Painters Abroad . 




Eighteenth Century. 
XXVIII. Fall of the .School . . ... 381 

Nineteenth Centmy. — The Belgian School. 

XXIX. The Classical and the Romantic Painters . 389 
XXX. Appendix. — Chronological REsume from 1851 

TO 1884 403 

Index of Painters mentioned in this Book . . 417 











Van der Weyden 

Metsys or Massys . 

Claeis or Claessens 

Van Cl6ve or Van Cleef 

Van Coninxloo 

Van Orley 

Coxie or Van Coxcyen 


Franck or Francken 

De Vos and de Witte 

Key .... 



Ryckaert . 

Breughel and Van Kes5el 

Peeters .... 

Van Bredael or Van Breda 










Geographical distribution of a portion of the \vorks 
of the principal Flemish Masters of the Six- 
teenth Century 379 

The Flemish 
School of Painting. 


Flemish Art has been in a condition of almost 
continuous change for the last six centuries It is 
vast in extent and multifarious in character ; and, 
innumerable as are its masterpieces, all bear alike the 
stamp of originality. It is, in truth, the intellectual 
flower of the nation. " It is intimately connected 
with the national life," says M. Henri Taine, "and 
has its origin in the national character itself" 

In accordance with the theories of the eminent 
author of the Philosophie de I'Art aux Pays Bas, 
which commend themselves to our judgment, we 
divide the history of Flemish painting into six 
great periods, each of which corresponds to a dis- 
tinct historical epoch. "Just as each important 
geological change brings with it its own animal and 
floral life, so each great transformation of society 
and intellect generates new ideals." 

The first period of Flemish Art commences not 


long before the fourteenth century. This was the 
age of Van Artevelde— the heroic and tragic era in 
the history of Flanders. The communes were then 
at the zenith of their greatness and power, and the 
guilds had organised themselves into military bodies, 
and commenced their ceaseless struggle for liberty. 

Alike in Ghent, in Bruges, in Ypres, in Brussels, 
in Louvain, and in Li6ge, the deep-rooted energy of 
the people prompted them to efforts of the utmost 
daring ; and it was in the midst of these populous 
and turbulent, yet prosperous cities, that the first 
guilds of illuminators, painters, and modellers, were 
formed. Art seemed to spring up from the soil 
unaided, and showed itself even in the rude frescoes 
and in the simple paintings which princes, cor- 
porations, and monastic orders, purchased from 
the earliest artists to adorn the walls of their palaces, 
their town-halls, or their chapels. But these anony- 
mous works were soon succeeded by the paintings 
of Jehan de Bruges, an artist in the service of the 
King of France ; of Jehan de Hasselt, painter to 
the Count of Flanders ; of Jehan de Woluwe, painter 
to the Dukes of Brabant ; and of Melchior Broederlam, 
the painter to the Duke of Burgundy. Art only 
required a favourable opportunity to enable it to 
burst into life, and this opportunity had now come. 
In 1419 Philip the Good commenced his magnificent 
reign : it proved to be the dawn of a new epoch. 

The second period extends over the whole of the 
fifteenth century and somewhat beyond. It was the 


immediate result of a great development in the 
prosperity, wealth, and intellect of the country. 
Christian Art now shone forth, realistic and true 
to nature in its outer forms, though still mystical 
and austere in spirit. Faith still existed, and the 
primitive devotion was as deep as ever, but the 
general spirit was altered : the picturesque age had 
succeeded the symbolic. Artists had become inter- 
ested in nature : they studied anatomy, landscape, 
perspective, architecture, accessories ; their works 
glorified the actual life of the present as well as the 
life to come. Their pictures, which were chiefly in- 
tended for altars and oratories, represented none but 
religious subjects, yet they told of the pomp, the 
elegance, the unparalleled magnificence of the time of 
the Dukes of Burgundy. This was the epoch of the 
great Jean Van Eyck, of his brother Hubert, of Van 
der Weyden, Van der Goes, Cristus, Bouts, Memling, 
Gheerardt David, Jerome Bosch, and of Quentin 

The day was to come when these masters of 
Flemish Gothic Art, like the harbingers of the Re- 
naissance in Italy, would cast all else into oblivion. 

The third period comprises the sixteenth century. 
The Low Countries passed over to Germany by the 
marriage of Mary of Burgundy with Maximilian of 
Austria, and by the union of Philippe le Beau with 
Jeanne of Aragon they were united to Spain. Mar- 
guerite of Austria and Charles V. were both born in 
the Netherlands — Marguerite in Bruges, Charies in 
B 2 


Ghent— they were both national in spirit, and both suc- 
ceeded in winning for themselves a certain popularity. 

As the frontiers extended, so did the domain of 
intellectual and material activity. The public mind 
was enlarged, and free investigation helped it to shake 
off its former ecclesiastical tutelage. Public wealth 
was great and commerce prosperous, while political 
relations, as they became more and more extensive, 
brought to the North the taste and the models of 
the South. 

Fable and allegory began to mingle with reli- 
gious tradition, and called forth a new sphere of Art. 
Just as Italy had once accepted the artistic yoke 
of Greece, so the Low Countries, subdued by the 
illustrious masters and gigantic works of Italy, sub- 
mitted to their enchanting power. The national Art 
suffered fatally from foreign influence, and Bruges 
and Antwerp were deserted for Florence and Rome. 

The first to depart was Jean Gossaert, in 1508. 
Bernard Van Orley, Lambert Lombard, Pierre Coucke, 
Michel Coxie, Franz Floris, Barth^l^my Sprangher, 
Martin de Vos, the Franckens, Van Mander, Denis 
Calvaert, and Otho Voenius, followed him. 

But in Italy the Flemish school became completely 
disorganised, and all these " Romanists " lost the 
qualities they possessed without acquiring those they 
lacked. They did not give to Art any striking works, 
and their pictures are curious only from an historical 
point of view. Nevertheless, in spite of the despotic 
rule of fashion, the truly national temperaments still 
survived, as we shall find if, discarding religious 


subjects for a moment, we turn to three styles which, 
thanks to the earnest study and imitation of Nature, 
escaped the general contagion. 

In portraiture the Flemish inheritance remained 
clearly established, though at times it was slightly 
encroached upon. Pourbus the elder, Martin de Vos, 
Joost Van Cl^ve, Geldorp, Neuchatel, Adrian Key 
Jean Vermeyen, Congnet^ and Marc Geerarts^ proudly 
maintained that inheritance. 

Landscape and genre, now appearing for the first 
time, remained unimpaired by any foreign alloy. 
The love of life, real and national life, such as our 
eyes see, burst forth everywhere — now gorgeous and 
ostentatious, now active, fantastic, or humorous, but 
always sincere. Paul Bril, Giles Van Coninxloo, Bles, 
and Gasselj on the one hand, Peter Breughel the elder 
— a master — the Van Valkenborgs, and Beuckelaer on 
the other, supply the intermediate but wholly Flemish 
chain, which unites Cristus and Jerome Bosch to 
Teniers, Brauwer, de Vadder, and d'Arthois. A trans- 
formation of Art, as of public taste, was now imminent, 
the only motive power required being an event capable 
of stirring the national character into resuming its 

This eventwas the great political and religious revo- 
lution of 1 572, which lasted during the latter part of 
the reign of Philip II. until the arrival in Brussels, 
in 1598, of the Archduke Albert and his consort 
Isabel. The Spanish Low Countries were then con- 
stituted an independent state. 

The fourth period comprises the birth as well as 


the culmination of the school which bears the illus- 
trious name of Rubens, and occupies the greater part 
of the seventeenth century. 

The worst time was now passed : the Spanish fury- 
was calmed ; the massacres of the Duke of Alva were 
at an end, and emigration had ceased ; the Inquisition 
relaxed its iron grasp, and the ancient despotism 
began to give way. Order appeared re-established, 
and the necessity for peace was paramount. The 
Government, too, had become almost national, and 
Albert and Isabel eagerly sought for popularity ; they 
received and welcomed artists and men of letters, 
and colleges and universities once more flourished. 
Religion itself was also transformed : once mystical 
and ascetic, it was now accommodating and pagan ; 
the churches were worldly, the priests lax and 
tolerant. In a word, tranquillity had been restored, 
and, compared with past years, the present was calm 
and the future hopeful. 

Art was destined to express this return to life, 
joy, and prosperity. After the active generation which 
had suffered under Philip, appeared the poetical 
generation, which was to realise its ideal under 
Isabel. A few years more and the outburst became 
general. One name, one of the most illustrious in 
the whole history of art, personifies it — Rubens. 

Rubens' genius comprehended all nature, and 
embraced it \\ith a spontaneous, impetuous, and 
irresistible grasp ; his gorgeous style, at once 
Christian and Pagan, real and ideal, manifested 
exuberant and triumphant joy. Under the impulse 


of his marvellous power the nation, cheered and re- 
vived once more, gave to the world the spectacle 
of a wonderful artistic exuberance. A throng of 
great artists, various in their styles of painting, rose 
throughout the whole country ; and the similarity 
of their talents exhibits at once the spirit of the 
age and the influence of the master. In Antwerp 
there lived Jordaens, Van Dyck, Snyders, Fyt, the 
de Vos, Teniers, the Breughels, de Crayer, Gonzales 
Coques, Quellyn, Seghers, Rombouts, Schut, Van 
Utrecht, Van Hoecke, Peeters, and the Huysmans ; 
in Brussels, Meert, Sallaert, Duchastel, De Vadder, 
d'Arthois ; in Mechlin, Biset, Peter Franchoys, and 
Smeyers ; in Bruges, the Van Oosts ; in Ghent, Jean 
Van Cleve ; and in Li^ge, Douffet and Fl^malle ; while 
elsewhere there were Brauwer and Craesbecke. Nor 
were these all ; such profusion did not exhaust all 
the sap of the country, but sent its blossoms 
abroad. Thus, in France we find Pourbus, Chani- 
paigne. Van der Meulen, and Boel ; in England, 
Van Somer and Sieberechts ; in Austria, Francis 
Luycx ; and in Italy, Suttermans, Jean Miel, and 
Lievin M^hus. With the exception of the Italian 
Renaissance, the history of painting records no 
artistic movement surpassing this in splendour, 
and none to equal it, unless it be the school of 

After Albert's death the country again fell un- 
der the withering yoke of Spain. The treaty of 
Westphalia, which closed the Scheldt, effected the 
ruin of Antwerp to the benefit of Amsterdam ; 


and after 1660 the illustrious generation gradually 
died out. The nation, which had been stirred for 
a short time, again relapsed, and its Renaissance, 
though brilliant at the outset, produced no further 

The fifth period commences just before the 
eighteenth century, and with it fell the night — the 
dark and long night — of decay. 

Within the Belgian provinces, which had now 
become the battle-field of Europe, war never ceased to 
rage, and the Spanish, the French, the Dutch, the 
English, and the Germans, occupied in turns these 
devastated territories, which were finally ceded to 
the Empire by the treaty of Utrecht, 1713. But so 
many different rules and such continual suffering 
had enfeebled the national energies and the national 

Under Charles II. of Spain, art still maintained 
itself, though not without a struggle. A great- 
grandson of Van Dyck, Jean Van Orley, essayed his 
talent in portraiture, but with little result ; and under 
Charles VI., Maria Theresa, and Joseph II. of Austria, 
the art of painting gradually died out. The last 
great-grandson of Rubens, Peter Verhaegen, painted 
some church decorations, but these were the last faint 
glimmerings of a dying art. 

When the soldiers of the Convention invaded the 
Austrian Netherlands, Flemish art was no more, and 
it was not given to the Republic, to the Emperor 
Napoleon, or to King William, to revive it. 


The Revolution of 1830, which at last made 
Belgium an independent kingdom, opens the sixth 
and last period. With liberty, prosperity returned, 
and art flourished anew. The French school, which 
had so long been in the background, at once made a 
bold effort, and gained the first place. 

Belgium, wrested from Austria, and deeply stirred 
with twenty years of active union with France, could 
not remain indifferent to the successes of Parisian art. 
The fame of David and the classical school, of G6n- 
cault, Delaroche, and the romantic school, of Courbet 
and the realistic school, had resounded in the very 
birthplace of Rubens itself. Their enthusiasm awoke 
the national art, inspired it with new ardour, and 
made it fruitful. Since 1.830 the neo-Flemish school 
has gradually gained in strength; since 1855 the 
Flemish artists have successfully participated in all 
the great international competitions called into ex- 
istence by the cosmopolitism of the age. 

Whether the present is only a period of transition 
for which a more brilliant development is reserved, 
the future alone can decide. But even now we may 
assert without fear of contradiction that the Belgian 
school of the nineteenth century will be a worthy 
successor of its elder sisters. 

History must record the talent of such men as 
Navez, Wappers, Gallait, Leys, Madou, the brothers 
Stevens, Fourmois, Verlat, De Winne, Clays, Bou- 
langer, Verwee, Henri de Braekeleer, Agneessens, 
Hermans, Emile Wauters. 

These are the principal epochs in the history of 


Flemish painting, and the circumstances which con- 
nect its birthplace with the various phases of its 
development, and these, too, are the principal names 
which for six centuries have sustained its glory among 
the records of art. 

The historians of the sixteenth and seventeenth 
centuries — Guicciardini, Van Vaernewyck, de Bie, and 
especially Carl Van Mander — have left us biographies 
of illustrious artists, with descriptions and criticisms 
of their works, which must always be consulted with 
advantage. But it was not till the nineteenth century 
that the task was seriously undertaken of giving more 
exact and complete descriptions of Flemish art by the 
study and examination of the communal archives, the 
parish registers, the accounts of ancient corporations, 
and the treasures of museums, churches, palaces, and 
private collections. Therefore, having here recalled 
the great historical periods of the national art and 
the names which call forth its glorious recollections, 
we have still the proud duty of mentioning those 
devoted men, who, for the last forty years, have 
worked with so much perseverance, erudition, and 
noble curiosity, in rebuilding the true history of so 
illustrious an artistic past. 

Schayes, F6tis, Alphonse Wauters, Pinchart, 
Ruelens, and Henri Hymans, in Brussels ; de Busscher, 
in Ghent; James Weale, in Bruges; Van Even, in 
Louvain ; Siret, in Saint-Nicholas ; Helbig, in 
Liege ; Neeffs, in Mechlin ; Van L6rius, G^nard, de 
Burbure, Max Rooses, and Van den Branden, in 
Antwerp ; finally, Passavant, Hotho, Waagen, Nagler 


Forster, Riegel, Schlie, Kramm, Crowe and Caval- 
caselle, de Laborde, Armand Baschet, Burger, De- 
haisne, Paul Mantz, and Guiffreyj abroad, have brought 
to light many manuscripts and paintings, revealed 
many previously unnoticed facts, and rectified many 

The author does not profess to record in this book 
the history of the great national school of art in 
Flanders : all he wishes is to sketch out a plan ; to 
allot to great names and works their true position ; 
to condense the labours of his predecessors ; and to 
make his readers conversant with the most recent 

If he may claim any merit, it is that he has seen the 
pictures he attempts to describe, and that, having 
studied as well as seen them, he has desired to render 
more popular than ever the names of the artists and 
of their masterpieces, and thus to produce a work 
which did not exist before — a manual of the history 
of Flemish painting. 

Works consulted: — Carl Van Mander : Het Schilder-boeck, Haarlem, 
1604, in 8vo. — Kramm : De levens en werken der Hollandsche en 
Vlaamsche Kimstchilders. Amsterdam, 1856 — 63. 6 vol. and app. 
large in 8vo. — Crowe and Cavalcaselle : The Early Flemish Painters, 
London, 1879. I vol. in 8vo. — Waagen : Handbook of Paintifg in the 
German, Flemish, and Dutch Schools. London, i860. 2 vols, in Svo. 
— Histoire des peintrcs de ioutes les holes, published under the editorship 
of Charles Blanc. Paris, 1 864. — Michiels : Histoire de la peinture 
fiamande. Paris, 1865 — 78. II vols, in Svo. — Catalogue du Musk 
d^Anvers. 1S74. I vol. in 8vo. — Rooses : Geschiedenis de Antwerpsche 
schilderschool. Antwerp, 1879, large in 8vo. — Siret : Dictionnaire des 


Peintres. Louvain, i88i — 83. 2 vols, large in 8vo. — Van den Branden : 
Geschiedenis der Antwerpsche schilderschool. Antwerp, 1878 — 83, in 
8vo. — Biographic NationaU, published by the Royal Academy of 
Belgium. Brussels, 1866, in 8vo. (In course of publication.) — 
Nagler-Meyer : Algamine Kiinstler-Lexikon. Leipzig, 1872, in 8vo. 
(ditto). — Woltman and Woermann : Geschichle der Malerei. Leipzig, 
1878, in 8vo. (ditto). 






About twenty years ago the history of Flemish 
painting was considered to open with the fifteenth 
century and the biography of the brothers van Eyck. 
They were regarded as having revealed an art which, 
like Minerva, issuing ready armed from the forehead 
of Jupiter, had sprung up in Bruges ripe and virile at 
its birth, and asserted itself on the spot by imperish- 
able works. 

Since that period the historian has peered further 
into the misty past ; unknown paths have been ex- 
plored and discoveries made which unveil before us 
the labours of a whole century and a long series of 
artists worthy of fixing the attention of historians and 
lovers of art. 



The oldest known Flemish pictures date from the 
thirteenth century, and adorn the walls of the hospital 
of the Byloque at Ghent* They are frescoes of 
colossal dimensions, representing the crowning of the 
Virgin, St. Christopher, and St. John the Baptist. 

(^Ancient Chapel of Leugemete at Ghent.) 

The coarse black outline is stiff and heavy ; the 
hands and feet especially prove that art was quite 
in its infancy, but some of the figures — St. Chris- 
topher, for example— are not wanting in charm or 

* Afessager des sciences ct des arts de la Belgique, 1834, p. 200, and 
1840, p. 224. 


majesty, and by their realistic tendencies they are a 
foreshadowing of the national school. It would be 
no difficult task to trace the descent from that St. 
Christopher to the "Christ-bearer" of the cathedral 
of Antwerp painted in the seventeenth century by 
the illustrious master of the Flemish school. 

A marked progress is noticeable in another 
fresco which has been discovered in Ghent, in a 
building formerly used as the place of meeting for 
the guilds. Judging by the costumes, the arms, and 
standards, we should say that this painting was 
executed towards the end of the thirteenth century 
or the early part of the fourteenth. These pictures 
represent the guilds of cross bowmen of St. George 
(Fig. i) and of archers of St. Sebastian, the corpora- 
tions of butchers, fishmongers, bakers, brewers, and 
weavers, preceded by their banners, and marching in 
the order they had adopted when they set out on an 
expedition or figured in a public ceremony.* 

These frescoes afford valuable information to the 
student of the costumes and of the military organi- 
sation of the corporations, but they are even more 
precious from an artistic point of view. The paint- 
ings, like those in the Byloque, are not well 
coloured ; crude tones of red, brown, yellow, and 
white prevail, and their figures are stiff and inex- 
pressive. But the grouping is picturesque, and there 
is truth in the action, and character in the arrange- 
ment of the lances, pikes, cross-bows, and " morning 

* F. De Vigne ; Recherches historiques sur les costumes civils ct 
militaires des guildes et des corporations de niHiers. Ghent, 1847. 


Stars," which are seen above the serried ranks of 
the communal soldiery. 

These paintings, as well as a few others of less 
importance, prove that art, though it had reached no 
degree of development, nevertheless existed as early 
as the thirteenth century. Moreover, they attest 
beyond a doubt that this art was essentially national 
and Flemish. It had no relationship with the By- 
zantine and symbolical art which was still extending 
its influence over the rest of civilised Europe, and of 
which the paintings in the old Romanesque cathedrals 
in Germany and the Madonnas of Cimabue (1240 — 
1302) in Italy are the principal monuments. The 
battle of the Spurs of Gold (1302) had just im- 
mortalised those very corporations of Ghent, of which 
the artist was committing the souvenir to the walls 
of the chapel at Leugemete, and ere long Jacques 
van Artevelde brought them to the apex of their 
glory and power. 

Craftsmen of all kinds began to form themselves 
into well-ordered associations, and all those who had 
any claim to art — such, for instance, as the painters of 
statues and heraldry, those who painted figures of the 
Virgin and saints on the banners of corporations and 
the pennons of knights, those who decorated with 
frescoes the great bare walls of churches and chapels, 
in fact, all those who used the brush or pencil — placed 
themselves under the patronage of the Virgin or St. 
John, but more frequently still of St. Luke. In some 
cases they united with other bodies, such as the 
imagers, goldsmiths, and goldbeaters. The first guild 


of sculptors, under the patronage of St. Luke, was 
embodied in Ghent in 1337 — 38. This was a 
memorable year, in which the Flemish communes, 
under van Artevelde and at the height of their power, 
signed the treaty with England assuring the neutrality 
and commercial liberty of Flanders. Then were in- 
stituted, in succession, the corporations of Tournai in 
1341, of Bruges in 1351, of Louvain before 1360, and 
of Antwerp towards 1382. It is uncertain when the 
guild of Ypres was embodied, but this city was active 
and populous, and art must have developed itself 
there at no late period. As early as 1323 and 1342 
the registers record " pourtraittures et ymaiges '' 
executed for the Counts or for the commune by the 
painters Hanyn Soyer, Jehan de LA Zaide, and 

The illuminators of Bruges and Ghent, the ta- 
pestry-workers of Arras, of Tournai, of Valenciennes, 
and of Brussels, united themselves in their turn, and 
ere long Flanders, Artois, Hainault, and Brabant, were 
thronged with those corporations, semi-industrial, 
semi-artistic, which were destined to play so im- 
portant a part during several centuries. It is a fact 
worthy of notice that a like spirit of association was 
growing about the same time in Italy and Germany ; 
guilds of painters were created in Prague in 1348, in 
Florence in 1349, and in Sienna in 1355. 

The Flemish guilds, which the communes had 

* Van den Peereboom : Ypriana, vol. ii., p. 269. — Van den Putte : 
De quelques auvres de peinture conservees a Ypres, (Animles de la West- 
Flandre, vol. ii., p» 180.) 

[Van der Most. 

endowed with many privileges, rapidly became centres 
of activity, always restless and struggling, though 
sometimes egotistical and troublesome. Their organi- 
sation was not always irreproachable in its details, 
for these often put obstruction in the way of genius 
and precocious talent ; but all their experiments were 
made as the result of discussion. In them the intricate 
technicalities of the companies were handed down, 
taste gradually developed itself, and, without any 
painful shock, the way was prepared by which the 
artisan became an artist. 

It was in the midst of these guilds of painters, 
illuminators, and tapestry-workers, that the art of 
painting pictures was first born in Flanders, towards 
the beginning of the fourteenth century. Giotto 
(1276 — 1337) and his pupils had made this same art 
fashionable in Italy, and it was cultivated in Bohemia 
by Theodoric of Prague, Wurmser of Strasburg, and 
Thomas of Mutina (1348 — 1397). 

In the Netherlands picture-painting as well as 
fresco-painting had from the first an essentially 
Flemish character. It sprang up in the midst of 
national elements ; it grew slowly and progressively, 
far from any foreign influence, and was a faithful 
reflex of local life and an artless expression of the 
religious ideas of the time. Its object in Flanders, as 
elsewhere, was the pious ornamentation of altars and 
oratories. We find the earliest mention of its ex- 
istence in the archives under the date 1353, and the 
first monument of this early art is the "picture" 
representing the " Martyrdom of St. -Li^vin," which 

VanWoluwe.] ITS ORIGIN. IQ 

Jean Van der Most painted for the abbey of St. 
Bavon, near Ghent.* Very little later, in 1370, HuGO 
PORTIER painted " St. Amand pulling down an altar 
to Mercury," for the same monastery. The artist of 
all Brabant who at that period enjoyed the greatest 
renown was Jean Van Woluwe, painter and illumi- 
nator to the ducal court. It is proved that from 1378 
to 1 386 he executed numerous paintings for Jeanne and 
Wenceslaus, many miniatures, wall decorations, and 
pictures, amongst others a diptych for the oratory of 
the duchess in Brussels, f With rare exceptions, all 
that remains of the works of these ancient craftsmen 
is documentary evidence, the pictures themselves 
having been destroyed long ago. The Museum of 
Antwerp possesses the only monument of the early 
ages which has been handed down to us ; it is a 
" Calvary," painted on a golden background and 
bearing the date 1363. The Crucifixion forms the 
central figure of this composition ; to the right is the 
Virgin, and to the left the donor kneels, over whom 
St. John seems to extend his protection. In the 
Church of St. Saviour, at Bruges, there is another 
Calvary, which must have been painted at a some- 
what later period, and was executed for the Tanners' 
Company, but both pictures are unsigned. These 
works probably give us but an imperfect idea of 
the progress of painting towards 1360 — 70 ; neverthe- 
less, they attest that the art did exist, though in its 

* Ed. de Busscher : Recherches stir les peintrcs gajitois, Ghent, 
1859; p. 166. 

t Alex. Pinchart : Archives des arts, vol. iii. , p. 96. 

C 2 

20 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Jehan de Bruges. 

rudest form, and, moreover, they foretold that at the 
first favouring opportunity it would burst into bloom. 

The honour of forwarding this movement belongs 
to the sons of King John of France. The intelligent 
protection they gave to industries stimulated the zeal- 
of artists and, by the emulation it excited, gave the 
signal of progress. M. de Laborde speaks of the 
" Dukes of Anjou, of Berry, and of Orleans as 
forming in the court of France, simultaneously 
with the Dukes of Burgundy in their court, a bright 
halo, the brilliancy of which it was impossible to 
escape." * 

The Netherlands benefited largely by the protec- 
tion these princes gave to the arts, for the intercourse 
between the two countries was intimate and incessant 
France was suzerain of Flanders, and her language — 
that langue d'oil which Froissart, son of an illuminator 
of Valenciennes (Hainault), had made popular — was 
fast becoming the language of the polite classes in 
Brabant and Hainault. We need not, therefore, be 
surprised to see several Flemish and Walloon artists 
occupying at the court of Charles V. (the wise, or 
rather the learned) of France, the office of painter, illu- 
minator or imager. Among others we may cite the 
sculptor Hennequin of Li^ge, the painter Jehan de 
Bruges, and Andr6 Beauneveu of Valenciennes who 
was at once painter, sculptor, and illuminator. 

Jehan de Bruges is the first of Flemish painters 
of whose talent we can form an approximate idea, 

* Les dues dc Bourgogne^ vol. iii., p. i. 

(Miniature from the Westreelanum Museum at the Hague). 

22 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Jehan de Bruges. 

some of his pictures having been handed down to us. 
A number of documents recently discovered tend to 
place this artist at the head of the school ; in the 
records of his time he appears under the name of 
" Hennequin de Bruges, peintre du Roy" or " Jehan de 
Bruges, peintre et varlet de chambre de monseignsur le 
roy Charles V." 

No details are known as to the private life of 
this artist ; the only fact that can be ascertained is 
that he flourished in 1372 — 1377. He executed the 
miniatures which adorn a Bible historiee, now in the 
Westreelanum Museum of the Hague, and which 
is dated 1372. One of the illuminations represents 
King Charles V. receiving a manuscript from the hands 
of the donor, who is kneeling before him. (Fig. 2.) 

" The portrait of the king is a masterpiece of 
delicacy," says M. Louis Gonse, " and I do not know 
any picture of that time which equals it. . . . The 
most striking feature of this painting, even at first 
sight, is, however, the extreme and modern indivi- 
duality of this figure." * 

In 1376 this same Jehan de Bruges was entrusted 
by the Duke of Anjou, brother to the King, with an 
important work : the composition of the cartoons for 
the famous tapestries of the Apocalypse, part of 
which are preserved in the cathedral of Angers, f 
This magnificent tciitnre is divided into seven parts, 
measuring together from 450 to 480 feet in length by 

* Cliroiiique des Arts du 3 Novcmbix, 1877, p. 321. 
t Guiffrey: Hisfoii-c giiiiralc dc la tapisserie {France), pp. 11 and 

Jehan de Bruges. (Cathedral (jf Angers. ) 

24 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Jehan de Bruges. 

a little more than i6 feet in height. It was formerly 
composed of ninety pictures, sixty-nine of which 
remain whole. Each part represents a person 
seated in a Gothic niche and meditating on the 
Apocalypse, (Fig. 3), and of fourteen pictures repre- 
senting the different canticles of the book of the Vision 
of St. John. Angels are seen aloft, some singing and 
playing on various musical instruments, others holding 
armorial shields. The painter found inspiration for 
his composition in the miniatures of an old manu- 
script which belonged to the roj'al library, and which 
the king lent for this work to his brother the Duke 
of Anjou. This is a most interesting fact, and one 
which it is important to note, for it establishes the 
influence of a composition which was first used by 
the illuminators* in the twelfth century, which, in the 
fourteenth, furnished ideas to Jehan de Bruges for his 
cartoons, and which, as we shall see further on, was 
again used in the fifteenth by Hubert Van Eyck, for 
the composition of his picture the " Mystic Lamb." f 
The seated figures, especially, present the same cha- 
racter of grandeur and severity which was so much 
admired in 1432, in the three highest figures in the 
reredos by the brothers Van Eyck. 

That this artist also painted pictures is proved 
by the express name of pictor which is attributed 
to him, while the miniaturist was called illuminator ; 

* Didot ; Des apocalypses figurks, manuscrites et xylographiques, 
Paris, 1870. 

t Giry: La tapisserie dc Vapocalypse de St. Maurice d'' Angers 
(VArt, vol. vii., p. 306). 

BeaunSveu.] ITS ORIGIN. 2$ 

unfortunately, not one of these paintings now 

ANDRfi Beauneveu was contemporary with Jehan 
de Bruges. He was not only a painter and illuminator 
but also a sculptor of great talent. " N'avoit pour lors," 
says Froissart, in the year 1 390, " meilleur ni le pareil 
en nulles terres, ni de qui tant de bons ouvraiges 
fuissent demeur^s en France ou en Haynnau, dont il 
estoit de nation, ni au royaulme d'Angleterre." Time 
has destroyed the' pictures which he painted in 1374 
for the great hall of jurymen at Valenciennes, his 
native town, as also the " imaiges et paintures " with 
which he decorated, in 1390, the castle of the Duke of 
Berry, at Meun-sur-Yevre. Some fragments of the royal 
tombs at St. Denis, a missal at the national library of 
Paris, and a large miniature en grisaille in that of Brus- 
sels, are all that now remains of Beauneveu's works. 

There is no doubt that the celebrated Flemish 
artists, eminent sculptors and painters to the Kings 
of France and to the Dukes of Anjou, of Berry, and 
of Orleans, exercised a decisive influence over the 
birth of the first French school, which had so many 
points of resemblance with that of the Van Eycks. The 
Corporation of Painters and Sculptors of Paris was 
first constituted as an independent body in 1391, and 
the first celebrated French artist, jEHAN FOUQUET, 
was born in 1415. The Louvre possesses two fine por- 
traits by him, the one of King Charles VII. (No. 653) 
and the other of his Chancellor Juvdna) des Ursins 
(No. 652). 

* Waagen : Manuel de Vhistoire de la peinture, vol. i., p. 82. 

26 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Jehan de Hasselt. 

While the King of France employed Jehan de Bruges, 
Jehan de Hasselt was painter to Louis de Male, 
Count of Flanders. Fragments of mural paintings in 
tempera* are still to be seen in the Church of Notre 
Dame at Courtrai. They were probably by his hand. 
They represent full-length portraits of Louis de Male 
and of the Counts of Flanders, his predecessors, and 
adorn the chapel which this prince had erected in 
1 373, with the intention of making it his own mortuary 
chapel, and of placing therein a monumental tomb, the 
execution of which he entrusted to Andr^ Beaune- 
veu. It is proved by documentary evidence that the 
painter and the sculptor met in 1374, "for the ser- 
vice of the Duke."t At the death of Louis de Male 
in 1384, the Duke of Burgundy, his son-in-law, 
became heir to the counties of Flanders and Artois, and 
Jehan de Hasselt remained painter to the Court. 
Philip the Hardy commissioned him to paint an altar- 
piece for the church of the Cordeliers in Ghent, in 

However, after that time this artist's name was 
superseded by that of Melchior Broederlam, who 
appears in the household accounts with the title of 
official painter to " my Lord the Duke of Bur- 
gundy." Broederlam generally resided in Ypres, which 
is supposed to be the place of his birth, where his 
presence is recorded in the registers from 1383 to 

* Ed. de Busscher : Rcchcrches stir hs fcliitrcs gantoh, 1859, p. 47. 

\ Pincharl : Archives des arts, vol. ii., p. 143. 

X De Laborde : Les dues de Bourgognc, vol. i., p. 34. 

Broederlam.] ITS ORIGIN. I'] 

1409 ; and it is there that he executed several im- 
portant works. ■* 

In 1398 Philip the Hardy had just founded a 
Carthusian monastery in Dijon, and he commissioned 
Broederlam to paint two altar-screens carved by the 
Fleming Jacques de Baerze of Termonde. This work, 
which is preserved in the Museum of Dijon, fully 
establishes his talent. The wings of one of these 
altar pieces has been handed down to us in a perfect 
state of preservation, and is one of the most precious 
landmarks of Flemish art. It represents the Annun- 
ciation and Visitation, the Presentation in the Temple, 
and the Flight into Egypt (Fig. 4). 

Pictures which had hitherto been mere objects of 
religion were now on the verge of becoming tvorks of 
art. Their composition began to deviate from the 
traditional forms of sacred art, and was becoming 
picturesque. Some of the heads of that time reveal 
a keen sense of the beautiful, and the draperies are 
simple and graceful. Gold no longer forms the 
whole of the background ; landscapes begin to de- 
velop their perspective, with rocks and trees ; and we 
feel that ere long Nature will be studied minutely. 
The episode of the Flight into Egypt, which depicts 
Joseph followed by the Virgin holding the infant 
Jesus in her arms and mounted on an ass, already 
foreshadows the realism of the following century. 

While Broederlam was working at Dijon, another 
artist appears to have enjoyed equal renown in 

* Annales de la SocUti Archhlogique d'Ypres, vol. ii., p. 175. 


Ypres. This was JACQUES Cavael, official painter to 
the city.who decorated the celebrated hall of the Dra- 
pers' Company with pictures. In 1399 he journeyed 
to Italy, where he and two of his pupils were actively 
employed in the ornamentation of the cathedral of 

Jean Malouel appears under Jean sans Peur 
as painter and varlet-de-chambre to the duke, but 
whether he achieved any progress is not known. 
None of his pictures have survived. All that 
we can ascertain beyond a doubt is that he 
adorned with painting the before-mentioned Car- 
thusian monastery of Dijon, which is now destroyed, 
and that in 141 5 he painted the portrait of Jean 
sans Peur, which a special messenger conveyed to 
Jean II. of Portugal.f Finally, after Malouel, we 
witness the advent of the man of genius who was 
destined to preside over the development of the 
Flemish school. Between the fresco of the Byloque 
and the panels of Dijon there is the work of two 
centuries : in all matters of art progress is thus slow. 

For want of complete documents we are unable to 
appreciate all the phases, all the evolutions, of this 
first period. But the mementoes which we possess 
suffice to prove once more that art, before flourishing, 
has to pass through a long series of hesitations, 
attempts, researches, transformations, and progress, 

* Alphonse Wauters : Les commencemenls de rancienne kok de 
tcinture anUh-icuremcnt aux van Eyck (Bulletm de tAcadhitie royale 
de Bdgiqiie, 1883, p. 317.) 

t Desalles: Mhioires pour servir ^ Vhistoire de France, -g. 138. 


and that the school of Bruges, the history of which 
we are now going to study, was the outcome of the 
united labours of several centuries. Ever since 1384 
an immense social and political work had been car- 
ried on in the Netherlands. The accession of the Bur- 
gundian dynasty to Flanders had somehow produced 
new life, which in its turn was to be instrumental in 
developing a new and grand artistic movement. Flan- 
ders was now rivalling Italy ; it had become the most in- 
dustrious, the richest, the most flourishing country of 
northern Europe. Bruges washer great market, the ren- 
dezvous of traders of all nations. Her port was open 
to vessels from Liibeck, Hamburg, Bremen, Amsterdam, 
London, Havre, Lisbon, Genoa, Venice, the East ; at 
times more than a hundred sail arrived in one day. 
At Bruges the German Hanseatic League had 
established docks, and foreign nations raised their 
stately counting-houses magnificent in architecture. 
Her streets re-echoed with every tongue, and the 
record office of the tribunal still preserves notaries' 
documents drawn up in eight or ten different languages. 
In Ghent there was similar activity, prosperity, 
and power. In 1389 the town numbered ninety- 
thousand men capable of bearing arms, and when the 
belfry's great voice sounded " Roelaiidt," fifty-two 
corporations could assemble on the market-place, 
ranged under their banners. " Nulle terre," says a 
chronicle of the time, '"n'est compar^e de marchan- 
dises encontre la terre de Flandre." Burgundian 
knights, foreign consuls, and Flemish burghers, all 
vied with each other in luxury and elegance in their 


dwellings and their entertainments. Houses and 
palaces were alike furnished with a richness and a 
luxury without parallel : wainscoting, ceramics, all 
articles of gold and silver, of glass and iron, the least 
object claimed to be the theme of original ornament ; 
all things aimed at elegance in form and delicacy in 
workmanship. In the market-place there was a suc- 
cession of processions, cavalcades, theatricals, and fes- 
tivities. Prosperity was general, splendour at its height, 
and art could not but reflect the picturesque, decora- 
tive, and sumptuous taste of the time. 

Each prince had his painter, his imager, his 
illuminator, his tapestry-worker. In Bruges HENRI 
BellechoSE * had succeeded Malouel ; in Mechlin 
Vranque was painting the portrait of the Duchess 
Catherine ; in Mons PlERRE Henne J painted those 
of the Dowager of Hainault and of Jean IV. of 
Brabant ; and in Liege Jean Van Eyck, who was to 
become the great Jean of Bruges, was making his first 
attempts at the court of the Prince-bishop, and already 
pondering over the method with which he was later on 
to revolutionise the process of painting. 

The great national art would henceforth be free to 
flourish without obstacle ; the ground was prepared, 
society was more settled ; the artist was born, and his 
genius had found its instrument. In 1419, when 
Philip the Good mounted the ducal throne, art was 
unfettered ; all was ready for its development. 

* De Laborde : Les dues de Bourgogne, vol. i., p. 69. 
+ De Laborde : Les dues de Bourgogne, vol. i., p. 269. 
t Pinchart : Arehives des arts, vol. iii., p. 188. 





The City of Li^ge, capital of the principality of that 
name, was, at the end of the fourteenth century, after 
the victory of the guilds and the Peace of 1376, a 
centre of great intellectual and material activity. 
Few countries in Europe then presented the spectacle 
of more really democratic institutions, productive of 
so much order, justice, and liberty.* 

Its numerous and opulent monasteries, from which 
science and learning irradiated, encouraged the work 
of illuminators, goldsmiths, and sculptors. Art, in 
the midst of such favourable circumstances, could not 
fail to prosper. Unfortunately, time and revolutions 

* F. Henaux : Histoire du pays de Liege, Liege, 1857, vol. i., 
p. 239. 


34 FLEMISH PAINTING. [The Van Eycks. 

have effaced the very traces of its efforts. No work 
has descended to our time, permitting us to ascertain 
with accuracy how far art had progressed in Li6ge 
when the Van Ecyks travelled thither. They took up 
their residence in that city in the early part of the 
reign of the Prince-bishop John of Bavaria (1390 — 
141 8), in all probability for the exercise of the art 
which was to render them for ever famous. 

The two brothers were born in Maesyck (Eyck- 
sur-Meuse), a small town in the northern part of the 
country. Their family name is unknown, but accord- 
ing to the custom of that time they adopted that of 
their native town. We are ignorant of the facts of 
their early existence. No contemporary event gives 
a clue to the manner in which their talent was deve- 
loped, or tells how they arrived at so perfect an 
education as they appear to have possessed. But this 
obscurity is suddenly illumined by one great event — 
the discovery of painting in oil. 

During the whole of the Middle Ages, until the 
commencement of the fifteenth century, the general 
process of artistic painting had been tempera — that is 
to say, painting with a medium of water, white of egg, 
or some other glutinous mixture. An oleo-resinous 
varnish was employed for the purpose of adding vigour 
to the dull tones of the tempera, while it preserved the 
picture from the ravages of time. A few Italian artists, 
principally Giotto, sometimes tried to mix their 
colours with oil, but it is supposed that the results they 
obtained were far from satisfactory, since their most 
celebrated followers — Masaccio, Fra Angelico, Lippi 

The Van Eycks.] THE GOTHIC SCHOOL. 35 

and even Crevelli, who died in 1495 — were exclusively 
painters in tempera. 

The ancient historians say that towards 1410 a 
new method made its appearance in the Netherlands. 
No serious arguments have as yet been able to shake 
this opinion, which Vasari expressed thus decidedly in 
1550: "It was a splendid invention, and a great im^ 
provement in the art of painting, when the discovery 
of the oil medium was made, the first inventor being 
a native of Flanders, Jean de Bruges." * 

Jean Van Eyck was justly dissatisfied with the 
ancient mode of painting, and the very slow pro- 
gress of drying caused him incessant annoyance. His 
knowledge of chemistry led him to make experiments, 
the object of which was to discover a siccative varnish, 
which might hasten the drying without exposiag the 
picture to the sun. He obtained this medium by a 
mixture of linseed and nut oils with other ingredients. 
This first step proving successful, he continued his 
experiments, and found that his colours mixed much 
better with oil than with water, and produced a paint- 
ing at once much firmer and more powerful and bril- 
liant. This discovery once made, the old coloured 
oil varnish was discarded, painting in oil only re- 
quiring a pure, thin, transparent, and colourless var- 
nish, to secure permanence. 

This continuation of improvements and successful 
applications — probably fruits of several years of study 
and research— entirely overthrew the old system ; the 

* Vasari : Le ViU de' pUi eccellente pittori, scultori e architetti, 
Florence, 1550 chap. xxi. 
D 2 

38 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Hubert Van Eyck. 

discovery was made, and the road traced for the great 

This artistic revolution, which was about to exercise 
so great an influence on the development of art in the 
whole of Europe, was the glorious prologue to the 
history of Flemish painting in the fifteenth century. 
And, as everything was to be dazzling at its outset, 
the first work belonging to the new school which bears 
a date, is no other than the immortal retable of the 
" Mystic Lamb " (Figs. 5 and 6). It was a patrician of 
Ghent, Jodocus Vydt, Lord of Pamele, who commis- 
sioned Hubert Van Eyck, the elder of the two brothers, 
to paint this work. Hubert, in the choice of the 
" Redeeming Lamb " of the Apocalypse of St. John, 
adopted one of the themes most familiar to the artists 
of the Middle Ages, and he did not swerve from the 
form of representation generally accepted as well by 
miniaturists and engravers as by sculptors and 
tapestry workers. The same disposition of the groups 
and character of the figures, noticeable in the retable 
of Ghent, exist in the tapestries of the cathedral of 
Angers, which were executed from the designs of 
Jehan de Bruges, official painter to Charles V. 

But, for the first time, the magnificent religious 
poem appears free from the stiffness of preceding 
centuries, revived by the lively and picturesque 
imagination of Hubert, and set in one of those perfect 
frames of architecture of which he alone seems to 
have possessed the secret, with the perspective, the 
expression, the composition, and all the outward forms 
of modern art. 

Jean an Eyck.j THE GOTHIC SCHOOL. 39 

Unfortunately, an untimely death interrupted the 
labours of the artist in 1426, when he had done little 
more than trace the plan of the great work. Jodocus, 
struck with the imposing grandeur of the composition, 
pressed Jean to carry out the work which his brother 
had left incomplete. It was not, however, finished 
until six years later. In spite of the generally 
accepted opinion, we believe that Jean painted the 
whole picture. 

Several authors, accepting as certain the more than 
doubtful collaboration of the Van Eycks in the altar- 
screen of Ghent, have wished to develop this impres- 
sion into a dogma, and assert that a great many pic- 
tures are due to the joint efforts of the two brothers. 
However, a careful examination of the question, and 
of the biography and the works of the Van Eycks, 
proves this opinion to be erroneous. 

The " Mystic Lamb " counts no less than twenty 
panels, and more than three hundred figures. It 
is a wonderful performance, and has been handed 
down to us in an almost perfect state, but, owing to 
shameful circumstances, it has been divided and scat- 
tered. The church of St. Bavon, in Ghent, for which 
it was oi-iginally painted, no longer possesses any but 
the four middle panels; the six large wings have been 
in the Museum of Berhn since 18 16, and the two small 
ones in the Museum of Brussels since i860.* It 
is the masterpiece of the primitive Flemish school. 

* See the complete history of the " Polyptyque'' by Charles 
Ruelens, in the Annotations of the work, by Crowe and Cavalcaselle, 
" The Ancient Flemish Painters," vol. ii., p. 62. 

40 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Hubert Van Eyck. 

It was first exhibited publicly on the 6th of May, 
1432, and from that time forward it has been minutely 
studied, and never ceased to excite the greatest ad- 
miration. But the mind dwells on all the details of 
this wondrous work without being able to fathom its 
depth, or discover the full meaning it is intended to 
convey. It remains the deepest, the most complete 
and imposing artistic expression of one of the noblest 
movements which art has to record — the birth of the 
school of Bruges. 

The genius of Jean Van Eyck, his perfection, his 
audacity, his success, and his renown, are such that 
they force posterity to see him only ; he entirely 
supersedes his obscure forerunners and contemporaries, 
and would fain lead the spectator to believe in a bold 
improvisation, a prodigy, by which some supernatural 
power, working on the soil of Flanders, suddenly 
brought forth Flemish painting in all its glory. 

Hubert Van Eyck was born towards the year 
1366.* If a certain halo of glory surround the name 
of the elder of the two brothers, he probably owes it to 
the " Mystic Lamb,'' and to the " Mystic Lamb "alone, the 
inscription of which says that Hubert commenced the 
work and that Jean finished it. The other documents 
relating to him are limited to two or three inscriptions 
in the registers of Ghent, where the artist took up his 
residence ; the exact year is not known. It is, how- 
ever, an undoubted fact, that in 1424 the magistrates 

* Het Schihhrboeck, &c. (The Book of Painters, &c.), Haarlem, 
1604, p. 199. 


SYNAGOGUE.— .S'a^e?-/- Van Eyck(f). 

(Museum of the Prado, Madrid. 5ft. 6 in. X 4ft. 4 in.) 

42 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Hubert Van Eyck. 

of Ghent went in state to visit the artist in his studio, 
and view the picture he was painting* 

The only basis, therefore, which would enable us 
to trace the lost works of Hubert Van Eyck is the 
" Mystic Lamb," that is, the grouping of the figures, 
their attitudes, and the character of the folds of the 
drapery ; this part of the work undoubtedly belongs 
to him alone, as it is an indisputable fact that he began 
the altar-screen alone. In the "Triumph of the Christian 
Church over the Synagogue," in the possession of the 
Museum of Madrid, the critic cannot but observe a 
great resemblance to " The Mystic Lamb " in the atti- 
tudes of the principal figures. It is therefore but natural 
to admit, on the authority of Passavant,tthat this can- 
vas is by the same artist ; the more so as neither the 
style, the colouring, nor the composition, is charac- 
teristic of any other master of the fifteenth century 
(Fig- 7)- This picture is the only one which can be 
attributed to Hubert with any degree of certainty,^ 
and this very scarcity of works would explain why 
the chronicles of the time speak no more of Hubert 
than if he had never existed ; why his name has 
nowhere been mentioned before Guicciardini (1567); 
finally, why Albert Durer, who was assuredly a good 
judge, in the narrative of his journey to the Nether- 
lands, in which he mentions the names and works of 
the great painters of the sixteenth century, fails to 

* Biographic Nationale, vol. vi. , col. 779. 
t Die Christliche Kunst (Leipzig, 1853), p. 126. 
X Several German critics consider that the picture at Madrid is only 
a copy vi'hich was executed in the early part of the sixteenth century. 

Jean Van Eyck.] THE GOTHIC SCHOOL. 43 

say one word relative to the existence of Hubert. The 
picture certainly betokens great ability in composition, 
but at the same time it betrays very uninteresting exe- 
cution, design devoid of character, mediocre colouring 
— in fact, it has none of the qualities which would 
entitle the artist to a place among the great Flemish 
painters of the fifteenth century. For that reason 
we may say, without fear of injustice, that though the 
name of Hubert is inscribed on the frame of the 
" Mystic Lamb," it is nevertheless to the genius of his 
brother that he owes the honour with which he appears 
before posterity. To Jean, to the illustrious Jean 
alone, belongs the glorious title of Father of Flemish 

Hubert died in Ghent, as his epitaph tells us, on 
the 1 8th of September, 1426, and was buried at St. 

Jean Van Eyck.* — We have no correct data 
as to the birth of Jean Van Eyck, but all autho- 
rities agree in fixing that event between 1380 and 
1390. Little is known of his early years, but it 
is generally supposed that he left Maesyck, his 
native town, for Li^ge, where he went to reside in 

* Principal works : — Ghent, Berlin, and Brussels : The Myslic 
Zam6{Chuich of St. Bavon, Museums of Berlin and Brussels). Bruges : 
7'he Glorifiid Virgin, before ■whom Canon van der Pale kneels in adora- 
tion (Academy of Fine Arts). Paris : Chancellor Rollin kneeling in 
prayer before the Virgin and Child (Museum of the Louvre). London : 
Arnoulfini and his ^i/"f (National Gallery), The portrait laith the turban 
(ditto). Berlin : The Man with the carnations (Museum). Dresden : 
The Virgin with the Donor (Museum). Frankfort : The Virgin and 
C^«&? (Staedel Inst.). Turin: 6.?. iraK«j (Pinacotek). 

44 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Jean Van Eyck. 

order to study the art of painting under his brother 

John of Bavaria, surnamed " The Merciless," was 
then Bishop of Liege. He was the worst of gover- 
nors, but the most magnificent of princes, and a lover 
of the fine arts. Jean Van Eyck was appointed his 
official painter and varlct-de-chambre. In 1417 this 
prince renounced his bishopric to carry on war in 
Holland. He made a rapid conqiiest of the country, 
assumed the title of Count, and fixed his residence 
first at Dortrecht, then at the Hague. That the 
painter accompanied John of Bavaria is doubtful, but 
we know that he afterwards rejoined the prince at the 
Hague. Authentic documents discovered in this 
town by M. Pinchart prove that it was the scene of 
Jean Van Eyck's labours from October, 1422, to Sep- 
tember, 1424. The following year the artist was at 
Bruges, at the court of Philip the Good, with the title 
of painter and varlet-de-charnbre to the duke, whose 
confidence he enjoyed.* As early as 1426 he was 
entrusted with secret missions, and in 1428 he accom- 
panied the embassy which the Duke of Burgundy 
sent to Portugal for the purpose of demanding the 
hand of the Princess Isabel, daughter of King John I. 
During the fifteen months of his absence Jean Van 
Eyck painted the portrait of the Infanta — a portrait 
which is now lost — and afterwards travelled in Spain 
with the ambassadors, visited Andalusia, and paid a 
visit to John II., King of Castille, and to Mahomet, 

* Crowe and Cavalcaselle : Early Flemish Painters, 1879, 
p. 40. 

Jean Van Eyck.] THE GOTHIC SCHOOL. 45 

King of Grenada. The record office in Brussels* 
preserves a manuscript which contains the itinerary of 
this curious journey, as well as many of its details. 
On his return to Flanders Jean recommenced his 
interrupted labours. He gave especial attention to 
the great retable of the "Mystic Lamb," the commission 
for which Jodocus Vydt had given to his brother 
Hubert, who, as we know, had only sketched the 
work when death overtook him. It is probable that 
Jean carried the panels to Bruges. He spent several 
years in the painting of them, and it is while he was 
thus engaged that he was honoured with a visit from 
his sovereign and that the magistracy of the city of 
Bruges t went in state to his studio. The public 
exhibition of the picture afterwards took place in 
Ghent on the 6th of May, 1432. 

In 1434 Philip was godfather to Van Eyck's 
child, and thus gave a further proof of the regard 
in which he held the artist, and indeed this prince 
never lost an opportunity of testifying to the esteem 
with which he honoured his illustrious subject. In a 
letter he calls him, " Nostre bien-aimi varlet-de-chambre 
et peintre, Jehan Van Eyck ;" at other times he orders 
,his treasurers to be more attentive in paying the 
pension of the artist regularly, for fear Van Eyck 
should leave his service, "en quay il prendrait tres- 
grant deplaisir," for he was anxious to reserve him 
for '' certains grans ouvrages " for which he knew he 
would not find " de pareil a son gri ni si excellent en 

* Gachard : Collection de documents inedits, vol. ii., p. 63. 
+ James Weale : Notes sur Jean Van Eyck, 1861, p. 8, note. 



[Jean Van Eyck. 

son art et science'' And this regard and affection 
endured for a long time after Jean's death, as is 


Jean Van Eyck. 

(Museum of the Louvre. 2 ft. lin. X 2 ft.) 

proved by the dowry which Philip paid in 1449 for 
Lidvine, daughter of the artist, who took the veil in 
the convent of Maesyck. This circumstance tends 
to justify the tradition which points to that small 

Jean Van Eyck.] 



FIG. 9. — ARNOULFINI AND HIS VflFE.—Jean Van Eyck. 
(National Gallery. 2 ft. 10 in. X 2ft.) 

town as the birthplace of the painter. Jean Van 
Eyck painted many pictures during the latter part of 
his life — that is, between the years 1432 and 1440. 

48 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Jean Van Eyck. 

There are in existence paintings bearing the date of 
each of those years with the exception of 1435, when 
the trusty servant of the Duke went in his service on 
" certains voyages lointains et Strangers pour matures 
secretes!' Many of these productions are still in their 
primitive frames, on which we read the name of 
Johanes Van Eyck, often accompanied by his cele- 
brated motto, "■ Als ik kan" (As I can). 

The greater part of the religious works of Jean 
consists of representations of the Virgin and the Infant 
Jesus, sometimes alone, sometimes surrounded by 
the donors whom their patron saints apparently 
recommend to the prayers of the Holy Mother and 
Child. Among the most remarkable of Van Eyck's 
pictures, which exhibit his great talent in its true light 
and best characterise his manner, his style, and his 
tendency, the most important are, without doubt, the 
large canvas of the " Glorified Virgin, before whom 
Canon van der Pale kneels in adoration," in the 
Academy of Fine Arts of Bruges, and the same sub- 
ject treated on a smaller scale, " Chancellor Rollin 
kneeling in prayer before the Virgin glorified," in the 
Louvre (Fig. 8). In the background of this second 
picture is seen the distant view of a city built on the 
banks of a river ; its public places, quays, and streets 
are enlivened by a throng of very small figures ; snow- 
Qovered hills appear on the horizon. This is a mar- 
vellous panorama, nor has it ever been surpassed in 
realism, finished workmanship, interest, and picturesque 
charm. Similar praise is due to the landscape sur- 
rounding the two representations of " St. Francis," 

FIG. 10. — THE MAN WITH THE PINK. — Jean Van Eyck. 
(Museum of Berlin, i6in. X[i3in.) 

so FLEMISH PAINTING. [Jean Van Eyck. 

one in the possession of the Pinacotek of Turin, and 
the other in the gallery of Lord Heytesbury (Wilt- 

Van Eyck, who was so great as a landscapist, also 
excelled in painting portraits. We know several in 
London, Vienna, Berlin, Bruges, and Copenhagen. 
The most remarkable are the portraits of Arnoulfini 
and his wife, in the National Gallery (Fig. 9), and the 
bust of a gentleman unknown, holding a carnation 
in his hand. Museum of Berlin (Fig. 10). 

Jean Van Eyck created Flemish art. He made 
it real, deep, energetic, full of expression and 
splendour : he invented aerial landscape and per- 
spective ; he was the first to give an accurate and 
handsome form to man, animals, flowers, and all 
accessories. His design is firm, patient, and studied ; 
his colouring rich, abundant, and severe ; his composi- 
tion masterly, and his modelling, simplicity, and 
firmness, are inimitable. In the scenic arrangement 
of his figures he always adopted a solemn and es- 
sentially imposing character. His madonnas, angels, 
and saints, present an astonishing admixture of 
naturalness and elegant reverie ; his donors are 
marvels of expression : they are portraits, true even 
to coarseness. The chiaro-oscuro enveloping the 
cathedrals and oratories in which he places his 
figures has warm, transparent, and golden tones, 

* H. Hymans : Un tableau relrouvJ de Jean Van Eyek [Btdklin 
(lis Commissions royales d'art et darehMogie, 1883, p. 108). A. J- 
Wauters : Les deux Saint Francois, de Jean Van Eyck [Acho du 
Parlement of the 7th August, 1883). 

Marguerite Van Eyck.] THE GOTHIC SCHOOL. 5 I 

which have characterised no other artist. Fromentin 
says of him with great truth, that under the brush of 
this man the art of painting at once reached its 
highest perfection. Jean Van Eyck died in Bruges 
on the gth of July, 1440,* and Van Mander states that 
he died at a very advanced age, which would lead us 
to suppose that he was born earlier than historians 
generally admit — from 1380 to 1390. 

Marguerite, sister of the Van Eycks, likewise 
cultivated the art of painting, but there is not now 
a single work, picture or miniature, which can be 
ascribed to her with any certainty. The household 
accountsf of the Dukes of Burgundy also record that 
their brother LAMBERT was, in 1431, employed by 
Philip the Good on " certaines besongnes." But this is 
the extent of our information regarding him, and there 
is nothing to prove that these " besongnes " were works 
of art, as has sometimes been supposed. 

With Van Eyck all that had to be done seemed 
accomplished. The same hand which had discovered 
the medium of modern painting had also carried its 
exercise to a brilliant climax. That his labours 
might, however, be complete and fruitful, he needed a 
disciple capable of becoming the apostle and pro- 
pagator of his art. This was the mission of Roger 
Van der Weyden ; and the school of Brussels took 
the place of the school of Bruges. 

* James Weale : T^o/es stir Jean Van Eyck, 1861, p. 15. 
+ De Laborde : Les dues de Bourgogne, vol i., p. 38. 

E 2 



The records of ancient Italian and Flemish chroni- 
clers preserve the memory of an artist vs'hom some 
call Roger of Bruges and others 'Roger of Brussels. 
He had learned his art under Jean Van Eyck, and 
inherited the method of the master. Some of the 
ancient authors exalted the genius of this artist, and 
yet his memory was, during three centuries, entirely 
lost in the Netherlands, and his numerous paint- 
ings remained unknown, hidden under fictitious 

The history of Flemish art is indebted to M. 
Alphonse Wauters, archivist of the city of Brussels, 
for having unearthed ihe traces of this master.f The 

* Principal works : — Beaune : 7Ae Lastjudgineni (at the Hospital). 
Madrid : The Descent from the Cross (Museum of the Prado). Ant- 
werp : The Seven Sacraments (the Museum). Berlin : The Nativity 
(the Museum) ; The Deicmt from the Cross (ditto) ; St. John the 
Baptist (ditto). Munich: The Adoration of the Magi (Pinakotek) 
Louvain : The Descent from the Cross (Church of St. Peter). Flo- 
rence : The Entombing of Christ (Gallery of the Uffizi). Vienna : 
Chriit on the Cross (Museum). Frankfort : Ihe Virgin and Child 
(Stadel Institution). 

t Roger Van der Weyden, ses ceuvres, ses ileves, et ses descendants. 
Brussels, 1856. 

VandcrWeyden.i THE GOTHIC SCHOOL. 53 

city of Brussels and that of Tournai dispute the 
honour of having given him birth. We will not here 
recapitulate the erudite discussion between Messrs. 
Wauters and Pinchart on this subject. We must limit 
ourselves to stating that, in our opinion, and until 
further proof to the contrary is forthcoming, the 
register of painters of Tournai and other documents 
bear ample testimony in support of M. Pinchart's 

Roger was born at Tournai in 1399 or 1400. His 
family name was de la Pasture, and it is under its 
Flemish translation. Van der Weyden, that he 
became illustrious. 

There are no proofs, is stated by Italian chroni- 
clers, that he ever was the pupil of Jean Van Eyck. 
It appears that he did not give himself up to the 
study of painting till late in life, for he was married 
before his name was entered in the books of the guild 
of St. Luke at Tournai, in 1427. He there pursued his 
studies during five years under the direction of Robert 
Campin, and received the title of master in 1432. It 
is probably after this date that he took up his resi- 
dence in Brussels — the birthplace of his wife. At all 
events, he was there on the 21st of April, 1435, and 
soon made himself a great reputation in this flourishing 
and prosperous city, which, with Brabant, had just 
passed over to Philip the Good (1430), and had 
become the favourite residence of the " Grand-Dtic 
d' Occident." 

* Roger de la Pasture, dil Van der Weyden. Brussels, 1876. 

54 FLEMIbH PAINTING. [Van der Weyden. 

Before the year 1436 the magistrates of Brussels 
conferred on Roger the office of pourtraiteur de la 
ville, an honorary title, but one to which certain 
privileges were attached.* At the same time, one of 
the wings of the Hotel de Ville, which had been in 
course of construction since 1402, having just been 
completed. Van der Weyden was entrusted with the 
decoration of the Hall of Justice. The four panels 
which he painted for this purpose are now lost, but 
their reputation was so great that people came from 
all parts to admire them.f 

That portion of the artist's life which lies between 
1436 and 1449 is not well known. It is certain, how- 
ever, that he worked not only for the city of Brussels, 
but also for the guilds, monasteries, and private 

Among the works of that period which have 
been handed down to us, we must mention the 
" Descent from the Cross," which he painted twice 
for Louvain ; the one, in the Museum of Madrid, was 
executed for the Guild of the " Grand serment " 
(Fig. 11); and the other, painted in 1443, for the 
family Edelheer, is now in the church of St. Peter 
at Louvain. 

In 1449 Roger set out for Italy, thus commencing the 
long list of artistic pilgrimages undertaken by Flemish 
painters beyond the Alps. He was at Rome in 1450, 

* Alphonse Wauters ; Roger Van der Weyden, p. 25. 

t F. Campe : Reliqtnen von Albrecht Diirer, Nurembero-, 1828 ■ 
translation in the Gazette des Beaux Arts, vols, xix and xx. 
Voyage d' Albert Diirer dans les Pays Bas, by Ch. Narrey. 

56 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Van der Weyden. 

in the midst of the transition which Italian art was 
then undergoing. 

Masaccio (1402 — 1428), had just opened fresh fields 
to the art of Giotto and Orcagna ; Lippi was finishing 
at Florence the work of his master; and Mantegna 
(143 1 — 1505), then only twenty years old, was sketch- 
ing the splendid frescoes of Padua. In Venice, Bellini 
was painting his Madonnas ; in Rome the pious Fra 
Angelico de Fiesole (1387 — 1455) was preparing to 
leave this earth for the heaven of his dreams, whilst his 
pupil Benozzo Gozzoli (1420 — 1498) was decorating 
the church of Orvieto, and conceiving the designs of 
the animated crowds and magnificent cavalcades with 
which he adorned the walls of the Campo Santo of 
Pisa and of the Medici palace at Florence. When 
visiting these illustrious workshops, we have every 
reason to believe that the great disciple of Van Eyck 
first introduced the artistic process of which he pos- 
sessed the secret, and which Antonello of Messina 
was the first to propagate in Italy. On his return to 
Brussels, the artist, seized with new ardour, recom- 
menced his labours, and produced large and impor- 
tant pictures, which are his chief works. Foremost 
we must cite the polyptyque the " Last Judgment,"* 
composed of eight wings, which he was commissioned 
to paint in 1451—52 for the hospital of Beaune, by 
Nicolas Rollin, Chancellor of Burgundy ; next, the 
" Nativity," a triptych, which was executed at the 

* Boudrot : Le Jugcment dernkr, retable de Vhitel-Dieu de 
Beaune. Beaune, 1875. 

Van der Weyden.] 



request of the Chevalier Pierre Bladehn, treasurer of 
the Fleece of Gold, for the church of Middelburg, 

inaugurated in 1460 (Museum of Berlin) ; and the 
triptych of the " Adoration of the Magi " (Pinacotek 
of Munich), which also dates from the last part of the 
painter's career (Fig. 1 2). 

58 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Van der Weyden 

The composition of these three magnificent works 
sufficiently proves that they were painted by Roger 
after his return from Italy. For instance, they plainly 
show how deeply impressed the Flemish master was 
by the " Adoration of the Magi," by Gentile da Fab- 
riano (1370 — 1450), and by the often-repeated "Last 
Judgment" of Andrea Orcagna (1319—1389)- He 
delighted in replicas of their graceful or dramatic 
compositions, and in the same way as he had pre- 
viously elevated into a model the " Descent from the 
Cross," a subject for which he always had a predi- 
lection, he created the Flemish types of the " Adora- 
tion of the Magi," and of the " Last Judgment," 
which, from that time forward were copied by con- 
temporary artists, by his pupils and his imitators. 
He died in 1464. 

Roger inherited from Van Eyck the art of painting 
well. His colouring, though inferior to that of the 
master for harmony and delicacy, yet possesses its 
wonderful power. His pictures, bold, and grand in 
character, are skilfully composed, and the figures ex- 
press deep dramatic feeling. His design is generally 
correct, but he elongates the human frame as well as 
the draperies, the folds of which are often stiff and 
angular. We must own, therefore, that if he has rare 
and precious qualities, his defects yet despoil him of 
the powerful charm which has raised the work of Van 
Eyck, his master, and Memling, his pupil, to the 
foremost rank among artists. Nevertheless, Van der 
Weyden occupies an honoured place between these 
two masters, and with them forms the glorious trio 

Van der Weyden.] THE GOTHIC SCHOOL. 59 

of great Flemish painters of the fifteenth century. 
Even Van Eyck himself did not exercise so great an 
influence over his period. Roger's personahty is not 
revealed by his pictures alone, but by an infinity of 
works of art of all kinds — miniatures, engravings, 
sculpture, tapestry work. His workshop must have 
been the training ground oi a vast number of artists. 

Many of his pupils acquired fame in the Nether- 
lands — such for instance as Memling and Thierri 
Bouts — but the benefits of his influence were more 
widely spread. He also instructed the greatest of 
German painters of the fifteenth century, Martyn 
Schongauer, and the galleries of Germany eloquently 
proclaim how much the primitive schools of the 
Rhine, of Alsace, Swabia, and Franconia, owe to this 
master. As to his pictures, during more than half a 
century they remained models for all painters, and 
even in our day we meet with hundreds of copies and 
variations of the four principal subjects which he 
created, cherished, and popularised — the Adoration 
of the Magi, the Crucifixion, the Descent from the 
Cross, and the Last Judgment. 

Van der Weyden's son PlERRE* was a painter 
also, and he in his turn had a son named GoS- 
SUIN, who followed in the steps of his father and 
grandfather, and settled in Antwerp, where the 
family flourished until the end of the sixteenth 

* De Burbiire : Documents inidits sur les peintres Gossuin et Roger 
Van der Weyden h Jeune. [Bulletin de VAcaAemie Royale de Belgique, 
1865, 2=- serie, vol. xix., p. 354.) 

6o FLEMISH PAINTING. [The Van der Weydens. 

century, as we shall see by the following genea- 
logy : 

Roger de la Pasture, known under the name of Van der Weyden, 
1399 or 1400 + 1464 


Peter (1st) John, 

1437 + aft. 1514 goldsmith 

I 1438 + H^^- 

1 i 

Gossuin Peter (2nd) 

1465 + aft. 1538 lived in 1506. 

Roger II., the Younger. 

towards 1505 + 1537—43 



Lambert Ricx, painter.* 

It is a well-known fact that to a few artists who 
achieve renown there are always a great many of 
whom museums and archives often record but the 

In the fifteenth century the number of these artists 
must have been exceptionally great, for in the docu- 
ments of the early corporations and of the communal 
archives, we find hundreds of names contemporary 
with Van Eyck and Van der Weyden. Unfortunately, 
their works are either lost or unknown, and it becomes 
therefore impossible, except on very rare occasions, to 
judge of the talent of these painters. That some of their 
canvases are yet in existence is very likely, but even 
in such a case, documents are wanting which would 

* We only place in our genealogie. those members of the family 
who are artists or allied to artists. 


enable us to assign them, with any degree of certainty, 
to the right craftsmen. The Gothic Flemish painters 
did not sign their works. Assuredly there were a few 
who, like Van Eyck, Van der Weyden, and Memling, 
used to inscribe their names on the frame, but the 
custom for painters to place their signatures on the 
pictures themselves did not become general until the 
beginning of the sixteenth century.* How many of 
those paintings have been handed down to us with 
the frames that originally surrounded them ? As to the 
letters which are sometimes noticeable on the pictures, 
and which have often been thought to give a clue to 
the name of the unknown painter, they are in all cases 
but the initials of the donors. For instance, the fol- 
lowing initial letters, which for so long a time excited 
both the curiosity and the imagination of critics, are 


■fe 'k 

now fully explained. No. i (from Van der Weyden's 
" Descent from the Cross," at St. Peter's, Louvain), 
shows the initials of Wilhelm and Adelaide Edelheer ; 
No. 2 (Memling's "Adoration of the Magi," in the 
Hospital of Bruges), those of Jean Floreins ; in 

* The portrait of Arnoulfini and his wife by Van Eyclt, in the 
National Gallery, is an exception. The inscription itself proves that 
there is a reason for it. 


Nos. 3 and 4 (Memling's " Marriage of St. Catherine," 
at Bruges, and the " Virgin with the donors," Louvre), 
those of Jacques Floreins ; finally, in No. S (Portrait 
by an unknown artist, Museum of Antwerp), those of 
Christian de Hondt. A very great number of pictures 
of the fifteenth century are catalogued in all the 
museums of Europe as by an unknown hand. Several 
of these performances are masterpieces, assigned 
now to Hubert or to Jean Van Eyck, to Van der 
Weyden or Memling, &c. Such are, for example, 
the " Christ on the Cross " of the Palais de Justice of 
Paris, the " Descent from the Cross " in the Museum of 
Vienna, the " St. Jerome " in the Museum of Naples, 
the " Virgin and Child " in the Museum of Palermo. 

Among the second-rate painters of the first half of 
the fifteenth century who appear to have enjoyed a 
relative renown in Ghent,* we will mention, LifiviN 
DE Clite (141 3), Roger Van der Woestin 
(+ 141 6), GuiLLAUME Van Axpoele and Jean 
Martins (1419), Saladin de Scoenere (1434), 
Marc Van Gestele (1445), Van Wytevelde 
(1456), and, finally, Nabur Martins. Some twenty 
years ago several mural paintings by this last artist 
were brought to light in the abbatoirs {vleeshaus) of 
Ghent, but they possess very slight interest. 

In Tournaif laboured Daniel Daret, who in 
1449 took the place of Jean Van Eyck as official 
painter and varlet-de-chauibre to Philip the Good, and 

* De Busscher : Rcchcnhcs sur nos anciens peintres gantois des 
XlVeet XVesiiclcs. 

t A. Pinchavt : Archives des arts, vol. iii., p. 190. 

Cristus.] THE GOTHIC SCHOOL. 63 

Phillipe Truffin (1474) ; in Brussels we find the 
name of COLIN DE COTER ; in Antwerp worked 
Jean Snellaert (recorded from 1453 to 1480), 
who was painter to Mary of Burgundy, and is con- 
sidered to have founded the school in which Quentin 
Metsys occupied so prominent a place ; in Bruges 
Pierre Cristus* and in Valenciennes Simon 
Marmion ; these among so many artists are the 
only ones to claim our attention for a few moments. 

Pierre Cristus, erroneously called Christophsen 
by certain authors, was born at Baerle, near Ghent, He 
went to Bruges, and bought 

the freedom of that city in - q ^^ 

1444 — that is, four years 
after the death of Jean Van 
Eyck. It is therefore impos- 
sible that Cristus learnt his art in the studio of that 
master ; still less in that of Hubert, as various authors 
have repeatedly stated. Nevertheless, Cristus belongs 
to their school by his realistic style, by the extreme 
care he bestowed on details, by his bold and powerful 
colouring, and by the tasteful arrangement of his dra- 
peries and interiors. But his works can never be 
mistaken for those of Van Eyck : his outline is often 
harsh, his types are wanting in character ; his figures, 
designed and executed with very inferior skill, are 
not painted in the same impressive manner as those 
of the great master. 

Those of his pictures which are authenticated bear 

* James Weale : Pierre et Sebastien Cristus, in the Befiroi, 
vol. i., p. 235, Bruges, 1863. 



dates from 1446 to 1467. The most celebrated among 
them are the "Virgin and Child" (i4S7) in the 
Museum of Frankfort, the same subject in the Pina- 
cotek of Turin, and the " Last Judgment " at Berlin 
(1452) and at St. Petersburg. "St. Eloi selling a ring 
to a young couple" (1449) belongs to the Oppenheim 
Collection, at Cologne, and may justly be considered 
as the earliest genre picture of the school. Cristus has 
also left some portraits ; amongst others, those of 
Philip the Good (Museum of Lille) and the English 
Ambassador, Grimston (1446), in the Verulam Collec- 
tion. Cristus was still alive in 1472. He left a son 
named Sebastien, who adopted his father's profession. 

Simon Marmion, towards 1425 — 1489, was, ac- 
cording to the early chroniclers, " worthy of very great 
admiration.'' He was born at Valenciennes, and was 
at the same time painter and illuminator. We know 
that he adorned with profuse miniatures a missal 
intended for Philip the Good. The earliest mention 
of his existence is in 1453, when he painted a picture 
for the hotel de ville of Amiens.* In the following 
year the Duke employed him on the " entremetz" 
of the banquet of Lillef ; in 1460 he appeared among 
the founders of the Guild of Valenciennes, and in 1468 
he was raised in Tournai % to the dignity of master. 

To the present day we have not a single picture 

* Dusevel : Recherclm Historiques stir les ouvragcs exkuth dan 
la ville (V Amiens, Amiens, 1858, p. 25. 

t Pinchart : Notes et additions h Vouvrage de Groove et Caval- 
caselle, The Early Flemish Painters, vol. ii., p. 241. 
Pincliart : Archives dcs arts, vol. ii., p. 201. 

Marmion.] THE GOTHIC SCHOOL. 65 

which can be clearly ascribed to him. Nevertheless, 
there is every reason to suppose that his was the hand 
which traced the altar-screen painted in 1455 for the 
abbey of St. Omer, and which is now in the royal 
palace of the Hague.* 

* A. Michiels : Histoire de li fnnture flamande (Paris, 1867), 
vol. iii., p. 396. 



Charles the Bold succeeded his father, PhiHp 
the Good, in 1467. His reign lasted ten years — ten 
long years of wars and rebellions, perfidy and trea- 
chery, of democratic struggles followed by fearful 
massacres. Yet, in spite of these horrors, art con- 
tinued to flourish, for" luxury and grandeur were an 
absolute necessity to the higher ranks of Burgundian 
and Flemish society. We can form some idea of the 
magnificence of the time by the glowing description 
of the gorgeous festivities which took place at the 
marriage of the young Duke.* 

Four great painters illustrated the new reign — Van 
der Goes, Juste of Ghent, Bouts, and Memling. It is 
a coincidence worthy of remark that early Flemish 
painting shone with the greatest brilliancy at the very 
moment when the Burgundian pride and power had 
reached their climax, as though to establish the close 
relationship between the new artistic generation and 
the ardent vitality of the time. In 1473 Charles 

* Olivier de la Marche : /lAmoi/rs (Ghent, 1566), p. 524. 

Van der Goes.] THE GOTHIC SCHOOL. 6/ 

proceeded to Treves to proclaim the independence of 
his vast estates and to be consecrated King of Bur- 
gundy by the Emperor Frederic III. In the same 
year Thierri Bouts began the panels of the " Sentence 
of the Emperor Otho " for the Hotel de Ville of Lou- 
vain, Justus of Ghent finished the altar-screen repre- 
senting the " Last Supper " for the town of Urbino, 
Memling sent to Italy the triptych of the "Last Judg- 
ment," and Van der Goes was commissioned by the 
Portinari of Florence to paint his " Adoration of the 
Shepherds." Fame has justly glorified these works : 
they are the masterpieces of the painters, and ,are 
reckoned among the largest and the most important 
pictures of the fifteenth century. 

Hugo Van der Goes * (i* — 1482) was pro- 
bably born at Ghent,t but there are no records of his 
presence in this town till 1465 — 66. It is in connec- 
tion with the marriage and the "joyeuse entrSe" of 
CharPes the Bold that his name first appears ; he was 
then employed in several branches of the decorative 
art. From 1473 to 1475 he held the office of dean or 
elder to the Guild of Painters in Ghent,J and in 1476 

■* Principal works : — Florence : The Adoration of the Shepherds 
(Hospital of Santa Maria Nuova). Brussels : Portrait of Charles 
the Bold (Museum). London : Portrait oj Anthony of Burgundy 
(Stafford Collection). Antwerp : Portrait of Thomas Portinari {?) 
(Museum). Venice : Portrait of Laurent Froimont (Academy ^of 
Fine Arts). 

t Schayes : Documents inedits, &c. (Bulletin de rAcademie Royale 
de Belgique, vol. xiii., 2nd series, 1846, p. 337). 

J Ed. de Busscher : Recherches sur les peintres ganlois des XIV 
et XV' siicles (Ghent, 1859), p. 105. 
F 2 

68 FLEMISPI PAINTING. [Van der Goes. 

— by a change as sudden as it was unexpected — he 
entered the monastery of Rouge- Cloitre. * 

We can come to no satisfactory conclusion as to 
the motives which prompted the artist to leave the 
world for the monastic order of St. Augustine. The 
only fact that has been ascertained beyond a doubt, 
is that Hugo had a brother in this monastery, and 
that a special position among the monks was granted 
to the artist, who was never subjected to the strict 
rule of the order. In his retreat the painter con- 
tinued the free exercise of his art ; many people of 
rank, among others the Archduke Maximilian, consort 
of Mary of Burgundy, visited him and came to 
admire his works, and he often joined them at their 
banquets in the guest chamber. This lasted six 
years ; but on one mournful day his brain became 
obscured : the mental malady resisted all remedies, 
and care and devotion were bestowed on him in 
vain : he expired at Rouge-Cloitre in the year 

It is a matter for constant regret that history, 
which follows the artist in the last seventeen years of 
his romantic life, cannot be equally conversant with 
his paintings. The only one of his works which can 
be accurately ascribed to him, on the authority of 
Vasari,t is the celebrated triptych of the " Adoration 

* Alph. W.iuters : Histoire de noire premiire kok de pcinluic 
{Bulletin dc rAcademie Royale de Belgique, vol. xv.,.p. 725. 1863). 
Ditto : Hugo Van der Goes : sa vie el son atwrc, p. 12 Brussels 

t Vasai-i: Laviedespeintres, p. 163. 


OF THE SHEPHERDS.") — Hugo Van der Goes. 

(Hospital of Santa Maria Nuova, Florence. 8 ft. 4 in. X 4ft. ^\ in.) 

70 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Van der Goes. 

of the Shepherds," which Van der Goes painted at the 
request of his patron, Portinai-i, towards 1470-75 (Figs. 
13, 14, and IS). This picture is still in the Florentine 
monastery for which it was painted ; it is imposing in 
its dimensions, its general character, and the majesty 
of its figures. That the other pictures which are 
ascribed to him in Bologna, Padua, Florence, and 
elsewhere, were really painted by him, is more than 
doubtful, and yet we know that the work of the master 
was extensive. Diirer states that in Brussels he saw 
several pictures by this artist. Van Mander mentions 
others in Ghent, and Van Vaernewyck says that in 
Bruges, private houses, as well as churches and 
monasteries, were full of his picture.s. What has 
become of them ? 

The chronicles of Rouge Cloitre, written by a friend 
of the artist, say that Hugo was also a first-rate por- 
trait painter.* Several of those portraits, which he 
painted so well, and which were believed to have all 
perished, are still extant. By an attentive study of 
the fine portraits which adorn the. wings of the 
triptych of Florence, the author of this book has been 
enabled to restore to Van der Goes several small but 
talented panels, which he found scattered through- 
out Europe. Among others we must name the 
celebrated portrait of "Charles the Bold," in the 
Museum of Brussels. The prince, who carried off the 
prize in the years 1466 and 1471, in the competition 

* Alph. Wauters : Ungues Van der Goes, sa vie et ses a'«ww(i864), 

■Van der Goes,] 



of archery in the Guild of St. Sebastian, is represented 
holding the victorious arrow in his hand, and wearing 

&: S 
I. X 

■flj ^ 

>A CO 

a ^ 

M S 

W o 

a z 


g I 

s ■a 


the insignia of the Fleece of Gold.* Also the por- 

* Alph. Wauters : Recherches sur Vhistoire de notre fremiire koh de 
peiniure dans la seconde moitie du XV' siicle (Brussels, 1882), p. ii 

72 FLEMISH PAINTING. _[VanderGoes. 

trait of the " Duke Anthony of Burgundy," which 
belongs to the Stafford Collection, London ; those of 
" Laurent Froimont," in the Academy of Fine Arts 
in Venice ; of " Thomas Portinari " (?), in the Museum 
of Antwerp (No. 254) ; of a gentleman unknown, at 
Hampton Court (No. 590) ; others in Florence, &c. 
The portraits in Brussels and Venice do not fall 
short of the finest of the century, and proclaim to 
the world the talent of the monk of Rouge Cloitre, 
"si excellent d. peindre le portrait!' * 

Two of the Florentine panels have been restored, 
but in so clumsy a manner that the artist's reputation 
has suffered by it, and his style and manner have 
been misjudged. Against such judgment we must 
here protest. Since Van Eyck no Flemish artist — 
not even Van der Weyden — has so nearly equalled 
the grand style of the head of the school. None has 
shown more refinement of colouring — a manner at 
once so simple and bold — or more freedom from that 
fault, so common to the school, which consists in over- 
loading the draperies with useless folds and orna- 
ments. The heads and hands of Van der Goes are 
drawn with greater skill than is exhibited by any 
other artist of the time, and the realistic types and 
physiognomy of his personages are expressed with 
daring and originality. 

It is a fact worthy of note, that while a part of his 
work is entirely impregnated with the Gothic spirit 
and formula, the other appears to herald the great 

* A. J. Wauters : Hugues Van der Goes ci son ceuvrc. (In prepara- 


Hugo Van der Goes, 
(Hospital 01 Santa Maria Nuova, Florence. 8 ft. 5 in. X 4 ft. 7|in.) 

74 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Juste of Ghent; 

future epoch. In the altar-screen of the Portinari, 
we notice in the Httle girl of the donor the germ 
of the ingenuous grace and innate refinenaent so 
remarkable in all the children painted by Van 
Dyck ; in his saints, " St. Anthony," " St. Thomas," 
and "St Joseph," the imposing austerity, the 
dignity of lines, and the inspired brow of Diirer's 

His portrait of " Froimont," in the Academy of 
Venice, is generally ascribed to Holbein, and well 
deserves such an honour by its concise- and firm 
design, as well as by the artist's faithful observation 
of nature. That artist has a right to a place of 
honour, who, with a style impregnated with such 
grandeur, reveals himself as a prophet, and who, 
more than a century in advance of his time, announces 
the Renaissance. 

It is also in Italy that we find the only authen- 
ticated work of Juste of Ghent, the " Last 
Supper," the largest known painting of the early 
Flemish school (9 ft. x 10 ft. 6 in.). It is preserved 
in the Museum of the Institute of Fine Arts in the 
little town of Urbino. 

Of the painter himself little is known. The place 
of his birth, his family name, the master who in- 
structed him, the date and place of his death, are all 
buried in obscurity. The picture of Urbino alone 
helps to throw some light on the biography of the 
artist, thanks to the numerous and interesting details 
which we find in the archives relating to the com- 

Juste of Ghent.] THE GOTHIC SCHOOL. 75 

mission and payment of the work.* They tell us 
that Juste was at Urbino at the time when the Court 
of the Duke of Montefeltre was most brilliant ; that he 
resided there at least ten years, from 1465 to 147S > 
that he was commissioned to paint the " Last Supper " 
by the brotherhood of the Corpus Christi ; and that 
it was paid for by subscription — the Duke himself 
heading the list ; finally, that Justus finished the 
picture in 1474. 

It is a most important work, and gives us the op- 
portunity of studying a master whom his style places 
among Flemish Gothic artists between Vander Weyden 
and Metsys. It would seem that he was the pupil 
of the one and the master of the other. The com- 
position contains about twenty figures, amongst whom 
the Duke appears as spectator ; it is quite original 
in this sense, that it openly breaks with the form 
generally accepted at that period for the representa- 
tion of the " Last Supper." The principal figure, 
Christ, is standing, and holds in his hand the conse- 
crated host ; the attitudes of the apostles, who are 
kneeling in groups around him, are expressive of deep 
religious feeling ; the extremities — heads and hands — 
indicate a first-rate realistic talent ; the colouring 
is harmonious, though it has not the brilliancy of 
the other Flemish painters ; the general character of 
the picture is simple and broad ; in fact, all the details 
betoken a robust talent capable of sustaining in Italy 
the brilliant renown of the Northern school. 

* J. D. Passavant : Rafael d' Urbino (Leipzig, 1839), p. 429. 



[Juste of Ghent 

Unfortunately, this fine altar-screen is the only 
monument we possess as evidence of this painter's talent. 

FIG. l6.— THE LAST SUPi>ER. — 7"/ii«-« Bouts. 
(Church of St. Peter, Louvain. 5 f L gin. X 4 ft. lo^in.) 

The fresco of the " Annunciation," in the church of 
the Carmelite friars at Genoa, signed " Justus d'Alla- 
magna, pinxit, 1451," which is often attributed to him, 

Juste of Ghent.] 



THE "LAST supper"). — TMerri Bouts. 

(Pinacothek of Munich. 2 ft. 10 in. X 2 ft. si in.) 

is the work of an artist who had no connection with 
Juste of Ghent. In the same manner the two 
pictures which the catalogue of Antwerp ascribes to 

78 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Xhierri Bouts. 

him cannot be seriously upheld as his work. Mensaert 
asserts that as late as 1763* the city of Ghent pos- 
sessed pictures by this artist, but if so, they have 
disappeared since that period. 

While Juste and Van der Goes were thus brilliantly 
upholding the fame of the Flemish school, a new ar- 
tistic centre was forming itself at Louvain. As early 
as 1 394 this town had witnessed the institution of the 
famous Ommegang, which was to be the model of all 
the luxurious cavalcades sxiAjoyeuses entries of Brabant. 

In 1425 the foundations of the fine church dedi- 
cated to St. Peter were laid ; in 1426, the Duke, 
John IV., of Brabant, founded the University ; and in 
1448 the magistracy laid the first stone of the Hotel 
de Ville, a most imposing edifice, one of the glories of 
Gothic architecture in the Netherlands. About the 
same time an artist of Dutch extraction took up his 
residence in Louvain, and there practised an art which 
was to cast a fresh halo of glory on the place of his 
adoption. This artist, Thierri BoUTS,t (? 1475) is 
called by early authors Thierry, or Dierik of 
Haarlem, from the name of his native town, and by 
modern writers Thierri Stuerbout, in consequence of 
a confusion of persons, now rectified. 

No satisfactory answer has been obtained to the 

* G. P. Mensaert: Le J>eintre amateur ct curieux(Bxasie\s, 1763), p. 36. 

t Principal works :— Brussels : The Sentence of the Emperor Oilio 
(Museum). Louvain : T/ie Martyrdom of Saint Erasmus (Church of 
St. Peter) ; The Last Supper. Munich : The Adoration of the Magi 
(Pinacothek). Berlin and Munich: the Panels of the Last Supper. 
Frankfort : The Sybil of Tibur (Stadel Institution). Vienna : The 
Crowning of the Virgin (Academy of Fine Arts). 

ThierrI Bouts.] 



often-repeated inquiry, Where was he born ? How 
did he learn his art ? What circumstances led him to 
journey from Haarlem to Louvain ? . . . His birth 

FIG. l8. — THE ADORATION OF THE MAGI. — Thierri Bouts. 
(Pinacothek of Munich, ift. iiin. X ift. iiin.) 

was formerly fixed at about 1400, but we now find 
that this event could not have taken place much before 
1420. On the other hand a certain resemblance 
of character exists between his works and those of 
Memhng, which would lead, one to suppose that both 

8o FLEMISH PAINTING. [Thierri Bouts. 

artists were instructed by the same master. We may- 
infer, therefore, that Bouts may have been the pupil 
of Van der .Weyden, and it is probable that the 
numerous works which took Roger to Louvain, 
towards 1440 — 1443, perhaps induced Bouts to follow 
his master there, if really Roger Van der Weyden was 
his master. However this may be, the artist was settled 
and married in Louvain as early as 1448. He executed 
in 1466 — 68, for the wealthy brotherhood of the Holy 
Sacrament, the two pictures which are still preserved 
at St. Peter's, the "Last Supper" and the "Martyr- 
dom of St. Erasmus." No doubt these two paintings 
crowned the reputation of the artist, for they were 
hardly finished when that city, remembering what 
Brussels had done for Van der Weyden, also gave 
Bouts the honorary title of " pourtraiteur de la ville" 
and commissioned him to execute some paintings for 
the decoration of the new town-hall. The first one, 
a triptych of the " Last Judgment," was completed in 
1472, but is now lost. The second part was to have 
been composed of four panels representing, still in 
imitation of what had been done in Brussels, a suite 
of episodes intended to inspire the people and 
the magistrates with the love of virtue and justice. 
The first two, the largest which Bouts ever painted, 
are at the present moment in the Museum of Brussels 
under the title of the " Iniquitous Sentence of the 
Emperor Otho." * The other two were not executed. 

* We find reproductions of these two panels in the History of Dutch 
Painting, by H. Havard, translated by G. Powell. 

Thierri Bouts.] THE GOTHIC SCHOOL. 8 1 

The artist died in 1475, as he was preparing to com- 
plete his work. 

We owe the discovery of these facts to the able 
researches of the archivists of Louvain and Brussels, 
MM. Van Even and Alphonse Wauters.* Thanks to 
them it has been possible to restore to this artist a 
great number of works ; about twenty panels are 
already known. The greater part, notably the 
" Crowning of the Virgin," at Vienna, the " Martyrdom 
of St. Hippolytus," at Bruges, the fine triptych of the 
"Adoration of the Magi," at Munich (Fig. 18), have 
long been ascribed to Memling. At first sight the 
manner of Bouts had a certain affinity with that 01 
this master, but if we study it with attention, we soon 
find that it was very personal and easily recognisable. 
His figures are always the same, slender, with 
elongated heads, stiff attitudes, and fixed expression. 
All his pictures exhibit the same absence of taste in 
the choice of types, _ and of softness in the flesh and 
draperies, as well as in the accessories and ornaments, 
of which he is lavish, and which he executes with 
inimitable minuteness. On the other hand the figures 
are imposing, and the vestments magnificent ; they 
are designed with rare perfection — especially the 
heads — and exhibit correct and patient observation of 
nature, great firmness of touch, and wondrous cha- 
racter. His colouring is that of the school, yet it 

* E. Van Even ; Thierri Bouts, dit Stuerbout, peintre du XV' siicle 
(Brussels, 1861). See, also, by the same author, VAncienne icole de 
peinture du Louvain (1870). Alphonse Wauters : Thierri Bouts ou de 
ffarlem et ses^ls (BrasseU, 1863). 

82 FI.EMISH PAINTING. [Thierri Bouts. 

does not present quite the same warmth — it has, so to 
speak, a metallic ring. 

Bouts, in a great number of his panels, breaks 
the traditional monotony of the composition to adopt 
a picturesque arrangement, which is one of the original 
and typical sides of his talent ; this Juste of Ghent 
had already done in his " Last Supper." The back- 
ground of his landscapes often discloses the city of 
Louvain, the tower of St. Peter, and the turrets of the 
H6tel de Ville (Fig. 17) ; it is almost a monogram. 

Thierri Bouts left two sons : Thierri (towards 
1448 — 1491), and Albert (? — 1549)- Both were 
painters, but up to the present time not a single work 
cf theirs has been authenticated. 



In the history of modern art there are few celebrated 
artists whose history is more obscure than that of 
Hans Memling (towards 1435 — 1495).* A few 
facts, in themselves insignificant, are all the world 
knows of this great man. And we are still reduced to 
conjecture with regard to the date of his birth, and 
the position which he occupied in Bruges. 

This very want of details has excited the imagina- 
tion of some writers, romancers rather than historians, 
who have taken it upon themselves to replace absent 
facts by fables, so that during more than a centuiy 
the legend of Memling has usurped the place of 
history. Deschampsf invented it in 1753, and since 

* Principal works : — Bruges : The Marriage of St. Catherine (St. 
John's Hospital). The Adoration of the Magi (id.) ; The Shrine of St. 
Ursula (ii.). St. Christopher (^KcaAeray oi Vine Axi%). 'Da.nizig: The 
Last Judgment {CsXh^AiaX) ; Lubeck : The Passion (ii.) Munich: The 
Seven Joys of the Virgin (Pinacothek). Turin: The Stven Sorrows of the 
Virgin (Pinacothek). Rome : The Descent from the Cross (The Doria 
Gallery). Paris : The Virgin worshipped by the Floreins Family (Louvre). 
Florence : 7%« Virgin and Child (XSfazi). Vienna: Th: Virgin and 
Child (Museum). 

t La vie des pejntres flamands, a'.lemands et hollandais. Paris, 

G 2 


that time it has developed and increased* Mem- 
ling's bad conduct, his incorporation in the bands 
of Charles the Bold, his participation in the war 
against the Swiss, the wound he received at the battle 
of Nancy, his return to Bruges, his illness and con- 
valescence in the hospital of St. John, his love for one 
of the sisters of that community, his marriage with an 
heiress, his wanderings through Italy and Spain, his 
death at the Carthusian monastery of Miraflores ; 
such are the principal elements of the story. 

However, the discoveries of Mr. James Weale,t 
the history of the numerous pictures which time has 
respected, prove that the romantic biography of Mem- 
ling exists only in the imagination of a few writers, 
who have delighted in transforming the great painter 
into a fanciful personage, and have carried him on 
the wings of their fancy to immeasurable distances 
from truth and history. 

We do not know when and where Memling J was 
born, but we are almost certain that it was not in 
Bruges. As to the date, we can by inference place it, 
though very vaguely, between the years 1430 and 
1440. It appears certain that he learned his art from 
Van der Weyden in Brussels, and that he afterwards 
settled in Bruges— the year, however, is not known. 

* L. Viardot : Les Mmks cCEspagne, d'Ang! terre et de Belgique 
(Paris, 1843), p. 306. Alfred Michiels : Histoire dt la pHnturt 
flamande (Paris, 1867), vol. iv., ch. xxiv. 

t They are summed up in a little book : Hans Memling zyn 
leven en zyne schilderwerken (Bruges, 1871). 

X Not "Hemling," as it was long erroneously written. 

Meraling.] THE GOTHIC SCHOOL. 85 

His biography opens with the dates of some of his 
pictures : the first, 1462, is inscribed on a portrait in 
the National Gallery ; the second, 1472, is on a 
picture in the Liechtenstein Collection at Vienna, the 
"Virgin and Child," before whom a donor kneels in 
adoration.* In the third we discover a masterpiece : 
before 1573, Memling had painted a large triptych, 
the " Last Judgment," intended for Italy, but which 
the chances of navigation took to Dantzig.f The 
interval between the years 1477 and 1484 appears to 
have been the brilliant and active part of the artist's 
career. We see him working at the time for cor- 
porations,J monasteries, burgomasters, and private 
families. All the pictures in Bruges date from that 
time, also the altar-screen, the " Seven Joys of the 
Virgin," in the Pinacothek of Munich. He received 
commissions from the representatives of the nations, 
especially from Portinari, and on several panels in 
his work we find the arms of the Sforza of Milan, of 
the Cliffords of England^ and of Joan of France, 
daughter of Charles VII. Public favour must have 
been closely followed by fortune, or at least by easy 
circumstances, for in 1480 the artist bought the house 
in which he lived, and in the same year his name 
appears in the accounts of the city of Bruges among 
those of the principal citizens from whom the 

* A. J. Wauters : Dkouverle d 'im Tableau date de Hans Afeiiiling 
{Echo du Parlement Beige, August 29, 1883), 

+ Hotho : Geschichte der deutschen und niederldndischen Malerei 
(Berlin, 1843), vol. ii., p. 128. 

X Carton : Les trots Frires Van Eyck. Jean Memling (Bruges, 
1848). J. Weale : Le Beffroi, vol. ii., p. 264. 


commune had borrowed money. These two facts, 
which Mr. Weale * has brought to light, as 
well as the numerous and important works dated 
from that period, show us the artist in a flourishing 
position at the very time when the legend represents 
him as lying in the hospital ill in health and poor in 

Memling died in Bruges, it is supposed, in the 
year 1495, leaving three children under age,t which 
latter fact would lead us to think that he died young. 

These are the only details which we possess of 
the life of the great painter, the last of the masters 
of the celebrated school of Bruges. He disappears at 
the same time that the ancient capital of the Dukes 
of Burgundy lost, in civil discords, its artistic and 
commercial splendour. Some years before the ?iations 
had begun to abandon Bruges for Antwerp, and the 
Hanse towns had carried to the latter city their docks 
and their solemn assemblies (1493). 

Happily for the memory of the artist, the museums 
are more helpful than the archives, and the great 
number of his pictures which time has respected — 
more than fifty — throw a great deal more light on his 
life than most authentic documents. Those of his 
pictures which bear a date are comprised between the 
portrait at the National Gallery (1462) and the ad- 
mirable polyptych of the " Passion " at Lubeck (1491). 
His works are exceptionally varied. He has depicted, 

* Journal des Beaux Arts (1861), pp. 23 and 35. 
t Jotirnal des Beaux Arts (1861), p. 2r. 




in the midst of the loveliest landscapes, the touching 
and dramatic scenes of the birth, the life, and the 


o e 
d g 



^ »i 

z -5 
o s 

passion of Christ — a real religious poem — which he 
has called the " Joys and Sorrows of the Virgin." He 
has painted episodes in the lives of the saints, and 


especially of his patron saints, St. John the Baptist 
and St. John the Evangelist. After the example of 
Jean Van Eyck, he delighted in painting the " Virgin 
Glorified," and has placed the donors and their families 
kneeling around her splendid throne. The Louvre 
possesses a magnificent specimen in this style, which 
was added to its collection by the Duchatel family, 
and on which we find the portraits of Jacques Floreins, 
his wife, and their nineteen children ! * (Fig. 19.) 
Finally, like Van Eyck and Van der Goes, Memling 
has painted small half-length portraits, which are in 
the museums or collections of Antwerp, Brussels (Fig. 
20), Bruges, London, Florence, and Frankfort. To 
know and appreciate Memling we should study him 
in Bruges, which preserves with a veneration not 
unmixed with pride the productions of her illustrious 
artist. His talent displays itself in the paintings at 
the St. John's Hospital, where it is seen in all its 
forms and in its most diversified aspects — grand and 
powerful in the majestic figures of the saints and 
donors in the " Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine,^' 
touching in the picturesque pages of the " Adoration 
of the Magi," placid, ingenuous, and charming in the 
miniatures in oils of the " Shrine of St. Ursula," noble 
and vivid in the admirable portrait of Nieuwenhove. 

Memling's talent, though not so robust or vast as 
that of Jean Van Eyck, yet enables him to surpass that 
master in charm of emotion, tenderness, and elegance. 
His rich and brilliant colouring will bear the test of 

* James Weale ; Hans Memling, Lz. (Bruges, 1S71), p. 61. 


FIG. 20. — PORTRAIT. — Hans Memling. 
(Museum of Brussels, i ft. i in. X 9f ™-) 


comparison with any master ; the design of his lovely 
heads and hands, with long taper fingers, is careful in 
its smallest details, and the modelling is so admirable 
that one can hardly define how it is achieved. He has 
no " trick," no determination to adopt one or the other 
style ; he does not aim at effect. In him we admire 
simple truth and good faith — characteristics of imperish- 
able works. He has created a feminine type which 
was unknown until his time, and which has since dis- 
appeared. His Virgins, around whom hover angels 
bearing lutes and scattering flowers ; his beautiful 
saints, clad in long brocaded robes, are not simply 
the real and mundane portraits of the ladies of his 
time : they are incarnations of grace, refinement, 
meditation, and innocence. Necessarily the ideal of 
beauty has changed ; their rounded foreheads no 
longer answer to our modern ideas ; but they em- 
body purity of expression, celestial simplicity, peace, 
and an ineffable charm. Before him, no one in Flanders 
had felt so deeply or painted with so much sentiment. 

After four hundred years his work is still fresh. 
The more we contemplate it the more we love it, and 
the more we become penetrated by it. " It is," says 
Fromentin, "one of those sweet symphonies which 
strike the ear with renewed charm as we listen to 
it more frequently." His is grand art in the truest 
sense of the word.* 

Memling, like Van der Weyden, exercised a 
powerful influence over the artists of his time. The 

• Bans Memling : sa vie et son a-uvre, 4to, illustrated, by A. T. 
Wauters, will shortly be pablished by A. Quautin. 

Van der Meire.] THE GOTHIC SCHOOL. QI 

schools of Bruges, Ghent, Brussels, Antwerp, those 
also of Holland and the Rhine, produced numerous 
imitators of his style, which remained pure during a 
few years, and then became intermingled with the style 
of the Renaissance, with Gossaert, Bellegambe, Blon- 
deel, Joest(?), and Mostaert. The illuminators also felt 
his influence and adopted his manner. Several richly- 
decorated manuscripts furnish ample proof of this 
power, notably the celebrated breviary of Cardinal 
Grimani at Venice, which was the joint work of a num- 
ber of miniaturists of the end of the fifteenth century. 
The most celebrated among his immediate followers 
were Gerard Van der Meire in Ghent, Gheerardt 
David in Bruges, and Joachim Patinier in Antwerp. 
The eccentric Jerome Bosch himself sometimes ex- 
hibits a touch of the master's placidity and elegance. 

The biography of GfiRARD VAN DER Meire 
(1450.'' — 1512.') has not yet been unravelled,* and 
none of his works are identified. His name is the 
one thing that we know of him beyond the possibility 
of doubt on the authority both of Guicciardini and 
Van Mander. The latter author says that he was 
born at Ghent. The dates of his birth and death 
are doubtful. The triptych of the " Crucifixion " in 
the church of St. Bavon, in Ghent, is only ascribed to 
him by tradition, and it is not without rashness that 
ten or twelve pictures are attributed to him in Ant- 
werp, Bruges, Madrid, Rome, and other places. 
Finally, the opinion which some writers have ex- 

* Alph. Wauters : Sur quelques feintres de la fin du XVs" ikle 
(Bulletin de VAcadimie royale de Belgiqtie, 1882, vol.' v., p. 83). 

92 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Van der Meirc. 

pressed, that he was engaged on the Grimani breviary, 
is open to discussion. 

Van der Meire appears to have enjoyed some 
reputation in his own time. Guicciardini mentions 
him among the followers of Van Eyck, but if the 
picture in St. Bavon be really his work he ought 
rather to be classed as a contemporary of Memling. 
Assuredly the colouring falls far short of the powerful 
tones of this master, and the attitudes are stiff, but the 
landscape is skilfully treated, certain figures are not 
wanting in character, and, like the artist who painted 
the " Seven Joys of the Virgin," he seems to have 
devoted special care to his horses. 

Among the varlets-de-chambre of Charles the Bold 
appears^ in 1476, another Van der Meire, named Jean, 
who is believed to have been a native of Antwerp, and 
who is said to have painted for the Duke a certain 
number of pictures which have since perished. At 
the same period Charles counted two more painters 
among his varlets — PiERRE COUSTAIN (lived in 
1450—84) and Jean Mertens (who lived in 
1473 — 91)- Four mediocre pictures of the latter 
artist adorn the little church of Leau, in Brabant* 

The name and existence of Gheerardt David 
(towards 1460— 1523)! did not come to light till quite 

* Alph. Wautei-s : S^^r quelqtus peinires feu connus de la fin du 
XV'-siicle [Bulletin de V Acadimie royale de Belgique, 1882, vol. iii., 
p. 685). 

+ Principal works :— Rouen : Tin Virgin surrounded by Saints 
(Museum). Bruges : The Baptism of Christ (Academy of Fine Arts). 
Genoa : Tlie Virgin between Saint Jerome and Saint ^<?«e(/;V/ (Municipal 
Palace). London : A Canon and his Patron Saints (National Gallery). 

Gheerardt David.] THE GOTHIC SCHOOL. 93 

recently, and it is to Mr. James Weale* that history owes 
the biography of this artist. David was born in Oude- 
water, a small town in the south of Holland, in 1460, 
and thence he journeyed to Bruges, whither he came 
to learn his art. In 1483 he received the dignity of 
master of the corporation of St. Luke, and in 1501 he 
was elected dean, or elder. He was also connected 
with the Guild of Illuminators of Bruges and with that 
of Painters of Antwerp. These various dignities would 
lead us to imagine him an active man, and an artist 
who was universally respected. As to his works, they 
have long been confounded with those of Memling ; 
it is impossible to give them higher praise. In the 
triptych, the " Baptism of Christ " in the Academy of 
Bruges, Gheerardt shows himself a landscapist of the 
greatest talent, and a delicate observer of picturesque 
scenes ; in the " Virgin surrounded with Saints," in 
the Museum of Rouen, he stamps the feminine coun- 
tenance with an expression of sweet grace and 
melancholy ; and in the large triptych of the Muni- 
cipal Palace of Genoa, which represents the " Virgin 
and Child between St. Benedict and St. Jerome," he 
proves himself to be a splendid colourist and an 
adequate interpreter of character.! 

Joachim Patinier (i* — 1524) comes immediately 
after Gheerardt David. J This artist is generally placed 

* Gerard David dans Le Beffroi (Bruges, 1863 — 1870), vol. i. , 
p. 224 ; vol. ii., p. 288 ; vol. iii., p. 334. 

t Ernst Forster : Gh-ard David (Journal des Beaux Arts, 1869, 

P- S3)- 

t Alexander Pinchart : Notes et Additions h Vouvrage de Crowe et 
Cavakasetle (Early Flemish Painters), vol. ii., p. 280. 

94 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Patinier. 

much too far in the sixteenth century, and must be 
ascribed to an earlier date.* He was in the habit 
of peopHng his landscapes, which were of compara- 
tively large dimensions, with a number of small 
figures, and was therefore called the inventor of land- 
scape painting. This title does not, however, justly 
belong to him, as before his time Van Eyck, Van der 
Weyden, Bouts, and Memling, had interpreted Nature 
in an admirable manner. He does, nevertheless, fully 
deserve the title, of "Good landscape painter," which 
Albert Diirer gives him in the "Journey to the Nether- 

In all probability Patinier was born at Bouvignes,t 
a small town of ancient Hainault, situated on the 
Maas, opposite Dinant, but the date of his birth has 
not been ascertained. He fixed his- residence at 
Antwerp, was admitted master there in 1515, and 
died in 1524. 

In the handling of his landscapes he greatly 
resembles his contemporary, Gheerardt David. The 
"Baptism of Christ'' which is in the Imperial Museum 
of Vienna and is signed with his name in full — Opus 
Joachim D(ictus) Patinier — looks like a reduced copy 
of David's picture in Bruges. Again, he has in Vienna 
a diminutive " Flight into Egypt," which is executed 
in neutral tints of extreme delicacy ; the figures are 

* Principal works :— Madrid : The Temptation of St. Anthony (Mu- 
seum). Vienna : The Baptism of Christ (Museum), The Flight inw 
Egypt (ditto). Antwerp : The Flight into Egypt (Museum). 

t Guicciardini : Description de tout le Pais Bas (Antwerp, 1567), 
P- 137- 

5 ^ 

< X 

M .S 

X * 

S * 

o :g 

o ^ 

p o 

^ S 

H 5 

S " 



grouped in the midst of a rocky landscape, of rare 
freshness of aspect and painted with great truth. 
The " Temptation of St. Anthony " in Madrid is an 
original work, minute in detail and important as 
to its landscape ; the group of women in this pic- 
ture is interesting by the delicacy of the flesh tints 
and the elegant and graceful costumes. Others of 
his works, such for example as "The Magdalen at 
Prayer'' in the Somzee Collection, Brussels, are the 
foreshadowing of the Renaissance. The Prado, the 
National Gallery in London, and the Museum of 
Vienna, abound in his paintings. The work of 
Patinier, once known, will give the painter a high 
place among artists. Albert Diirer appreciated him 
and honoured him with his friendship during the time 
of his stay in Antwerp, in 1521. 

J£rome Bosch (towards 1470 — 15 16)* signed 

his pictures "Jerominus Bosch," and was known 

during three centuries under this pseudonym, 

Bbut thanks to the efforts of M. Pinchartf 
his real family name. Van Aken, has 
now been discovered. This surname of 
Bosch which he took comes from Hertog-en-Bosch, 
a Flemish translation of Bois-le-Duc, a. town of 
ancient Brabant, where the painter was born and 
where he resided during the greater part of his life. 
This original artist was the creator of a style which 

* Principal works :— Madrid : TAe Adoration of the Magi (Museum 
of the Prado), The Triumph of Death (ditto). Brussels : The Fall of 
the Condemned (Museum). Vienna : The Last Judgment (Academy of 
Fine Arts). 

t Archives des Arts, vol. i., p. 267. 

Bosch.] - THE GOTHIC SCHOOL. 97 

was destined to have illustrious followers in Peter 
Breughel and Teniers : he was, in the Netherlands, the 
first fantastic, satirical, and moralist painter. Those 
of his pictures in which he represents joyous Flemish 
scenes make him the forerunner of Brauwer and Jean 
Steen. His principal religious picture is an " Adora- 
tion of the Magi " in the Museum of Madrid (Fig. 
2i). It is a first-rate work; the composition is 
well conceived, the legendary figures of the Magi 
kings being grouped in the midst of a very realistic 
landscape. There is grandeur in the general cha- 
racter of the work, and it is painted with great 

The Albertine Collection at Vienna possesses an 
original drawing by this artist, representing thirty 
small figures of the lame and maimed. This picture 
gives evidence of a great spirit of observation. Bosch's 
many replicas of the " Last Judgment," the " Tempta- 
tion of St. Anthony," and the "Fall of the Con- 
demned," by their confused throng of demons, phan- 
toms, and monsters, evidence an ardent and weird 
imagination. A great number of his pictures are in 
Spain.* It would appear that Philip II. valued 
them highly : the vagaries of this visionary could 
not but charm the man to whom the Inquisition 
came for inspiration, and whom history has sur- 
named the Demon of the South. 

* Clement de Ris : Le Musee royal de Madrid, p. 91 (Paris, 1859). 




The Guild of St. Luke of Antwerp * was originated 
towards 1382. The first member-associate of this 
guild whose name appears in the communal archives 
of 141 2 is Jean Bosschaerts. At the outset there 
were goldsmiths, glassmakers, and embroiderers among 
its members, as well as painters and sculptors. Later 
on, it associated literature with art, and united itself 
to the chambers of rhetoric, which have become so 
celebrated under the names of Violire (violet), Goud- 
bloemen (golden-flower), and Olyftack (the olive- 
branch). It had adopted for its motto : Wtjonsten 
versaeuit (United through inclination), and held its 
meetings in the superb hall of the Serment de la 
vieille Arbalete (Grand Place). The Liggeren, or re- 
gisters of its inscriptions have been handed down to us 
in an almost complete state of preservation from 1453, 
and furnish us with the names of all its associates, 
masters, and apprentices, as late as 1736. The history 

* J. B. Van der .S Iraeten : Jaerboek der gilde van Shit Lucas. 
Antwerp, i!J55. 


of art possesses few documents of higher importance* 
The first name registered in the Liggeren is that of 
WiLLEM Decuyper, who was a painter and tinter of 
stone ; in the same year we also find that of John 
Snellaert, who became dean of the corporation and 
painter to the Duchess Mary of Burgundy. After a 
long list of names, which in our day are entirely for- 
gotten, appears, in 1491, that of Quentin METSYS.f 

A warm contest went on for many years between 
Louvain and Antwerp, for the honour of having 
given birth to this illustrious artist. His name closes 
the series of Gothic painters, while it opens the 
glorious list of the great masters of the school of 
Antwerp.J Whatever the arguments brought forward 
by both sides, Louvain had the best of the dispute, 
and proved that Metsys was born within her walls in 
the year 1466.^ His father, who was an able iron- 

* Zes Liggeren et autres archives historiqites de la Gilde anvcrs- 
oise de Saint-Luc" translated, with notes, by Ph. RomboutS and 
Th. van Lerius. Antwerp, 1872. 2 vols, in 8vo. 

f This name is also written Matsys or Massys, but Metsys is the 
signature of the triptych at the museum of Brussels. 

X F. J. van den Branden : Geschiedenis der antwerpsche schilder- 
school {Histoire de Vecole de peintuie d'Anve7-s], Antwerp, 1878 — 
83. All our dates of births and deaths concerning the Antwerpian 
painters have been verified by this work, which on this subject must 
be considered an authority. Max Rooses : Geschiedenis der ant- 
iverpsche schilderschool^ Ghent, 1879. Van Even : Vancicnne hole 
de peinhtre de Louvain (Louvain, 1870), p. 315. See also the " Cata. 
logue of the Museum of Antwerp." 

§ Principal works : — Antwerp : The Burial of Christ (Museum). 

Brussels: The Legmd of St. /^7?«f (Museum). Madrid: Jesus, the 

Virgin, and St. John (Prado). Venice : Ecce Homo (Palace of the 

Doges). Frankfort : The Portrait of a Man (Stadel Institution). 

H 2 




worker, taught his trade to his son, which circumstance 
explains how young Quentin began his career by 
working iron, though his natural talent afterwards led 

Quentin Me/sys. (Museum of Antwerp. 8 ft. 5J in. X 6 ft. 9 in.) 

him to painting. It was he who forged the admirably 
wrought railing which surrounds a well in front of 
Notre Dame at Antwerp. 

Paris : T/ie Bankers (Louvre), 
cf/iis Wife. 

Florence : Bis own Portrait and that 




Before 149 1 the artist left his native town to take 
up his residence in Antwerp, which had just inherited 
the great commercial activity of Bruges, and was at 



entombment). — Quentin Meisys. 

(Museum of Antwerp. 8 ft. 5 J in. X 3 ft- lo in. ) 

the dawn of its prosperity. We have documentary 
evidence that Metsys was at this time entered in 
the guild of painters of St. Luke. His change of 
profession has been ascribed by some authors to a 
romantic adventure, now recognised to be no more 



than a legend ; by others to a convalescence which 
gave him leisure for his first attempts at painting. 
However that may be, the talent of Metsys soon 
became evident, and a few years sufficed to make him 
the most renowned among the Flemish artists of his 
time. Ancient biographers say that he was also an 
excellent musician, and a successful man of letters. 
Albert Diirer paid him a visit in 1521. Thomas 
Moore, Erasmus, and .^Egidius were his friends, and 
we know that he painted and engraved, both on wood 
and on metal, the portrait of the author of the " Eulogy 
of Folly." * 

It would be interesting to study the early manner 
of this master, but no authentic work of this period 
has come down to us. The dated catalogue com- 
mences with the two pictures in Antwerp and 
Brussels, both executed when the artist was forty-two 
years of age. The one, the " Embalming of Christ," 
was painted in 1508, for the Corporation of Joiners 
of Antwerp (Figs. 22 and 23) ; the other, the " Legend 
of St. Ann," in 1509, for the brotherhood of this saint 
in Louvain. These triptychs, both of large dimen- 
sions, rank as masterpieces, and form an epoch in 
Flemish art. They reveal all the finest qualities of 
the painter : animation of scene, variety in the atti- 
tudes, power of expression, aerial perspective in the 
landscape, richness and luminous transparency of the 
colouring, a mastery of glazing and half-tints. The 

* Henry Hymans : Qnentin Metsys et son portrait d'Erasme 
{Btillctin des commissions d'art et darc/u'ologie), p. 616. Brussels) 




FIG. 24. — VO'&.TS.A.n.—Quentin Metsys. 
(Stadel Institute at Frankfort. 2 ft. 3 in. X i ft. 8 in. ) 

painter's idea is deep and tender, the workmans^hip 
full of mystery. 

In spite of the minute finish, the abundance of 



detail, the delicacy of the touches, and the soft hues 
of the texture, the general character is striking ; the 
effect tender and penetrating in the " Legend of St. 
Ann" ; dramatic and poignant in the " Embalming of 
Christ." Metsys was the first in Flanders who under- 
stood that, in painting, the details are of secondary 
importance, and must be subordinate to the general 
effect ; he was the first to practise the great law of 
unity. Sometimes he abandoned the formula of 
Gothic art ; the subtle, captivating, and dreamy 
beauty of his virgins and saints seems like the early 
promise of a new art, less mystic and more mundane 
than that of Memling. As we gaze we feel that his 
epoch was one of transition. However, in spite of 
foreign influence, which pressed hard upon him, Metsys 
remained purely Flemish. He was the creator of the 
school of Antwerp, and announced its splendour ; and 
he will remain the glorious link between Van Eyck 
and Memling on the one hand, and Rubens and 
Jordaens on the other. He also excelled in the style 
which Peter Cristus had inaugurated seventy years 
earlier in his " St. Eloi " (1449). He painted scenes of 
every-day life — traders, bankers, and goldsmiths, in the 
midst of business. His two most celebrated pictures 
in that style are at the Louvre and at Windsor. 
Besides, his own portrait and that of his second wife in 
the Uffizi, and above all the admirable man's head in 
the museum of Frankfort (Fig. 24), speak of the 
delicacy of his talent as a landscape-painter and his 
powers as a portraitist. We recognise his manner 
and above all his subjects, in the pictures of his sons 


and of his scholars. He left thirteen children, several 
of whom were sons ; and it would appear that his 
brother, and some of his nephews and grandsons, also 
followed in the steps of the master. The subjoined 
genealogy, though it has no pretence to absolute 
accuracy, will nevertheless give a cursory view of this 
celebrated family, the lineage of which has not yet 
been clearly established. 

JossE Metsys (I.), 
Iron-worker at Louvain, towards 1481. 

Josse (II.) Quentin (I.) John (I.) 
Iron-worker and architect 1466 — 1530 (?) — 1526 
1463—1530 I j_ 

I I I I I 

Quentin (II.) Paul John (II.) Cornelius Quentin (III.) 

(?) (?) — 1532 towards 1510- towards 1513- (?) 

bef. 1576 aft. 1579 Michel and Philip, 

I banished in 1544 

I I 

Quentin (IV.) Francis, 

Master in 1574 — Goldsmith 

d. at Frankfort 

Of all the sons of Quentin, the best known is 
John (II)., who is represented in several museums by 
many replicas of St. Jerome, and various 
subjects borrowed from the history of Lot, £5^ 
David, Tobias, and St. Anthony. Another 
of his sons, CORNELIUS (1543), is represented in the 
Museum of Berlin by a landscape into which he 
has introduced several figures. 

Metsys died in 1530. Hi; was the last master 


who remained faithful to the traditions of the early 
national school. His art was not for one moment 
disturbed by the great movement which was taking 
place beyond the Alps. And yet, for more than a 
quarter of a century, Flemish painters had closely 
followed each other on the road to Italy : Florence, 
Rome, and Venice were fast superseding Bruges, 
Brussels, and Antwerp ; Van Eyck, Van der Weyden, 
and Memling, were forgotten for Leonardo, Raphael, 
and Michael Angelo. 



An important work could be written on the life and 
labours of those Flemish painters who took up their 
abode in foreign lands, and on the influence which 
Flemish art at divers times has exercised on the Conti- 
nent. It is true that the Italian school especially has 
attracted to its studios artists of all nationalities, 
but, on the other hand, no school has been so 
well represented throughout Europe as the Flemish. 
Flemish artists visited every country, and the chief 
towns in each ; every court employed their talent ; 
museums, palaces, and churches preserve monuments 
of their genius. At the end of each of the great 
periods we intend, in this Manual, to sketch the 
growth of Flemish art beyond its natural frontiers. 

Holland. — When speaking of Van Eyck and his 
sojourn at the Hague in 1422 — 24, we have suggested 
the probability of the direct influence which he, the 
head of the school of Bruges, must have exercised on 
the Dutch school, then in its birth. 

Indeed, it is towards that period that we have the 
first record of ALBERT Van Ouwater, the earliest 


known painter of the northern provinces. Haarlem 
was the scene of the labours of G£rard DE Saint- 
Jean (1450), his pupil ; the two panels which are 
attributed to this artist at the Imperial Museum of 
Vienna denote the influence exercised by the Flemish 
school of the end of the fifteenth century. This 
influence is at least equally betrayed by the work of 
the master of Lucas of Leyden, and of CORNfiLls 
Engelbrechts (1468 — 1553), who simply per- 
petuated the traditions of Van der Weyden and 

Germany. — By imprinting their realism on the 
religious sentiment of the German school, the Flemish 
masters greatly modified it, and deeply stirred the 
idealistic traditions of the Teutonic painters. We 
remark particularly the craftsmen of Cologne, who 
have produced many copies and replicas of Van der 
Weyden's celebrated " Descent from the Cross " and 
Memling's " Virgin Glorified." On the Lower Rhine, 
at Calcar and Xanten, there were other masters who 
also adopted the style of the school of Bruges, and 
especially imitated Memling,* but they were more 
talented and successful than the degenerate artists of 
Cologne. Among such, is the painter who was long 
known as " Maiire de la moi't de Marie" and who 
went by the name of Jean Joest (1460 (?) — 1519)- 
As mementoes of the same period in which we recog- 
nise Flemish influence, we possess several pictures of 
the school of Westphalia ; some were painted by the 

* G. F. Waageii : Manuel de Vhistoire de la feinture, vol. i., 
p. 222 (1863). 

Schongauer.] THE GOTHIC SCHOOL. IO9 

brothers DUNWEGGE (1525), others were erroneously 
ascribed to the engraver Isaac de Meckenen (who died 
towards 1503). The numerous productions of the 
school of Swabia also prove that the artists sought 
inspiration at the same sources. Here the reason is 
obvious. An old master of Nordlingen, Frederic de 
Herlen, who died in 149 1, journeyed to Brussels in 
order to study under Roger, and his works are the 
most striking imitations of those of his master.* It 
is this same school of Swabia which a century later 
was to give Holbein to the world. 

And yet it was in the works of MARTIN SCHON- 
GAUER of Colmar (1440 — 1492) that the power of the 
Netherlands made itself felt most forcibly. He also 
was the pupil of Van der Weyden.f In 
greatness and power he remained inferior 
to his master, but there can be no doubt that he sur- 
passed him in design, composition, and daintiness of 
colouring. The school of Niiremberg was greatly im- 
pressed by his style, and owes to him the elements 
which contributed to form Albert Dlirer ; for, though 
this great master learned his art from Wohlgemuth, he 
nevertheless modelled his style on that of the painter 
of Colmar. The chief of the German school is there- 
fore traced back to the head of the Flemish school 
through Schongauer and Van der Weyden. 

The authenticated pictures of Schongauer are 

* G. F, Waagen: Manuel de Vhisioire de la feinture, vol. i., 

P- 233- 

+ G. F. Waagen : Manuel de Phistoire de la feinture, vol. i., 
p. 227. 


no FLEMISH PAINTING. [Schongauer. 

scarce, but in museums and private galleries more 
than one figure under a Flemish name — the three 
splendid panels of Schongauer, the "Trinity," the 
" Virgin," and " St. Veronica ' — are still ascribed to 
Roger Van der Weyden the younger. The reason of 
this error is found in the painter himself, for among 
foreign artists none appropriated the style, composi- 
tion, and colouring of the Flemish school with more 
ability than the great German craftsman, whom the 
chronicles of the time surname '■^Martin of Antwerp!' 
Spain and Portugal. — "During the fifteenth, and 
nearly the whole of the sixteenth century," says 
M. de Laborde, " the arts in Spain and Portugal were 
under the exclusive domination of the Netherlands."* 
From the first days of oil-painting, specimens had made 
their way by means of commerce into the Iberian 
peninsula. It is also to be supposed that the arrival 
in Lisbon of the illustrious head of the school of 
Bruges added to the favour with which the produc- 
tions of the Flemings were regarded in the south. 
" From that moment," continues the French writer, 
" Flemish influence becomes so strong that we are 
compelled to admit the likelihood of an incessant 
immigration of Flemish artists and Flemish works 
into Spain and Portugal.f The archives of Madrid 
and Lisbon have preserved the names of several 
among them : GiL Eannes (1465), CHRISTOPHER 
u'Utrecht (1490), Jean de Bourgogne (1495), 

* Les dues de Bourgogne, vol. i., p. 126. 
t Les dues de Bourgogne, vol. i., p. 132. 

Flamenco.] THE GOTHIC SCHOOL. Ill 

Antoine de Hollande (1495), Olivier de Gand 
(1496), and the mysterious JUAN Flamenco (1499), 
who was so long identified with Hans Memling, and 
who decorated the Carthusian monastery at Mira- 
flores, near Burgos, with mural paintings.* 

The Spanish works of Gallegas, James of Valencia, 
Peter of Cordova, Peter Nunez, and a multitude of 
contemporary panels bearing no signature, all loudly 
proclaim Flemish influence.f But this is even more 
remarkable in the productions of Portugal, as we 
were able to perceive in the exhibition of early 
art in Lisbon in 1882.J 

"The more we see purely Portuguese paintings," 
says M. Ch. Yriarte, " the more we are able to appre- 
ciate the extent of Flemish influence, to which history 
also bears continual testimony. Roger Van- der 
Weyden, Thierri Bouts, Memling, Quentin Metsy.s, 
the eccentric Jerome Bosch, Michel Coxie, are the 
names which constantly recur to our mind before the 
pictures of Portuguese artists." 

France. — France, by her geographical position, so 
much nearer to Flanders and Burgundy, could not 
fail to be swayed in a higher degree by the powerful 
influence of Flemish art. We have spoken already of 
the important part which Jehan de Bruges and Andr^ 
Biaunepveu appear to have played at the Court of 

* Antoine Ponz : Voyage en Espagne. 

\ Crowe and Cavalcaselle : "The Early Flemish Painters," vol. ii., 
p. 105. 

J V Exposition retrospective de Lisbonne {Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 
1882, vol. i., p. 458). 

112 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Fouquet. 

Charles V. of France. It is probable that, both as 
painters and illuminators, they were not strangers to 
the birth of that school which produced jEAN FOU- 
QUET (about 141 S — about 1485), who was portrait 
painter and illuminator to the kings Charles VII. and 
Louis XI. 

If Flemish art and the Flemish process became 
popular in the south, it was due to the efforts of King 
Rene, Duke of Anjou and Count of Provence. This 
enlightened prince was a poet and a painter more 
than a king, and there is no doubt that, during the 
captivity of six years which he endured at the hands 
of Philip the Good, especially during the years 
1436 and 1437, when Lille was assigned to him 
as a place of abode, he came into contact with 
the artists of the Court of Burgundy, and was thus 
able to study the works of the school of Van 
Eyck. Therefore when, towards 1473, Rene dis- 
carded politics to devote himself entirely to arts and 
letters, he immediately called Flemish painters to 
his court at Aix, in Provence, and encouraged the 
decisive action which they exercised over the craft in 
the south of France. The celebrated triptych of the 
" Burning Bush " in St. Saviour's Church at Aix, 
which was executed in 1475 — 76 by Nicolas Fro- 
MENT,* and the pictures by the same artist in the 
Museums of Florence and of Naples, bear ample 
testimony to this influence. 

* Trabaud : Lc tableau du roi Ren6 h Aix {Gazette des Beaux- Arts, 
April, 1877, p. 35s). Paul Mantz : Les portraits historiques au 
Troi-odiro {Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 1878, vol. xviii., p. 861). 

Antonello of Messina.] THE GOTHIC SCHOOL. II3 

Italy. — That this same Ren^ of Anjou, who was 
also King of Naples, interested himself in the intro- 
duction of the style of Van Eyck into the south of 
Italy is more than probable. At all events many of the 
productions of the early school of Naples betray his 
manner. The paintings of SOLARIO (1450), and more 
especially those of SiMONE Papa (1430 i" — 1488 i") 
have more analogy with the canvases of Bruges and 
Brussels than with those of Rome and Florence. 
There is a " St. Michael," by Papa, surrounded by a 
Flemish landscape, which might well be ascribed to a 
pupil of Van der Weyden or Memling. 

But it is Antonello of Messina who forms the 
real link between the great Northern and Southern 
schools. This artist journeyed to the Netherlands to 
make himself familiar with the great secrets of his 
craft, and to acquire the art of the brilliant, consistent, 
easy, and durable colouring of the Flemings. It has 
been stated, on the authority of Vasari, that Anton- 
ello was in Flanders at the time of Van Eyck, but it 
is more probable that he resided there in the days of 
Memling. Be that as it may, he is the first of Italian 
painters who adopted the method of the North, and 
he was so thoroughly penetrated with the sentiment 
of the Flemish school, that portraits have been 
attributed to him which were executed at Bruges ; for 
instance, in the Museum of Antwerp, the portrait of 
a man, which is universally ascribed to him, is in 
reality the work of Memling. The earliest of his 
paintings in oils bears the date of 1470, and the 
principal masters with whom he shared his secret were 

114 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Antonello of Messina. 

the Bellini of Venice, Domenico at Florence, and Jean 
Borghese of Naples. 

In the sixteenth century a great change took 
place, and the Flemish painters went in their turn to 
seek inspiration and obtain lessons in the studios of 
Florence, Rome, and Venice. 





Two general facts, of the highest importance, influ- 
ence the history of Flemish painting during the third 
period, and herald the fourth : the migration of 
artists towards Italy, and the development of the 
fortunes of Antwerp. 

The Italian Renaissance had been flourishing and 
developing for a whole century ; its literature, its 
ideas, and its masterpieces, were forcing themselves 
upon Europe ; and their allurements attracted the 
curious and enthusiastic of every country to the banks 
of the Arno and the Tiber. The Flemings thronged 
there to seek inspiration at the sacred sources of art, 
and the national genius was well-nigh wrecked in the 

"Nothing," says Fromentin, "is more strange 
than this mixture of Italian culture and stubborn 
I 2 


Germanism which characterises the Italian-Flemish 
school ; it is like a foreign language spoken with a 
marked local accent. But association with foreign 
talent was powerless to alter the groundwork of the 
art, though it became in a measure changed in detail. 
The style was new, the composition became ani- 
mated, chiaroscuro began to subdue the colours, 
nude figures appeared for the first time in an art 
which, until then, had been lavish of draperies as 
of local fashions ; the figures seemed to grow in 
height, the groups were denser, the pictures more 
crowded, fancy and fable were intermingled, history 
was depicted under the most picturesque forms."* 
Italian influence worked a complete metamorphosis in 
the whole school, and disturbed the traditions of 
Bruges, Ghent, Mechlin, Li^ge, Brussels, Antwerp — 
of Antwerp especially, of which Quentin Metsys had 
just illustrated the Guild of St. Luke, and which was 
preparing to hold the sceptre of painting which the 
enfeebled hand of Bruges had allowed to drop. 

The first years of the new century witnessed the 
further decay of the ancient capital of Philip the Good, 
and the commercial prosperity of the rival city. Civil 
discords and the sandbank which had formed in the 
Zwyn, had driven from Bruges both merchants and 
sailors, whom the discovery of America, and various 
subsequent circumstances, led to Antwerp. As early 
as 1503 the Portuguese, and then the Spaniards, had 
sent to Antwerp the produce of their new colonies ; 

* Les Mattres d'' autrefois, p. ig. Paris, 1876. 


the English followed; so that in 15 16 this city 
numbered more than a thousand foreign commercial 

Antwerp then became the centre of commerce in 
Europe. Innumerable sails covered the Scheldt ; and 
at times as many as two thousand five hundred 
ships, laden with merchandise from all parts of the 
world, thronged the river ; about five hundred vessels 
daily entered or left the port, and sometimes ships 
might be seen at anchor for more than a fortnight 
without being able to reach the quays either to load 
or unload.* By land the traffic was not less great ; 
more than two thousand waggons arrived every week 
from Germany, France, and Lorraine. No wonder 
then that the ambassador from the great republic of 
Venice, Marino Cavalli, landing in 155 1 on the banks 
of the Scheldt, and seeing so much activity, riches, 
and prosperity, bitterly exclaimed, " Venice is sur- 
passed 1 " t 

It must be said to the honour of the magistrates 
of the city that they took every measure likely to 
favour and increase the public prosperity. They 
caused the liberties of the city to be respected, ex- 
tended the privileges granted to strangers, and en- 
sured public security. The Hdtel de Ville was 
constructed, a splendid edifice was raised for the 
Exchange, which soon became frequented by over five 

* Alex. Henne : Histoire du regne de Charles-Quint en Belgiqfie, 
vol. v., p. 265. Brussels, 1859. 

t Alberi : Le Relaaioni degli ambasciatori Veneti al Senate, 1st 
Series, vol. ii., p. 202. 


thousand merchants, whose business relations ex- 
tended over the whole world. Most important affairs 
were transacted, and the' loans of the various govern- 
ments, of the provinces, and even those of foreign 
princes, were negociated on this Exchange. Towards 
the middle of the century the town numbered about 
one hundred and twenty thousand inhabitants. " One 
word alone," says Guicciardini, in 1567, "can define 
the number of trades exercised in Antwerp ; it is the 
word alir New industries found their way there. 
Piccol Passo, of Urbino, established in Antwerp a 
manufacture of Italian majolica ; John de Lame, of 
Cremona, manufactured glass like that of Murano;* 
the celebrated stained-glass maker, Arnould van Ort of 
Nimeguen, brought his ateliers to Antwerp ; Plantin, 
of Tours, his printing presses ; and his house, which, 
together with the furniture, has been preserved in its 
original state, constitutes in our day one of the 
greatest attractions of the city, t 

The taste for poetry and dramatic art was de- 
veloped at the same time, and in an equally wonderful 
manner. The chambers of rhetoric exhibited unheard- 
of magnificence ; almost every street had its private 
theatre ; a public library was opened at the Hotel de 
Ville ; Ortclius published his atlas ; thirty printing 
presses were in activity : lastly, rara avis for the time, 

* Pinchart : Lcs fabriques de vcrre de Venise, d'Aiivers, et de 
Bruxelles au xvi'- cl an xvii'- siccle. {Bulletin des commissions royalcs 
d'art et d^arckt'ologie, p. 367. 1882.) 

t Max Rooses : Christophe Plantin (m course of publication). 
Antwerp, 1883. 


Antwerp issued a paper, the first published in Belgium 
and perhaps in Europe : La Courmite, whose motto 
was Ten tydt zal leeren, " Time will teach us." It is 
evident that if the fearful despotism of Philip II. had 
not, in the second half of the century, arrested its 
development and stifled in blood the free expression 
of thought, all the elements would have been united 
at Antwerp for the glorious expansion of a magnifi- 
cent and complete Renaissance. On such ground, 
and in the midst of such favourable circumstances, it 
was impossible that painting — that literature of the 
Flemings — should not assert itself triumphantly.* 

During the whole of the sixteenth century there 
was the promise of the splendid harvest which was to 
be gathered in the seventeenth. In 1560 Antwerp 
numbered three hundred and sixty painters and 
sculptors. The talent of the country flowed to it, to 
renew its forces or seek inspiration. Antwerp gave 
birth to Floris, De Vos, van Cl^ev, Momper, Bril, and 
Van Noort. Lalmbert Lombard served his apprentice- 
ship there ; Peter Breughel, Jean Mostaert, Hubert 
Goltzius, William Key, Otto Vaenius came from the 
northern provinces and settled there ; Patinier, Gos- 
saert, Antoine Mor, Fran9ois Pourbus journeyed 
thither to finish their career and die ; Diirer, Hol- 
bein, Lucas van Leyden, and Erasmus visited Ant- 
werp and became her honoured guests. 

* A. Warzee : Essai histcriqtte et critique sur Ics journaux beiges, 
p. 5. Gand, 1845. 



With the opening of the sixteenth century the race 
of the great Flemish painters seems on the eve of 
extinction. The first florescence was past, and the 
Netherlands sought repose. After the death of Van 
der Meire (1512.?), of Jdrdme Bosch (i 5 1 8), of Gheerardt 
David (1523), of Patinier (1524), and of Metsys (1530), 
there was a period of intermission during which 
artists appeared to hesitate before casting off the old 
style to adopt the new methods of the Renaissance. 
Then suddenly began the emigration of painters 
towards Italy. The first to set out was Jean 
GOSSAERT, in 1 508. * 

Jean Gossaert was long known under the name 
of Mabuse, a corruption of Maubeuge, a town of 
ancient Hainault, where he was born towards I470.t 

* Principal Woiks :— England : 77(6' AJoratioii of the Magi (in llie 
Collection of Lord Carlisle). Rrague ; St. Luke Painting the Virgin 
(Museum). Brussels: Jesus at Simon's House (Museum). Milan: 
The Virgin and Child (Ambrosiaii Library). 

t His name must be written Gossaert and not Gossart. His 
Adoration of the Magi and his Saint Luke are signed in full Gossaert. 
Others among his works bear the inscription Johannes Mabodius (John 
of Mabuse). 

Jean Gossaert.] 



The greatest obscurity still surrounds his youth and his 
artistic education. Was he a pupil of Memling in 

FIG. 25.— ST. LUKE AND THE VIRGIN. — Jeaa Gossaert. 
(Museum of Prague. 7ft. 10 in. X 6ft. 10 in.) 

Bruges, or of. Metsys in Antwerp } . . . The annota- 
tors of the Liggeren, as the earliest trace of his 

122 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Jean Gossaert. 

existence, record an inscription of 1503, when he 
appears under the name of Jennyn van Henegouwe 
(John of Hainault.) * 

It is certain that in 1508 he set out for Italy 
in the suite of PhiHp of Burgundy, who had been 
appointed ambassador from the Emperor Maxi- 
miHan to the Court of Pope JuHus II. Gossaert 
remained about ten years in Italy. That he was 
deeply impressed by the masterpieces of Rome and 
Florence is sufficiently proved by his talent, which 
henceforward bore the stamp of Italian influence. 
When he returned to his native country the painter 
had entirely changed his style ; the " Adoration of 
the Magi," in the Collection of the Earl of Carlisle : f 
" Saint Luke," in the Gallery of Prague (Fig. 25) ; 
"Jesus at the House of Simon," in the Museum of 
Brussels, and the " Conversion of St. Matthew," Wind- 
sor Castle, clearly exhibit his new manner. The 
painter belongs to the Renaissance by his architectural 
backgrounds, which are so admirably conceived, and 
present chapels so graced in their details that they 
look like palaces ; but in the spirit of his work, his 
practice and his colouring, his national types, the 
inmost sentiments of his personages, the draperies and 
the minuteness of accessories, he remains a disciple of 
the Gothic school. 

The Pope had just presented Philip of Burgundy 

* Rombouts and Van L^rius; Les Liggeren de la gilde aitvers- 
oise de Sainl-Luc, vol. i., p. 58. 

t W. Burger: Tresors d'Art en Angleterre, p. 163. Brussels, 

Jean Bellegambe.] THE ROMANISTS. 123 

with the episcopal see of Utrecht ; Gossaert followed 
his protector to Holland, and undertook a great num- 
ber of works for him. At the death of the prelate, 
Gossaert entered the service of one of Philip's rela- 
tions, Adolph of Burgundy, Lord of Vere, whom he 
accompanied to Middelburg in Zealand in 1528. 
There he instructed two artists, both of whom, in 
imitation of their master, visited Italy, and exercised 
a powerful influence over the school of the Nether- 
lands : Jean Schoorel, who, in his turn, initiated 
Martin van Hemskerk, the Dutch Michael Angelo ; 
and Lambert Lombard, who became the master of 
Frans Floris, the Flemish Michael Angelo. Gossaert 
died in Antwerp ; the catalogue of Antwerp ascribes 
this event to the year 1532, but M. Van Even* places 
it in 1541. 

A few miles only separate Maubeuge, where 
Gossaert was born, from Douai, in French Flanders. 
There we find another painter, who gained renown in 
a style very similar to that of Gossaert — jEAN BELLE- 
GAMBE, of Douai (} — aft. 1530), whom Guicciar- 
dini has placed among the illustrious men of the 
Netherlands.f On the authority of a manuscript in 
the Royal Library of Brussels; M. Alphonse Wauters J 
has established the fact that the altar-screen of 
Anchin was painted by this artist, and so proved 
that the historian of Florence did not value Belle- 
gambe too highly. 

* Van Even : Vancienne Icole de peinture de Loiivain, p. 421. 
t Description de tout le Pais Bas, p. 151. 
X Jean Bellegambe de Douai. Brussels, 1862. 

124 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Jean Mostaert. 

Little is known of the life and work of this 
painter, except that during twenty years he was en- 
trusted with the artistic decorations of his native 
town* His masterpiece is the polyptych executed 
towards 1520 for the Monastery of Anchin, represent- 
ing the " Adoration of the Holy Trinity " (Fig. 26). 
The whole has been brought together, panel by panel, 
by Dr. Escallier, who in his will left it to the Church 
of Notre Dame of Douai. The imposing dimensions 
of this important composition (which is set in a 
sumptuous architectural frame), and the beauty of 
the colouring, would place it, in spite of its weak- 
ness of execution and its total absence of character, 
among the typical works of this epoch of transition.f 
There are other pictures by the same painter at Lille 
and Berlin. Bellegambe had a number of scholars in 
his own family : his son, MARTIN, painted in 1534 
and 1550; Jean, his grandson, and other artists of 
the same name, carried on his traditions until the 
eighteenth century. 

Whilst Gossaert and Bellegambe were sacrificing 
in a great measure to the taste of the time, another 
artist, who is generally placed in the Dutch school, 
but whose works, being now better known, entitle him 
to a place in this book, sought inspiration solely from 
national history. 

Jean MostaertJ (i474 — t5S6 — 57), must be 

* Asselin and Dehaisnes : Rechcrckcs stir Vart h Douai. 1863. 
t C. Dehaisnes : De Part chn'ticn en Flandrc. Douai, i86o. 
X Principal Works :— Brussels : The Adoration of the Magi 
(Museum). Liibeck : The Adoration of the Magi (Church of Notre 


o J? 
<! o 

1! ^ 

126 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Jean Mostaert. 

considered as the last of the Flemish-Gothic painters. 
Until the middle of the sixteenth century he continued, 
with great talent, to respect the traditions of the 
early painters, distantly recalling the mountainous and 
bluish perspectives of John Van Eyck, and the mag- 
nificent draperies inlaid with gold and precious stones 
of Memling, the minute finish which Bouts brought into 
the details of his pictures, with the strength of colour 
and the gravity of all. He was born at Haarlem, 
where he was educated by a certain Janssens ; then he 
left the Northern provinces for the South, where he 
resided many years, and finally returned to die in his 
native town. He was still at Haarlem in 1500, and 
returned there in IS49-* Van Mander, who must have 
been well informed, considering he took up his abode 
in Haarlem twenty-five years only after the death 
of Mostaert, tells us that Margaret of Austria, not 
less captivated by the cultivated mind and the 
character of the man, than by the talent of the artist, 
appointed him painter to the Court, and conferred on 
him the title of gentleman of her household.f The 
same historian further says that Mostaert remained 
eighteen years in the service of the princess, and that 
he painted the portraits of most of the personages of 
the Court. As none of his pictures are authenticated 
either by a signature or a document, paintings are 

Dame). Munich : The Presentation at the Temple and The Flight 
into Egypt (Pinacothek). Brussels : The Adoration of the Shepherds 
(Vente Nieuwhenuys). Antwerp : Portraits (Museum). 

* Van der Willigen : Les Artistes de Haarlem, pp. 54 and 228. 

+ Hct Schilderboeck, p. 229. 

Jean Mostaert.] 



attributed to him in the most fanciful manner. For 
the first time we can restore to him here a well- 


^'IW^' f 

FIG. 27. — THE ADORATION OF THE MAGI. — /eUK Mostaerl. 
(Museum of Brussels. 2 ft. gin. X zft.'sin.) 

known masterpiece, the admirable ' Adoration of the 
Magi " (Fig. 27), which the catalogue of the Museum 

128 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Lancelot Blonded. 

of Brussels ascribes to John Van Eyck, and which a 
few connoisseurs attribute to Gheerardt David. The 
two pecuHarities which characterise this valuable picture 
— the reddish tone of some of the flesh-tints, and the 
brilliant execution of the landscape — are also found in 
other paintings by the same master, in Antwerp, 
Munich, Berlin, and Liibeck. The landscape is ''per- 
fection in its minuteness" says an amateur * of the past 
century, with reference to another picture by the same 
artist. Mostaert is a great artist, and the ability of 
archivists and the patient researches of connoisseurs 
will no doubt furnish materials for a new biography 
and rebuild his work. He was the last and one of the 
most brilliant disciples of the school of Bruges. 

After the three celebrated painters whom we have 
just named, we must place Lancelot Blondeel 
of Poperinghe t (1496 — 1561). He was an eccentric 
man, and a painter of the transition period to a greater 
degree even than Gossaert, Bellegambe, or Mostaert. 

This extraordinary man was at the same time a 

mason, a painter, a sculptor, and an engineer ; he 

painted ; he designed several mas- 

^P \X terpieces of sculpture — among 

• V^ others, the celebrated " Cheminde 

du Franc " ; he engraved on 

wood, and made drawings for the glass painters 

and the tapestry workers, and in 1 546 he submitted 

* Pinchart : Correspondance artistiquc de Coblenz. Bulletin de 
la commission d'histoirc, 1883, p. 217. 

t James Weale : Catalogue du musk de VAcadhtiic de Bruges, 
1861, p. 31. 

Lancelot Blondeel.] THE ROMANISTS. 1 29 

to the magistracy of Bruges the plans of a canal in- 
tended to connect Bruges with the sea. 

Bruges preserves several of his pictures ; Antwerp 
and Brussels have others, all of which are easily recog- 
nisable, for the artist loved to place his personages, 
which are generally too short and rather stiff, in an 
architectural background of extreme richness, designed 
in black lines on a golden ground, and in the style of 
the Renaissance. 

Blondeel gave his daughter in marriage to Peter 
Pourbus, of whom we shall speak in the following 



The Italian manner did not make its way in Flemish 
studios without struggle or discussions. Throughout 
the country it is easy to follow the phases of con- 
test, which exhibit the national painters hesitating, yet 
struggling at the same time, to resist the invasion of 
foreign fashion, and to remain faithful to the national 
traditions, until the coming of the pure Romanists,* 
who brought about the final triumph of the new prin- 

Bruges. — PETER POURBUS t (iSio i" — 1583) is the 
last of the great painters of the school of Bruges. Here 

he held the first place among 
^ _ the artists of his time, and 

P*" "* ^=^ deserves to rank among the 
- y I-^ best Flemish portrait-painters 

A\^ ^ of the sixteenth century. It 
is believed that he was born at 
Gouda, in Holland, but the exact year of his birth is 
not known. In 1540 he was in Bruges, a member of 
the " Vieux Serment des Arbal^triers " of St. George, 

* The brotherhoods of the Romanists were composed of people who 
had journeyed to Rome. That of Antwerp, which was established in 
1572, existed until 1785. 

t Henry Hymans : Les Pourbus (L'Art, 1883). 

Peter Pourbus.] 



FIG. 28. — PORTRAIT OF CLEMENT UASiOT.—Peier Pourbus (?), 
(Lionville Collection, Paris.) 

and in 1543 he received the dignity ot Master of 
St. Luke. He appears to have devoted the best of 
his time to the city of his adoption ; the most im- 
J 2 

132 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Peter Pourbus. 

portant part of his works are still preserved at the 
Academy, at St. Saviour's, St. James's, Notre Dame, 
and in a few charitable institutions. Besides the 
execution of various paintings, Pourbus was entrusted 
by the magistracy and by the Franc with the organi- 
sation of public /"//^j and popular rejoicings. Like his 
father-in-law, the painter Lancelot Blondeel, he 
dabbled a little in architecture, engineering, and 
topography. In 1562 he drew for the " Echevins du 
Franc " a great picturesque map of Bruges and its 
environs, in which the smallest details were marked 
with perfect exactitude. In fact, Pourbus belonged to 
the family of the valiant artists of the sixteenth century 
whose vast intellect was equal to every conception, and 
whose skilful hand was capable of the minutest as 
well as of the most important works. At the death of 
the artist, in 1583, the city of Bruges granted a pension 
to his widow in gratitude for the services he had 
rendered, and the lustre he had shed over the city. 
It is in his portraits, rather than in his religious scenes, 
that this artist must be studied. There are two in the 
Academy of Bruges, the portrait of a man and that of 
a woman, dated 1551. The composition is simple and 
severe ; the faces are familiar to us ; we are stirred by 
their gravity and their great reality — they are indeed 
masterpieces. There are others in Brussels, Paris, Rot- 
terdam, Copenhagen, and five in the Museum of Vienna. 
Peter Pourbus had a son Francis (1545 — 1581), 
who inherited the special features of his father's 
talent, though his paintings had not the same cha- 
racter of austerity. He was also an exact and sincere 

Francis Pourbiis.] 



interpreter, of the human face. A man's head in 
the Imperial Gallery of Vienna (1568), another in 
the Museum of Brussels (1564), that of Viglius, which 


adorns one of the wings of the triptych " Jesus among 
the Doctors,'' in the church of St. Bavon in Ghent 
(i 571), are figures remarkable for individuaUty and pre- 
cision, represented by skilful and unostentatious work- 
manship. The son of this Francis Pourbus, Francis the 
younger, shone in the following century at the Court 
of France, and added one more talented artist to that 
illustrious family. 

About the same time as Pourbus there lived in 
Bruges the family of Claeis or Claessens. 

Teter Claeis (I.) the Elder, 1503—1576. 



Peter (II.) the Younger 


-t- 1607 

+ 1612 

History and Portraits 

Painter of 
Alexander Farnese 

Painter to the city 



Peter (III.) 

-1- 1608 


The one member of this family who is most justly 
reputed is PETER (II.), the Younger. His principal 
work is a triptych, " Notre Dame de I'Arbre Sec " in 
the Church of St. Giles at Bruges. It is he also who 
copied for the sheriffs, from the original of Pourbus 
the Elder, the large map which is still to be seen in 
the H6tel de Ville, and which represents with curious 
fidelity a bird's-eye view of the country of the Franc 
of Bruges. 

Antwerp. — Quentin Metsys was no more, and the 
new school remained without a leading artist. Several 
obscure imitators of his manner inscribed their name 
in the Liggeren, awaiting the arrival of the apostles of 

Marin Claeszoon.] THE ROMANISTS. 135 

the new school, who were occupied at that very mo- 
ment in studying form before the antique statues of 
Florence and of Rome, the frescoes of Raphael and 
of Michael Angelo. 

Jean Sanders, surnamed Van Hemessen (to- 
wards 1500 — 1555-6) from his native village, is best 
known among the followers of Metsys* His types 
are violent, his lines exaggerated and wild, the tones 
of his colouring are often sombre and harsh, but his 
innate energy has all the appearance of originality. 
His best pictures, " Saint Jerome," the " Prodigal 
Son," and the " Calling of St. Matthew," are at Munich 
and at Vienna. CATHERINE, his daughter, was suc- 
cessful in portrait painting. There is extant by her 
a delicately traced portrait of a man, signed and 
dated 1552, and painted in the style of the Clouet 

Marin Claeszoon (1497 (?) — towards iS67),t 
chiefly known as Marinus de Zeeuw or Van 
Romerswael, his native town, adopted to a yet 
greater extent the style and the subjects of Metsys. 

In the collections of Madrid (Fig. 29), London, 
Munich, Antwerp, Valenciennes, Dresden, Nantes, 
Copenhagen, and Naples, we notice his " Bankers," 
" Money-Changers," and " Lawyers," easily to be re- 
cognised by their enormous red-plush hoods. His 
" Merchant," in the National Gallery, is grand in 

* A. Pinchart : Voyage artistique en France et en Belgique en 1865. 
Bulletin des commissions royales d'art et d'archhlogie, p. 226). 1868. 

\ Journal des Beaux Arts, ^. 126. 1863. H. Hymans : Marinus 
le Zelandais de Romerswael {Bulletin de V Academie Roy ale de Belgique, 
No. 2, p. 211). 1884. 

136 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Josse van Cleve. 

character, and so remarkable in its execution that it 
has long been mistaken for a Metsys. Those of his 
works which bear a date range from 1521 to 1560. 

After Van Hemessen and Marinus we must also 
mention, as belonging to that period, a certain number 
of painters of Antwerp of lesser renown, who yet pro- 
duced now and then some interesting pic- 
f^ tures. Some, like Matthew and Jerome 
V^^ Cock (i 550), painted landscape ; others, like 
Jacques, father and son (1526 ? — 1590), and 
Abel Grimer, the brothers FRANgois and Giles 
MoSTAERT (1550), devoted their brush to the painting 
of small interiors, half-religious, half-profane, and 
others, such as Peter Huys (1571), Beuckelaer 
(1530? — 1573 ?), and Cornelius Mole- 

NAER (1540 ? — 1589 ?) preferred the treat- 
ment of still life or of rustic scenes, such 
as village feasts, tavern brawls, episodes 
from the market-place or the kitchen. 
Judging by his " Purveyor," in the Museum of Lille, 
Joachim Beuckelaer was one of the most powerful 

colourists of his time, and possessed great skill in 
execution. In the gallery of Stockholm are five of 
his market scenes, which bear dates from 1 561 to 
1570, and eight are in the Museum of Naples. 

Finally, at the same period, flourished the numerous 
family of Van Cleve, of which we find more than 
twenty representatives in Antwerp.* The only one 
among them ail who became famous was the excellent 
portrait-painter JOSSE, nicknamed "the Madman" 

* See articles by Siret in the Biographie Natioiiah. 


FIG. 30. — VIRGIN AT PRAYER. — Josse van Clive. 
(Uffizi at Florence, i ft. 8 in. X i ft. i in.) 

138 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Josse de Momper. 

(before 1491 — 1540).* His style was severe, his out- 
line concise and skilful ; the luminous tones of his 
colouring, as well as his execution, recall Anthony 
Mor, his compatriot, and even Holbein, who was 
sincere above all things. According to Vasari, he 
visited Spain. He also worked in England. Windsor 
and Oxford preserve several portraits by him, which 
entitle this supposed madman f to a high place in 
the annals of art. The man's portrait, " With 
the Beautiful Hand," is in the Pinacotek of Munich, 
and has long passed for a famous work by Holbein. 
It is a splendid painting, full of pathos ; its ex- 
pression approaches the sublime ; the lines are good, 
and the colouring powerful. 

Henry and Martin Van Cleve are both repre- 
sented in the Museum of Vienna. Henry displayed 
some talent in the painting of landscapes and genre 
subjects. As to Martin he achieved success with some- 
what suggestive scenes of rustic life. 

Josse the 
William van Cleve (I.) Madman 

Master in 1489 before 1491 — 1540 

i \ I I 

Henry Martin I. William II. Josse II. 

1525 ?— 1589 1 527—? 1535— ? ? 

I I I I 

Giles Hans Giles, Martin II., George, Nicholas 
? ? ? ? ? ?d. 1619 

The artistic dynasty of the MOMPERS also belongs 
to Antwerp. The most famous of its representatives 

* Van Mander : Het Schilderboeck, p. 226, verso, 
t W. Biirger : Trhors d'art en Angleterre, p. 174. 


was JOSSK DE MOMl'ER (1564— 163S), a talented land- 
scape painter who especially delighted in depicting 
hills and grand mountainous perspectives, in which 
the yellowish-grey of the land, together with the blue 
of the distant horizons cut out against the sky pre- 
dominate. His first pictures have great analogy with 
the fantastic style of Patinier, Gassel, and Bles, but 
in his later works, such, for instance, as the "View 
of Antwerp " in the Museum at Berlin, and the " Four 
Seasons" in the Museum of Brunswick, we cannot 
fail to recognise the influence of the seventeenth cen- 
tury. The style is nobler, and he requires less effort 
to obtain effect. This artist can best be studied in 
the Dresden Gallery, which has seven of his land- 
scapes, and in the Prado, which possesses jio less than 

Brussels. — In Brussels, among those artists who 
were attached to the person of the sovereigns, we find 
Jean-Cornelius Vermeyen (1500 — 1559),* 
r^ a native of Berverwyck, near Haarlem, who 
^ occupied a prominent place at Court and 
enjoyed many privileges. In 1519 he accompanied 
Margaret of Austria to Cambrai, on the occasion of 
the Peace signed in that town between Charles V. 
and Francis I., and generally known as La Pair 
des Dames. Charles V. then took him in his ser- 
vice, and he accompanied the prince in his expedi- 
tions, the warlike episodes of which he has vividly 
represented in large and animated compositions. It 
is thus that he became the historiographer of the 

* Van Mander : Het Schilderboeck, p. 224, verso. 

Vermeyen.] THE ROMANISTS. I4I 

Tunisian campaign in 1535. Vermeyen was also a 
talented portrait painter ; the early household accounts 
cite the names of many personages in Germany, Spain, 
and the Netherlands, whose features he reproduced. 
It is much to be regretted that those portraits are now 

We have had the good fortune to discover three 
paintings by this artist, the only three known, in the 
gallery of the Marquis of Mansi, at Lucca. They 
represent the " Battle of Pavia " (1525), the " Taking 
•of Rome " (1527), and " The Siege of Tunis " (1535). 
Possibly they were only intended as cartoons for the 
tapestry workers, for we know that Vermeyen put his 
talent at their disposal, and further that it was at the 
request of the Emperor himself that he designed, in 
1549, a series of twelve imposing cartoons depicting 
the " History of the Conquest of Tunis." The execu- 
tion of the tapestry was entrusted to De Pannemaker 
of Brussels, and these sumptuous hangings are still 
preserved at Madrid (Fig. 3i).t The cartoons of 
Vermeyen are at Vienna, where we also find in the 
palace of Schoenbrunn a copy of those tapestries 
which were woven in the eighteenth century. There 
we see the portraits of Charles V. and those of his 
principal officers, numerous military episodes taken 
on the spot, panoramas of towns and ports, disem-. 
barkment of troops, reviews, camps, skirmishes, 

* Piuchart : Tableaux et sculptures de Marie de Hongrie (Jievue 
universelh des Arts, vol. iii., p. 136). 

t Eugene Miintz : La Tapisseri', p. 217 (Bibliothique de T Enseigne- 
ment des Beaux Arts). 

142 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Coninxloo. 

squadrons of magnificent cavalry, combats by land 
and sea, which loudly proclaim the original and 
natural talent of Vermeyen, and point him out as the 
ablest of the school among painters of warlike scenes. 
The artist died in Brussels in 1559, and it is believed 
that he left a son, Henry, who fixed his residence in 
Cambrai, and became the ancestor of a long line of 

At the same period the family of Van CONINXLOO, 
known under the name of Schernier, lived in Brussels, 
and afterwards in Antwerp. History has yet to un- 
ravel all the details concerning this family, to recover 
their work, and to trace their genealogy.f The accu- 
racy of the following sketch is more than doubtful. 

Jean van Coninxloo (I.), called Schernier, 
lived in 1491, died in 1555. 

I i I 

Giles the Elder (I.) Jean (II.) ? 

Master in 1539 1489— (?) | 

I I Cornelius 

Giles the Younger (II.) Peter Painted in 1526 

1544 — died aft. 1604 Master in 1544 and in 1533 

Time has well-nigh cast these six names into ob- 
livion ; the memory of two at least must be rescued. 
Cornelius, painter of religious subjects, and Giles 
(H.), a landscape painter, both of great artistic gifts. 

Of the existence of the first there are no tokens 
except the one canvas, dated 1526, in the Museum 
of Brussels, the " Relationship of the Virgin." This 

"A. 'Darieux : fieinires Vermay. Cambrai, 1880. 
t journal des Beaux Arts, p. 58. 1870. 

Lucas Gassel.] THE ROMANISTS. 143 

painting belongs by style and colouring to the school 
of Gossaert, Bellegambe, and Blondeel. That Van 
Mander was in no way exaggerating when he said 
that Giles van Coninxloo * was the best landscape 
painter of his time is proved by the two 
^ pictures — woodland views — which are in 

^^ the Liechtenstein Gallery, in Vienna, and 
are both painted with great power. Van 

^'^ Coninxloo visited France and Germany, and 
took up his abode in Antwerp, where he became the 
master of Breughel (Hellish), and died at Amsterdam 
after 1604. 

Van Mander is also hearty in his praise t of the 
landscape painter LuCAS Gassfx (before 1520 — after 
1560), of Helmont, a place in old Brabant. 
His works are unlike any other of that period ; n]L 
their colouring is sombre and weird, the general ^^ 
aspect is ingenuous and rugged, and he has in his sub- 
jects chosen an entirely untrodden path. He was the 
first and certainly one of the few artists of his century 
who depicted the interior of mines, factories, quarries, 
and iron-works. His pictures are curious documents, re- 
lating to the history of industry in the Netherlands. 
They are scarce, and not generally known. t Vienna 
possesses one, and Dresden another. Several have 
found a place in the various picture-galleries, but are 
known as the work of other artists ; for instance, 

* Van Mander, Het Schilderboeck, p. 268. 
+ Van Mander*: Het Schilderboeck, p. 219, verso, 
t Heris : Notice sur Lucas Gassel (Journal des Beaux Arts, 
1864, p. 88; 1878, p. 118). 

144 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Henry Bles. 

those in Naples have been ascribed to Breughel ; 
there is one in the Liechtenstein Gallery attributed to 
Peter Aartsen ; finally, the most important of all those 
we have seen bears a monogram, and is at the Uffizi 
in Florence, where it is erroneously ascribed to Henry 

Gassel sometimes adorned his landscapes with 
small . religious subjects. Those of his paintings 
which bear a date range from 1542 to 1561. 

— Henry Bles (died towards 1550) — called 
the painter with the owl, Civetta, on account 
of the owl which he adopted as a monogram 
—probably belonged to the school of Li^ge. 
Fruitless attempts have been made to erect 
this artist into a " genius endowed with a talent ap- 
proaching the perfection of the early Masters," and 
several masterpieces were ascribed to him which 
rightfully belong to another pencil.* We have learnt 
to be guarded in our judgment and are obliged to 
recognise that many paintings, for a time erroneously 
ascribed to "HenricusBlessius,"have now been acknow- 
ledged as the works of Patinier, Mostaert, Gheerardt 
David, Gassel, and others, so that "the master 
with the owl," thus deprived of his masterpieces, 
must now descend to a humbler rank among artists. 
In his landscapes, which are peopled with small though 

* A. B^quet : H. Bles, peintre bouvignois. Annales de la Sociiti 
Archklogique de Namur, 1863 to 1866, Vol. VIII., p. 59, and 
Vol. IX., p. 60. Alfred Michiels : Histoire de la peinture flamande, 
1S67, Vol. IV., chaps, iv. and v. 

Henry Bles.] THE ROMANISTS. I4S 

somewhat heavy personages, the fohage is dark and 
the soil bituminous. 

According to Guicciardini (page 132) this artist 
was born at Dinant, in the principaHty of Liege ; 
it is believed that he died in the city of Li^ge towards 
1550. Well-authenticated works from his hand are 
scarce. The most interesting which we know is a 
" Calvary " in the Academy of Fine Arts at Vienna ; 
which by the boldness of colouring, of original and 
quite Flemish interpretation, points out the artist as 
the immediate forerunner of Peter Breughel, le Drole. 

Thus, while these valiant though secondary 
painters were unconsciously working in a diversity 
of styles by struggling, each according to his ability 
and taste, against foreign influence, Flemish pilgrims 
journeyed ceaselessly Jo Rome, and the Romanists 
were gaining more and more disciples in Brussels, 
Mechlin, Li^ge, and Antwerp. 




The important artistic family of the Van Orleys fur- 
nished the City of Brussels with painters during the 
sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. It 
wrould seem that they descended from the powerful 
lords of Orley, justiciaries of Luxembourg, who 
belonged to the Court of the Dukes of Burgundy.* 

Valentine van Orley, 1466, d. before 1532. 

I i 

Philip Bernard 

Lived 1506 — 1556 about 






Lived in 



Michael Jerome Giles 

lived 1590 Lived Lived 

1567— 1602 IS33— S3 





Lived in 

1 533 

mar. Anthony 
Leyniers t 
Tapestry Worker 

1 I I I 

Jerome Pierre rran9ois Richard (L) 

lived in About 1680 ? ? 

1652 d. after 1708 

*i8 V Cf Richard (II.) John 

^ru-^-^- i6S2(?)-i732(?) 1656-1735 

* Alphonse Wauters : Bernard van Orley, sa famille et'son aimre. 
Brussels, 1 88 1. 

t Founder of the celebrated family of Brussels tapestry makers, the 

FIG. 32. — THE DESCENT FROM THE CROSS. — Bemara van Orley. 
Museum of the Hermiiage, St. Petersburg. 4 ft. ^\ in. x 2 ft. SJ in.). 
K 2 

148 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Bernard Van Orley. 

Bernard Van. Orley (i493 •'— 1542)* early 
quitted Brussels, his native town, for Italy, whither he 
went to pursue his studies in the school of Raphael. 
. This great master is supposed to have spe- 
y^\ cially noticed the young Flemish painter 
among his pupils. It was after Van Orley 's 
return to the Netherlands that, by order of Pope 
Leo X., he presided over the manufactory of the 
celebrated series of tapestries of the Vatican, exe- 
cuted by Peter van Aelst in Brussels, from the 
designs of the master of Urbino. This was in 
15 15, when the trade of the Brussels tapestry workers 
had rea,ched its highest splendour and their pro- 
ductions had a European reputation. Following the 
example of Raphael, Van Orley more than once 
placed his talent at the disposal of the tapestry 
workers. The most famous among the hangings exe- 
cuted according to his designs are the " Emperor 
Maximilian Hunting," in the Louvre, and the " Life 
of Abraham," at Hampton Court. He also designed 
for the glass painters : and the admirable windows on 
which are depicted Francis I., Charles V. and his 
sister Mary of Hungary, in the Church of St. Gudule 
at Brussels, were made from his designs. In 1518 

* Principal Works. Liibeck, The Trinity worshipped by Saints 
(Cathedral). Antwerp : The Last Judgment (Church of St. James). St. 
Petersburg : The Descent from the Cross (Hermitage). Bnissels : 
/"(Wo (Museum) ; The Trials of/od {Museum). Vienna: The /--east of 
Pentecost and Antiochus at the Temple of Jerusalem (Museum). Munich : 
St._Norbert (Pinacotek). Mr. Schlie, Keeper of the Museum of 
Schwerin, is of opinion that the six magnificent panels of the altar- 
screen sculptured by Borman of Brussels' (in the Church of Gustrow) 
are the early work of thjs painter, doiie in his first manner. 

Michael Coxie.] THE ROMANISTS. 149 

Van Orley was honoured with the title of painter 
to the court and the gouvemantes, who kept him con- 
stantly employed by giving him commissions either 
for religious pictures or the portraits of court officials. 
He evidently sought inspiration from the Italian 
masters, but he did not copy them. His colouring 
remained Flemish, and his national temperament 
survived in spite of his foreign education. In some 
of the pictures of his second manner, for example 
in the " Trials of Job " (Museum of Brussels) 1 5 2 1 , 
the lines are forced, the movement and the expression 
of the figures are exaggerated, and in doubtful taste. 
On the other hand, several pictures executed during 
the last period of his career, "notably " The Last Judg- 
ment " (Church of St. James, at Antwerp) which was 
painted towards 1540 for the echevin Rockox, is of 
more sober character, and the artist, who shows him- 
self bold to reform, exhibits at the same time all the 
qualities of the practised master. Gossaert and Van 
Orley were the first who dared to replace the modest 
patrons, so mystically robed, of the Gothic school, by 
saints whose nude charms remind us of the goddesses 
of heathen mythology. His talent, though unequal, has 
a certain charm which attracts us in spite of ourselves. 
Among the numerous pupils fame attracted to his 
studio, two have historical importance, Michael Coxie 
and Peter Coucke. 

Michael Coxie* (1499 — i592)was,Hke his master, 

* De Busscher : Biographie Nationale, vol. iv., col. 456. 
Alphonse Wauters, Bulletin de rAcademie royale de Belgique, 1884, 
No. I., p. 63. 


full of enthusiastic admiration for the painter of the 
"Transfiguration;" the frantic efforts he made to 
copy this master earned for him the surname of 
" Flemish Raphael." On his return from Rome to 
the Netherlands, he took up his abode first in Brussels, 
in 1 543, then in Mechlin. 

Mechlin was in those days an artistic centre of 
the highest importance. Margaret of Austria, whose 
indefatigable zeal in the protection of arts and 
letters never abated, had established her court in this 
city. It contained over 150 painters and draughts- 
men, among whom we must mention, besides the 
Coxie family, the brothers Valkenborgh, landscapists 
and painters of genre subjects, and the brothers Bol, 
father and uncles of the one who painted rustic subjects, 
signed Hans Bol (fecit) (1534 — iS93)- There were 
sculptors of the greatest merit, like Conrad Meyt 

and Alexander Colin ; architects such as 
C-K Keldermans ; finally, the great industry of 

local art, that of the lace-makers, was also 
dependent on the guild of St. Luke and had ac- 
quired European renown. 

Meanwhile, Mary of Hungary had succeeded Mar- 
garet of Austria in the government of the Nether- 
lands ; she remarked Coxie, and Philip II. 
attached him to his person and gave him J^!j\, 
commissions for numerous works. How- 
ever, by dint of admiring and imitating Raphael, 
the work of the Flemish artist had lost all trace 
of the Flemish character: his decorations were 
Roman, his draperies borrowed all the tints of 

Michael Coxie.] THE ROMANISTS. 15 1 

the great master, his types were often chosen with 
great taste, but they too were Italian. When we 
consider " The Last Supper," in the Museum of 
Brussels, a canvas which, though cold, is yet skilfully 
composed, we might well imagine that it was painted in 
Rome and not in the Netherlands. There is grandeur 
in " The Martyrdom of St. Sebastian," in the Museum 
of Antwerp, and the undraped parts are well drawn. 

The son of Coxie, who, in honour of the great Italian 
genius, had received the glorious name of Raphael 
(1540 — 1616) was, like his father, a painter of his- 
torical and religious subjects, and became the in- 
structor of Crayer. His " Last Judgment," in the 
Museum of Ghent, is a large but ugly picture and 
belongs to the school of those painters who came after 
Michael Angelo, and who appeared to consider that art 
specially consisted in painting muscular figures. 

The father and son were not the only ones who 

bore that name. The lineage of this family of artists 

was perpetuated until the commencement of the 

eighteenth century. 

Michael Coxie (II.) 


I I I 

Raphael William Michael III. 

1540 — 1616 died 1597 died 1616 

Michael (IV.) 

1603 — 1667 


1629 — ? 

I I 

Aithony John Michael 

? — 1720 ? — 1720 



[Peter Coucke. 

Peter Coucke of Alost (1502—1550)* who pur- 
sued his studies in Van Orley's studio together 
with Coxie, enjoyed great fame in his own time, 
but we do not possess sufficient insight into his work 

FIG. 33.— THE LAST ivev&t..— Peter Coucke. 
(Museum of Brassels. 2 ft. x 2 ft. 7J in.). 

to replace him in the rank which he appears to have 
occupied. Charles V. had conferred on him the 
title of painter and engraver to his court, but he was 
celebrated also as an architect, a sculptor, and as one 
of the most learned men of his time. He visited 

* Van Mander: Het Schilderbocck, p. 218. See also M. Siret's 
article in the Biographie Nationale, vol. iv., col. 251. 

Peter Coucke.] _ THE ROMANISTS. 153 

Italy, and a.fter that he was invited to Constantinople 
by the Brussels tapestry makers. We do not know of 
one picture which can be ascribed to him with any 
degree of certainty. However, Mr. Hymans, on the 
authority of the artist's engravings, attributes to him, 
not without reason, a " Last Supper " in the Museum 
of Li^ge (1530), and its replica in the Museum of 
Brussels (1531), which the catalogues ascribe to 
Lambert Lombard (Fig. 33). He instructed two 
painters of great talent : Nicholas Neuchitel, whose 
talents as a portraitist will become the theme of further 
comments, and Peter Breughel the Droll, who became 
his son-in-law after having been his pupil. 



At the time when, in Brussels, Van Orley the 
elder was disappearing from this world's stage (1542) 
a new artist, who had but lately returned from 
Italy and was enthusiastic about its art, opened an 
academy in Lidge, his native town. Li^ge imme- 
diately became a centre of artistic activity, and soon 
enjoyed widespread renown. Pupils came from Ger- 
many and Holland, and, strange enough to record, 
the two future heads of the early Antwerpian school 
— Frans Floris and Otho Vaenius — came for instruc- 
tion to the Walloon city of Li^ge. 

Lambert Lombard* (1505 — 1566), who is often 
erroneously called Susterman or Suavius, was born 
in Li^ge in 1505. He learnt the first elements of his 
art in Antwerp from De Beer, a painter who is but 
little known, and afterwards studied under Jean Gos- 
saert at Middleburg. 

The prince-bishop of Li^ge was the patron of 

* Lampsonius : Lamberti Lombardi .... Bruges : Hubert 
Goltzius, 1565. Helbig : Histoire de la peinture au pays de Lilgi, 
p. 121. Li^ge, 1873. 

Lambert Lombard.] THE ROMANISTS. 155 

Lambert Lombard, and the latter also journeyed to 
Italy with the English Cardinal Pole. In 1530 he 
returned to the Netherlands, and before long gathered 
around him a great number of pupils, whom he in- 
structed by his counsels far more than by his example. 
Lombard was not only ardent in the cause of art ; his 
vast mind was eager for all intellectual progress ; he 
was at once a poet, an architect, an archaeologist, an 
engraver, and a talented painter. His nature was 
lofty, his tastes refined ; and he exercised over his 
pupils, and through them over his time, a very power- 
ful influence. It must be said, however, that by his 
temperament and his enthusiasm he favoured the birth 
of a heterogeneous art which might eventually have 
stifled the national art, and did endanger it for a 
moment, but which, thanks to Rubens, instead of 
working its ruin, enhanced the brilliancy of its 

We cannot be certain that any of the pictures 
attributed to Lombard were really by him : they were 
ascribed to him on mere supposition. And yet the 
private collections in Li^ge must possess some of his 
works if they could be duly authenticated. His style 
possesses much of the enchanting grace and special 
charm of the Florentine masters ; it can be best studied 
in his drawings, which are, for the most part, done 
with pen and ink, and shaded with Indian ink or 
sepia. Several among them are signed " Lambertus 
Lombard," and bear dates from 1552 to 1562. 

Lombard died in 1566. The best known among 
his pupils are : — (i) WILLIAM Key or Cayo, of Breda, 

156 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Goltz and Lampson. 

(towards 1520—1568) ; he was celebrated in his 

time, and shared with Anthony Mor the dangerous 

honour of being painter to the Duke of 

*Yy- Alva* Most of his portraits have now 

^'v perished ; however, three are ascribed to 

him by the catalogue of Vienna, and he has two more 

at Hanover, while that of Spinola in the Hampton 

Court gallery is attributed to him. 

2. Hubert Goltz, or Goltzius (1526 — 1583), 
was at the same time a painter, a printer, and a numis- 
matologist, who, like his master, widely interested 
himself in all questions pertaining to the human 
intellect, and who was appointed historian to 

Philip n.t 

3. Dominique Lampson or Lampsonius (1552 — 
1599), of Bruges,! is more famous as a poet than 
as a painter ; he has left to the Flemish craftsmen a 
collection of poems which contains many curious 
biographical details and is adorned with twenty-three 
portraits engraved by Jerome Cock.§ Lampsonius 
furnished Vasari with a great deal of information, 
and he was one of the masters of Otho Vsenius. The 
Church of St. Quentin of Hasselt possesses a 
"Calvary" by him, dated 1576. 

4. Finally, we must mention Frans de Vriendt or 
Floris, of whom we shall speak at greater length in 
the following chapter. 

* Van Mander : Schilderboeck, p. 232, verso. 

+ J. Weale: Htibert Goltz, dit Goltzius, in the"Beffroi," 1870, 
vol. iii., p. 246. 

J Helbig : Histoire de la fdnture au pays de LUge, p. 147. 

§ Pictorum aliquot celebrium Gervianice inferioris effigies. Antwerp, 



The family of the Floris is celebrated in the annals 
of Flemish art.* Cornelius de Vriendt, a stone-cutter, 
the head of this celebrated family, already bore the 
name of Floris, which his father, Jean de Vriendt, had 
inherited from his father, Floris de Vriendt, the grand- 
father of Cornelius, who was jure du mitier des 
quatre couronnes.\ Cornelius had four sons, who all 
cultivated the arts with success. The eldest, Cornelius, 
is the excellent sculptor-architect, who drew the 
plans of the Hdtel de Ville of Antwerp, and of the 
house chosen by the Hanse Towns, of the admirable 
tabernacle of L^au, and of the rood-loft of the 
Cathedral of Tournai ; the second is our painter, 
Frans Floris ; the third, John, was a potter, and lived 
in Spain ; and the fourth, James, was famed as a 
celebrated glass-painter. 

The following genealogy extends over two cen- 

* See the articles of M. Genard in the Biographit Nationale, 
vol. vii., col. Ii8, et seq. ; and for dates, the work of F. J. Vanden 
Branden, p. 174. 

t Catalogue cPAnvers, 1874, p. 139. 



[Frans Floris. 

turies, and the Pourbus branch grafts itself on to it in 

Floris de Vriendt, 
lure de la gilde des Quatre- Couronnes in 1476. 

Jean Floris (I.) 

Cornelius (I.) 




in IS33 

Cornelius (II.) Francis (I.) 

Architect (Frans Floris) 
and Sculptor Painter 

1514—1575 1518 (?)— 1570 

Jean (II.) 



1524— 1581 

Francis (II.) 

"545 (?)- (?) 


(lived in 1579) 

Corneille (III.) 

and Sculptor 
1551 (?)-i6i5 

Jean (III.) 


1590 — 1650. 


m. Fr. Pourbus (I.) 

I , 
Francis (II.) 

1569 — 1622. 

Frans Floris* (15 18—1570), by his intellect, 
culture, and talent, ranks among the most popular 

* Principal Works-Antwerp : The Fall of the Angels and the 
/udgment of Solomon (Museum). Brussels : The Last '^tdoment 
(Museum). Florence: Adam and Eve (Uffid). Brunswick:" The 
Man with the Red Sleeve (Museum). St. Petersburg : The Three A^a 
(Hermitage). * 

Frans Floris.] THE ROMANISTS. 159 

and most admired of the artists of his time. For- 
tune smiled propitiously on him from the outset of 
his career ; his path was strewed with laurels ; 
his admiring contemporaries surnamed him the 
" Incomparable." In our day we are amazed at 
the tribute which the fashion and infatuation of his 
time paid to this artist. We can only see in Floris 
the most Italian of Flemish masters, and even- his 
large compositions fail to excite our admiration. In 
questions of art vox populi is not always vox Dei, 
and it is never with impunity that an artist forgets 
what is true to his country, his race, and the source 
from whence he sprung. 

Frans was born in Antwerp towards 1516, and at 
first cultivated the art of his father, sculpture. How- 
ever, the bent of his talent led him towards painting, 
and he went to Li^ge, where he was instructed by 
Lambert Lombard, returned to Antwerp in 1540, and 
afterwards undertook an artistic pilgrimage to Italy. 
It is said that he was in Rome on the memorable 
Christmas-day, 1541, when Michael Angelo unveiled 
his " Last Judgment " in the Sixtine Chapel. The 
young artist was dazzled by the magnificence of this 
superhuman creation ; his early studies had taught 
him to appreciate the powerful relief of such forms 
and the majestic grandeur of such violent attitudes ; he 
lost himself in the contemplation of those immortal 
frescoes, and from that moment the great Florentine 
genius became the object of his worship. Not only 
did he seek to imitate the lofty design of the great 
Italian, but, stifling within himself the innate qualities 

l6o FLEMISH PAINTING. [Frans Floris. 

of the Flemish colourist, he even copied his dull, 
monotonous, and subdued tones. Henceforward all 
the works of Floris descended to the level of mere 
copies : his studies, sketches, and pictures, became 
simple reductions of large works by Michael Angelo ; 
they met with immense success in Antwerp, and 
brought the painter the favour of the public, as well 
as the protection of the court. 

The " Fall of the Rebellious Angels," in the Mu- 
seum of Antwerp, is the masterpiece of Floris, who, 
in this painting exhibits a whimsical imagination — a 
distant reflex of the eccentricities of Jerdme Bosch. 
This composition is animated, the drawing 
1-L \ is learned, the attitudes, though exaggerated 
in their contortions, are yet poised with art, 
the heads are well studied, the execution is free and 
often largely handled. Some of his other works, such, 
for example, as the " Adam and Eve," in the Museums 
of Vienna and of the Uffizi, are remarkable as setting 
forth the Italian style. 

The Flemish element is more apparent in some of 
his portraits ; for instance, there is a celebrated one in 
the Museum of Brunswick, called " The Man with the 
Red Sleeve," which represents a falconer. 

The influence of Floris became fatal. His fortune 
and his great success offered fresh allurement to the 
imitators of the Italian style, of which the traditions 
were altogether incompatible with Flemish tendencies. 
The result of his teaching was the birth of a new 
generation of hybrid artists, who, for the most part, 
were but powerless imitators, and who, in Antwerp, 

The Franckens.] THE ROMANISTS. l6l 

as well as in Brussels, finally corrupted the public 
taste. The number of his pupils amounted to at least 
one hundred and twenty. Twenty-nine are mentioned 
by Van Mander, among whom we find Martin de Vos, 
the most celebrated of all, Lucas de x 

Heere, Crispin Van der Broeck * ( 1 5 24 — C^ "^^C, 13 
1588 — 90), Martin and Henry Van Cl^ve, 
Francis Pourbus and the two brothers Ambrose, and 
J^rdme Francken, who belonged to that numerous 
family of the Francken, of which, in spite of their 
number, not one member became celebrated. 

The great artistic families are one of the most 
curious traits of the Flemish school. It would appear 
that art, on entering a family, turned the heads of all 
its members : brothers, sons, wives, and daughters, all 
seemed equally ardent in the pursuit, and the tools 
made illustrious by the artist-founder became heir- 
looms, and were handed down from generation to 

We have seen already the families of Van Eyck, 
Van der Weyden, Bouts, Metsys, Pourbus, Claeis,Van 
Cl^ve, Van Orley, Van Coninxloo, Coxie, and Floris. 
A little later we shall find — these are only a few — the 
families of Breughel, Van Valkenborgh^ Key, Teniers, 
De Vos, Franchoys, Van Kessel, Peeters, Van Bredael. 

We have now to speak of the Francken family, 
which, as far as numbers go, at least equals any 
other, and whose genealogy is quite as difficult to 

* See the notes published by M. Van Lerius in the Catalogue du 
musie dAnvers, by M. Siret, in the Biographic Nationale, vol. vii., 

j(52 FLEMISH PAINTING. [The Franck=ns. 

Thirty Francks, or Franckens, are inscribed in 
the Liggeren of St. Luke; the first in date being Nicho- 
las the Elder, born at H^renthals (Campine), 
|4-p towards 1520. His three sons also bear the 
surname of " Elder " in order to distinguish 
them from the younger of the following century. The 
most celebrated of the three is JfiRQME, the eldest, 
who was a painter of historical subjects and portraits to 
King Henry HI. of France. The Museum of 
Antwerp possesses numerous specimens of the 
style of Ambrose : " The Last Supper " and 
the " Martyrdom of St. Crepin and St. Cr^- 
pinien," are pictures which entirely fail to stir our 
feeling in spite of the talent they evince. FRANCIS is 
less known than the other two. He was born at Ant- 
werp, and practised his art in his native city. He was 
chiefly distinguished for his excellent colouring and for 
the skill with which he introduced a large number of 
figures into his compositions. 

These three brothers continued in the steps of 
Floris. They adopted his mixed method and his cold 
colouring, bringing together in anything but an even 
measure — Italian taste and Flemish genius. In their 
turn they became the founders of a long lineage of 
artists, and prepared for historians, and all those who 
draw up catalogues and dictionaries, a work of 
patience and of research of which the following 
genealogical table can give but a very imperfect 
idea : — 

col. 240, and following, and by M. Van den Branden in Geschic- 
penis, &c., pages 336, 614, and 978. 

Martin de Vos.] THE ROMANISTS. 163 

Nicholas Franck, or Francken, 1520 — 1596. 

I \ n 1 

Jerome (I.) Francis (I.) Ambrose (I.) Cornelius 

1540 — 1610 1542 — i6l6 1544 — i6i8 citizen 

I I in 1580 

Isabelle i | | | | 

m. F.Pour- Thomas Jerome (II.) Francis (II.) Ambrose(II.) John 
bus (II.) Master in 1578—1629 1581 — 1642 ?— 1632 1581— 
1600 _. I 1624 

i • i 

Francis (III.) Jerome (III.) 
1607 — 1667 i6u— ? 


1661— 1717 

In the nineteenth chapter we shall again find 
Francis Francken (II.) a painter of small historical 
and mythological subjects. 

Martin de Vos (1532 — 1603) preceded the 
Franckens by a few years in the studio of Frans 
Floris ; and on leaving this master he set out for 
Italy. He acquired a certain reputation in Florence 
by several portraits which he painted for 
the Medici, and which are still to be seen M?^ ai) ]/7 
in the Museum of the Uffizi. He 
stayed a long time in Venice, where he studied 
under Tintoretto, a powerful and fruitful genius, who, 
more than any other Italian artist, was capable of 
dazzling the Flemish mind. The museum of his 
native town possesses an important series of his 
works (Fig. 34), in which the talent of the painter is 
especially displayed by portraits remarkable for truth 
and spirit. 
L 2 


FLEMISH PAINTING. [Adrian Thomas Key. 

Peter de Vos (I.), 1490 — 1567^ 


m. Peter Lissa'ert 


Peter (II.) 
?— 1567 

Martin (I.) 

Ann Wiliiam 

m. David Master in 
Remeeus, 1593 

1559—1626 , 

1602 — 1648 

m. Peter de Witte,(I.)* 1586—1651. 

Daniel Martin (II.) 
1568— 1576— 
1605 1613 

1624— 1681 

John Baptist 
1627 — af. 1662 

They are also portraits — those of kneeling donors 
— which tell of the merit of ADRIAN THOMAS Key, an 
artist who would not otherwise be known to us except 
for a few inscriptions in the Liggeren (from 1558 

to 1588), by a portrait bearing a monogram, 
^^ and dated 1572, in the Museum of Vienna, 

and by the two wings of a triptych in the 
Museum of Antwerp, which bear his signature. The 
portraits of Giles De Smidt, a syndic in the Monastery 
of the Franciscans, of his wife and their eight children, 
adorn this triptych, and are counted among the most 
precious treasures in the Gallery of Antwerp. In the 
"Last Supper," painted on the obverse, there is a certain 
Italianism in the general composition ; and yet, what 

* This Peter de Witte (I.) had a natural son, Peter de Witte (11.), 
1617 — 1667, who was a landscapist like his father. 

Adrian Thomas Key. THE ROMANISTS. 


FIG. 34. — ST. LUKE PAINTING THE VIRGIN. — Martin de Vos. 
(Museum of Antwerp. 7 ft. i,\ in. X 7 ft. i in.) 

more Flemish than those two sincere and ingenious 
groups in devout attitude ? (Figs. 35 and 36). The 
execution is brilliant, and the subject largely handled. 

FIG. 35.— THE SMIDT TAUIUV.— Adrian Thomas Key. 
(Museum of Antwerp. 6 ft. oj in. X 3 ft. lo in.) 

KIG. 36. — THE SMIDT FAMILY. — Adrian Thomas Key. 
(Museum of Antwerp. 6 ft. oj in. X 3 f'- 1° ™-) 

l68 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Lucas de Heere. 

The hands are well delineated ; the heads, with their 
sparkling eyes, are well painted in grey pearly tints, 
relieved by the more sombre and refined tones of the 

Adrian Key 




lived in 1516 — 42 

?— ? 

about 1520 — 1568 

m. Margaret Congnet 



Adrian — Thomas 


master in 1568— af. 

m. Hubert Beuckelaer 



Another artist of Ghent, Lucas de Heere* (1534 — 
1584) also studied his art under Floris. He shows 
himself true to nature, and interesting in his portraits, 
but in his historical subjects he is false and unmean- 
ing. He worked for the courts both of France and 
England, was an archaeologist and a numismatologist, 
and also wrote many valuable literary works, among 
which we must cite a poem on Flemish painters. 
Were we to judge this artist solely from his painting 
in St. Bavon, " Solomon and the Queen of Sheba " 
(1559), we should form but an indifferent idea of his 
talent ; but we have the authority of Burger, who in 
the historical exhibition of Manchester in 1857, saw 
his portraits of Queen Elizabeth, of Mary Queen of 
Scots, and of Lord Darnley, and who assures us that 
they may be reckoned among the best of the time.f 

* De Busscher : Rechcrches sur les fcintics ct sntlptevrs a Gaud, 
XVIth century, page 24. Ghent, 1866. 
t Tresors cfart en Angleierre, p. 347. 


It is principally by its portraits that the national genius 
struggled against the invasion of Italianism during 
the whole of the time between the death of Metsys 
and the coming of Rubens. " Placed on the firm 
ground of reality, enemies of all falsehood, and sys- 
tematically opposed to the allurements of -the ideal, 
the portrait painters in Flanders, during the whole of 
the sixteenth century, played a part similar to that 
which their unconscious master, Hans Holbein, filled 
in Switzerland and in England. They possessed, in 
an equal degree with him, the respect of individual 
expression, the love of inmost resemblance, and the 
strong idea of inward life. In their portraits of 
magistrates, churchmen, citizens, or heads of guilds, 
there is concentrated vitality, a kind of familiar 
heroism, a depth of character, which reveal at the 
same time the individuality of the man and the social 
sphere to which he belongs. Portrait painting, thus 
understood, is on a level with history."* 

But the danger of foreign influence was becoming 
more and more imminent ; the national mind pro- 
tested with more energy than ever, and called to its 
aid the popular art, the painting of familiar scenes and 
everyday faces. It was then that appeared, first in 
Antwerp, and afterwards in Brussels, the painter, Peter 

* Paul Mantz : Introduction a Vhistoire des peintres de Pkole 
ftamande, p. 6. (ffistoire des peintres de toutes les icoles. Paris ; 



History must, sooner or later, assign a place of 
considerable importance in the annals of art to 
Peter Breughel the Elder, or the Droll. At a time 
when all Flemish painters had become more or less 
Italianised, when the Florentine and Roman styles 
had been lauded and imitated throughout the land, 
this artist undertook to raise Flemish art in all its 
truth to the level, at least, of Italian mythology. 
He derived the name of Breughel, which he made 
illustrious, from the little village where he was born, 
towards 1526 : Breughel, near Breda, in old Brabant. 
We do not know that he ever had or signed any 
other name. 

He studied art first under Peter Coucke, and 
afterwards received instruction from J^r6me Cock, the 
engraver and landscape painter; but neither of these 
two masters appears to have exercised any. decided 

* Principal works : — Vienna : The Carrying of the Cross (Museum) ; 
The Tower of Babel (ditto) ; The Massacre of Ike Innocents (diito) ; The 
Fair (ditto) ; The Wedding Breakfast (ditto). Bale : The Preaching of 
St. John the Baptist (Museum). Dresden : Battle of the Peasants 
(Museum). Naples: The Blind {^uss\xm). Antwerp: The Alchemist 
(Collection of Max Rooses), 

Peter Breughel.] 



influence over his style. The young man remained 
first of all the disciple of Nature, and if he sought to 

172 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Peter Breughel. 

imitate anything, it was the weird and insane con- 
ceptions of J6r6me Bosch^ whose whimsicalities he 
attentively studiecl. According to the fashion of the 
time, he visited Italy, and has left in his works nu- 
merous mementoes of his journey by way of the 
Rhine and the Alps, to Rome and Naples. But 
these new associations did not in the least change 
the character of his talent ; and while other artists 
became enraptured with Italian art as they gazed' 
on the works of Raphael, he remained true to what 
nature had made him — a Flemish painter. 

He returned to the land of his birth, took up 
his abode in Antwerp, where, in the port, in the 
tavern, in the fairs of neighbouring villages, meeting 
now a young couple in the giddy dance, or a 
drunkard stumbling in his path, he sought the 
humble spectacle of homely things, the noisy mirth 
of rustic festivities, and was always in quest of every- 
day subjects, which earned for him, at the hands of 
posterity, the surname of " Breughel of Peasants." 
In 1563, being anxious to marry, he changed his 
residence from Antwerp to Brussels. He imme- 
diately received a great number of commissions, both 
from the court and the municipality. One of his 
most influential admirers, the Emperor Rodolph II., 
a great lover of art, was then forming a remarkable 
collection in Prague, for which he purchased many 
pictures by our Breughel, not hesitating to give 
very large sums for their possession.* 

' * CrivelH : Giovanni Breughel, p. 120 (Milan, 1868). 

174 FLEMISH PAINTIISG. [Peter Breughel. 

The number of works by this artist is consider- 
able, but though they are scattered throughout 
Europe, it is in Vienna that they can best be ap- 
preciated. The collection of Rodclph II. formed, 
as we all know, the nucleus of the present Im- 
perial Museum, which owes to it numerous and 
magnificent specimens of the varied talent of our 
artist. " The Tower of Babel," the " Massacre of 
the Innocents " (Fig. 37), and especially the " Bear- 
ing of the Cross," are masterpieces, and were all 
executed in 1563. The painter handled his religious 
subjects in the same style as his popular scenes ; 
he did not hesitate to place Jesus and the Virgin 
Mary, the Apostles, and holy women, in the midst 
of purely Flemish surroundings, just as towards the 
same period Tintoretto and Veronese clothed the 
personages of the " Passion of Christ " after the fashion 
of Venice. 

In his rustic and homely scenes Breughel deserves 
to be placed in the same rank with the best masters 
of the following century. We may go further, and 
say that neither Teniers nor Brauwer ever exhibited 
such absolute good -temper, nor showed so much 
animation, sense of fun and delicate raillery. "The 
Battle," in Dresden ; " The Blind," in Naples ; " The 
Fair," and " The Wedding Breakfast " (Fig. 38), in 
Vienna, are capital pictures of their kind. 

" At other times he laughingly re-enters the 
world of fancy ; he calls to his aid the witchcraft 
of the Middle Ages, and delights in the most 
amusing of wild and witty scenes. During the 

Peter Breughel.] THE ROMANISTS. 175 

latter half of the sixteenth century he embodied 
the comic art of the Flemish school ; he uncon- 
sciously belonged, by the bonds of fraternity, to 
the happy band of laughers of his time ; he was 
one of those who made laughter a mask under 
which to but partially hide all the anxieties and 
pains and sorrows of a time when so little value 
was placed on human life ; the thought of strife 
was in every mind and in every heart." * " The 
Battle of Lent Against Carnival ; or, The Lean 
Against the Fat," in the Museum of Vienna, is a 
burlesque-satire to which not even the pen of a 
Rabelais could have lent more imagination, fun, or 

Peter Breughel was in his time the boldest 
colourist and executant of the Flemish school. 
His manner of painting is not less interesting to 
observe than the attitudes and expressions of his 
figures, which are all taken from life. His manner 
is bold and powerful ; he discards all gradations 
of colour and adopts single tones ; the colour 
is laid on most sparingly, leaving the canvas 
almost bare, and only relieved here and there with 
firmer hues. He understood better than any other 
artist the blending of colours ; he knew how to 
bring into play the various shades of brown, how 
to blend them with diverse tones of red and 
yellow ; he did not shrink from throwing on the 
immaculate snow of a wintry scene, or on some 

* Paul Mantz: Introdtidion a Vhistoire des peintres de t kok 
flamaiide, p. 6, in the Histoire des peintres de toutes les ecoles. 

176 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Peter Breughel. 

grey, dusty road, a variegated crowd of peasants 
dressed in vermilion and black ; and every one of 
these bold attempts was crowned with brilliant success. 
His palette contains an infinite variety of tones of 
grey, yellow, brown, red, and white ; his lilacs, 
blues, fawns, pinks, and russets, are of rare delicacy, 
and wonderful refinement ; they blend in supreme 
harmony, and produce masterly and subtle effect. 

Breughel died in Brussels in 1569, leaving two 
sons, who inherited, at least in part, the talent of 
their father. 

Eight years later the Flemish school was to wit- 
ness the birth of Rubens. 



The emigration of Flemish artists to foreign lands 
was brought about in the sixteenth century by 
three principal causes : the great renown which the 
school had acquired through the illustrious masters 
of the preceding period ; the taste for travelling 
which the pilgrimage to Rome had awakened ; and 
the terrible social and religious revolution which 
broke out under the reign of Philip II. 

"Artists from the Netherlands," says a contem- 
porary historian, " were to be met in every country 
throughout Europe ; " " par I'Angleterre, par toute 
I'Allemagne, et specialement au pais de Danne- 
marc, en la Su^tie, en la Norwegie, en Poloigne 
et en autres pais septentrionaux jusques en Mos- 
covie, sans parler de ceux qui vont en France, en 
Espagne et en Portugal, le plus souvent appelez 
des Princes, des R6publiques et d'autres potentats, 
avec grande provision et traictement, chose non 
moins merveilleuse que honorable ' * 

* Guicciardini : Description le tout le Pais Bas, p. 136 (Antwerp, 


178 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Karl Van Mander. 

Holland.— \x\ its origin, the history of Dutch 
painting can hardly be separated from that of 
Flemish painting. Both sought inspiration from the 
same sources, and were guided by the lessons of 
the same master ; the result was that in the fifteenth 
century the seventeen provinces produced exactly 
the same art.* In the sixteenth distinctions began 
to appear. Schoorel and Lambert Lombard, both 
pupils of the same master, no longer belong to the 
same artistic race. Nevertheless, for the historian, 
the classification remains diflScult, for, until the 
radical parting of the two schools, which took place 
simultaneously with the political division of the 
countries, artists incessantly changed their abode 
from North to South, and vice versd. Some, born 
in Holland, came to spend their last days in 
Bruges, Antwerp, or Brussels ; others, born in 
Belgium, ended their career at Dortrecht, Haarlem, 
or Amsterdam. 

Karl Van Mander (1548 — 1606) was among 

^^ the latter.t He was born at Meulebecke, a 

\\A small village of western Flanders, where, 

■^ - before him, three painters had acquired a 

certain reputation, who are forgotten in our day : — 

Charles of Ypres (1510 — 1563-64)! and his 

* See, for the Dutch masters of the North, the history of, Peiniure 
hollandaise, by M. Henry Havard f^Bibliothique de t EnseignemerU des 
Beanx-Arts. ) ' 

t See his biography placed at the beginning of the second edition 
of his SchilJerboeck (i6i8) 

% Van Mander : Het Schilderhocck, p. 253. 

Karl Van Mander.] THE ROMANISTS. 179 

two pupils, Nicolas Snellaert (1542? — 1602?) 
and Peter Vlerick (1539 — 1581), of Courtrai* 
Van Mander studied under the latter, and it was 
on leaving his workshop that he set out for Italy, 
where he resided seven years. He afterwards visited 
Switzerland and Austria, returned to the Nether- 
lands, which were then devastated by war, fixed his 
residence at Haarlem, and went over to Amsterdam 
to die. His works, which are scarce, would probably 
not have saved his name from oblivion if it were not 
connected with that of an illustrious painter, Frans 
Hals, whose instructor he was ; and if he were not, 
in addition, the author of a celebrated work, " Het 
Schilderboeck." This book, which contains the 
biographies of the principal Flemish, Dutch, and 
German painters, from the Van Eycks to the end 
of the sixteenth century, has remained the most 
precious source and the surest guide which can be 
consulted with regard to the early schools of the 

Italy. — When Italy induced all the painters in 
Europe to come and seek inspiration at the sources 

* Ed. Fetis : Les peintres beiges a Petranger, vol. ii., p. 350. 
Brussels : 1865. 

t This is the title of the work : Het Schilderboeck. 3rd part. 
Het leven def Doorluchtighe nederlandische en hooghduytsche sckilders. 
We quote from the first edition, first volume, in 4to, which was 
published at Haarlem in 1604. A French translation, Le livre 
des peintres de Carl Van Mander, 2 vols, in 8vo, illustrated and 
annotated by M. Henri Hymans, keeper of the engravings at the 
Royal Library of Brussels, is on the eve of publication. {Bibl. intern. 

M 2 


of the great artistic movement of her Renaissance, 
it is ho matter for wonder that many among these 
artists did not return. Some were attracted by the 
treasures and the charm of the country, while 
others were enticed by the flattering offers of the 
popes and the princes.* Among the latter were the 
Flemings, Calvaert, Bril, and De Witte. 

Denys Calvaert (1540 — 1619), of Antwerp, 
whom the Italians call '' Denys the Fleming," bears 
a name which is doubly famous in the history of 
art, for he was the first instructor of Guido, 
Albano, and Domenichino.f This artist passed the 
whole of his life in Rome and Bologna, and his 
work is entirely Italian. Now and then we can 
find some traces of his origin in certain figures 
of St. Peter, St. Laurence, Magdalen, or Danae 
(Fig. 39), an origin which is betrayed either by the 
realism of the attitudes, or the ample richness of 
the forms. The greater part of his pictures have 
remained in churches and museums of Northern 
Italy. The most important are the "Souls in 
Purgatory," and " Paradise," in Bologna ; the " Mar- 
tyrdom of St. Laurence," at Piacenza ; the " Virgin 
and St. Apolline," at Reggio. 

Paul Bril (1556—1626) J would not, like 
his fellow-citizen, siirrender the title of Flemish 
artist. While numbers of other painters went 

* Bertolotti : Artisti belgi ed olandesi a Roma net secoH, xvi. et 
xvii. Firenze, 1880. 

t Ed. F^tis : Lcs pcintres beiges a titranger, vol. ii., p. 151. 
X The same, vol. i., p. 143. 

Paul Bril.] 



FIG. 39. — DANAE. — Denys Calvaert. 
(Musaum of the Academy of Fine Arts, Lucca.) 

to Italy only to borrow ideas from the Italian 
masters, Paul Bril and his brother Matthew 
(1550 — ^1584) introduced in the Italian art a 

lS2 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Peter de Witte. 

fresh feature of pure Flemish, origin, and showed 
the Roman painters a path which, until that time, 
not one among them had trodden : landscape 
treated as a separate and special genre. Paul Bril is 
the real creator of this style. He still 
r~~;Zr^ understood nature after the manner of 
/ ^ ^J Memling, Gheerardt David, and Patinier, 
but with more grandeur, and always 
depicted her under her most poetic aspect. His 
landscapes are remarkable for great variety of con- 
ception, able distribution of light, elegant design, 
harmonious colouring, beautiful foliage, and most 
penetrating sentiment. His paintings are numerous 
in Italy, for Bril worked for churches as well as 
for palaces, for noble Romans, as well as for car- 
dinals and popes. His masterpiece, one of the 
boldest landscapes ever attempted, is a fresco which 
adorns the walls of the " New Hall," in the Vatican. 
It represents the " Martyrdom of St. Clement," and 
the scene is laid in the midst of a magnificent 
rural spot which foreshadows the heroic landscapes 
of the following century. " Paul Bril," says M. 
Charles Blanc, " founded the generation of great 
landscape painters who immortalised art in the 
seventeenth century. Claude Lorraine and Poussin 
are his descendants.* 

Peter De Witte, surnamed " Candido " (1548— 
i628),t was contemporary with the two preceding 

* Paul Bril, pp. 6 and 7. {tlistoire des peintres de toutcs les 
I'coles. ) 

T C. Carton : Nofes biografhiqttcs sur Pedro Candida. [Annaks 

Peter de Witle.] THE ROMANISTS. 1 83 

artists ; but the Flemish school does not appear to 
have valued this painter as he deserved. For a long 
time he w^orked for Vasari at Florence, and he after- 
wards followed the Duke Maximilian I. to Bavaria, and 
to this prince he devoted the remainder of his career. 
He was at the same time a painter, designer, architect, 
and sculptor, and his diversified talent is testified by 
a variety of works. Thus the construction of the 
ducal palace, the sculptures of the magnificent 
mausoleum of the Emperor Louis V. in the 
Cathedral of Munich, the Bavarian tapestries, manu- 
factured 1604 — 1 61 5, the frescoes of the church of 
Santa Maria del Fiore, at Florence, besides nume- 
rous pictures and portraits, all recall the name of 
Peter De Witte. The portrait of a princess of the 
House of Bavaria, in the Schleissheim Gallery (Fig. 40), 
is especially remarkable. 

Though of less ability than these artists, we must 
yet cite, among Flemish painters who settled in Italy, 
LEONARD Thiry, of Bavay, better known as 
Leo Daven{\ ^,001 — 15 50), who was both painter ][_*| 
and engraver, and who worked with Rosso and 
Primaticcio at the decorations of the palace of Fontaine- 
bleau,* the BacKEREELS of Antwerp, who, according 
to Sandrart, were numerous in Rome, and were all 
men of talent, who lived magnificently. MiCHEL 
JONQUOY, of Tournai, who was, in 1565, the first 
patron of Spranger, with whom he painted the 

de la Societe cT emulation de Flandre, 1843, second series, vol. i., 
p. 19.) 

* Ed. Fetis : Les peinti-es beiges aVetranger, vol. ii. p. 323. 

1 84 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Peter de Kempeneer 

frescoes in the Church of St. Oreste, in Rome; 
Arnould Mytens, of Brussels (i 541— 1602), called 
" Renaldo ; " and John Francken, of Antwerp, 
known as Franco (1550), who both settled in 
Naples ; Paul Franchoys, of Antwerp, surnamed 
Franceschi (1540 — 1596), a pupil and collaborator 
of Tintoretto, and of whom there is in the ducal 
palace at Venice a picture representing " Pope 
Alexander III. blessing the Doge Ziani ; " * LuCAS 
Cornelius and William Boides, of Mechlin, who 
in 1550 were working in Ferrara at the cartoons 
for the tapestry hangings worked in the celebrated 
studio of the Court of Hercules II., t Duke of 
Este; finally, in Florence, John Van der Straeten, 
of Bruges (1536 — ^1605), known as Stradan, or 
Delia Strada, who was appointed to design the 
cartoons for the tapestry makers of Cosmo de 

Spain. — In Spain the influence exercised over 
the national school by the northern Gothic masters, 
was weakened at an early stage by the Italian 
Renaissance. Strange to say, a Fleming, who had 
learned his art in the school of Michael Angelo, was 
the chief instrument by which Italy asserted her power. 

Peter de Kempeneer (1503 — 1580), to whom 
the Spaniards gave the name of Pedro Campana, 
was born in Brussels in 1 503. He left Italy, where 

Ed. Fetis : Lcs pniilrcs beiges A Vltranger, vol. i., p. 377. 
+ Eng. Miintz : La iapisserie, p. 234. 
j Ed. Fetis : Les peintres beiges tJ VUranger, vol. i., p. 121. 

Peter de Witte. (Schleissheim Gallery.) 

1 86 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Peter de Kempeneer 

he had enjoyed the protection of Cardinal Grimani, 
for Seville, where he founded an academy, of which 
the most brilliant disciple was Morales. In 1560 
he returned to his native city, succeeded Michael 
Coxie as official painter to the Brussels tapestry 
workers, and died in 1580. Several of his religious 
pictures are still to be seen in the churches of 
Seville, his masterpiece being a " Descent from the 
Cross " (1548) in the Cathedral (Fig. 41). 

The composition is striking in aspect, and shows 
the power of a master ; and, though it retains the 
Gothic austerity, it already foreshadows the era of the 
Renaissance. The profile of the mass is original, 
the attitudes animated, and the types strange ; but 
the colouring, though it abounds in harsh and 
violent tones, remains Flemish by its energy. As- 
suredly the style is new. It must have created a 
deep impression at a time when Gossaert, Belle- 
gambe, and Van Orley, had only just disappeared, 
when Mostaert was still painting his small Gothic 
panels, when Floris and Martin de Vos were yet 
unknown. This " Descent from the Cross " is an 
historical landmark ; it still recalls Van der Weyden, 
and vaguely foreshadows Rubens. In Spain it was 
called " The Famous Descent from the Cross of 
Seville ; " and the historian Bermudez asserts that 
Murillo was never tired of admiring it.* 

* J. Rousseau: Les peintres flamands en Espagne. {Bulletin des 
coininissioiis dart et d'archMogte, 1867, xxiv., p. 347.) Alphonse 
Wauters : Quelques mots sur Ics Bruxetlois Pierre de Kempeneer, connti 
sous le nom de Pedro Campaiia, 1867. Bermudez : Diccionarid de las 
bcllas artes, vol. v., p. 264. 

FIG. 41.— THE DESCENT FROM THE CROSS. — Peter de Kempeneei: 
(Seville Cathedral. 10 ft. 5 in. X 6 ft. 4 in.) 

1 88 FLEMISH PAINTING. [The Clouets. 

The same author also mentions the names of 
several other Flemish painters who had settled in 
Spain : the landscape painter De las Vinas, or VAN 
Den Wyngaerde, of Brussels, was painter to 
Philip II. (1561); Martin Van Cleve, of Ant- 
werp, journeyed from Spain to India; Isaac De La 
Hele, of Antwerp (1570), whose religious pictures 
are preserved in the Churches of Toledo ; and 
Anthony Floris (.' — 1550), who has four panels in 
the Church of Mercedes Alzada, at Seville. 

France. — We have seen, in Paris, Jehan Foucquet 
seek inspiration from the traditions of the Flemish 
artists attached to the Court of France, and open 
the list of the masters of the national school. A 
painter of Brabant continued his work, and became 
the founder of the celebrated artistic dynasty of 
the Clouets. John the Elder was a native of 
Brussels ; in 1475 he was in the service of Charles 
the Rash,* and in 1499 he was employed by the 
city of Brussels.t 

His son, John the Younger, surnamed Jeliannet, 
was probably also born in Brussels towards 1475 ; 
there he learned his art, and in the beginning 
of the century he ^^•ent to reside in Tours, and 
afterwards settled in Paris, where, in 1 5 1 8, he became 
painter to Francis I. There is in the Museum of 

* De Labovde : Les dues de Bourgogne, vol. ii., p 228. 
t Pinchart : Notes et additions aux anciens peintres flaman h de 
Cro^oe et Cavalcaselle, vol. i., p. 251. 

Ambrose Dubois.] THE ROMANISTS. 1 89 

the Uffizi a small portrait of this king which joins 
Flemish ingenuousness and elegance to French taste. 
The third Clouet, Francis, son of Jehannet, born at 
Tours towards 1500, was a portraitist of the first 

At the same period an Antwerpian painter, 
Ambrose Dubois, was engaged at the Court of 
France (1543 — 1614*), whose French name was in all 
probability but the translation of the Flemish name 
of Van den Bosh. Dubois settled in Paris towards 
1578, and Henry IV. entrusted him with the wall 
decorations of his favourite residence of Fontaine- 
bleau. With the help of his scholars the artist con- 
cluded a work which, without exaggeration, may be 
called colossal, for it included no less than forty-six 
large paintings. Thirteen among them are still extant 
in the Gallery of the Frescoes and in the Louis XIII. 
room. These works betray a servile imitation of 
Italian art, but the compositions have style, are full 
of well ordered fire. Ambrose Dubois became the 
founder of a line of artists. His sons and grand- 
sons were the pensioners of Louis XIII. and 
Louis XIV. 

In Lyons we also find a long list of Flemish 
painters. M. Rondot f counts no fewer than twenty- 
one, amongst whom figures FRANCIS Van der Star, 
of Mechlin, called Stella (1563 — 1605), head of the 

* Ed. Fetis : Les peintres beiges ^ Pitranger, vol. i., p. 359. 
f See a paper on artists and masters of foreign crafts at Lyons in 
the Gaz. des Beaux Aits, 1883, vol. ii , p. 157. 

igo FLFMISH PAINTING. [Johannes Corvus 

Lyons family of the Stellas, painters and engravers ; 
and Lievin Van der Mere (? — 1525 — 27), who has 
several paintings in the churches of the town. 

England. — During a period of nearly two centuries, 
Flemish artists were also appointed portrait painters to 
the kings and queens of England. We remark, in the 
Forster Collection at South Kensington Museum two 
small full-length portraits of the latter end of the 
fifteenth century, representing Henry VII. and his 
consort, Elizabeth. That they belong to the Flemish 
school is an indisputable fact, though the name of the 
painter is not known. There is also, in the National 
Portrait Gallery, London, a portrait of Richard III., 
of Flemish origin, and painted between the years 1483 
and 1485. 

England possesses interesting portraits by a 
Fleming who signed his works : Joltannes Corvus* 
It is our privilege here to make known for the first 
time the real name of this artist — JOHN RAVE — who 
was received master in Bruges in 1 5 1 2 and afterwards 
journeyed to London. He has,- at Corpus Christi Col- 
lege, Oxford, the portrait of Bishop Richard Fox, 
the founder of this college (.' — 1528) ; that of Mary, 
sister of Henry VIII., and widow of Charles XII. of 
France, painted in 1532, is in the Dent Collection in 
London ; that of Mary Tudor, executed in 1 544, is 
in the National Portrait Gallery — the latter a work of 

* George Scharff : Notes on Some of the Painters Contemporary zvith 
Holbein in England (Archcologia of the Society of Antiquaries oj 
London, vol. xxxix.). 

The Gheerardts.] THE ROMANISTS. I9I 

great merit, strikingly individual, and denoting at the 
same time an able craftsman and a born colourist.* 

Among all the members of an ancient and numerous 
family of artists of Ghent, GERARD HOREBOUT (1470 ? 
— 1540-41), after painting miniatures for Margaret of 
Austria, set out for London with his family. There 
he became painter to Henry VIII. , and after his death 
his son Lucas (? — 1544) distinguished himself in the 
same position. In 1521 Diirer saw several pictures by 
these artists in Antwerp, and he speaks of them in 
terms of high praise ; but it is not given to us to form 
an opinion on these paintings, for they have now 

After the Horebouts of Ghent came the 
Gheerardts of Bruges. In 1571 Mark the 
Eider (1540!" — 1600), a pupil of Martin 
de Vos, obtained the title of painter to /\/|SL ■ 
Queen Elizabeth. He painted history, 
portraits, landscapes, and architecture ; he designed 
cartoons for stained-glass windows, illustrated several 
manuscripts with precious miniatures, and acquired 
besides a great reputation as an engraver. At his 
death, his son, Mark the Younger (1561 — 1635), suc- 
ceeded him in his official dignity. The marks of the 
two Gheerardts, or Garrards, as they were called in 
England, are as common in the private galleries 
of the old aristocratic families of England as they 
are scarce in the museums and collections of their 
native country. The Museum of Vienna possesses two 

* A. J. Wauters : Les feintres flamands h la cour des rois d' Angle- 
tern, XV'' XVI'' et XVII'- Slides. (In preparation.) 


portraits by the Elder which closely resemble those of 
Van Orley ; in the collection of Hampton Court we 
remark the portrait of Queen Elizabeth, and there 
were several others in the retrospective Exhibition at 
Manchester (1857). As to his son, Mark the Younger, 
besides a portrait of Lord Burghley, and another, a 
magnificent one of the Duchess of Pembroke, painted 
in 1614, he has an important and very remarkable 
work in the National Portrait Gallery, a " Conference 
of Eleven Statesmen," which was purchased for 
;£'2,5oo in the sale of the Hamilton Gallery, in 1882. 

Germany. — Beyond the Rhine, decay soon followed 
upon the death of Albert Diirer (1528) and that of 
his most faithful disciples (from 1530 — IS4S) ; we will 
even say that their disappearance wrought the extinc- 
tion of the national school. The few remaining 
artists crossed the Alps, and, losing all claim to their 
nationality, copied Italian models until they were 
merged in the Italian school. Germany, less fortu- 
nate than Flanders, was not destined to see the birth 
of a Rubens, and, deprived of her own national talent, 
she offered a fresh field to the genius of the Flemings. 
The emigration was considerable, owing to a great 
extent to the tribunal of blood instituted by the Duke 
of Alva. Numerous Flemish artistic colonies were 
formed in Bavaria, in Bohemia, and in the Rhine 

The most important was established by the Em- 
peror Rodolph II., a great admirer of Flemish art, 
in his palace at Prague. Barth^lemy Spranger of 

Roland Savery.] THE ROMANISTS. 193 

Antwerp, Roland Savery of Courtrai, and Peter 
Stevens (towards 1540 — 1604) of Mechlin, called 
Stefani, were appointed painters to his court ; Giles 
Sadeler (1570 — 1629) his engraver and painter; 
George Hoefnagels his miniaturist, and Philip of 
Mens his "mattre de ckapelle." 

Spranger (1546 — 1627) was head of the colony, 
in virtue of his age and by the imperial favour, 
though his talent does not seem to entitle him to such 
a rank. We have some difficulty, now, in under- 
standing the reputation which this artist undoubtedly 
enjoyed in his own time. In his works generally the 
mannerism of design and the eccentricity of the 
attitudes are enhanced by the bad taste of the colour- 
ing and total absence of character. And yet there 
are two portraits in the Museum of Vienna — those 
of the painter and of his wife — which by their truth 
and delicate modelling plead the cause of the artist.* 

Among the guests at the Hradschin ROLAND 
Savery (1576 — 1639)1 should have occupied the first 
place in preference to Spranger. He was a talented 
landscape painter; his colouring, though perhaps rather 
arbitrary, had vigorous and powerful tones. At the 
request of his patron he visited the Tyrol and the 
German Cantons of Switzerland, the grand land- 
.scapes of which had never before been painted. It is 
in these travels that he acquired the taste for the 
broken ground, the sparkling cascades, and the masses 
of rocks covered with pines, which he loved to depict. 

* Ed. Fetis : Les peintres beiges a VHranger, vol. i., p. 389. 
+ The same, vol. ii., p. 88. 

ig4 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Van Valkenborgh. 

Animals and birds of all kinds are generally seen in 
his pictures, to which he often gave the names of— 
"Garden of Eden," " Noah's Ark," "Orpheus Charming 
the Animals," &c. The most important portion of his 
works is to be seen in the Museums of Vienna and of 

While the Emperor Rodolph was thus protecting 
Spranger and Savery in Prague, his brother. Archduke 
Matthias — the same who, in 1578, had some idea of 
becoming Governor of the Netherlands — invited to 
his residence at Linz, on the Danube, a Fleming 
of the school of Breughel the Elder, LuCAS Van 
Valkenborgh (towards 1540 — 1625) of 
J_ Mechlin* The Galleries of Vienna, the 
■^"ViT Museums of Madrid and of Brunswick pos- 
sess interesting landscapes by' this artist. 
Their grey and delicate silvery tones are full of charm. 
Several of these paintings are peopled, like those of 
Lucas Gassel, with factories, forges, and 
numerous groups of artisans. Van Valken- /Vl 
borgh afterwards settled at Nuremberg, 
where he died, leaving several sons who V V '" 
all adopted the career of their father. His 
brother, MARTIN VAN VALKENBORGH (1542 — 1620), 
fixed his abode in Frankfort, where he found the painter 
JossE Van Winghen (1544 — 1605) of 

M Brussels, who had held the title of painter 
to the Duke of Parma. He has in the 
Museum of Vienna two important semi- 
historical, semi-allegorical paintings, which are handled 

* Ed. F^tis ; Les peintres beiges & I kranger, vol. ii., p. 136. 



FIG. 42. — PORTRAIT. — Nichola Neuchatel. 
(Pinacothek of Munich. 2 ft. 9J in. x 2 ft. 2^ in. ). 

in a picturesque manner, and represent " Campaspe sit- 
ting as a model before Alexander in the Studio of 
N 2 

196 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Gortzius Geldorp. 

Lucas Van Valkenborgh was not the only Fleming 
who sought hospitality in Nuremburg. NICHOLAS 
Neuchatel (1520 ? — 1600), who was also known as 
" Lucidel " (Colyn Van Nieucasteel), resided there 
also. The latter artist was born in Mens, and had, 
in 1539, studied under Peter Coucke at the same 
time as Breughel the Elder. He has remarkable 
half or full-length portraits in Berlin, Munich, Pesth, 
Cassel, and Darmstadt. These are full of life, learned 
in design, and sober in colouring, and of great sim- 
plicity in the attitudes. The expression of his 
figures is well rendered, and the hands admirably 
painted ; the costume is severe, and bears an austere 
character, more German than Flemish, which was 
doubtless due to the reformist tendencies of the 
people amongst whom he lived (Figs. 42 and 43). 

Before leaving the sixteenth century we must 
state once again that during the whole of that period 
of transition the portrait painters were especially 
deserving of commendation. All the artists we find 
in Cologne, Hamburg, and Copenhagen, were por- 

In Cologne resided GORTZIUS Geldorp (1553 

— 1 611 ?) of Louvain, a pupil of Francis Francken 

and Francis Pourbus. In 1579 he left Antwerp in 

^—y^^^ the suite of the Duke of Terranova, and 

I / J settled in Cologne, in which city he had 

been preceded by another artist of talent 

and learning, the painter-engraver Adrian DE Werth, 

of Brussels* (15 36?- 1590?). Geldorp enjoyed the repu- 

* Ed. F^tis : Les peinlres beiges ci Cctrangei , vol. ii., p. 393. 



tation of being one of the best portrait painters of his 
time, and his works are typical and interesting, though 

Nicholas Neuchaiel. (Pinacothek of Munich. 3 ft. 3 in. x 3 ft.) 

the flesh tones are somewhat pale, and the general 
composition lacks power. The Museum of Cologne 
possesses ten of his pictures, and in the Galerie 

Iq8 flemish painting. Charles Van Mander. 

d'Arenberg, in Brussels, we find the remarkable 
portrait of Jans^nius, which bears the date 1604* 

Giles Congnet (1538 — iS99t). who, like Gel- 
dorp and De Werth, had been driven from his 
native land by political dissensions, sought 
" * " ' refuge in Hamburg. 

Copenhagen itself received within its walls some 
representatives of the Flemish school. JACOB DE 
Poindre (1527 — 1570), who had settled in Mechlin, 
the place of his birth, enjoyed a high reputation as 
a portrait painter ; he has in a private collection 
in Paris a portrait of great merit, signed "Jacobus 
Ffunder, fecit, 1563." J CHARLES Van Mander, son 
of the Van Mander who wrote the history of pain- 
ters, worked in 1606 for King Christian IV. ; and his 
son, who was also named Charles after his father and 
his grandfather, became, in the following century, 
painter to the Court. 

Thus the fame of the Flemish school continued to 
increase throughout the artistic world. After having 
studied the different phases of its history, one need 
not wonder at the position of immense importance 
which its innumerable productions occupy in the 
museums and the galleries of the whole of Europe. 
Not any school — not even the Italian school -has 
given an instance of a similar outward development. 

* W. Biirger : La galerie cTArenberg, pp. 85 and 166. 
t Catalogue du nnist'c ifAnvers, 1874, p. 90. De Burbure ; Bio- 
seraphic Nationale, vol. iv., col. 269. 
X Counter de I' Art, 1883, p. 331. 

jTourtf) ^erioU, 





It will be well to consider here the situation of the 
Flemish school at the opening of the seventeenth 
century. The Netherlands had, since 1598, been 
con.stituted " an independent " state, under the ad- 
ministration of the Archduke Albert, ex-Cardinal of 
Toledo, and his wife Isabel, daughter of Philip II. 

The Italian style of painting was fast invading the 
I national style, and threatened to submerge it. The 
Roman flood had lately borne back Francken, Otto 
Vaenius, Coebergher, and strongly influenced Snel- 
linck. Van Balen, Martin Pepyn. The grand portrait- 
painters of the last century, the minor painters of 
interiors, of village fairs and landscapes, had disap- 
peared one after the other ; some carried off by old 
age, others exiled by Spanish despotism. For, it 
must be owned, the arrival of Albert and Isabel 

200 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Jean Snellinck. 

brought to the Belgian provinces but an outward 
show of independence. The war was not ended, civic 
privileges were not restored, the agitation and uneasi- 
ness had not abated, nor were the executions stayed. 
Nevertheless, a certain calm had entered the mind of 
the people ; thirty years of struggle and suffering had 
exhausted the country, and left such a bitter recollec- 
tion of preceding governments, that it was content to 
rejoice over its present state and regard it as a com- 
parativ.e amelioration. This feeling was productive of 
some degree of popularity for Albert and Isabel. If 
they have succeeded in preserving this popularity, they 
owe it exclusively to the enlightened protection which 
1 they gave .to the arts. Painting had become the \ 
I language of Belgium, and under every domination had, ! 
on all sides, proclaimed the Flemish nationality great, 
noble, and undying in language. By honouring the pain- 
ters, the daughter of Philip II. honoured the country at 
large, and at the same time saved her own and her hus- 
band's memory from the curse which Belgium hurled 
at her father and his lieutenants, and which has rested 
on their name for the last three centuries. Rubens and 
Van Dyck are Isabel's patrons before posterity. 

The first painter whom the Archduke employed 
was Jean Snelt.INCK* (1549 — 1638). Van Mander 
mentions him as an excellent painter of battle-pieces, 
adding that he " represents cannon smoke with much 

* Dr. van der Mersch : Johan Snellinck (De vlaemsche school, vol. v., 
p. 130. 1859). G^nard ; Les grandes families artistiques d' Aimers 
(Annales iC/iistoire et d'archhlogie, vol. i., p. 468. 1859). Catalogue of 
the Museum of Antwerp, 1874, p. 342. 


originality." It is to be regretted that all his scenes 
of war have disappeared. We can appreciate the 
artist solely as a painter of religious subjects. The 
few pictures which the Museum of Antwerp and the 
churches of Mechlin and Oudenarde possess, reveal to 
us a clever, elegant, and careful painter, a colourist 
who adopted the vague and enamelled tones which 
Martin De Vos and his school had brought into 
fashion. He had six sons and three grandsons, all 
painters ; afewpicturesbyANDRE(i587 — 165 3) and by 
Abraham (1597 — 1661) have been handed down to us. 
WencesLAS CoeBERGHER,* native of Antwerp (to- 
wards 1557 — 163s), was also painter to the court of 
Brussels. It appears his works were much esteemed 
by his contemporaries, and well deserved their success 
— at least, such is the opinion of M. Michiels, who 
assures us that the " Ecce Homo " in the Museum of 
Toulouse is an incomparable work, and that Flemish 
genius has not produced anything finer.f Unfortu- 
nately for the artist, his other known pictures are stiff 
in design and their colours over-bright, and leave us 
to suppose that this praise is excessive. Coebergher 
was, nevertheless, one of the most distinguished men 
of his time; and the services which he has rendered 
as architect, engineer, writer, economist, and analytical 
chemist, will save his name from oblivion. Such 
a universality of knowledge might indeed excite 
wonder, but we should remember that Coebergher 

' * P. Bortier : Coebergher, feintre, architede, ingenieur. Brussels, 
1875. Pinchart : Archives des arts, vol. i., p. 229, and vol. iii., p. 209. 
■f- Rubens et I'^cole d'Anvers, p. 36. Paris, 1877. 

202 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Otho Van Veen. 

belonged to the sixteenth century, and the superior 
men of that period loved to acquaint themselves with 
every branch of learning. 

Otho Van Veen (1558 — 1629), whose name, ac- 
cording to the pedantic fashion of the time, was 
Latinised into Otho Vaenius, had an equally inquiring 
mind, for towards 1 585 he appears at the court of Alex- 
ander Farnese as " engineer to the royal armies," and 
in 1620 as treasurer at the court of Albert and Isabel. 

He was born at Leyden, studied at Li^ge under 
Lampsonius, then started for Rome, where his taste 
was strongly influenced by Zucchero, his second master. 
In 1594 he entered his name at the Guild of St. Luke, 
Antwerp, and finally settled in Brussels, where he 
spent the last nine years of his life. Belgium is rich 
in his pictures. We remark in the Museum of Ant- 
werp the " Vocation of St. Matthew " and the " Charity 
of St. Nicholas," a '' Pieta " in the Museum of Brussels, 
and the " Resurrection of Lazarus " in the church 
of St. Bavon, Ghent. In these pictures, correct ele- 
gance, the charm of the women's faces, and a sincere 
sentiment of the beautiful combine to excite interest ; 
and yet, in our day, the works of Vaenius leave us 
indifferent, because of their coldness and affectation of 
classicism. The artist is, nevertheless, assured of 
immortality, for he was the master of Rubens. 

He shares this honour with Adam (i 562 — 1641), son 
of Lambert Van Noort (1520 — 1570). As yet we 
lack information respecting the life and works of this 
painter, of whom Van Dyck has left us the sympathetic 
and paternal face. Some authors have represented 

Adam Van Noort.] RUBENS AND HIS SCHOOL. 203 

him as a fierce drunkard, as well as a vulgar and 
commonplace painter. On the other hand, according 
to erudite Antwerpians, Van 
|V j Noort painted the admirable If "vy xt 
J^ "Tribute of St. Peter" in L^'y^'IN 
the Church of St. James, 
Antwerp, and is consequently one of the most won- 
derful colourists of the school, the true forerunner 
of Rubens and Jordaens, his pupils. Up to the 
present, however, this statement is unsubstantiated^ 
Let us hope that the truth may some day be estab- 
lished ; in the meantime the wisest plan will be to 
abstain alike from harsh judgment or premature 

A few other painters enjoyed some renown at that 

period. The following are the principal : — Henri 

Van Balen the Elder* (1575 — 1632) used to enliven 

_ the landscapes of Velvet Breughel with his 

t-Rj oft-repeated "Flight into Egypt," "Diana 

at the Chase," and " Banquet of the Gods." 

All these are painted in a soft, limp manner ; their 

design lacks decision, their colouring is poor and 

insipid. Henri de Clerck, Brussels (1570- — 1629), 

painter of churches ; Servais de Coulx, who in 

1606 — 25 painted religious subjects for Mons and 

Enghien; lastly, Martin Pepyn (1575 — 

1643), who imitated the pale tones of the jVp 

school of Martin de Vos, and also his quiet, 

minute, and polished execution. Pepyn's two trip- 

* See Van Lerius on Van Balen : Biographic cCartistes atfaersois, 
vol. ii., p. 234 to 358. 


tychs representing " St. Elizabeth " and " St. Augus- 
tin," in the Mus& des hospices, Antwerp, show us a 
painter fifty years behind his time. He is doubtless 
the last who, though belonging to the middle of the 
seventeenth century, carries us back to the sixteenth. 

Such was the appearance which the Flemish 
school presented when, in 1608, the Archduke Albert 
was negotiating with the Batavian Republic the 
" twelve years' truce " which was to afford a season of 
repose to the exhausted Netherlands. There was 
nothing to foretell a brighter or more brilliant era for 
the remains of Flemish genius. It seemed rather 
destined to experience new and fiercer assaults, for 
the national element was consuming itself day by 
day. Men's minds were unhingedj uncertain, hesitat- 
ing between this and that form of art, and there were 
even those who could not see any ray of hope. 
The horizon was more and more threatening, when 
there arrived from Italy a young painter full of noble 
ardour, who brought light to the blind and certainty 
to the doubtful. 

This was Rubens — Rubens, who held the brush 
which was at last to bring back Flemish art to its 
former grandeur. 



The most Flemish of Flemish painters, and the 
greatest of them all, was, thanks to the misfortunes of 
his country and the exile of his family, to be born in 
a foreign land, instead of being brought into the world 
among his kindred, at Antwerp, to which he owed his 
origin and which was to be the scene of his glory. In 
1566, when the Duke of Alva arrived in the Low 
Countries, the jurist John Rubens was alderman of 
the town of Antwerp. His opinions in favour of 
reform caused him to be suspected, and ere long he; 
was among the proscribed. His liberty and even his 
life being menaced, the former magistrate left Ant-i 
werp with his family and sought refuge in Cologne.' 
There he was recommended to Ann of Saxony, wife 
of William the Silent, became her councillor, and — it 

* Biographies. — G. Baglione : Vita di Pietro Paolo Rubens, in Le 
Vite de pittori, scultoii, et architetti, Rome, 1642, p. 362. J. F. 
Michel: Histoire de la vie de P. P. Rubens. Brussels, 1 77 1 
A. Van Hasselt : Histoire de P. P. Rubens. Brussels, 1 840. 
A M\c\ne\s-. Rubens et I' Jcole d'Anvers. Paris, 1877. Paul Mantz: 
Rubens (in course of publication in the Gazette des Beaux Arts, 1881 
—1883). See also the chapters on Rubens by Rooses and Van den 
Branden in their Geschiendenis der Antwerpsche Schilderschool. 


must be owned, for history demands it — something 
dearer than her councillor. The affair being noised 
abroad, John Rubens, watched by the officers of the 
prince, was seized and imprisoned. The prayers 
and touching entreaties of his wife, Marie Pypelincx, 
secured him his liberty. The little town of Siegen, in 
the duchy of Nassau, was selected for the place of his 
abode, and there he lived with his family from 1573 
to 1578. It is there that, in all probability, on the 
29th of June, 1577, the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul 
Peter Paul Rubens was born.* He- spent his 
childhood in Siegen first, then in Cologne. 

In 1587 John Rubens died, and his widow and 
I children left Germany, which Peter Paul was never 
I again to see, and returned to the Netherlands. 

At Antwerp the predestined child was placed at 
the Jesuits' College, and it is said that he afterwards 
became page to the Countess de Lalaing. His voca- 
tion, however, was irresistible : he soon began to 
~ paint. He had three masters — the landscape 

% Lj painter, Tobias Van Haecht (1561 — 1631), who 
probably limited himself to teaching his young 
pupil how to hold his brush.f Adam Van_Noort, to 
whom Rubens "owes the greatest obligations" — so 
says the Catalogue of Antwerp, probably thinking 
of the problematic picture of " St. James " — and Otho 
Vaenius, who, while teaching him the art of model- 

* R. C. Baldiuizen : Les Jiubens & Sugen. La Haye, iS6l- 
+ Two pictures only of Tobias Van Haecht are known — one of a 
picturesque and hilly spot, with monogram, and dated 1615, in the 
Museum of Brussels, and another landscape in Germany. 


ling, inspired him with a taste for antiquities and 
erudition.* We have no means of ascertaining how 
Rubens painted at the dose of his apprenticeship, for 
we do not possess any work of his youth which would 
I enlighten us as to the young artist's worth when, in 
1 598, he received the freedom of the Corporation of 
St. Luke, or when, in 1600, he set out for Italy. 

Rubens was absent nearly nine years. The patient 
researches of M. A. Baschet in the archives of Mantua 
cast an almost perfect light on this long and important 
period in the life of the artist.f As early as 1601 we^ 
find Rubens a pensioner of Vincenzo Gonzaga, Duke ■ 
of Mantua, in whose service he remained until the end 
of his sojourn in Italy. We follow him to Rome, 
where he established himself at three different times 
and to Spain, whither he went on a mission to the i 
jCourt of Madrid. His copies from Titian, Corregio, , 
Leonardo da Vinci, &c., prove that he also visited/ 
/ Venice, Milan, and Genoa. It would appear that he 
undertook few original works.:jr He was anxious to 

* F. von Ravensburg : Rubens und die Antike. Jena, 1882. 

+ Peter Paul Rubens, Painter to Vincenzo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua 
(1600 — 1608). Son sijour en Italie et son premier voyage en Espagne, 
d'aprh ses Lettres et autres documents inedits. Gazette des Beaux Arts. 
1866, 1867, et 1868. 

J This is the list of them, with the places where the pictures are at 
the present time : — In 1602, at Rome : The Elevation of the Cross 
(Hospital de Grasse), Christ crowned with Thorns (ditto), and The 
Crucifixion (ditto). In 1603, at Valladolid : The Twelve Apostles 
(Prado), Heraclitus (ditto), Democritus (ditto). In 1604 — S, at Mantua : 
The Transfiguration (Museum of Nancy), The Trinity (Library of 
Mantua), The Baptism of Christ (Museum of Antwerp). In 1606, at 
Rome : St. Gregory (Museum of Grenoble). In 1608, at Rome : three 


learn and impatient to know, but he showed no eager- 
ness to produce. In 1608 he was at Rome, and was 
preparing to place on the altar of the Chiesa Nuova 
three pictures which he had painted at the request of 
the fathers of the Oratory, when he heard that his 
mother was seriously ill. He started in haste, but 
was too late to have the supreme consolation of 
closing the eyes of her who had given him birth. 

When he left Rome Rubens promised the Duke of 
Mantua that he would return to his court, but in 
Brussels Albert and Isabel used all endeavours to 
detain him, and hastened to confer upon him the title 
of painter to their court (September, 1609). Soon 
after, his marriage with Isabel Brant put an end to 
any further plans of travelling, and he finally fixed 
his residence in Antwerp. Before long he was re- 
cognised as the first painter of his time. Who, 
indeed, would dare to doubt the genius of one who 
' at the age of thirty-three painted, one after the other, 
the " Elevation of the Cross," and the " Descent from i 
the Cross," the pride of Notre Dame of Antwerp (1610 ! 
and 161 1). These two masterly works proclaimed to ' 
the world the genius of Rubens. 

The following years show him in the fulness of 
his glory, his talent at its zenith, and his studio in all j 
its splendour. Towards the year 16 14 he successively! 
produced the " Conversion of St. Bavon," in the 
Church of St. Bavon, Ghent ; in 1617 the "Adoration 
of the Magi," in the Church of St. John, Mechlin, and 

pictures representing T/ie Virgin su7 rounded by Saints (Chiesa Nuova, 
at Rome). 

Rubens.] RUBENS AND His SCHOOL. 209 

the " Last Judgment " (Pinacothek of Munich), his 
largest picture; before 16 18 the six pictures of the 
History of Decius, which are the pride of the Liech- 
tenstein Gallery. From 16 18 to 1623 he produced 
such a vast number of paintings that one's mind is 
confused by his amazing rapidity of execution, and 
would refuse to believe it possible, were not the pic- 
tures themselves the most authentic and convincing 
documents. In 1618 the "Miraculous Draught of 
Fishes" (Church of Notre Dame, Mechlin) and the 
"Lion Hunt" (Pinacothek of Munich); in 16 19, 
besides the " Communion of St. Francis " in the 
Museum of Antwerp, which, according to Fromentin, 
is his masterpiece, and the " Battle of the Amazons " 
of the Pinacothek (Fig. 47), thirty-nine pictures for 
the church of the Jesuits;* in 1620 the "Coup de 
Lance" (Museum of Antwerp), his masterpiece ac- 
cording to Viardot ; in 1622 — 23 the twenty-four 
pictures of the Galerie des Medicis. What an accumu- 
lation of paintings ! what an assemblage of immortal 
works ! Far from enumerating all his pictures, we 
have chosen but a few of the most important, the 
dates of which are known ; and yet, in this sum- 
mary way, in the space of a few lines, we find over 
a hundred splendid works — those which form his 
triumph. He is always prolific, vast, powerful, and 
under his mighty touch all things seem to take larger 
proportions. It was but yesterday that he appeared 
before the world, and already he is celebrated, day by 

* The burning of the church in 1718 destroyed these pictures, with 
the exception of three which are at the Museum of Vienna. 




(Museum of Vienna n ft. 2.", in. 7 ft. 3 in.) 

THE ST. ILDEFONSE). — Ruben!. (Museum of Vienna. lift. 2\\a. x 3tt. lin.) 


day his name becomes greater, more brilliant; his'\ 
fame spreads everywhere, and pupils besiege his 
studio. As early as 1611 he wrote: — "On all sides | 
I am overwhelmed with solicitations ; I can assure ' 
you, without the slightest exaggeration, that I have 
already refused more than a hundred pupils." Under 
his eyes all studied, perfected themselves, helped him 
to work out his gigantic conceptions. 

Shall we speak of Rubens as a diplomatist — of the 
'' Chevalier Rubens " ? Let us simply recall that in 
1 62 1 he was at the court of Philip IV., and the fol- 
lowing year at that of Charles I. ; that he returned 
from Madrid with the title of Secretary to the Privy 
Council, and from London with the honour of knight-^ 
hood — a double homage rendered to his political and 
diplomatic talents, as well as to the character of him 
whom the English Ambassador, Carleton, called the 
" prince of painters and of gentlemen." Embassies 
were his holidays : " I sometimes accept an embassy 
for the sake of recreation." It is said that the mdi 
really belongs to him. Then he came back to his 
studio, seized his brushes, and, to use the fine expres- 
sion of M. Taine, " relieved his fecundity by creating 
worlds." * 

/ His wife, Isabel Brant, having been dead four 
years, he married, in 1630, Helena Fourment, the 

j living incarnation of his feminine type. Where is she 
not .? It would seem that even in his previous pic- 
tures he had painted her, and one is tempted to ask 

" For further details refer to M. Gachard's Hisloire politique et 
diplomat i que, P. P. Rubens. Brussels, 1877. 

PELISSE." — Rubens. (Museum of Vienna. 5 ft. 2J in. x 3 ft. i in.) 


if, like a new Pygmalion, he did not create her. It is 
at Munich that we should see her, clad in her bro- 
caded dress — a marvel — or at Vienna in the portrait 
called " A la petite pelisse " (Fig. 46). Having once 
seen this lovely head we can never forget it. 

At the time of his second marriage Rubens was 
fifty-three years of age. He led a serious, happy, 
retired life. His leisure time he devoted to his family, 
to a few friends ; the burgomaster Rockox, his 
nephew, Gevartius, Moretus Plantin ; to his corre- 
spondence* with the Infanta Isabel, Ambroise Spinola, 
Sir Dudley Carleton, the brothers Peiresc,t and 
Valaves ; the librarian Dupuy ; to his coUectionsJ and 
his rides. 

His letters prove to us that he handled the pen 
with as much ease as the brush, and that he was not 
indifferent to anything that took place in the intel- 
lectual world. He followed with an attentive eye 
the inventions of Drebbel ; he sent to Peiresc a kind 
of register of atmospheric changes ; he was present in 

* E. Gachet : P. P. Rubens, Lettres inlJites fubliies d'aprh ses 
mUographes. Brussels, 1840. 

Peiresc and Rubens exchanged during seventeen years (from 1620 
to 1637) a letter weekly. What remain? of this important correspon- 
dence is to be published in Belgium (see the Bulletin-Rubens). 
" We know about one hundred and fifty letters of Rubens," says Ch. 
Ruelens ; " some well-founded calculations enable us to estimate at 
eight thousand the number of letters written by him ! " See on the 
Correspondence of Rubens : W. N. Sainsbury : Origmal uiipublishca 
papcis. London, 1859. Villaamil : Rubens diplomcUico espaiiol, 
Madrid, 1874. Ch. Ruelens : P. P. Rubens' documents et lettres. 
Brussels, 1877. 

X His fine collection of engraved stones, cameos, and intaglios has 
just been discovered in Paris. (Cabinet of Numismatics. ) 


Paris at the first experiments of the microscope. 
Notwithstanding these varied cares and occupations, 
he continued to work with unabated vigour, and 
carried on most important enterprises ; such, for 
instance, as the ceiUng of Whitehall representing the 
" Apotheosis of James I." 

The tapestry-workers of Brussels were besetting 
him for cartoons ; he designed for them the " Life of 
Achilles " in eight parts (England), the " History of 
Constantine " in twelve (Garde Meuble, Paris), the 
" Triumph of the Church " in seven and fifteen (Car- 
melite Convent, near Madrid), and others. We have 
only named the most important, but these alone are 
sufficient to distinguish any ordinary artist. 

Moretus applied to him also, and he, in the 
abundance of his genius, drew for the " Imprimerie 
Plantin" titles of works, borders, designs, and vignettes ; 
he illustrated a book on cameos which Peiresc* had 
written ; when Ferdinand, Cardinal-Infante, arrived in 
Antwerp, eleven triumphal arches were erected in the 
town.t Rubens painted them. 

The painter of the " Descent from the Cross " 
illustrating books, drawing vignettes, painting trium- 
phal arches, and cars for cavalcades ! . . . . Why not ? 
; . . . Talent alone generates art ; under its influence 

* The book was never published, but Vorsterman and Pontius 
engraved the eight plates. 

t The fine portraits oi Albert and Isabel, in the Museum of Brussels, 
were painted for the triumphal arch of the " Place de Meir." The 
sketches for those triumphal arches are at the Hermitage, at Antwerp, 
and in England ; there are fragments of them at Dresden, Vienna, 
r.ille, and Windsor. 




anything may become artistic, and there is no handi- 
craft so humble but that a great artist can dignify it 
And yet this incessant labour never exhausted his 

(Pinacothek of Munich. 8 ft. 8i in. ^ 8 ft. ^\ in.) 

imagination nor fatigued his hand. Towards 1632 
he painted the " St. Ildefonse," the^'gem'" of the 
Museum of Vienna (Figs. 44 and 45), which is re- 
garded by many as his masterpiece ; and in 1638 he 
painted the " Martyrdom of St. Peter " (St. Peter's 


Church, Cologne), which is one of his best pictures, but 
was doomed to be the last. Rubens was not spared 
to deliver it ; he died on the 30th May, 1640 — twenty 
years too early — " bequeathing to his sons," says Fro- 
meptin, "together with a handsome patrimony, the 
stoutest, firmest, richest inheritance of glory which 
any thinker, in Flanders at least, ever acquired by the 
work of his brain." 

There are^over two thousand * pictures by Rubensj^ 
it would be impossible IfraTfew pages fitly to describe 
so vast a work, or so splendid a collection of master- 
pieces. Indeed, where is it that one can best study 
the great master ? He is everywhere, and everywhere 
abundantly represented. Antwerp possesses about 
one hundred pictures ; there are ninety-three at the 
Pinacothek of Munich, ninety in the galleries of Vienna, 
sixty-six at the Prado, sixty-three at the Hermitage, 
fifty-four at the Louvre, more than two hundred in 
England ! He is everywhere, and everywhere trium- 
phant. No matter what pictures surround him, the 
effect is invariable ; those which resemble his own are 
eclipsed, those that would oppose him are silenced ; 
wherever he is he makes you feel his presence, he 
stands alone, and at all times occupies the first place. 

Which of his paintings should be deemed his 
best? He has painted everything— fable, mythology, 
history, allegory, portraits, animals, flowers, landscapes 
— and always in a masterly way. 

* In 1879 the Commission Anversoise chargie de rhinir Fotavre de 
Rubens, en gravures ou en photographus, estimated the number of 
his works at 2,719— viz., 2,235 pxtures and sketches, and 484 designs. 




The same ardent brush which depicted the 
struggles of Hons and Titans, painted garlands of 
cherubs bright with silver and pearl ; he exposes all 




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POLLUX. — Suiens. (Pinacothek of Munich. 7 ft. 3 in. x 6 ft. 91 in.) 

the coarseness of a village fair, and without an effort 
rises to the most sublime heights of art with Homer, 
Dantfe, Michael Angelo, and Shakespeare. 

To follow him in his painting, to compare his 


various styles, to analyse his colour, to study his 
manner, to try and comprehend his thoughts, would 
require more space than we have at our disposal. 

Is he perfect ? No one is. Has he faults ? As- 
suredly. He is sometimes reproached with having 
neither the outline of Raphael, the depth of Leonardo 
da Vinci, the largeness of Titian, the naturalness of 
Velasquez, nor the chiaroscuro of Rembrandt. But 
he has the outline, the depth, the largeness, the natural- 
ness, and the chiaroscuro of Rubens ; is not that 
enough ? His weak points themselves proclaim his 
genius and his might ; they are but the consequence 
of his rarest gifts, of his sumptuous colouring, his 
\ masterly dimensions, his astounding facility, his elo- 
'quence, his vitality. How gorgeous his colouring! 
How admirably all those tints of red, gold, blue, ver- 
milion, are blended ! How they enhance the beauty 
of his pearly carnations ! How powerful and stirring 
their harmony ! What an irresistible hold they have 
on our senses! We are bewildered, delighted, be- 
witched, entranced ! 

See the agitation of his blood-stained martyrs, of 
his executioners ; watch his frantic combatants, his 
voluptuous goddesses, their attitudes, their gestures, 
their flight ; the back is arched, the arm ready to 
strike, the body quivering ! They are real, they live, 
they shriek, they blaspheme, they kill ! 

And the admirable composition of his Nativities, his 
Executions, his Combats, his Olympias, his Apotheo- 
ses ; the marvellous grouping of his figures, the lines 
of light and shade 1 And his manner : here the brush 

(Liechtenstein Gallery. 5 ft. i in. x 3 ft.) 


barely caresses the canvas, there the colour flows 
abundant though transparent ; the most delicate 
strokes side by side with the most powerful. His 
touch is masterly, his brush, flies and scatters sparks 
on marble columns, breast-plates, unflirled standards, 
brocaded silks, distant verdure, golden hair, and the 
luxurious show of his rosy-tinted carnations. 

His language is sonorous and harmonious, his 
eloquence as free and fascinating in the gilded palace 
as under the vaulted roof of the cathedral. " When 
he improvises, his language is not at its best ; it 
becomes magnificent when he chastens it. It is quick, 
impulsive, rich, earnest, and at all times eminently 
persuasive. He strikes, astonishes, repels, wounds ; 
but nearly always convinces, and no one better than 
he ever succeeded in awakening sympathy when the 
occasion demands it." Fromentin expresses himself 
thus, and we are happy to recognise here the- admir- 
able study which he has devoted to the head of the 
Flemish school.* What a splendid monument he 
would have raised to the master whom he loved and 
appreciated so well if, after studying him in Brussels, 
Antwerp, and Mechlin, he had been able to seek out 
the principal of his works in each style, and follow 
him in his triumphal march throughout Europe, from 
the Hermitage to the Prado, from the Louvre to the 
Capitol. Shall we venture to name some of his 

* Les mattres (fantefois : Les maitres de Rubens — Rubens au musk 
de Bruxclles — Rubens h Malincs — La descente de croix, et la mise en 
croix — Rubens au ntust'e d' Ativers — Rubens portraitiste — Le fombeau de 
Rubens. Paris, 1876. 


o . 

a -a 

l-H* '^ 

. p 

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celebrated, precious, and rare works ? It is difficult to 
make a selection, and next to impossible to draw out 
a catalogue * We must, therefore, limit ourselves to 
a rapid nomenclature of his masterpieces : — 

Mythology: " Ixion and the Cloud" (Duke of 
Westminster's Collection), "Diana and Calisto" 
(Prado), " The Three Graces " (ditto), " The Rape of 
Leucippus' Daughters by Castor and Pollux " (Pina- 
cothek of Munich, Fig. 49). 

Old Testament : " The Brazen Serpent " (Prado), 
" The Fall of the Angels " (Pinacothek of Munich), 
"Adam and Eve" (Prado), "The Expulsion of 
Hagar " (Hermitage), " Lot and his Daughters " 

New Testament : "The Descent from the Cross" 
(Notre Dame of Antwerp), "The Elevation of the 
Cross" (ditto), "The Last Judgment" (Pinacothek 
of Munich), " The Adoration of the Magi " (Church 
of St. John, Mechlin, Louvre, Museums of Antwerp 
and Brussels), "The Miraculous Draught of Fishes" 
(Church of Notre Dame, Mechlin), " The Calvary " 
(Museum of Brussels), " The Crucifixion," " Le Coup 
de Lance," in the Museum of Antwerp. 

History of the Virgin : " The Virgin and Child 
surrounded by Angels " (Church of St. James, at 
Antwerp), "The Virgin glorified" (Prado), "The As- 
sumption " (Museums of Brussels, of Antwerp, and of 

* See Smith's Catalogue " raisonne," vol. ix. ; that of Van Hasselt, 
following his Hisloire de Rtibms ; and L'CEtivrc de P. P. Rubens, 
Catalogue of the Centenary Exhibition of 1877. See also our Geo- 
/(rafihical Distribution at the end of chapter xxvii. 


History of the Saints: "The Communion of St. 
Francis " (Museum of Antwerp), " St. Ildefonse " 
(Museum of Vienna, Figs. 44 and 45), " The Martyr- 
dom of St. Li6vin " (Museum of Brussels), " St. Roch 
and the Plague-stricken " (Church of St. Martin, Alost), 
"The Martyrdom of St. Peter" (Church of St. Peter, 
Cologne), " St. Francis protecting the World " (Museum 
of Brussels), " The Miracles of St. Benedict " (Palace 
of Brussels). 

History : " History of Decius " (Liechtenstein 
Gallery), " Battle of the Amazons " (Pinacothek of 
Munich, Fig. 47), " Romulus and Remus " (Museum 
of the Capitol, at Rome). 

Allegory : " The Life of Mary of Medici " (Louvre), 
" The Apotheosis of James I. " (Whitehall, London), 
" The Four Quarters of the Globe " (Museum of 

Portraits : " Rubens " (Vienna, the Uffizi, and 
Windsor), " Rubens and Isabelle Brant " (Pinacothek 
of Munich), " Hd^ne Fourment " (Museum of Vienna, 
Fig. 46, and Pinacothek of Munich), " The Sons of 
Rubens " (Liechtenstein Gallery, Fig. Jo, and Museum 
of Dresden), " The Chapeau de Paille " (National 
Gallery), "The Four Philosophers" (Pitti Palace), 
" The Earl and Countess of Arundel " (Pinacothek 
of Munich, Fig. 48), " Equestrian Portrait of Philip 
II." (Prado), " The Lord of Cordes and his Wife " 
(Museum of Brussels). 

Children and Fruit: " Children bearing a Garland 
of Fruit " (Pinacothek of Munich), " The Virgin with 
the Innocents" (Louvre), "Children in the midst of 


Fruit and Vegetables" (Schleissheim Gallery), "Four 
Children " (Museum of Berlin). 

Genre ; " The Village Fair" (Louvre), " The Garden 
of Love " (Museums of Dresden, Vienna, and Madrid), 
" Peasants Dancing " (Prado), " The Tournament " 

Animals: "The Lion Hunt" (Pinacothek of Mu- 
nich), " The Boar Hunt " (Museum of Dresden, Fig. 
51), "The Wolf Hunt" (England), "The Stag Hunt" 
(Museum of Berlin), " Daniel in the Lions' Den " 

Landscape : " The Harvest Festival " (Sir R. Wal- 
lace's Collection), " The Castle of Steen " (National 
Gallery), " The Rainbow " (Hermitage), " The Coun- 
try round Mechlin " (Pitti Palace). 

Peter Paul Rubens is the highest incarnation of 
Flemish genius. In the history of painting he ranks 
among the greatest masters, by the side of Michael 
Angelo, Leonardo, Rembrandt, Raphael, Titian, and 



To the end of the seventeenth century, the whole of 
the Flemish school proceeds from Rubens. Every 
painter belongs to him in a greater or lesser degree. 
James Jordaens not infrequently rivalled the great 
master, and was at the same time the most inde- 
pendent of his contemporaries ; De Grayer, Janssens. 
and Zegers were greatly influenced by the as- 
cendency of his genius ; Snyders, Breughel, Seghers, 
Wildens, Van Uden, were his collaborators, and in- 
numerable are the pupils which he formed directly 
or indirectly. Among so many celebrated painters 
the first in rank is Van Dyck. 

Anthony Van Dyck* was born at Antwerp in 
I S99.t While yet a child he began to paint ; he was but 
ten years old when he was placed as an apprentice with 
Van Balen ; at fifteen he entered the studio of Rubens ; 
at nineteen he was called to the dignity of master. 
Urged by the master, he at once aspired to ideal 

* Jules Guiffrey : Antoine Van Dyck, sa vie ei son mtwre. 
A. Quantin. Paris, 1882. Alf. Michiels : Van Dyck et ses ilhiis. 
Paris, 1881. 

+ P. Genard : Les grandes fainilks artistiques d'Anvers, Revu'. 
d'hisioire et d'archMo^e, vol. i., p. 104. 1859. 

P 2 


painting. The works he painted at that period reveal 
his precocious talent, especially " Christ on the Mount 
of Olives" (Museum of the Prado), and the famous 
" St. Martin,"* of the Church of Saventhem. | 

The young artist went to London for the first 
time in 1620 ;t then he set out for Italy accompanied 
by the Chevalier Vanni, and bearing letters of cordial 
recommendation from Rubens (October, 162 1). He 
visited successively Genoa, Rome, Florence, Venice, 
Turin, Palermo, and finally went back to Genoa, 
where he settled for two years. 

At Venice, though undisturbed by the dazzling 
influence of Titian and Tintoretto, he yet allowed his 
attention to be temporarily diverted from the all- 
absorbing influence of Rubens, and acquired from the 
Venetian school the art of raising a physiognomy to 
the height of a type, by accentuating its character and 
its principal features. 

In Rome he worked for the great Barberini and 
Colonna families. The full-sized portrait of Cardinal 
Bentivoglio (Pitti Palace at Florence), which was 
painted about that time, attracted general attention to 
the pittore cavalieresco, and is still counted one of his 
best works (Fig. 5 2). The patrician families of Genoa 
gladly welcomed the young artist, as much for his 
qualities as a gentleman as for his renown as a 

* A second Saint Martin, by Van Dyck, exists in Vienna. It is 
probably the one which was sold to Rubens in 1626. 

t W. H. Carpenter : Unpublished Memoirs and Documents relatiri'r 
to Anthony Van Dyck. 

Van Dyclc.] 



(Pitti Palace, Florence. 6 ft. 4 in. x 4 ft. 8J in.) 

painter. To this day, Genoa has allowed no other 
artist to share the triumph which Van Dyck achieved 



by the fifty portraits still to be seen at the Rosso 
Palace, and in the Durazzo-Pallavicini, the Balbi, the 
Spinola, and the Cattaneo Galleries. 

At the beginning of 1625 he returned to Antwerp, 
leaving behind more than a hundred paintings, which 
alone would suffice to immortalise his name. And 
all this before he had reached his twenty-seventh 
year ! During the period immediately following he 
executed his most important works, those which he 
painted with the greatest care — those, in fact, on which 
his fame chiefly rests. He produced in rapid suc- 
cession the numerous and magnificent altar-pieces on 
which so many churches in Antwerp and Flanders 
pride themselves ; again and again he painted the 
" Holy Family," the " Madonna " (Fig. 54), " Christ 
on the Cross," and the " Pieta." In these pictures all 
his figures are expressive of touching religious enthu- 
siasm, all bear the stamp of marked superiority and 
style. It was then also that he painted his well- 
known series of eminent artists of his time, and the 
larger number of those portraits which, at Munich, 
adorn the walls of a special room. 

Meanwhile, he was called to the Hague by the 
Prince of Orange, whose portrait is in the Museum of 
the Hermitage, and to Brussels by the Burgomaster. 
The Archduchess appointed him her painter ; her 
portraits are in the Museums of Parma, Turin, Vienna, 
and Paris. Mary of Medici, driven from France, 
visited him in his studio (her portrait is at Lille) ; the 
Flemish, Spanish, and French nobility considered it 
an honour to be painted by him (Fig. 55). 

Van t)yck.) 



We marvel that such a vast number of important 
occupations did not exhaust his facility of production ; 

FIG. S3. — THE HOLY FAMILY. — ]'an Dyck. 
(Pinacothek of Munich. 4 ft. s 'i- » 3 f'' 9 "■) 

yet so it was. He now turned to engraving, and 
executed those etchings which still remain unap- 



proachable rtiodels ; and continued likewise to work 
at the series of the hundred portraits of artists [Icones 
centum), known as the Iconographie de Van Dyck* 
So, it would appear that though the Italian period 
was brilliant and fruitful, the Antwerpian period sur- 
passed it by far. It was in truth the most nobly- 
laborious part in the life of the artist. 

However, some superior power, of which he was 
himself unconscious, urged him to seek, out of his 
native town, a scene of action more in harmony with 
his talent. His mind wandered to the Court of 
Whitehall, to which he had paid a brief visit in 1 621. 
It is believed that he had made a second, though 
unsuccessful, journey to London in 1627. In 1632 
he started again. This time fortune, smiling and 
propitious, awaited him ; and for the first time Van 
Dyck felt himself in his right sphere. 

On his first presentation to Charles I. he at once 
obtained permission to paint the king and queen ; the 
large picture of the royal family, painted at a later 
period, now in the Gallery of Windsor, crowned his re- 
putation. He was appointed painter to the Court, re- 
ceived the honour of knighthood, and an annual pen- 
sion of £ 200 ; at the same time apartments were re- 
served for him at Blackfriars, and a summer residence 

* The first edilion was published in three series, without title and 
without date, by Van den Enden, at Antwerp, from 1632 to 1641 or 
thereabouts. The title of the second edition is Icones principum, 
Antwerp, 1645, >" fO' I" all one hundred portraits are known as 
forming the fifteen editions, which followed each other from 1632 to 
1 75:9. See Fr. Wibiral : V Imonagraphie de Van Dyck. Leipzig, 

(Louvre. 8 ft. ij in. x 6 ft. J in. ) 


at Eltham was placed at his disposal. Both the king 
and queen employed him incessantly. More than 
thirty-eight portraits of Charles I. are known, seven 

I'lG. 55. — THE PRINCE OF CROY. — Van Dyck. 
(Pinacothek of Munich. 6 ft. 9 in. X 4 ft. Si in.) 

of them being equestrian, and there are over thirty- 
five replicas of Queen Henrietta. The equestrian 
portraits of the king at Windsor and at Blenheim, 
the full-length portrait at the Louvre (Fig. 59), and 
the portraits of the king and queen at Dresden, St. 

FIG. 56. — MARIE TASSIS. — Van Dyck. 
(Liechtenstein Gallery, Vienna. 4 ft. 2J in. X 3 ft-) 



Van Dyck 

FIG. 57. — CHARLES I. — Van Dyck. 
(Museum of Dresden. 4 ft. X 3 ft. i in. ) 

Petersburg, and Florence, are masterpieces. None the 
less charming are the pictures of the royal children in 

Van DycH*] 



the Galleries of Turin, Windsor, Dresden, and Berlin 
(Fig. 58). How sweet they are, these little people, of 

i'^'-"i-'5'.-t~ .->■ -■ 

incomparable freshness, so prettily grouped and attired 
in silks of all hues. 


During seven years, with the exception of a short 
stay in Brussels and in Antwerp, in 1634, Van Dyck 
and his pupils worked with indefatigable ardour. He 
portrayed all the great personages at the Court of 
Whitehall. There are over three hundred and fifty of 
his pictures in the country seats and private collections 
of England and Scotland. No other country can show 
such a splendid assemblage of his works, or, indeed, 
so prodigious a collection of the works of any one 

It would appear that the last two years of Van 
Dyck's life were less active, but that he laboured 
under some distress. The artist spent them almost 
entirely in travelling, in the company of his young 
wife, the granddaughter of Lord Ruthen. Biographers 
have repeated again and again that, at that period. 
Van Dyck, unable to support the expenses of his 
princely establishment, is supposed to have had re- 
course to the practices of the alchemist, and to have 
spent his last days in search of the philosopher's stone. 
M. Guiffrey, in his fine monograph of the artist, has 
dealt with that piece of historical gossip. Excess of 

work, together with excess of pleasure, is the 
f^Jj real cause of his premature death. Anthony Van 

Dyck died in London in 1641, aged only forty- 
two years. In Smithes Catalogue, Van Dyck's works 

* The richest collections are : the Gallery of Windsor, twenty-four 
pictures ; the Clarendon Collection, twenty-three ; that of the Duke of 
Bedford, seventeen ; of Petworth, fifteen ; of Bothwell Castle, ten ; of 
Blenheim, Wentworth House, and Warwick Castle, each nine. See, 
on these collections, Waagen ; Treasures of Art in Great Britain. 
London, 1854 — 57. 

Van Dyclc.) 



FIG. 59. — CHARLES I. HUNTING. — Van Dyck. 
. Louvre. 8 ft. loj in. x 6 ft. i in.) 

number 844; while Guiffrey mentions more than 1,500. 
There are 350 of his pictures in England ; Vienna 
(67), Munich (41), St. Petersburg (38), the Louvre 


(24), Madrid (21), and Dresden (19), possess, after 
England, the most important collections. 

In boldness of conception Van Dyck was far in- 
ferior to Rubens. His biblical,* mythological, alle- 
gorical, and historical compositions occupy but the 
second rank among his works. It is his skill as a 
portrait-painter that proclaims his genius : to that 
skill he owes his fame. 

He has tried his talent in every branch of portrai- 
ture : he has painted groups, equestrian portraits, 
double portraits ; he has represented men and women 
with equal ability and success, f 

* Principal works : — Bible, Mythology, History : Si. Rosalia, 1629 
(Museum of Vienna) ; Hermann the Elect, 1629 (ditto) ; The Erection 
of the Cross, 1630 (Church of Courtrai) ; The Repose in Egypt (Pina- 
cothek of Munich, Fig. 53) ; Pieth (Museums of Munich and 01 
Antwerp) ; The Virgin with Partridges (Hermitage) ; Christ at the 
Column (Czernin Collection, Vienna) ; The Virgin with the Donors 
(Louvre, Fig. 54) ; The Holy Family (Mansi Collection, Lucca) ; 
St. Anthony of Padua (Brera Museum, Milan) ; Danae (Museum of 
Dresden) ; Samson and Dalilah (Museum of Vienna) ; The Three Ages 
(Museum of Verona) ; &c. 

t I. Groups. — Charles/. Hunting, i6;i2('Louvre, Fig. ^g); Charles 
I. and his Family (Windsor) ; The Children of Charles I. (Turin, 
Windsor, Dresden, and Berlin, Fig. 58) ; The Count of Nassau — Siegen 
and his Family, 1634 (Cowper Collection) ; The Lomellini Family 
(Museum of Edinburgh) ; The Pembroke Family (Wilton Housg) ; 
Francis Snyders and his Family (Hermitage) ; The Gerbier Family 
(Windsor) ; &c. 

2. Equestrian Portraits.— C^o/'/cj'/. and the Sire de St. Antoire, 

1634 (Windsor) ; Charles I. (Blenheim) ; The Marquis of Brignole- 
Sola, 1624 (Rosso Palace, Genoa) ; The Prince of Carignan, 1624 
(Pinacothek of Turin) ; The Marguis of Moncade, 1634 (Louvre) ; &c. 

3. Double Portraits.— r,4« Sons of the Duke of Buckingham, 

1635 (Windsor) ; The Poets Carcw and Killigrew, 1638 (Windsor) ; 
The Wife and Daughter of Collyns of Nole (Pinacothek of Munich); The 


His outline is vigorous and skilful, but he always 
adorns and subordinates the precision of lines to 
the sentiment of his native grace. As a painter 
he passes from tones worthy of Jordaens to graver 
and deeper harmonies, at once more subtle and 
delicate, v/hich make his palette the piost refined 
of his school. His touch is rapid and sure ; he models 
with supreme perfection, with simplicity and truth ; 
his colours are delicate, luminous, and transparent ; 
as a physiognomist he so thoroughly understands the 
human face that in an instant he has analysed and 
summed up the character and the expression of a 
head ; as a poet, his own sufferings have taught him 
the secrets of the hurhan heart, and having lived, 
he leaves living works. 

The originality of his genius lies especially in the 
nobility with which he has endowed each of his 

Brothers de ffar/ (Capitol) ; The Two de Jode (Aillo) ; Van Dyck and Sir 
Porter {Vt^&o) ; The Earl of Strafford and his Secretary (Cambridge) ;. 
The Two Princes Palatine (Louvre) ; The Misses Warthon (Hermitage) ; 
John and Bernard Stuart (Grey Collection) ; &c. 

4. Men's Portraits. — Charles T. (Museum of Dreslen, Fig. 57) ; 
John Van der Wouwer, 1632 (Hermitage) ; Cornelius Van der Geest 
(National Gallery) ; Cardinal Bentivoglio, i623(Pitti Palace, Fig. 52) ;. 
Sn\ders (Carlisle Collection); Wallenstein (?), 1624 (Liechtenstein 
Gallery) ; The Burgomaster of Antwerp (Munich) ; David Ryckaert 
(Prado) ; Duqiiesnny, 1622 (Royal Palace, Brussels) ; The Abbe Scaglia 
(Antwerp) ; The Count of Berg (Prado) ; &c. 

5. Women's Portraits. — The Marchioness of Brignole-SalaCRosso 
Palace); The Wife of Ph. Le Roy{?:\i R. Wallace's Collection) ; Marie 
Tassis (Liechtenstein Gallery, Fig. 56) ; The Wife of the Burgomaster 
of Antwerp (Munich) ; Lady Oxford (Prado) ; The Marchioness Spinola 
(ditto) ; Margaret Lemon (Hampton Court) ; The Duchess of Richmond 
(Windsor) ; &c. 



models ; it is as an indelible mark. His magic pencil 
gives to each something of his own peculiar grace — 
greater stateliness and personal elegance, a counte- 
nance expressive of more frankness, grace in the 
wearing of adornments, taste in the choice of silks, 
satins, lace, and pearls. 

Like Holbein, Raphael, and Titian, he has inter- 
preted the human face, but in a manner quite new 
and all his own ; inferior, perhaps, in strength and 
depth, but so brilliant, so successful and charming, 
that for those who have come after him no memories 
are capable of exciting more emotion than the memories 
conjured up by his pictures. And how entirely he 
identifies himself with his time ! In the art of painting 
his contemporaries few equal him ; none are superior to 
him. He forms with Velasquez and Franz Hals the 
trio of the great portrait-painters of the seventeenth 

Following the example of his master, Van 
Dyck produced a host of pupils, who assisted him in 
many repetitions or variations of his original works. 
The best known among these pupils are the Flemings, 
Jean Roose (1591 — 1638), Peter Thys (1624— 
1679), Remy Van Leemput (1607 — 1675), Jean Van 
Belcamp (1610 — 1680), and Cornelius De Neve 
(1612 — 1678), all of Antwerp; Jean Van Reyn 
(1610 — 1678), of Dunkirk ; the Dutchmen, ADRIAN 
Hannemann (1610 — 1680) and David Beck (1621 
— 1656) ; the Swiss, MATTHEW MARIAN (1621 — 1710); 
the Englishman, WiLLlAM DOBSON (1610 — 1678); 
and the Scotchman, George JAMESON. The works of 

The Quellinusl 
Family. J 



Walker, of Lely, and of George Kneller also betray 
his style, and later still he may be said to have been 
the true founder of the English school. His influence 
was felt in France as well as in Great Britain, though 
in a less degree, for Rigaud and Largilli^re owe him 
less than Reynolds, Gainsborough, and Lawrenca 

In the train of Van Dyck we see a numberless and 
confused throng passing through the studio of Rubens. 
We remark Quellinus, Schut, Van Hoecke, Wolfvoet, 
Luycx, Van Mol, Foucquier — all natives of Antwerp ; 
Van Diepenbeeck and Van Thulden, of Bois-le-Duc ; 
Van Herp, of Brussels ; Franchoys, of Mechlin ; Douffet, 
of Li^ge ; Del Monte, of St. Trond ; Wouters, of Lierre ; 
D'Egmont, of Leyden ; Thomas, of Ypres. With more 
or less talent each followed in the steps of the master ; 
all strove to imitate his manner, the breadth of his 
execution, the scenic arrangement of his figures, his 
gorgeous colouring, and his pompous display of rich 

Erasmus Quellinus I., the Elder, 
Sculptor, master in 1607 

Erasmus II., 

Arnould I., 

1 1 
Cornelia Hubert, 

the Younger, 

the Elder, 

married Engraver, 



Pierre Verbrugghen, 1619 — ? 

1607— 1678 

1609 — 1668 

1 1 

John Erasmus, 

Arnould II., 


the Younger, 

Peter II., Henry, 



Sculptor. Sculptor, 


1660— 1724. 


Sculptor, master in 


Q 2 

244 FLEMISH PAINTING. 'o'l^eXerck! 

Among the painters who do honour to the Flemish 
school we must cite the QUELLINUS family, for it has 
produced artists of the greatest merit. 
The grand compositions of Erasmus 
Quellinus are well ordered, but of in- 
different colouring. In his best pieces 
— for instance, the "Repose in Egypt" 
(St. Saviour's Church, Ghent), and the "St. Roch" 
(St. James' Church, Antwerp) — he shows himself 
worthy of the studio where his talent 
was developed.* In his turn he 
formed WalleraNT Vaillant, a 
native of Lille (1623 — 1677), who has some stately 
portraits at Amsterdam and in the palace of Berlin. 

His son John Erasmus has some great 
decorative scenes in the Museum of Antwerp, 
but in his time the school was already on the 

Abraham Van Diepenbeeck (1596 — 1675) tried 
his skill in all the various styles which constitute 
grand painting. His allegorical portrait in 
J^^ tl^* Louvre (Fig. 60), the " Mystical Marriage 
of St. Catherine " (Museum of Berlin), the 
" Meeting between Abraham and Melchisedek " 
(Academy of Bruges), and the " Judgment of Solo- 
mon " (Liechtenstein Gallery) are skilful compositions 
and full of spirit ; with a little more sentiment and 
originality they would have given the painter a fore- 
most place among the followers of Rubens. 

* G^nard: I-es grandes families artisHques (PAnvcrs. Revue d' his- 
toire et d'archMogie, vol. ii., p. 310. i860. 

Cornelius Schut.] RUBENS AND HIS SCHOOL. 


Cornelius Schut (1597 — 1655), in the "St. 
George" of the Museum of Antwerp, the "Assumption 
of the Virgin " in the Church of Notre Dame at Antwerp, 

246 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Victor Wolfvoet. 

the " Crowning of the Virgin " in the Church of the 
Jesuits at Antwerp, and still more in the delicate sketch 
of the " Martyrdom of St. James " in the Museum^ 
of Brussels, is akin to Rubens in the ordering of his 
subject and the decorative effect. The general aspect 
is picturesque, his lines dazzling, his attitudes majestic. 
His colours are at times as brilliant as those of his 
master, though he has not the secret of his master's 
warmth and transparency. Among the garlands of 
flowers of his friend Daniel Zeghers, he has, with 
exquisite delicacy, painted figures, both in grey and 
colours, and many of his own compositions are marked 
with the stamp of his wit. 

Victor Wolfvoet (1612 — 1652) has long been 
confounded with the Dutch painter John Victor, of 
the school of Rembrandt. * His iine execution, as 
shown in his picture, the " Visitation " in the Church of 
St. James, at Antwerp, his colouring, the tones of which 
are perhaps rather poor, but nevertheless bright and 
luminous, as well as his majestic mien and the severe 
choice of his types, prove him to be one of the ablest 
among the disciples of the master. What has become 
of the other pictures of this artist, whose early death 
art has to deplore.^ No doubt they are known as 
works by Rubens. 

Better known is the portrait-painter GfiRARD 
DOUFFET (1594 — 1660), but he is forgotten in the 
list of Rubens' pupils. Hitherto, full justice has not 
been done to his talent. As a painter of history he is 

* W. Biirger : Musks de la Hollatide, vol. ii., p. 37. Paris, i860. 

Gftard Doiiffet] RUBENS AND HIS SCUOOL. 247 

FIG. 61. — PORTRAIT. — Gerard Dauffct. 
(Pinacothek of Munich. 2 ft. 8^ in. X 2 ft- li'jn-) 

mediocre, but in portraiture he has distinguished him- 
self. The four portraits painted by him which are 
treasured at the Pinacothek of Munich are simple in 

248 FLEMISH PAINTING. [VaaThulden. 

design, full of character in the attitude and the cos- 
tume, sober in colouring, freely executed, exempt 
from stiffness, and both expressive and animated 
(Fig. 61). If Douffet does not occupy in the school 
the rank to which he has a right, it is probably owing 
to the scarcity of his works. 

We have little to say of LuCAS FranchoYS (1616 
— 1 681), except that he executed for his native town 
numerous compositions full of life, but the colouring 
of which is loud and exaggerated. 

The same remark applies to DiEUDONNfi VAN 
DER MONT (1582 — 1644), better known under the 
Italianised name of Deodat del Monte. He was 
honoured by the special friendship of Rubens, whose 
first pupil he was, and whom he accompanied in his 
journey to Italy. 

The second group of disciples v .3 not satisfied 
with working actively with the master, and executing 
numerous pictures for the town and the churches of 
Antwerp, but they also carried abroad, to France, 
Holland, Germany, and Austria, the new style as well 
as the renown of the school. 

In 1632 we find in Paris THEODORE Van Thul- 
DEN (1606 — 1676?), who painted for the Church of 
the Mathurins three great compositions, which are 
now preserved in the Museums of Angers, Mans, and 
Grenoble. In 1648 he was at the Hague, where he 
painted for the " Maison du Bois '' seven historical 
and allegorical pictures commemorating the election 
of the Stadtholder Frederick Henry, and the victory of 


Nieuport. This artist was gifted with great activity 
and varied aptitudes. Besides his great compositions, 
we owe him some portraits (Museum of Tournai), and 
some famiHar scenes (Museum of Brussels) ; he has 
also left some sketches for the triumphal arches 
(Museum of Antwerp) ; and then, no doubt stimulated 
by the collaboration of the master, he draws nearer to 
him by enlarged forms, the ardour of his composition, 
and the transparency and firmness of his colouring. 
Finally, he has engraved an important series of etchings 
and composed the cartoons for the admirable stained- 
glass windows of the chapel of the Virgin in St. Gudule, 
which would alone suffice to save his name from oblivion. 

Jan Van Hoecke (i6ii — 165 1) went to Ger- 
many, where several princes employed him. He 
returned to the Netherlands in the 
train of the Archduke-Governor Leo- J, \/^' ^' 
pold William, who had given him a 
post at his Court, and whose equestrian portrait he has 
left us (Museum of Vienna). His paintings are scarce. 
The "Christ on the Cross," which is at Bruges, in 
the Church of St. Saviour's, is painted with deep feeling. 

At the outset of his career Francis Wouters* 
(i-6l2 — 1659) painted historical pictures, but it is 
believed that he owes his reputation to 
his landscapes. The Emperor Ferdi- 


nand appointed him his painter, and 
in this capacity the artist spent some time in Prague 

* Van der Kellen : Le printre-graveur hollandais et flamand. 
Utreclit, 1868, vol. i., p. 140; and the Journal des Beaux-Aris. 

250 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Juste D'Egmont. 

and Vienna; then he went to England, where he 
became painter and chamberlain to the Prince of 
Wales, afterwards Charles II. His works are scarce. 
At Vienna there are two fine half-length portraits, 
in which it is easy to recognise a pupil of Rubens ; 
several landscapes are at Cassel ; and at Gotha, Lille, 
and Nancy, he has some small mythological subjects 
the execution of which is laborious. 

In the Museum of Vienna there is an allegory 
of " Human Instability," signed Frans Leux. This 
picture is grandly treated, and the colouring abounds 
in soft golden tints. It is an excellent work by the 
Antwerpian Fran§OIS Luycx (1604 — aft. 1652), who, 
on leaving the studio of Rubens, obtained at Vienna 
the title of painter to the Emperor Ferdinand HI. 
He was joined in Austria by Jean Thomas* (1617 — 
1673), who was probably the last of the pupils of the 
master, and was admitted into the service of the 
Emperor Leopold ; the few pictures we know of him 
hardly explain this degree of favour. 

In France we find D'Egmont and Van Mol. It is 
said that JuSTE D'EGMONT (1601 — 1674) was one of 
those who principally aided Rubens in his Gallery of 
the Medici. However that may be, he established 
himself in Paris, he worked jointly with Simon Vouet, 
and became painter to Louis XIII. The portrait 
he took of the Archduke Leopold William (Museum 
of Vienna), wearing a cuirass and leading a lion, is 
painted in a grand way, and full of majesty. 

* Alph. Van den Peereboom : Jean Thomas (Annales de la 
Soc. his. a'Vjires), vol. i., p. 131. i86i. 


Peter Van Mol (1599 — 1650) must have been 
a very weak imitator of the master, if we can judge 
from his pictures in the Museums of the Louvre, 
of Antwerp, and of Berlin. He appears, however, to 
have enjoyed a certain amount of consideration at the 
Court of Ann of Austria, where, among many others, 
he painted the portrait of Mazarin. Let us add that 
Juste D'Egmont and Peter Van Mol were among the 
twelve founders of the Academie royale de France. 
The Liggeren and several authors speak of a few 
more of the pupils of Rubens : Van der Horst (i 598 
— 1646), G£rard Werg (1605 — 1644), Hoffman 
(1591 — 1648), James Moermans (1602 — 1653), Pen- 
nemaeckers, Nicolai, &c. ; but those of their works 
which are known do not entitle them to any but a 
very inferior rank in the school. 

Not only was Rubens the head of the school in 
historical painting and portraiture, but we shall see 
how much he taught the painters of animals, of land- 
scape, and of genre. Moreover, he unconsciously 
created a new kind of Flemish sculpture, of which 
Quellinus, Dusquesnoy, Fayd'herbe — who was the 
direct pupil of Rubens — Grupello, and Verbrugghen 
were the principal masters. In his house, under his 
own eye, he instructed, for the interpretation of his 
work, a whole army of bold, quick, and clever en- 
gravers : Soutman, Vosterman, Pontius, Bolswert, at 
once carried coloured engraving to a state of perfection.* 

* Henri Hyraans : Histoire de la gravure dans Vecole de Rubens. 
Brussels, 1879. 


Architecture itself, both through his own works and 
those of his pupils Francquart, bears testimony to 
his power and his taste for magnificence. Painters, 
sculptors, engravers, and architects, however different 
they may appear, however divergent their route in 
the domain of art, all resemble each other in their 
ideal, and in their worship for the head of the 
school, or rather of the family. 

For the Antwerpian school in the seventeenth 
century was indeed a family. All its disciples were 
friendly — in fact, in many cases, related to each other. 
Almost all of them were members of several guilds, of 
several chambers of rhetoric ; they worked together, 
they painted each other's portraits. They inter- 
married : Janssens gave his daughter to Breughel II., 
Van Noort gave his to Jordaens, Van Balen his to 
Van Thulden, Van Uden gave his to Biset, Breughel 
I. became the son-in-law of De Jode, Coques that of 
Ryckaert, Teniers and Van Kessel both married the 
daughters of Velvet Breughel, Teniers was father-in- 
law to Quellinus, Snyders brother-in-law of De Vos, 
Simon De Vos brother-in-law of Van Utrecht^ Rom- 
bouts married the sister of Van Thielen, Van Cart- 
bemde the sister of Van Hoecke, &c. They act as 
witnesses at each other's marriages, at christenings 
they officiate as godfathers ; and when at last death 
overtakes them, they know they can entrust to their 
brothers in art the guardianship and protection of 
their children. A family closely united by the ties of 
blood and of the most sincere friendship. 



Balthazar Gerbier, the painter-diplomatist, was 
right when, writing from Brussels to London on the 
2nd June, 1640, he said : " Mr. Peter Rubens died 
three days ago, so Jordaens is now the first painter 
here."* The bold colourist was at that time at the 
apex of his talent ; he had produced the great " St. 
Martin" of the Museum of Brussels (1630), and he was 
to execute shortly the " Apotheosis of the Prince of 
Orange" (1652). He was then forty-seven years old. 

Jacob Jordaens was born at Antwerp in 1 593. 
At the age of fourteen, showing an evident inclination 
for painting, he was sent to study under ^_^ 

Adam Van Noort. Here he remained 'T^<^0» 
eight years, but if he lingered so, it '^ OC/x- 
j. was not through the necessity of 

/ / O Rj continuing his artistic education 
^ ' under the very eye of the master, 

but because this master's daughter, the beautiful 
Catherine, had won his heart, and he could not forego 
the happiness of seeing her each day. 

* F. J. Van den Branden : Geschiedenis der Antwerpsche Schil- 
derschool, p. 814. Antwerp, 1878^-83. (The chapter devoted, to 
Jordaens is translated in VArt, 1882 and 1883.) 

254 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Jordaens. 

She became his wife in 1616, and also his 
favourite model. Catherine Van Noort occupies as 
prominent a place in the work of her husband as did 
H^lene Fourment in that of Rubens. Several of her, 
portraits are known ; the best is in the collection of 
the Earl of Darnley, under the title of the " Girl with 
the Parrot." " Ah ! what a beautiful girl ! " cried M. 
Biirger, who saw this painting in the Manchester 
Exhibition ; " it is one of the richest gems of the 
Flemish school . . . Her hair is like the golden corn, 
her cheeks have the vermilion and the firmness of 
the apple. The real Flemish women, when they 
are beautiful, always have some savour of forbidden 
fruit." In his " Family Gatherings," his " Concerts," 
his "Banquets," Jordaens has painted, again and 
again, this delightful young woman who laughs in the 
sun, glass in hand, with a rosy baby on her lap. 

Historians have repeatedly asserted that Jordaens 
had been the pupil of Rubens. Nothing confirms such 
an opinion, and several facts would seem to belie it. 
The statement which has often been made, that he 
was the collaborator of Rubens, is equally unfounded. 
At the same time, with all his contemporaries, he was 
strongly influenced by the master's genius, but he 
never imitated him. He never visited Italy. The 
year of his marriage he was received at the Academy 
of St. Luke, and it is strange to note that he was 
inscribed there as a water-colour painter {water- 
schilder). In truth, his first works were " paintings in 
distemper, and cartoons for the tapestry-workers." 
This was a humble beginning for the ardent colourist. 

Jordaens.] RUBENS AND HIS SCHOOL. 255 

But he did not linger long over such works ; in 1620 
his reputation as a painter of pictures was established, 
and he commenced to receive scholars. He after- 
wards instructed many ; the names of twenty-two 
among them have been preserved, one of whom being 
John Bockhorst, of Munster, a painter of talent. 
Jordaens was more than once solicited by foreign 
princes. He painted several pictures for the King 
of Sweden, and, in 1652, the dowager Princess of 
Orange, Amelia of Solm, widow of the Stadtholder 
Frederick Henry, called him to the Hague to con- 
tribute to the decoration of the celebrated " Maison 
du Bois." It is there that we can admire the largest 
of his pictures, which several authors consider his 
masterpiece: " The Triumph of Frederick Henry." The 
sketch for this imposing work is in the Museum of 
Brussels. Jordaens also designed for the tapestry- 
workers. There still exists in the Imperial Palace 
of Vienna a suite of great hangings, manufac- 
tured in Brussels, and representing still life with 
figures and dogs. The figures are by Jordaens, 
the animals and accessories by Fyt. Those two 
powerful colourists appear to have been zealous 
collaborators. The Museum of Cologne possesses a 
picture of colossal dimensions, their joint work, repre- 
senting an eagle with outstretched wings, tearing the 
side of the Titan Prometheus. 

Jordaens, together with a great part of the 
population of Antwerp, was an Orangist and a 
guejix, and had renounced the Roman Catholic 
faith. The exact time of this renunciation is 

2S6 . FLEMISH PAINTING. [Jordaeis. ' 

not known ; but it was not, as has been so often 
repeated, during the very last years of his Hfe. 
He went so far as to combat Catholicism with such 
ardour that one day — it was in 165 1, consequently 
about the time when he painted -the " Apotheosis," 
and more than twenty years before his death — he was 
tried and condemned for having written, so says the 
sentence of the ecouiete, " a scandalous libel."* He 
died in 1678, at eighty-five years of age, on the same 
day as his daughter Elisabeth. His son Jacob, born 
in 1625, became a painter also, and fixed his resi- 
dence in Denmark. 

The works of Jordaens are as considerable as they 
are varied. Religious and popular subjects, history, 
allegory, portraits — he has attempted every style with: 
equal vigour and excellence. Rubens alone excelled . 
him in universality. 

Who does not know, from having seen them in 
various museums, his " Family Gatherings," those 
genre subjects on a large scale, in which the artist- 
has united around a large table, plentifully supplied 
with glasses and provisions, old men who hum a tune, ' 
beating the time all the while, young people who play 
the bagpipe or touch glasses, adorable children, lovely 
young women who, with a bewitching glance, their 
lips and their bodice half-open, give way to unre- 
strained mirth .■' Here it is a "Family Concert;" there, 
the " King of the Bean," whom one honours glass 
in hand; elsewhere, the illustration of the Flemish- 

* Pinchart : Archives des Arts, vol. iii., p. 214. 

258 FLEMISH PAINTING. (Jordaens. 

proverb, "As the old ones sung, so will the young 
ones twitter," or the " Satyr and the Peasant." See, 
at Munich, a bronzed satyr and a man of the people 
conversing together in a ray of sunlight (Fig. 63). 
The power and audacity of his colouring are un- 

The magnificence to which Jordaens attains in the 
historical allegory of the " Triumph of the Prince of 
Orange " is well known. One of his religious subjects, 
" St. Martin curing One possessed of a Devil," in the 
Museum of Brussels, is an equally striking work. 
Among the subjects which Catholic tradition affords, 
the one he preferred was the " Adoration of the Shep- 
herds." He loved to group around the cradle of the 
infant Jesus peasant men and women leading their 
herds of oxen, their flocks of sheep and goats, their 
panting dogs, and their children, laden with fruit, - 
game, and milk .... all things fit to be eaten. 
How far removed we are from the mysticism of 
Memling's " Nativity " ! 

As a portrait-painter Jordaens has less renown, and 
yet he exhibits the talent of a master in the portrait 
of his wife in the Darnley Collection, and his own 
at the Uffizi ; in the full-length pictures of the Prince 
and the Princess of Orange, in the possession of the 
Duke of Devonshire ; in the portrait of Admiral de 
Ruyter, at the Louvre ; in the companion pictures of 
the Museum of Cologne, and in the family groups of 
the Prado (Fig. 64) and of the Museum of Cassel. 

But nowhere have his superabundance of life and 
the splendour of his palette displayed themselves with 




more ardour and brilliancy than in his mythological 
subjects. In these, taking large landscapes as a back- 
ground, he has grouped sensual nymphs and priestesses 

FIG. 63.— THE SATYR AND THE FEASAHts.^/acoi Jordaens. 
(Pinacothek of Munich. 6 ft. 4 in. X 6 ft. 6 in.) 

of Bacchus, lascivious and drunken satyrs, in the midst 
of mountains of fruits, flowers, and anirnals. No one, 
not even the greatest of the Flemings, has represented 
with more boldness and power the exuberant natu- 
R 2 

260 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Gaspard De Crayer. 

ralism of his country, nor displayed more abundantly 
the ample forms of the women of the North. How 
sure and broad the manner, how rich the colouring 
with which he delights in rounding off their limbs ! 
The skin is as satin ; rich blood flows in their 
veins ; the sun plays on their necks, on their youthful 
cheeks and their golden hair ! " Fecundity," in the 
Museum of Brussels, is, in this style, an incomparable 

Among the number of artists contemporary with 
Rubens and Van Dyck, who painted religious, his- 
torical, and allegorical subjects, and whom we must 
not mistake for their direct scholars or even 
\Q their followers in the second degree, Gaspard 
^^ De Crayer (1582— 1669) occupies the first 
place. * When we study his work in those of 
his productions to which he gave his whole at- 
tention, which he reasoned out and in which he 
succeeded, it is easy to recognise that his talent 
was developed by the study of Rubens. He has 
imitated the master in boldness of handling, in 
the elegance of his drapery, the freedom of his atti- 
tudes ; he has copied his large, easy manner, his own 
peculiar way of appreciating form and expressing it 
by colouring. But he very seldom obtains the same 
powerful concentration of effect : he creates no emo- 
tion, no enthusiasm. His great pictures seem full 
of tumult and religious excitement, but it is in the 

* Ed. De Busscher : Biographic Nationals, vol. v., col. 27, 1876. 
According to this author De Crayer was bora on the 1 8th of November, 

Gaspard De Grayer.) RUBENS AND HIS SCHOOL. 


faintest manner that we hear the vociferations of his 
executioners, the prayer of his martyrs, the hosannas of 

'* i 


^i ' \ '1 

£1 II rl rt*.^^ * 

FIG. 64. — A FAMILY PORTRAIT. — Jacob Jordaens. 
(Museum of Madrid. S ft. 10^ in. X 6 ft. ijin.) 

the apotheosis. A contemporary of Rubens, he never 
succeeded, not even at times, like Jordaens, in rivalling 
him ; nevertheless, he is among the most able of those 
who have followed in the footsteps of the master. De 

262 FLEMISH PAINTING. (Gaspard De Crayer. 

Crayer was born at Antwerp ; he learnt his art from 
Raphael Coxie, in Brussels, and took up his residence 
in that town. In 1626 he was invested with the func- 
tions of Councillor to the Magistrat. He worked at 
once for governors, corporations, abbeys. The eques- 
trian portrait which he painted of the Infante Fer- 
dinand, Governor of the Netherlands, is in the Louvre ; 
and in the Law Courts of Ghent are preserved some 
of the allegories which he executed for the triumphal 
arches which were erected at the time of the Joyeuse 
Entrie of this prince. In religious subjects he espe- 
cially delighted in ecstatic visions, miracles, mar- 
tyrdoms, and glorifications. The Museum of Lille 
possesses two of his most important works — the 
" Martyrdom of the Four Elect " and the " Saviour of 
the World ; " in the Museum of Brussels we see the 
" Assumption of St. Catherine " and the " Miraculous 
Draught of Fishes " (Fig. 65) ; in that of Nancy, the 
" Plague of Milan ; " in that of Rennes, the " Elevation 
of the Cross." 

De Crayer journeyed to Spain, and in Madrid 4ie 
shared with Rubens and Velasquez the honour of 
portraying Philip IV. M. H. Hymans believes that 
this important performance, an equestrian portrait, is 
in the Museum of the Uffizi, where it is erroneously 
ascribed to Velasquez !* No greater praise could be 
given to the painter. 

In 1664 De Crayer, who had reached the great age 
of eighty-two, suddenly left Brussels and took up his 

* Notes sur un voyage en Italic. Brussels, 1878. 

264 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Abraham Janssens. 

abode in Ghent, without any apparent motive for this 
abrupt change of residence. In spite of his advanced 
years, he continued to paint with unabated ardour ; 
death alone was able to stay his marvellous power of 
production. This happened in 1669. The old master 
had just finished the " Martyrdom of St. Blaise " 
(Museum of Ghent), which he had painted for the 
Dominican Friars. He signed his work with a firm 
hand, then, with legitimate pride, he added, "Aged 
eighty-six," and died. The glorious old age of Titian 
is often mentioned. But were they not grand men 
also, these Flemish artists of the seventeenth century ! 
De Grayer was the friend of Rubens and of Van 
Dyck. The former engraved his portrait ; the latter 
left him a picture in his will. These two facts being 
established, have doubtless saved the memory of De 
Grayer from the useless calumnies of Houbracken and 
De Gampo Weyerman. According to these ancient 
Dutch biographers, and those who have been weak 
enough to repeat their foolish tales, almost every one 
of the more obscure contemporaries of Rubens — 
Pepyns, Janssens, Rombouts, and others — were in- 
triguers, who gave way to abject envy, and finally 
sank into drunkenness and misery. The Antwerpian 
archives have, in a great measure, confuted this his- 
torical tittle-tattle. We will not here repeat the stories 
which too many people have believed in, and which 
no documents justify. 

Abraham Janssens (i 575— 1632), a pupil of 
John Snellinck, was a painter of talent. The elevation 

Gerard Zeghers.] RUBENS AND HIS SCHOOL. 265 

of his ideas and the boldness of his attitudes bring 
him near to Rubens, but his colours are opaque, his 
outline is hard, and his touch heavy. He has left 
important religious scenes in various of the Belgian 
churches, and the Museums of Brussels, Vienna, and 
Antwerp contain allegorical pictures which may be 
reckoned among the best productions of this artist. 
His talent was original and robust. He instructed 
two pupils, who followed in his steps — Gerard Zeghers 
and Th. Rombouts. Both learnt from him the secret 
of bold handling, accentuated shades, and vigorous 
effects of contrast, which were put into fashion for the 
time by the admiration, which was felt by all for the 
works of Michael Angelo da Caravaggio. 

GERARD Zeghers (1591 — 1651), the elder of the 
two, visited Italy and Spain, and returned to Antwerp 
in 1620. Rubens was then at the apex of his glory, 
and it is easy to understand the influence which the 
marvellous transparency of his colouring must have 
exercised over the young painter, whose manner was 
then imbued with the deeper and harsher tones of 
Caravaggio and the Spanish school. If Zeghers had 
dated his pictures we might follow, from year to 
year, the successive transformations which his talent 
then underwent. From his Italian education he pre- 
served that fine relief, owing, to which his figures 
seem as if starting from the canvas. From Rubens 
he learnt to give animation to his figures and proper 
expression to their countenances. His hesitation 
between his two schools is evident in the pictures, the 
" Scourging of Christ " (Church of St. Michael), the 

266 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Theodore Rombouts. 

" Adoration of St. Francis " (Louvre), and " St. Louis 
of Gonzaga " (Museum of Antwerp). The " Adoration 
of the Magi " (Church of Notre Dame, Bruges), the 
" Marriage of the Virgin " (Museum of Antwerp), and 
" St. Eloi " (Museum of Valenciennes) assert the tri- 
umph of Rubens. In these performances we witness 
the same magnificent composition, his great decora- 
tive art, his clear and transparent tones. From this 
moment Zeghers belongs to the great family of the 
master ; he is one of the most vivacious and pic- 
turesque of its members. 

Theodore Rombouts (1597 — 1637) has likewise 
a right to a place among the contemporary artists, 
independent from Rubens. His chief characteristics 
are his ardent faith, the power of his pencil, 
"^ and the truth of his colouring. Like his fellow- 
student, Rombouts was greatly impressed with 
the style of Caravaggio. He painted history, and even 
allegory and genre, in life-size subjects imitated from 
the Italian master, and representing societies of singers, 
of card-players (Fig. 6€) and mountebanks ; these 
scenes are, however, less known than his other pic- 
tures, for they have found their way into the distant 
collections of the Prado and the Hermitage. In the 
painting of religious subjects, his most complete work 
is a " Descent from the Cross " (Church of St. Bavon, 
Ghent), which is a beautiful and dramatic compo- 

About the same period there lived in Brussels an 
artist whose existence seems to have been ignored by 
most historians, and to whom we are anxious to 


fr s 

268 FLEMISH ^ PAINTING. [Anthony Sallaerts. 

assign the place which he rightly deserves. ANTHONY 
Sallaerts (about 1585— aft. 1647)* was a painter of 
talent who was honoured by the friendship of Rubens, 
and even assisted him in some of his labours, if any 
reliance is to be placed in Kramm.f The facts of his 
life in its early and latter parts are unknown. History 
simply tells us that in 1606 he was entered as 
y^ an apprentice in the books of the Corporation 
of Brussels; that he had a son in 161 2; that 
he was called to the dignity of master in the following 
year ; and finally, that from 1633 to 1648 he was four 
times elected dean of the guild. M. AlphonseWauters 
tells us that Sallaerts was one of the artists who de- 
signed most actively for the tapestry-workers of Brus- . 
sels. In 161 6 he had already done for them twenty- 
four complete series of cartoons, t He had also exer- 
cised the art of the engraver. As to his pictures, those 
which remain to us prove that their author did not 
confine himself to one style alone. We learn from 
Mensaert that there were many of his religious per- 
formances in the churches of Brussels, of Ghent and 
Alost. In the Museum of Brussels he has an alle- 
gory ; in the Hdtel de Ville of Antwerp, the " Defeat 
of the Duke of Alengon ; " in the Hotel de Ville of 
Brussels, a " Virgin,'' with three Portraits of Magis- 
trates. The Catalogue of Madrid ascribes to him a 
" Judgment of Paris," and that of Berlin a " View of 

* E. F^tis : Catalogue du musee de Bnixelles, p. 442. 1882. 
t DeLevensen werken der Hol/andsche el Vlaamsclie Kunstschilders, 
vol. i., p. 1439. Amsterdam, 1856. 

X Les tapisseries bruxelloises, p. 246. 1878. 

^L i ^- im^ 


2/0 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Francis Franck. 

the Scheldt frozen and covered with Skaters." Finally, 
the Museum of Brussels contains two large represen- 
tations of public ceremonies due to his pencil, and the 
Pinacothek of Turin a " Religious Procession," which 
shows the original character of his talent. The last- 
named picture, which does not contain less than six 
or seven hundred little iigures, marvellously grouped on 
eight different planes, is a first-rate pieceof its kind. 
It is a quiet, powerful, and harmonious composition, 
and well painted ; the progress of the procession and 
the undulations of the crowd are observed with rare 

Francis Franck the Younger (1581 — 1642), 
contemporary with Sallaerts, likewise attempted every 
style, but he specially devoted his talent to historical 
painting. But, in opposition to those of his brothers 
in art who, being historical painters, often adopted 
genre subjects on a large scale, he, who really was a 
^£«r^-painter, represented history in a reduced form — 
or rather, the subjects he chose, in the Bible or in 
fabulous, ancient, or modern history, were for his 
pencil simple pretexts to ornamentation and acces- 
sories. His work is extremely varied : at Munich he 
has some scenes taken from fabulous history ; at Berlin 
the " Temptation of St. Anthony ; " at Vienna the 
" Sabbat " and " Conversations ; " " Princely Interiors " 
at Paris ; "Amateur Rooms" at Rome (Borghese Gal- 
lery) and at Florence (Pitti Palace, Fig. 67) ; finally, 
his own portrait at the Uffizi. In all these pictures 
the details abound ; they are handled with some skill, 
but their colouring is heavy and wanting in refinement. 


This artist belongs to the second generation of the 
Francks. The genealogical sketch which we give at 
page 163 permits us to forego any further details. It 
is he whom some historians have jocularly surnamed 
Don Francisco, from the manner in which Franck 
signed several of his pictures — D. O. or D° Franck. 
This peculiarity is now explained : 


jj Df/V'ION- iF 

D. O., and also D. J., which have been observed on 
some other works by the same artist, are nothing but 
the initial letters of the Flemish words Den Ouden, the 
Elder, and Den Jongen, the Younger, which the 
Francks added to their signature to be distinguished 
one from the other. Success, unfortunately, has not 
crowned their endeavours, thanks to the exceptional 
number of artists bearing that name and to the poor- 
ness and orthographical disorder of the documents.* 

One of his contemporaries, who bears an illustrious 
name, HANS JORDAENS (towards 1 595 — 1643), adopted 
the same style and like dimensions, but had not an 
equal skill. In the. Museum of Vienna there is a large 
" Private Gallery '' by this artist, and the " Passage 
of the Red Sea," at Antwerp and at Berlin. 

Adrian Van Nieulandt (1590 — aft. 1652), a 

• See the interesting notice devoted to that painter by Herman 
Ri.egel. Beitrage zur niederlandischen Kunstgeschichte, Berlin, 1882, 
voL ii., p. 74. 


native of Antwerp, was also, as the inscription on one 
of his portraits published by Meyssens tells us, "a very 
good painter of small figures and landscapes, having 
represented many of the scenes of the Old Testa- 
ment."* His " Preaching by St. John," in the Aca- 
demy of Venice, signed and dated 1653, and his 
"Jesus entering Jerusalem " (Museum of Copenhagen), 
signed and dated 1655, are very interesting specimens, 
which prove beyond a doubt that the picture which is 
ascribed to him in the Museum of Brussels was never 
painted by him. Besides, it is due to the pencil of 
Denys Van Alsloot. 

Peter Van Avont (1600 — 1652), of Mechlin, has 
left us small, graceful, and delicately-handled subjects. 
He used to adorn the landscapes of some 
4 AV <\_ of his brother-painters, of Breughel, Go- 
vaerts, Achtschelling, &c., with represen- 
tations of the " Holy Family " (Museum of Ghent), 
" Angels dancing before the Virgin " (Liechtenstein 
Gallery), or " Flora surrounded with Genii " (Museum 
of Vienna). 

Among the other historical painters, more obscure 
contemporaries of the head of the school, and of his 
celebrated followers, we must name : GiLES Back- 
EREEL, of Antwerp (1572 ? — before 1662), whose 
pictures, at least those which are in Brussels, recall the 
influence now of Rubens, now of Van Dyck ; Jean DE 
Bologna (? — 1655), a native of Li%e, whose seventy- 
one portraits of members of the guild of Arquebusiers 

* Images de divers homines d'esprit sublime. Antwerp, 1649, small 
in folio, with 74 portraits. 


(Museum of Mechlin), are worthy of special mention ; 
and finally, ADRIAN De BlE (1594 — 1640), of Lierre, 
whom we will mention here, not for his pictures, which 
are anything but remarkable, but to have 
an opportunity of speaking of his son Cor- 
nelius, a great lover of art who has left us, 
in a book entitled Het Gulden Cabinet, 
The Golden Cabinet, most valuable biographical 
details of the artists of his time* 


- * Het Gulden Cabinet van de edel vty schilderconst. Antwerp, 
l65i, in 40., with 98 portraits. 



A PAINTING by Cornelius De Vos, in the Rubens 
room of the Museum of Brussels, representing the 
artist with his wife and his two little daughters (Fig. 
69), gives us the impression that De Vos must have 
been possessed of no ordinary talent. The portrait of 
Abraham Grapheus, in Antwerp, confirms this opinion. 
The elderly messenger of the Corporation of St. Luke 
is painted in his strange dress, and with his many 
shining medals and ornaments. This is one of those 
robust works which, when once seen, can never be 
forgotten (Fig. 68). 

Cornelius De Vos (1585 — 1651) was a realistic 
painter closely related to Franz Hals and Velasquez. 
He was sincere before all things ; he saw Nature in 
her true light, and knew how to depict her as she is. 
The same praise cannot always be awarded to the 
head of the school, nor to its first disciple. His 
palette is harmonious and refined in its soft tones of 
grey and silver ; over-brilliant colours are unknown to 
him. His design is free ; his attitudes quiet, easy, 
and natural ; his physiognomies have great individu- 



ality, and as much expression as those of Van Dyck ; 
finally, his sitters are endowed with such a power- 

(Museum of Antwerp. 3 ft. 11 in. X 3 ft. 4 '"•) 

ful appearance of life — such an amiable character 
of frankness and communicative friendliness — that 
S 2 

2/6 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Cornelius De Vos. 

one involuntarily loves the models as well as the 

Family portraits appear to have been the special 
branch of art in which De Vos excelled. The group 
in Brussels is indisputably the artist's masterpiece 
(Fig. 6<^ ; but we must mention also, in the Museum 
of Berlin, his picture of two little girls playing with 
fruit, and another of two persons seated in a garden ; 
in Brunswick, a young woman and two children 
blowing soap-bubbles;* in Munich, the family De 
Hiitte ; in Pesth, the painter Mierevelt and his family ; 
in St. Petersburg, a family d, la prometiade ; in Stock- 
holm, several persons at a table joining in a game ; at 
Cassel, the director of the orphanage and a child. 
Other works are in private galleries at Antwerp, 
notably a large composition representing the life-size t 
figures of eleven persons at table. By the same 
brush there are also, besides the Grapheus of the 
Museum of Antwerp, the portraits of single figures — 
viz., Jean Van Roode, Burgomaster of the City of 
Antwerp, and his wife (Gallery Du Bus J ) ; a portrait 
in the ^ Museum of New York, and several others in 
the -private collections of Antwerpian families. 

Judging from his Biblical and mythological com- 
positions, we incline to the belief that Cornelius De 

* See the notice by Herman Riegel, in Beitrage zur niederlan 
dischcn Kunstgeschichte, 1 882, vol. ii. , p. 92. 

t Van Den Branden : Geschiedenis dcr Anhvcrpschc Schildcr- 
school 1878-83, p. 641. 

X Ed. Fetis : Galcrie du Vicomte du Bus de Gisigtiies. Brussels, 
1878 ; 2nd part, p. igi. 

Cornelius De Vos.] RUBENS AND HIS SCHOOL. 


Vos was not at his best in historical subjects. " St. 
Nobert Accepting ReHcs," in Antwerp, is nevertheless 

s ,f "TJT^-T'^l fe Wi^-:- 

Cornelius De Vos. (Museum of Brussels. 6 ft. ij in. X S ft. zj in.) 

a good picture. Finally, it has recently been dis- 
covered that he assisted Fr. Snyders, his brother-in- 


law, in the representation of two large "Fish Markets," 
in the Museum of Vienna* (Fig. 72), which had 
hitherto been attributed to Van Es. As a portraitist, 
Cornelius De Vos has been surpassed by Rubens and 
Van Dyck alone. And yet the Flemish School of the 
seventeenth century was rich in portrait painters of 
undoubted skill. We will only recall here the family 
portrait by Jordaens (Museum of Madrid), (Fig. 64) ; 
the portrait of De Crayer, painted by himself (Schleiss- 
heim Gallery) ; Galileo, by Justus Suttermans (Ufifizi), 
(Fig. 94) ; the small portraits of several persons grouped 
together, by Gonzales Coques (Museum of Pesth) 
(Fig. 80) ; Richelieu, by Philippe of Champaigne 
(Louvre) ; Lady Mandeville, by Paul Van Somer 
(Manchester Collection) ; the Archduke Leopold 
William, by Justus of Egmont, in the Museum of 
Vienna ; portraits of men and women, by Douffet, 
in the Museum of Munich (Fig. 61) ; the portraits of 
the cur^ and confessors of St. James, by Peter Thys 
(Church of St. James, Antwerp) ; Henry IV., by 
Francis Pourbus (Louvre) (Fig. 93) ; the Elector of 
Brandenburg and his wife, by Vaillant (Palace of 
Berlin) ; the gentleman in armour in the Museum 
of Berlin, by Francis Duchastel (Fig. 82) ; the syndics 
of the Fishmongers' Company, by Peter Meert, in the . 
Museum of Brussels ; the portrait of a philosopher 
painted by Van Oost the Elder, to be seen in the 
Hospital of St. John, Bruges ; the Prior of Tongerloo, 
by Peter Franchoys, in the Museum of Lille (Fig. 92) ; 

* Ed. von Engerth : Grand Catalogue de la Galerie Imperiale de 
Vienne, 1884, vol. ii., p. 452. 


three magistrates, by Sallaerts (Hotel de Ville of 
Brussels) ; Gaspard Gevaerts, by Thomas Willeboirts 
(Plantin Museum, Antwerp) ; Balthazar Moretus, by 
James Van Reesbroeck (1620 — 1704, ditto) ; J.-B'*^- 
Donckers and his wife, by Abraham de Ryckere 
(1565 ? — towards 1600), Church of St. James, Antwerp, 

We will end this list with the all but unknown 
name of MiCHELlNE WOUTIERS, a portraitist of some 
talent, who was born in Mons towards the end of the 
sixteenth century. Pontius engraved, in 1643, her 
portrait of the Spanish general, Andrew Cantelmo, 
and the compiler of the new catalogue of Vienna * 
has just restored to her the two beautiful half-lengths 
of St. Joachim and St. Joseph which, in the Belvedere, 
were long ascribed to Francis Wouters. 

We shall speak further of most of these various 
artists, but we' have collected their names here, in this 
special chapter devoted to portrait painters, for the sole 
purpose of placing at their head the name of Cornelius 
De Vos, and thus to show in a better light the merit 
of this artist, who is not known in France, England, 
Italy, or Holland. In presence of his masterpieces in 
Brussels, Antwerp, and Berlin, one feels inclined to 
accept the tradition by which Rubens, when over- 
whelmed with requests for portraits which he could 
not undertake, is supposed to have said — "Go to 
Cornelius De Vos : he is a second Rubens." 

* Engerth.: Catalogue of the Imperial Museum of Vienna, 1884, 
p. S60. 



The Flemish School is unique for the superior talent 
it has brought to bear on the subject of animal 
painting. The Dutch school itself has never equalled 
the Flemish in this special branch of the art. Its 
grand fights, grand hunts, and grand compositions of 
still life, are incomparable triumphs of boldness and 
picturesque richness. 

After Rubens, whose fire and prolific genius have 
produced the masterpieces which we have enumerated 
(p. 226), two Antwerpian masters must be classed 
together, who were equally noble and powerful : 
Francis Snyders and John Fyt. 

Snyders (1579 — 1657) had studied under Peter 
Breughel II. (Hell Breughel) and Henry Van 
Balen ; nevertheless, he proceeded directly from 
Rubens, whose friend he was, and with whom he 
worked on many occasions. There is no one in the 
whole school who affords greater proof of the decisive 
influence which the genius of the great master exercised 
around him, even over those who were not his direct 
pupils. All the large pictures of Snyders astonish 
and attract us by their majestic dimensions, their ani- 



1 X 


2 . 

I 2 


mation, their splendid execution, their boldness of 
colouring, their warmth, their life. 

He has painted all animals with the same effect — 

282 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Snyders. 

quadrupeds, birds, reptiles, fish, domestic and wild 
animals, alive and dead ; in every ca-se he has shown 
equal talent. At the Hague he has '' Deer Hunts," 
"Bear Hunts" in Berlin, "Wild Boar Hunts" at 
Florence (Fig. 70), " Fox Hunts " at Vienna, " Lion 
Hunts " in England, " Tiger Hunts '' at Rennes, " Hip- 
popotamus and Crocodile Hunts " at Amsterdam. He 
has " Dog Fights " in the Hermitage, " Combats of 
Dogs and Swans " in Antwerp, of " Cocks " in Berlin, 
of " Foxes and Serpents " (Czernin Collection) in 
Vienna, of " Buffaloes and Wolves " (Cypierre Sale). 
There is at Munich a " Wild Boar Overcome by a 
Lioness " ; in England, a " Stork Attacked by Fal- 
cons " ; in Bologna, a " Horse Overcome by Wolves " 
— all painted by him. Snyders has in addition repre- 
sented many " Scenes from the Poultry Yard," " Mon- 
keys Playing at Backgammon," " Bird Concerts," &c., 
&c. In his trophies of game — swans, geese, peacocks, 
deer, wild boars, hares, and pheasants — which we see 
in the Museums of Munich, of Caen, of Marseilles, of 
Brussels, and of Valenciennes, he has introduced 
marauding cats and dogs (Fig. 71) ; in his great 
shows of fish and molluscs (Fig. 72) he has placed 
seals and tortoises ; in his heaps of fruit and 
vegetables, parrots and grinning monkeys. In every 
subject he handled he has proved himself a master ; 
he has treated each with the same largeness and 
supreme abundance. But his talent is especially dis- 
played in painting the impetuotis attacks of dogs on 
wild beasts. Nothing is comparable to them. No 
poet has ever sung them in loftier or more manly 




M 3 

tn <^ 

I O 

2 S 

strains. His lions, his bears, and his wild boars par- 
take in some measure of the heroism of the men 
painted by Rubens. 

284 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Paul De Vos. 

The esteem in which Rubens held the talent of 
Snyders was equalled only by his friendship for this 
painter, whom he entrusted with the execution of 
animals in several of his huntings. He, in exchange, 
oftentimes drew the figures in various pictures by 
his friend. As a last proof of affection, he, by a 
clause in his will, desired Snyders to manage the 
sale of the works of art which he had collected. 
Van Dyck also repeatedly painted the portrait of 
Snyders and of his wife, the sister of the two De 
Vos, Cornelius and Paul. The latter (Paul) was 
also an animal painter, and the pupil of his brother- 

Paul De Vos (towards 1590 — 1678), a highly- 
esteemed painter, worked especially for the great ; for 
instance, for the Emperor, the King of Spain, and the 
Duke of Aerschot, who was his chief patron. He treated 
hunting scenes with special talent, and excelled in the 
painting of dogs. Under the title of " Noah's Ark," 
he also depicted various groups of different animals. 
By the style of his colouring, his luminous tones, and 
the lightness of his touch, Paul De Vos much re- 
sembled his brother-in-law, to whom many of his 
pictures are erroneously ascribed in various museum^ 
and collections. The greater number of his compo- 
sitions are in the Museums of Madrid and of the 
Hermitage ; he has others in Vienna, Munich, Schleiss- 
heim, Brussels, Caen, &c. His " Struggle of a Wild 
Boar against a Pack of Hounds" (Pinacothek of 
Turin) is a grand work, which proves that the merit 
of De Vos is far superior to his reputation. 


For a time Snyders was unanimously allowed to 

occupy the first rank among Flemish animal painters, 

but within the last twenty years ample proof has been 

forthcoming that another artist, whose claims 

Jo. Y^ ■ had hitherto been overlooked, has an equal 

right to this high position. In accepting 

such proofs, modern criticism has confirmed his right, 

and placed Jean Fyt (1609 — 1661) by the side of 

Francis Snyders. 

Fyt was no mere copyist ; he understood and repre- 
sented nature in a manner peculiarly his own. He is 
quite free from any accepted formula. His style is, it 
is true, less decorative than that of Snyders ; and he 
seldom depicts life in a manner so animated, so im- 
petuous — we may even say so heroic — but he is equally - 
frank in his expression ; his mind is as far from pre- 
judice ; his touch is bolder, firmer, more accentuated, 
more truly realistic. His outline is exact, and 
renders form with minute precision ; and he paints the 
fur of quadrupeds and the feathers of birds with ex- 
quisite fidelity and a rare perfection of detail. By 
brilliancy of light, by the delicacy and truth of his 
colouring, by the power and sincerity of his accent, 
he often surpasses Snyders himself 

Moreover, he adds to great ability in composition, 
such learned effects of chiaro-oscuro and contrasts of 
light, as bring his productions nearer to those of the 
Dutch painters. 

Like Snyders, he has left combats, hunts, and still 
life ; and, like him, he has depicted animal life in all 
its forms. No one has painted dogs and eagles in 


SO masterly a manner. Nearly all his pictures con- 
tain greyhounds, bull-dogs, mastiffs— hounds of every 
race. As to eagles, he has two in Antwerp — the 
" Eagles' Repast " is one of his best works — and 
the one in Cologne is a gigantic bird with out- 
stretched wings, a marvel of boldness, execution, and 

If we regard productiveness, this artist truly be- 
longs to the Flemish race; nearly every museum in 
Europe possesses one or more specimens of his talent. 
Let us mention among his principal works — "Dogs 
Struggling with a Bear" (Fig. 73), and the "Fight 
against a Wild Boar " (pinacothek of Munich) ; the 
piles of game and fruit in the Schleissheim Gallery ; 
the splendid picture of accessories in the Acadeniy 
of Fine Arts in Vienna ; finally, the pictures of " Still 
Life " in the Liechtenstein Gallery, all of which ex- 
hibit such wonderful power. The painter of such a 
vast number of compositions could not long occupy 
a secondary rank. M. Paul Mantz justly observes — 
" Fyt can never again lose the place which we have 
given him, and which is his by right."* It does not 
appear that he had any scholars. 

John Van Hecke (1620— 1684) may possibly 
have studied under him ; and it would seem that he 
exercised some influence over Peter BOELf (1622 — 
1674), though it is believed that the latter studied 

* See also the opinion expressed on Fyt by \V. Burger, in his 
Galcric Suermondt, p. 125. 

t Van Lerius : BiograpAie d' artistes aiwei-sais, 1880, vol. .i., p. 
72 ; Van den Branden : GeschUJenis, &c., p. 1094. 


under Snyders. Boel was a painter of animals and 
still life. He designed cartoons for the tapestry 
makers, and was, like Fyt, a talented engraver. 
Towards the end of his life he settled in Paris, _„ 
worked at the Gobelins, and died with the title ' 
of Peintre Ordinaire du Roi. His talent was especially 
decorative, but very unequal. The Museum of Lille 
contains the "Allegory of the World's Vanities," a 
picturesque and powerful composition ; and the Stadel 
Institute at Frankfort a " Repast of Three Eagles," 
recalling the eagles by Fyt in the Museum of Ant- 
werp. His pupil, David De Coninck (1636— aft. 
1699), inhabited Italy. His twice-repeated "Bear and 
Deer 'Hunt " (Museum of Amsterdam), his " Fruits 
and Animals" (Pvluseum of Lille), and the five pic- 
tures of still life in the Liechtenstein Gallery, are 
worthy of the great naturalistic school to which he 



As early as the end of the fifteenth century we have 
seen the genre picture make its appearance under the 
brush of Jerome Bosh and Quentin Metsys. In the 
sixteenth a small group of half Dutch, half Flemish 
artists — Mandyn, Aartzen, Beuckelaer, Molenaer, the 
Van Cloves, Peter Breughel — continued to repeat, and 
brought into fashion the small subjects borrowed from 
the familiar scenes of national life. But with the 
opening of the seventeenth century genre suddenly 
took an unexpected development, and the class of 
small masters became one of the richest both in 
illustrious painters and in masterpieces. A like out- 
burst took place, almost simultaneously, north and 
south of the Moerdyck. While the Dutch school 
prided itself on such painters as Peter De Hoogh, 
John Vermeer, Terburg, Metzu, Dow, Mieris, and Van 
Ostade, the Flemish school gladly numbered in its 
ranks artists less numerous and, it must be said, less 
perfect and perhaps less charming, but still very in- 
teresting and justly celebrated. 

Teaiers.] RUBENS AND HIS SCHOOL. 29 1 

The Painters of Popular and Rustic 

David Teniers* occupies, in the Netherlands, 
the • foremost place among genre painters. ty^ 
His talent made him celebrated, and his per- '^ 
sonal qualities procured for him one of the 
■highest positions to which an artist might hT 
aspire. ' 

He was born in Antwerp in 1610, one of the last 
among the illustrious masters of the grand school ; 
thirty years after Rubens, seventeen years after Jor- 
daens, eleven years after Van Dyck. 

His father, DAVID Teniers THE ELDER (1582— 
1649), a mediocre painter of small rustic and his- 
torical subjects, taught him the first principles 
\l of his art ; but his master, his true initiator, 
was Rubens, though it is not by any means 
proved that Teniers ever studied in his studio. 
In 1633, consequently two years after Brauwer, 
whose pupil he is sometimes erroneously called, 
he received the dignity of master, and in 1637 he 
married the daughter of Velvet Breughel, the 
former ward of Rubens, who acted as witness at 
the marriage ceremony. Young, brilliant, and re- 
fined in person, enjoying the patronage of those 
who occupied a high rank in the dominion of art, 
marvellously gifted and fruitful, Teniers soon be- 

* J. Vermoelen : Teniers le jeune, sa vie et son ceuvre. Antwerp, 
1865. Catalogue du Musk du Anvers, p. 382. 1874. 
T 2 

292 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Teniers. 

came known, esteemed and celebrated ; and his 
fortune was rapid. The Archduke Leopold- William 
of Austria, then governor of the Netherlands for 
Spain, appointed him his private painter and aide de 
sa chambre, at the same time making him keeper of 
his gallery in the Palace of Brussels. The pictures of 
this collection have since been carried to the Imperial 
Museum of Vienna.* Teniers has left us numerous 
views which are in the Museums of Munich, Vienna, 
Madrid, and Brussels. It is also to his copies and 
designs that we owe the book of two hundred and 
forty-five engravings which belongs to this collection.f 
His new functions having called him to Brussels, 
Teniers settled in this city towards 1650, and there 
passed the remainder of his life. 

Louis XIV., with his one-sided and predetermined 
ideas on matters of painting, disdained what he con- 
temptuously called the magots of Teniers, and pre- 
ferred the pictures of Le Brun and Jouvenet ; but 
other sovereigns knew how to appreciate his works 
and understood their value. Queen Christina of 
Sweden wished to possess his pictures ; Philip IV. of 
Spain, the enlightened patron of Velasquez, admired 
them to such a degree that it is said he formed of 
them a special gallery, and this statement is corrobo- 
rated by the fact that there is not in the whole of 
Europe any museum so rich as the Prado in works 
by this artist. 

* An inventory of 1659 has been discovered in Vienna. See tlie 
new Grand Catalogue dc la Galerie ImfMa'c de Vienne, by M Ed. 
von Engerth. Vol. i., p. 43. 

t Theatrum Pictorium. In folio. Antwerp 1664. 




S .H 

From the time of his arrival in Brussels, Teniers 
designed for the tapestry makers, and thus assured 

294 FLEMISH TAINTING. [Teniers. 

fresh renown and greater vogue to this' branch of 
Brussels industry. On the other hand he did not 
forget his native town. He was one of the founders 
of the Academy of Fine Arts of Antwerp, and its 
first president (1663). 

His work is endless. In the same way as Breughel 
the Elder had done before, but with more delicacy 
and elegance, he depicted the manners of the Flemish 
rustic, told of the intimacy of his domestic life, and 
his happy, coarse laughter. His folk go to market, 
clean .out the stable, milk the cows, raise the nets, 
sharpen knives, shoot off arrows, play at nine-pins or 
at cards, bind up wounds, pull out teeth^ cure bacon, 
make sausages, smoke, sing, dance, caress the girls 
and, above all things, drink, like the true Flemings 
they are. How far we are from the gods of Olympia 
and the personages of the Bible ! And yet, who 
would believe it ? Teniers ventured on the ground of 
religious painting : for instance the " Presentation of 
Christ to the People" (Museum of Cassel), the 
" Crowning with Thorns " (The Dudley Collection), 
and the " Sacrifice of Abraham " (Museum of Vienna). 
He did not even shrink from heroic painting, as 
is proved by the twelve panels, the " History of 
Armida and Renaud " (Prado). We cannot, how- 
ever, say that this rash attempt was crowned with 
success. Besides, he has tried his skill in every style: 
popular f^tes, fantastic representations, markets, land- 
scapes with flocks of sheep, hunting pictures, scenes 
from high life, episodes from the guard-room, comic 
scenes of monkeys and cats, rustic interiors, kitchens 




shops, laboratories ; he has painted everything 
with that ease of execution, that delicate and 


rapid touch of which the spirit has never been sur- 

Teniers is everywhere represented. There is not 
a gallery which does not possess at least one or two 
specimens of his talent. Smith's Catalogue numbers 
685 pictures by his hand. There are fifty-two in 
Madrid ; Vienna, in her four principal collections, 
possesses forty-three ; St. Petersburg, forty ; the 
Louvre, thirty-four ; Munich, twenty-nine ; Dresden, 
twenty-four ; England, more than two hundred. His 
picture at the Hermitage is generally considered his 
masterpiece ; it was painted in 1643, and represents 
the " Corporation of Cross-bow men of St. Sebastian" 
(Fig. 74) ; it is a most interesting painting, and merits 
all praise. The " Archduke Leopold-William bring- 
ing down the bird " (Museum of Vienna), is one of 
his important representations of public rejoicings ; the 
" Village Fair," in the Museum of Brussels, the " Re- 
past," at the Frado, the " Dance," in the Museum of 
Vienna, are numbered among the best of his large 
rustic scenes. Everywhere we meet his oft-repeated 
replicas of the " Temptation of St. Anthony," which 
he so amusingly depicted ; they are full of droll de- 
tails, and their sorcery is far from the nightmare- 
giving scenes of J6r6me Bosch. His " Taverns " and 
" Guard-Rooms " are yet more numerous ; finally, in 
the " Five Senses " of the Museum of Brussels, the 
painter of rustics shows that he can, when he chooses, 
be a gentleman, even in his dramatis per sonce. 

It is, above all, the spirit, colouring, and execution 
that we must study, and that we most admire in 

tN H 

"a X 

a M 

> S 

298 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Teniers. 

Teniers. His quick, nervous, and easy talent partook . 
at once of the Elder Breughel and of Rubens ; of the 
former by his way of seeing nature, of understanding 
and rendering the humble spectacle of homely and 
simple things ; of the latter by the bold tones of his 
colouring, the delicacy of his blending, and the won- 
derful harmony of his brush. Let us consider a few 
of his small chosen productions — for example, the 
" Country Doctor " (Brussels), the " Prodigal Child " 
(Louvre), the "Kitchen" (the Hague), the "Rustic 
Interior" (Bile), the "Violin Player" (Turin). In 
every one of these his manner is inimitable. No 
other artist has so completely possessed the secret of 
those refined and delicately transparent tones ; no 
one has combined with so much art and apparent 
simplicity the thin painting of the shadows with the 
luminous piling-up of the lights. In his interpreta- 
tions of the humbler classes of society of his time, we 
must not look for that sense of the ridiculous which 
distinguished Breughel the Elder, or the mirthful 
caricatures of Adrian Brauwer-^both these artists 
were deeper and more powerful than Teniers. Let 
us simply admit that the song of his familiar muse 
accompanies in the right key his small scenes of 
domestic hearths and tranquil village pleasures. 

Teniers died in Brussels, on the 25th of April, 
1690, in the eighty-first year of his age. He had, 
one after the other, seen his illustrious brother artists 
and the most talented among his imitators disappear 
from this world ; it may be said that with him finished 
the great school of Antwerp. The eldest of his eleven 


children, named David, like his father, was a painter 
also. It was he, and not his father, who signed his 
pictures and cartoons David Teniers, junior, which 
we sometimes see,* for instance, as the signature of a 
"St. Dominic" which still exists in the Church of 
Perck. Other members of the family adopted painting 
as a career. Several pictures in the Museums of the 
Prado and the Hermitage are ascribed to Abraham, 
younger brother of the great David. As to the fourth 
David, he died in Lisbon, where he had taken up his 
residence at the same time as one of his nephews. It 
is possible that in Portugal some of his works might 
be found, and perhaps also several of his descendants, 
for he left more than one son.f 

Julian Teniers, or Taisnier, 
a mercer, native of Ath, settled in Antwerp in 1558, died in 1585 

Julian (II.) 

David (I. 

the Elder 

t 1 

Julian (III.) Theodore (I.) 
master in 1636 master in 1636 

David (II.) Julian (IV.) 
1610 — 1690 1616— 1679 


1619 — 

;(1I.) Abraham 
1697 1629— 1670 

I I 

David (III.) Junior Cornelia 

1638 — 1685 mar. John Erasmus Quellinus 

David (IV.) 
1672— 1771 

* Alph. Wauters : Les Tapisseries Iruxelloises, p. 257 
f J. Vermoelen : Notes historiques sur David Teniers et sajamine. 
Paris, 1870. 

300 FLEMISH PAINTING. Adrian Brauwer. 

Shortly after David Teniers came ADRIAN BRAU- 
WER (towards 1606— 1638). We will not separate 
this artist from his friend, JOSSE Van CraesbeecKE 
(towards 1606 — towards 1655).* 

Adrian Brauwer is generally supposed to be a 
Dutchman, born, like Van Ostade, at Haarlem. The 
earliest opinion, however, now confirmed by 
recent discoveries, is that he was a Fleming, _/jf> 
native of Oudenarde.f A correction of the 
same nature must be made in the case of Josse Van 
Craesbeecke, but with more certainty. This painter, 
who was long considered a native of Brussels, was 
in reality born at Neerlinter, near Tirlemont, in Bra- 
bant, where his father was ^chcvin. 

The two companions in joyeulsetis, came into the 
world towards 1606. Brauwer ran away from home, 
went to study his art under Franz Hals, and in 
163 1 was accepted a master at St. Luke, Antwerp 
At the same time Craesbeecke also left his village, 
arrived at Antwerp, acquired the right of citizenship, 
and, in the same year, 163 1, set up as a baker. 

Painter and baker met and became fast friends. 

* Th. Van Lerius : Josse Van Craesbeeck ( fournal des Beaux-Arts, 
1869, p. 50). — J. Lenglart : Josse Van Craesbeeck, sa Ugende, sa vie et 
son ceuvre (Journal des Beaux-Arts, 1872, pp. 153 and 162). — Van 
Den Branden ; AdrianDe Brauwer en Joos Van Craesbeeck. — P. Mantz : 
Adrien Brauwer (Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 1879-80). — Dr. W. Bode : 
Adriaan Brauwer, sein Bild, sein Leben und sein Schaffen. Vienna, 

t H. Raepsaet : Quelques Recherches sur Adrien De Brauwere 
(Annates de la Sociki Royale des Beaux-Arts de Gand, 1851-52, vol. iv. 
p. 234). 

Adrian Brauwer. RUBENS AND HIS SCHOOI,. 


Adrian took- in hand and speedily completed the 
artistic education of his friend Josse, and the latter 

S X 

'J s 

bade adieu to bread-making, and set off in the com- 
pany of Brauwer on his wanderings through taverns 


FLEMISH PAINTING. [Adrian Brauwer. 

and dancing-places, kitchens and guard-rooms, ob- 
serving the smokers and drinkers, barbers and tooth- 
drawers, whom they have illustrated with so much 
spirit and sense of fun in their amusing pictures. The 
question has so often been asked : Were they content to. 
observe, or did they surrender themselves to habits of 
drinking and fighting ? So little is really known of their 
doings that the most exaggerated rumours have easily 
gained currency. The little, however, that is really 
known pleads in their favour. The Very Honourable 
the Chevalier Daems, sheriff of Antvi^erp, became the 
patron of Craesbeecke, and it is to be supposed that 
he would not have extended his protection to a 
brawler and drunkard. Brauwer very regularly paid 
his subscription to the Society of Rhetoric of which he 
was a member. It is possible that both artists were 
somewhat Bohemian in their ways — that they may 
have indulged rather copiously an over-fondness for 
brown beer ; but admitting this probability is a very 
different thing from assimilating them to the drunken 
and abject creatures which they painted. Was not 
also David Teniers, the sumptuous Lord of Perck, the 
friend of kings, princes, and noblemen, the interpreter 
of drinking bouts and coarse gaiety .'' And yet, who 
has ever thought of accusing him of frequenting 
taverns .-' 

Brauwer died young. His enemies hasten to as- 
sert that he was worn out with dissipation. It would 
nevertheless be surprising that an artist who had 
spent his time drinking and revelling should have 
left behind him so important a work, one so remark- 

Adrian Brauwer ] RUBENS AND HIS SCHOOL. 


FIG. 78. — TASTE. — Adrian Brauwer. 
{Stadel Institute, Frankfort, i ft. 7 in. X if. 2 in.) 

able for its delicate spirit of observation. He only 
painted ten years, and already we have counted 

304 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Craesbeeckc. 

eighty-five of his pictures. This artist is best studied 
at Munich. In the Pinacothek he has nineteen pic- 
tures. " The Smoker," of the La Caze Collection, in 
the Louvre,* and " The Drinker," of the Stadel Insti- 
tute at Frankfort (Fig. 78), are admirable paintings. 
These two pictures might, in the opinion of the editor 
of the Frankfort Catalogue, be the allegorical repre- 
sentation of " Smell " and " Taste," forming part of 
the collection of the " Five Senses " which, according 
to Van Mander," Brauwer painted while under Franz 
Hals. We know of no other artist whose execution 
was so ready, so amusing as that of Brauwer. He 
was the worthy pupil of the great portrait painter of 

We should be tempted to say that the execution 
is full of brilliant conceits ; the expression, be it smile 
or grimace, is caught with rare tact and a rich and 
juicy manipulation of a flowing brush, often leaving 
the canvas exposed in its very freedom. The simple 
grandeur of the firm, clear touch passes rapidly over 
all useless details. In the composition, as in the 
colouring — which with him is always harmonious, 
luminous, and powerful — Brauwer is far in advance of 
Craesbeecke, who was often dry and commonplace. 

The works of this latter artist are not numerous, 

his most celebrated being his two " Ateliers," 

Tj^ which show, as an exception, people of good 

}Qy/ society elegantly attired sitting to the artist 

— " Craesbeecke Painting a Portrait " (Museum 

* See the engraving of this picture in the Dutch School of Painting. 
By H. Havard, translated by S. Powell. 


of the Louvre), and " Craesbeecke Painting a Group " 
(Arenberg Collection, Brussels). 

Teniers and Brauwer, by their talent and activity, 
could not fail to have many pupils, and their com- 
plete success naturally induced many imitators. Both 
were numerous in Antwerp, and also in Brussels, 
where Teniers and Craesbeecke went to reside, and 
where they ended their career. We must mention — 
(i) Giles Van Tilborg (1625 — 1678) of 
Brussels, who was a bold and excellent ^xj, £) 
colourist, a painter of taverns and family 
scenes, whose father, Giles the Elder (1575 I j^ 
— 1622-32), had also painted "Village ^Jf 
Fairs." He has a picture at Lille, bearing 
a monogram, and dated 1591 ; (2) Peter De Bloot 
( ? — 1667), an interesting small painter of rustic 
scenes and still life ; (3) WiLLlAM Van Herp (1614 — 
1677), who is supposed to have studied in the studio of 
Rubens; (4) FERDINAND Van Apshoven the Younger 
(1630— 1694), second of the name, who was truly a 
painter, skilful colourist and physiognomist, and whose 
brother, Thomas (1622 — 1665), painted ^mr^ subjects 
as well as flowers and fruit; (5) MATTHEW VAN 
Hellemont (1623 — aft. 1674) ; finally (6), DAVID 
Ryckaert, of the numerous Antwerpian family of 
that name, so many members of which were g-enre 
and landscape painters. 


3o6 FLEMISH PAINTING. [David Ryckaert, 

David Ryckaert (I.) 
1560 — towards 1607 


David (II.) Martin Paul 
1586— 1642 1587— 1631 mar. AnnVaiiDer Lamcn. 
] 1592— ? 

1. ' I 

Catherine David III. 

mar. 1612 — 1661 

Gonzales Coques | 

David (IV.) 
1649 — aft. 1698 

As we see by the preceding biography, there were 
four artists bearing the name of David Ryckaert who 
succeeded each other in a direct Hne. Of these 
the only one who achieved renown was the 
third. At the outset of his career he painted 
landscapes, like his father and his uncle Martin ; 
but the success of Teniers and Brauwer induced 
him to change his style, and he adopted the repre- 
sentation of episodes from domestic life. He exe- 
cuted also many replicas of the " Temptation of 
St. Anthony," scenes of sorcery, alchemists, labora- 
tories, and a few scenes from high life. He 
obtained the patronage of the Archduke Leopold 
William, and his works soon became fashionable. His 
compositions are picturesque, full of life, and show a 
keen spirit of observation, both in the attitudes and 
the physiognomies of his figures. His colouring, how- 
ever, is often heavy, with reddish tones, and possesses 
neither the transparency nor the lightness of touch of 
Teniers, whom he has sought to imitate. The Museum 



< •*• 

a 2 


of Brussels possesses an " Alchemist," that of Vienna 
a " Village Fair," the Liechtenstein and Czernin Gal- 
U 2 

308 FLEMISH PAINTING. rjir8me Janssens. 

leries of the same city " Companies of Singers," which 
may be reckoned among his best works. 

The Painters of Conversation Pieces and 
Society Gatherings. 

This category of " secondary masters " is not so 
numerous and not so well known. 

The earliest among them, now almost forgotten, 
is Christopher Van Der Lamen (1615 — 1651),* 
who used to depict banquets, balls, concerts, players 
of backgammon or croquet, the scene being laid in 
the drawing-room or the garden, and who especially 
excelled in painting silk and satin textures. Nine of 
his pictures — two of which are signed — are in the 
Mansi Collection at Lucca. Hardly had he been 
inscribed at St. Luke, in 1636, when he received a 
scholar — JSrQme Janssens (1624 — 1693) — whose 
works have long been confounded with those of other 
artists bearing the same name, and whose very exis- 
tence seems to have been unknown.f He painted 
like his master, and with like interest, f^tes, social 
gatherings, and especially balls, which circumstance 
caused him to be nicknamed in his life-time the 
"dancer." His picture in the Louvre (Fig. 79), the 
" Main chaude," ascribed to " Victor-Honore Janssens," 
is a good composition, full of sprightliness and mirth. 
It would appear that the talent of this artist was 
towards the middle of the seventeenth century, greatly 

* Van Lerius : Biographies d^ Artistes anversois, 1883, vol. ii.,'p. 365. 
t J. J. Guiffrey : Un maitre flamand inconnu {Journal des Beaux- 
Arts, 1865, p. I2i), with commentaries by M. Van Lerius. 

Gonzales Coques.] RUBENS AND HIS SCHOOL. 


appreciated in Antwerp. Nevertheless, his brother- 
in-art, Gonzales Coques, was even more renowned, 
not only in Belgium, but also in Holland, Germany, 
and England. 

In spite of his Spanish sounding name, GONZALfes 

-- 1-- -. 

^T rai^Tnif" 

>I ' 

FIG. 80. — THE VAN EYCK FAMILY. — Gonzalis Coques. 
(Museum of Pesth. 2 ft. i^ in X 2 ft- 11 in.) 

Coques (i6i8 — 1684) was a pure Fleming. He was 
born at Antwerp and appears never to have left his 
native town ; his father, whose surname was Cocx, 
gave the child, with doubtful taste, the high-sounding 
name of Gonzalvus. When called to the dignity of 
master the young man still signed that name, and it 
was not until a later period that Gonzalvus became 
Gonzales, and Cocx was changed to Coques. 

3IO FLEMISH PAINTING. [Gonzalfes Coques. 

Gonzales first began to handle the brush when he 
was but twelve or thirteen years old. His first master, 
Peter Breughel (III.), was, it would appear, an excel- 
lent portrait painter. The young man afterwards 
pursued his studies under the guidance of David 
Ryckaert the Elder, whose daughter he married. 
Later still he was induced by the study of Van Dyck, 
whose works he greatly admired, to change both his 
manner and his standard of beauty. His good taste 
being developed he became an elegant, delicate, and 
refined painter, whose success and reputation increased 
each day. Charles I. of England, the Archduke Leo- 
pold, the Prince of Orange, the Elector of Branden- 
burg, and Don Juan, wished to have their portraits 
painted by him. He has also delineated the features 
of several of his brother artists ; for instance, David 
Teniers (Bridgewater Gallery), Robert Van Hoecke 
(National Gallery), Luke Taydherbe (Museum of 
Berlin). He excelled in arranging family groups, and 
his exquisite taste and charming fancy lent to these 
family portraits all the interest of grand compositions. 
We may cite as examples : the " Verhelst Family " 
(Buckingham Palace), the " Prince of Orange and his 
Family" (Leicester Collection), the "Van Eyck 
Family " (Museum of Pesth), (Fig. 8o) ; others still at 
Dresden, Cassel, London, the Hague, in the collection 
of Lord Hertford, &c. His fancy led him to group 
his models either in a drawing-room or garden, on a 
terrace or under a portico, and he often placed grey- 
hounds in his pictures, or surrounded his personao-es 
with flowers or accessories. His full-lengths, though 

312 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Gonzafts Coques. 

of very diminished proportions, were executed with a 
breadth of touch worthy of Teniers, and with a palette 
at once delicate and wonderfully rich in varied tones. 
Biirger said of his works that they were " Van Dyck's 
seen through the wrong side of the glass," and M. 
Paul Mantz styles them Van Dyck's in i8mo. In- 
deed, Coques continued the great portraitist, pre- 
serving, though in a reduced form, his noble utterance 
and sovereign distinction. 

His paintings are very rare. In many of the great 
museums of the continent he is unrepresented : the 
Prado, the Pinacothek, the Ufifizi, Amsterdam, Lille, 
have none of his works. Belgium herself only pos- 
sesses the two pictures we have mentioned ; the one 
in Antwerp, the other in the gallery of the Duke of 
Arenberg. The greater part of his works are in 
England, numbering altogether about twenty panels, 
and include his masterpieces. As a rule, Coques 
painted the figures only, the interiors are the work of 
Steenwyck the Younger, the landscapes by d'Arthois, 
the architectural ornamentations by Gheringh, and 
the accessories by Gysels. 

If in Gonzales Coques we see Van Dyck on a small 
scale, so we must regard CHARLES EMMANUEL BiSET 
(1633 — 1682) as a reduction of Franz Hals. This 
artist, when compared to Coques, is heavy in execu- 
tion and possessed of little spirit, but his taste is as 
refined, his observation as delicate, his palette as rich 
and harmonious, and his precision equally artistic. 

Under the fancy title of " William Tell," his pic- 

FIG. 82. — PORTRAIT.- -Francis Duchastel. 
(Museum of Berlin. 6 ft. 6 in. X 3 ft. 94 'n. 

314 FLEMISH PAINTING. l'^'^^- 

turc in the Museum of Brussels (Fig. 8i), represents 
the members of the guild of St. Sebastian at Ant- 
werp ; this is one of the rare and precious gems of 
the Royal Gallery ; with its black costumes and 
white bands, its long perukes and its typical physiog- 
nomies, so grave and so truly national, and its 
magnificent play of colour ; it appears a reminiscence 
of the doelenstiikken of Haarlem. Yet, who has heard 
of Biset >. Who has striven to follow his career which 
appears, nevertheless, to have been glorious and full of 
incident ? Where are his works ? He was born at 
Mechlin in 1633 and was one of the last among the 
great masters of the century. Biset, at the outset of 
his career, resided in Paris when he executed many 
commissions for Louis XIV., and for the men of 
high rank who thronged the Court of Versailles. On 
his return to his native country the title of painter to 
the Count of Monterey, Governor of the Netherlands 
for Spain, was conferred upon him, and he was en- 
gaged on many works for his patron. He was made 
dean or elder of the guild of St. Luke, and the city of 
Antwerp appointed him president of the Academy. 
Towards the end of his life he was honoured with the 
protection of the Duke of Parma, whose portrait he 
painted in 1682. He died the same year in Antwerp, 
in the prime of his life, being only fifty-two. His 
pictures are scarcer even than those of Gonzales 
Coques, and they are easily enumerated : " William 
Tell," in Brussels ; a " Flemish Interior," at Rotter- 
dam ; two medallions, each representing a " Surgeon 
tending a Wounded Man," Liechtenstein Gallery ; 


a genre subject at Cassel and two small portraits, the 
one of a man, the other of a woman, in the Itzenger 
collection at Berlin. These paintings, by the delicacy 
of their modelling, the warmth of their colouring, and 
the refined character of their composition, witness the 
talent 6f the painter even in a higher degree than the 
picture in Brussels ;* but they are the only remaining 
productions of Biset. What, then, has become of 
the " Interior of the Jesuits' Church at Antwerp," in 
which the artist introduced figures, and which was 
sold at Paris, in 1873, for 2,050 francs .' And of the 
" Jupiter and Danae," sold at the Hague in the Lormier 
sale in 1763 for 720 francs t Where are the valuable 
compositions which he must have executed during 
thirty years of active life ? Will no one undertake for 
Biset that which Biirger successfully accomplished for 
John Vermeer of Delft .' There is a name to be rescued 
from oblivion, an interesting biography to be written, 
and we feel sure that there is also a discovery to 
be made of important works, now hidden under 
fictitious names. 

Biset, as well as Coques, had his collaborators ; 
Spierinckx and Immenraet painted the landscapes in 
his backgrounds ; Van Ehrenberg the architectural 
details in his pictures ; Van Verendael and Gysels his 
flowers and accessories. His son, John-Baptist (1672 
— aft. 1732), also born at Mechlin, adopted his father's 
style and his manner of painting. 

* Ad. Rosenberg : Austellung von Geindlden Meister dltercr in 
Berlin (in the Zeitschrift fur Bildena'e Kuift). By Professor C. 
Lutzow ; p. 326. Vienna : 1883. 

3l6 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Francis Duchastel. 

Before leaving Antwerp for Brussels we must yet 
mention one hitherto obscure name, that of NICHOLAS 
Van Eyck (i 617— 1679). A picture by this artist 
bearing his signature, the " Portrait of a Gentleman 
on Horseback," is in the Museum of Lille, and is 
remarkable both for elegance and refinement. There 
we shall find an artist, a pupil of David Teniers, who 
obtained some renown in his master's style : FRANCIS 
Duchastel (1625 — 1679). He resided in Paris, and 
worked jointly with Van der Meulen who greatly 
influenced his talent. His masterpiece — both curious 
and interesting — (Museum of Ghent) represents the 
"Solemn Inauguration of Charles H; of Spain," and 
comprises about a thousand small figures. In the 
Museum of Brussels, another important picture by 
this master : " A Procession of the Knights of the 
Fleece of Gold," is inscribed under the name of Van 
Tilborgh. Judging from the portrait of a gentleman 
in the Museum of Berlin (Fig. 82), and those of little 
girls in Spanish dress (Museum of Brussels), we should 
say that Duchastel also excelled as a portrait painter. 
Both his portraits and his pictures are executed with 
truth and firmness, with a warm and vigorous touch. 



A COUNTRY which, through all ages, has been the 
battle-field of Europe, could hardly fail to produce 
painters of battle scenes. The Spanish domination 
furnished them, alas ! with too many opportunities of 
painting such scenes from stern reality : encamp- 
ments, troops on the march, ambuscades, the inter- 
cepting of convoys, skirmishes, shocks of cavalry, 
besieged cities, soldiers pillaging farms ; in a word, 
all the picturesque and horrible scenes of war. The 
earliest among such artists are John Vermeyen 
(1500 — 1559), painter to Charles Quint, and John 
Snellinck (1549 — 1638), who filled a similar post 
at the Court of the Archduke Albert.* 

Sebastian VRANCXf (1573—1647), who is next 
in date, studied, like Rubens, under Adam Van Noort, 
and was a skilful craftsman and an able and > 
learned colourist. St. Petersburg, the Hague, g^ 
and Rotterdam, possess some of his warlike 
episodes, remarkable for their fire and animation. 
But he did not confine himself to this style alone ; 

* See the biographies of these artists, pp. 140, 200. 
t Van den Branden : Geschiedenis, &c., p. 469. 

3l8 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Peter Snayers. 

Vienna has an " Interior of the Church of the 
Jesuits at Antwerp," and Naples a " PubHc Garden " 
adorned with statues. In religious subjects he has, 
after the manner of the Elder Breughel, allowed the 
principal episodetobe lost in the midst of rustic scenery. 
However, among the few who depicted the 

? various incidents of the battle-field, the first rank 
belongs undoubtedly to PETER Snayers* (1592 
— 1667), a pupil ofVrancx and painter to the 
Archduke Albert and the Cardinal Infante Ferdinand. 
During the Thirty Years' War in 1635-40 Belgium 
being once again inundated with the soldiers of the 
Empire, Snayers made himself the historian of her 
many vicissitudes. He represented battles and sieges 
in a number of large panels, on which we see the 
topographical views of many cities in Flanders, 
Holland, Artois, and Picardy, at the same time as 
the struggle which was going on under their besieged 
walls. About fifty of these paintings are scattered 
throughout Europe — there are seventeen in the 
Museum of Vienna, fifteen in Madrid, five in Dresden 
and Brussels, &c. In all his works this talented artist 
is remarkable for the originality of the composition, 
freedom of colouring, and the perfect harmony of the 
whole. The painter delighted in depicting squadrons 
and battalions in the midst of the fray, compact rows 
of pil^es and lances, unfurled standards floating in the 
air — which imprint his works with a picturesque and 
original character. Vander Meulen, who had studied 

* Ed. Fetis : Les batailles de Pierre Snayers {Bulletin des coinm. 
roy. d^art et d'archiologie, 1867, vol. vi. p. 185). 

Cornelius de Wael.] RUBENS AND HIS SCtlOOL. 3 IQ 

under Snayers, inspired by his master's traditions, 
sought to perpetuate them, and we shall presently see 
him at work at the Court of Louis XIV. 

Cornelius de Wael (1592 — 1662), was born in 
the same year as Snyders, but was almost forgotten 
until M. Scheibler discovered, in the various 
collections of Europe, traces of this artist.* -^Uf 
According to M. Scheibler, the works of so " illustrious 
an Antwerpian, though for the most part unknown or 
unappreciated, deserve the ' high interest ' of all the 
patrons of art." De Wael and his brother Lucas, the 
landscapist (1591 — 1661), left Antwerp and settled 
in Genoa, where, in 1623, Van Dyck met them and 
painted their portraits in a group, now in the Mu.seum 
of the Capitol. 

We cannot follow M. Scheibler in Vienna, Cassel, 
Brunswick, Naples, Marseilles, Antwerp, and especi- 
ally in Genoa and Venice, where he has discovered 
works which, he believes, may be ascribed to the 
hitherto obscure master. Most of these paintings 
appear in the catalogues under the names of Van de 
Velde, Du Jardin, Van der Meulen, Hans Jordaens 
or Molyn, and represent combats, camps, scenes of 
pillage, bombardments or assaults of citadels. M. 
Scheibler assigns to their painter a higher rank than 
that occupied by Snayers, both for his colouring and 
the dignity of his attitudes and physiognomies. Peter 

* Comilis De Wael (Translation in the fournal des Beaux-Arts, 
1883, p. 84). 

320 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Peter Meulener. 

Snaycrs excelled in the representation of battles and 

sieges, and this success brought him several imitators, 

the most remarkable of whom are: PETER MEULENER 

(1602 — 1654), who is represented in the 

^ I I Museums of Madrid and Brunswick by 

\j7| several combats, and ROBERT VAN 
* - HOECKE (1622 — 1668), whom the Arch- 

duke Albert appointed Inspector of the Fortifications 
of Flanders. The Museum of Vienna possesses more 
than one diminutive canvas by this painter ; amongst 
others a '' Fete on the Ice in the Moat of the Ostend 
Fortifications," which is interesting by reason of the 
vitality and arrangement of its numerous figures. 



The first idea of meadows, woods, rocks, beaches, 
and clouds, serving the purposes of art, arose with 
the great school of the North. To have created 
landscape painting is one of her proudest titles to 
glory. As early as the fifteenth, and even the four- 
teenth century, this style of painting appears to have 
specially occupied the school. We have seen allthe 
inaportance which Van Eyck and his followers gave 
to it in their religious pictures^ and in the next 
century Gassel, Bles, Bril, Savery, Van Valkenborgh 
and Momper, created landscape into a specialty. 
The great seventeenth century was destined to make 
it the theme of many a masterpiece. 

The Landscapists Properly so Called. 

In Antwerp two masters — Rubens and Velvet 
Breughel — in two styles almost contradictory, and 
with a widely divergent process, became the masters 
around whom minor artists, assembled, according to 
their taste or their comprehension : Wildens, Van 
Uden, De Vadder, d'Arthois and the Huysmans, pre- 
ferring the breadth and decorative style of Rubens ; 
Stalbemt, Govaerts, Gysels, Vinckeboons, imitating the 
attentive, minute, and precise manner of Breughel. 

322 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Velvet Breughel. 

But before speaking of these followers we must study 
Breughel himself, or better, the two Breughels, sons 
of Peter the Elder, both born in Brussels. 

Among the many artists, the leading features of 
whose biography we have tried to sketch here, there is 
none of whom the life has been so noble, so rich in well 
doing, as that of Velvet Breughel (1568 — 1625). 
Possessed of all the qualities which constitute a good 
man as well as a talented artist, he never ceased 
to be the favoured child of Fortune, who lavished 
her gifts upon him with constant prodigality. His 
brother artists were also his friends, and in every 
circumstance of his life we find their names associated 
with his own in the registers of the Etat Civil. In 
many cases he worked jointly with Rubens, Van 
Balen, Franck, S. Vrancx, De Clerck, Rottenhammer. 
He had two sons, eight grandsons and four great 
grandsons, who all followed in his steps ; David 
Teniers, Jerome, Van Kessel, and Jean Baptiste Bor- 
rekens were his sons-in-law ; lastly, he was honoured 
with the deep affection of Rubens, who oftentimes re- 
quested him to paint the background in his pictures. 

Breughel was most prolific. Madrid possesses 
fifty-two of his pictures, Munich forty-one, Dresden 

b thirty-three, Milan twenty-nine, &c. He did 
not shrink from any style, though he certainly 
excelled as a landscapist, and most of his pic- 
tures are scenes from nature. Yet he exhibits the 
qualities of an historical painter in his " St. Norbert/' 
in the Museum of Brussels ; of a painter of warlike 

I ^ 

I ° 

S b 

I « 

2 I 

V 2 

324 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Jean Breughel. 

scenes in the " Battle of Arbela " (Louvre) ; oi a. genre 
painter in the " Fish Market " (Pinacothek of Munich) ; 
of an animal painter in the " Garden of Eden " (Doria 
Gallery at Rome), and in " Daniel in the Lions' Den," 
which is to be seen in the Ambrosian Library, at Milan ; 
he shows himself a marine painter in " Jesus Rebuking 
the Waves " (ditto), a flower painter in the " Garland " 
(Pinacothek of Munich), and " Flora" (Durazzo-Palla- 
vicini Gallery at Genoa), (Fig. 83) ; finally, a painter of 
accessories in the " Five Senses " (Museum of Madrid). 

Generally his panels are of small dimensions. 
Nevertheless, he has sometimes attempted a largersize; 
for instance in the " Five Senses," " Flora," and the 
" Garland of Flowers," of which we have just spoken, 
and which measure about six feet nine inches, and 
seven feet seven inches in breadth. All his composi- 
tions betray superior skill, a rich imagination, a touch 
delicate and elegant, though at times somewhat dry. 
Unfortunately, this very minuteness of detail often 
destroys the general effect, and the colouring is un- 
natural and conventional. Nature has not those 
enamelled tones which he is pleased to give her, and 
which fatigue the eye by their lack of harmony, sim- 
plicity and truth. 

His son, Jean II. (1601 — 1678), continued his 
manner and his style. His pictures, which are very 
scarce, are often mistaken for his father's, and in most 
cases they are but pleasing repetitions of the latter's 
paintings. This artist has long been neglected by 
biographers, and in truth it was not till the last fifteen 
years that he has been brought to light, thanks to 


> '^ 
Pi " 





326 FLEMISH PAINTING. [HeUish Breug>.el. 

four pictures in the Museums of Dresden and Munich* 
which bear a signature, and are dated 1641, 1642 and 
1660. We will not mention his three sons, but we must 
speak of his uncle, Peter II., surnamed HELLISH or 
Hell Breughel (1564—1638), who was the second 
son of Breughel the Elder. 

This surname has been given to him on account of 
his liking for infernal and diabolical representations, 
or nocturnal scenes, lighted up with the blaze of some 
terrible fire. The names of various of his small paint- 
ings betray the leaning of his mind, such as the 
" Burning of Sodom," or of " Troy," " Orpheus," or 
" ^neas Descending into the Infernal Regions," the 
" Rape of Proserpine," the " Temptation of St. 
Anthony," the " Sack of a City," &c. But there is 
another part of Breughel's works of which no one, 
with the exception of Van Mander has hitherto 
spoken : the splendid and faithful copies which he 
has executed after the masterpieces of his father. 
They are to be found in Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent, 
Berlin, Lille, and especially at Lucca, in the Mansi 
Gallery. He also had a copyist, or at the very least 
the most deceiving of continuators — PETER SCHAU- 
broek, who painted until 1606, and is known by a 
few pictures in the Museums of Vienna, Brunswick, 
Cassel, and Schleissheim. 

The following genealogical table, which comprises 
as many as twenty-five names of painters, gives the 
artistic descent of Breughel the Elder until 1771. 

* Ste iht Journal lies Bimix-Arts. 1866. 



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328 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Abraham Govaerts. 

David Vinckeboons, of Mechlin (1578—1629), 
must not be forgotten among the artists who adopted 
the highly-finished, over bright and enamelled style 
introduced by the Breughels. This artist is repre- 
sented in the Pinacothek of Munich by a " Calvary," 
treated in a familiar style. Two other important 
paintingsof " Village Fairs," in the Pinacothek 
£) R of the Capitol, and in the Museum of Ant- 
^^^ werp show the talent of the artist in a better 
and more vigorous light. They are picturesque land- 
scapes, painted in sombre green and bituminous yellow 
tones, and enlivened with bands of village rustics clad 
in bright red, brown and blue. 

Still nearer to Breughel we must place Abraham 
GOVAERTS of Antwerp (1589 — 1626), who was long 
lost among the obscure imitators of the master. 
Four only of his pictures have as yet been authenti- 
cated ; these are in the Museums of the Hague, 
Bordeaux, Milan, and Brunswick, and bear the re- 
spective dates of 1612, 1614, 1615, and 1624. Others 
are attributed to him in Douai, Augsburg, and 
Schwerin.* These, however few, are sufficient to 
prove the talent of the painter who so admirably 
represented the " Great Forests of Oaks," inspired as 
he was by the majesty of the vast heroic woods. 
His touch is at once broader and more simple than 
that of Breughel, his foliage thicker and more 
vigorous, and the slight mist which appears in the 
distance tempers the blue of the sky. We possess 

* See H. Riegel: Beilrnge zur niejerl. Kuiutgeschichte, II., 
P- 95- 


few biographical details on Govaerts, but fewer still on 
Adrian Van Stalbemt (1580 — 1662) his fellow- 
citizen. C. De Bie tells us that " Charles I. called Van 
Stalbemt to London, where he executed a 
great many works." It is, therefore, in ^^^j. 
England that, we ought to look for the 
works of this painter. A few of his landscapes, 
however, in the Museums of Berlin, Dresden, Ant- 
werp, Florence, Frankfort, Vienna, Copenhagen, and 
Madrid enable us to appreciate his style and the 
choice of his sites, of his sylvan aspects, and his 
rich,, dark, and supple foliage. There are other 
painters of rustic scenes whose pictures are no doubt 
confounded with those of Velvet Breughel. Thus 
it is very possible that a greater number of pic- 
tures will some day be ascribed to Alex. Keir- 

RiNCKx (1600— 1646.?), to Anthony 
,^/l TJt* MiROU (who painted from 1625 to 1653), 

and to Peter Gysels (162 i — 1690). 
The latter also painted flowers and still life, but 
at present we cannot say much regarding these 
three artists. Arian - FRANCIS BOUDEWYNS of 
Brussels (1644 — 1711),* deserves more than a simple 
mention. In conjunction with his fellow - citizen, 
Peter Bout (1658 — aft. 1702), who was a painter 
of small figures, he produced a great number of 
landscapes, city scenes, and monuments, enlivened 
with groups of peasants, fishermen, and shepherds 

* Catalogue du mush iTAnvers, 1874, p. 63. Siret : Biographie 
nationnle, j868, vol. ii., col. 788. 

330 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Lucas Van Uden. 

(Museums of Dresden, Madrid, and Schleissheim). 
Martin Schoevaerdts (towards 1665 — ?)*was 
his pupil and imitated his style. If we pass from 
the landscapists, followers of Velvet Breughel, to the 
disciples of Rubens, we immediately see broad and 
decorative art superseding the minute and patient 
method of the former master. 

Jean Wildens (1586 — 1653) was not the pupil 
of Rubens, but he often assisted the master in his 
works ; he was his friend, and, moreover, they were 
distantly related to each other — the wife of Wildens 
being the cousin of the beautiful H^l^ne Fourment. 
This painter often abandoned his own works to assist 
in those of others ; the consequence is that his pro- 
ductions — those entirely painted by him — are ex- 
tremely rare. His manner, however, is easily recog- 
nisable in the backgrounds which he painted in the 
canvases of Jordaens, Rombouts, Boeckhorst, Schut, 
Snyders, and especially of Rubens. We incline to the 
belief that, to the association of these great names 
with his own, Wildens owes the degree of honour 
with which he passes to posterity. 

The same remark applies to LuCAS Van Uden 
(1595 — 1672). To Rubens, who was his friend, and 

who sometimes employed him in his 
J "SfS/^ large decorative scenes, he is indebted 

for the measure of celebrity which 
belongs to his name. His colouring is faded and 
poor, and his small landscapes, as well as his pano- 

* Ed. F($us : Catalogue du mnsie di Briixdles, 18S2, p. 447. 



ramie scenes with vast horizons, are generally want- 
ing in a true appreciation of nature. In Dresden, 

332 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Lucas de Vadder. 

where this artist has nine small pictures, he appears 
in his least unfavourable aspect; the Museum of 
Antwerp and the Schleissheim Gallery preserve some 
of his larger productions. 

It is passing strange that history should be at times 
so capricious ! She overwhelms with commendation the 
names of Van Uden and Wildens ; and De Vadder 
she scarcely mentions. And yet LuCAS DE VADDER 
( .''-1655) was a landscapist of great talent. No artist 
in the school of Rubens has followed the steps of the 
master with more eagerness and effect, greater power 
of colouring, superior skill in the distribution of his 
abundant light and greater majesty in the composition. 
De Vadder is almost forgotten now, and his works 
are unknown, with the exception of four pictures in 
Munich, Lille, Darmstadt, and Stockholm. He was 
born in Brussels in the early part of the seventeenth 
century, and was admitted master in 1628.* In 1644 
the communal council appointed him privileged 
painter for the cartoons of tapestry makers, and, in 
the following year, in a petition to the magistracy, he 
is termed "the best artist in the country."t Our 
engraving is a reproduction of his landscape, called 
the " Three Horsemen," which is in the Pinacothek of 
Munich (Fig. 85). The whole scene — land, foliage, 
heaven, and horizon — is handled with great breadth, 
animated with a just sentiment of nature, and de- 

* Alph. Pinchart : La corporation ties feintres de Brtixelks. 
Messager des Sciences, p. 320. 1877. 

t Alph. Wauters : Les Tapisseries bruxelloises, p. 244. 



FIG. 86. — THE HERDER. — Jean Sieberechts. 
(Pinacothek of Munich. 3 ft. 6 in. X 2 ft. gj in.) 

picted with a colouring imitative of Rubens. LUKE 
ACHTSCHELLINCK (1616 — 1704) and JaMES D'AR- 
THOIS (161 3 — 1665 T), both of Brussels, may have 

334 FLEMISH PAINTING. [James d'Anhois. 

Studied under him, but at all events they have been 
deeply impressed by his manner and effectiveness. 
Of the former artist we only know some woody land- 
scapes, which he made the scene of small Biblical 

subjects and which were 
executed for the churches 
of his native city. The 
picturesque landscape in 
the Museum of Vienna is 
the joint work of this artist and of Gonzales Coques. 
James d'Arthois is distinguished in various museums 
by a great number of vast compositions. The 
Museum of Madrid notably, possesses fourteen of 
his works ; there are others in Vienna, Dresden 
and Brussels. D'Arthois, who generally inhabited 
his small estate in Boistfort, mostly represented the 
tall and verdant trees, the hollow paths and pools 
of the Forest of Soignes, the wild magnificence of 
which he has depicted with a fidelity not devoid of 
grandeur and the flowing brush of a true colourist. 
The bold ochreous tone of his lands appears in 
vigorous relief in the midst of his dark green under- 
wood. He generally had recourse to Teniers the 
Elder, Gerard Zeghers or Bout, when he wished his 
landscapes enlivened with groups of hunters or men- 
dicants, with rustics driving their cattle to market, or 
returning from the village fair playing the bagpipe. 
Towards the same period we notice, in Brussels, the 
painter Daniel Van Heil (1604— 1662), who habi- 
tually depicted " Winters" and " Fires." 

Jean Siberechts (1627—1703.?) kept apart from 


Jean Siberechts.] RUBENS AND HIS SCHOOL. 33$ 

the Other landscape painters of the seventeenth 
century, and, we hope we do not give way here 
to an entirely personal appreciation, but, among 
the landscapists of the Flemish school, there is 
not one of whom we think more highly. 
If his colouring lacks the brilliancy and 
the soft transparency of the tones of Ru- 
bens, it offers other qualities which were 
both rare and unexpected at a time when the Flemish 
landscape was yet enslaved by conventional laws. 
Sieberechts boldly met the difficulties offered by 
open-air scenes, and foreshadowed, with complete 
success, the daring colouring attempted by modern 

He was a native of Antwerp, where he appears to 
have lived and worked, ignored by his contemporaries. 
Were not Wildens and Van Uden the favourites of the 
moment ? But one day the Duke of Buckingham, on 
his way from France, passed through Antwerp, be- 
came acquainted with the landscape painter and took 
him in his train to England. Walpole states that 
he was actively employed in the ornamentation of 
aristocratic mansions.* An attentive and intelligent 
visit to the galleries of Great Britain would no doubt 
bring to light many forgotten works by this painter ; 
but in the museums of the Continent they are ex- 
tremely rare. The pictures of Brussels, Antwerp, 
Munich (Fig. 86), of Copenhagen, Hanover, and 
Bordeaux, are well-known, especially the two replicas 

* Anecdotes of Painting in England^ vol. iii., p. 109. 1782. 

336 FLEMISH PAINTING. [J^n Siberechts. 

of the " Ford^' in Lille, and in Brussels (Communal 

His landscapes are true pastorals, very simple in 
subject, such as we understand landscape in the 
nineteenth century. He had no need of help for the 
figures in his pictures, for he understood better 
than anyone the art of giving his farm-girls and 
herds real attitudes, taken from the life; and how 
to make the various hues of vermillion and silver, 
blue and yellow of their costumes harmonize boldly 
together, which makes his works so charming, 
and gives them such a free and entirely personal 

He never had any pupils ; he had come too 
late or too soon. His contemporaries, Matthew 
Van Plattenberg, or de la Montagne (1600 — .'), 
Gaspard De Witte (1624 — 1681),* skilled in de- 
sign and picturesque composition ; PHILIP IMMEN- 
RAET (1627— 1683), J.-Bapt. Wans (1628— aft. 1687), 
Abraham Genoels (1640 — 1723), who was one of 
the collaborators of Lebrun in Paris ; Giles 
(2k Nyts (towards 161 7 — 1687?), PETER Spie- 
rinckx (1635 — 1711), &c. ; all these returned 
to Italy, and, lost in their admiration for Poussin, 
they allowed the realistic Flemish landscape to dis- 
appear under the academical precision of Roman 

After Siberechts, the last landscapists who still 
recalled the great school, were two brothers : Cor- 

* See the genealogy of the De Witte, grafted on that of the De 
Vos, p. 164. 

Cqrnelius Huysmans.] RUBENS AND HIS SCHOOL. 


nelius and Jean-Baptiste Huysmans* CoRNELlusf 
was born at Antwerp (1648 — 1727), where he studied 
under Gaspard De Witte ; he afterwards frequented 
for some time the studio of d'Arthois, in Brussels, 
and finally settled in Mechlin, in which city he spent 
the greater part of his life. This fact probably ac- 

I IG. 87. — LANDSCAPE WITH ANIMALS. — Jean-Baftiste Huysmans. 
(Museum of Brussels, s ft. 4I in. X 7 ft- ) 

counts for his being sometimes called Huysmans of 
Mechlin. His productions were of unequal merit, 
and not unfrequently spoiled by the red preparation 
which he gave to his canvas. But, in his best works, 

* Ad. Siret : Les Huysmans, {Bulhtin des Commissions royaUs 
iTarf, vol. xiii., p. 174. 1874). 

+ E. Neeffs : Corneilk Huysmans, {Bulletin des Commissions 
royaks d'ari, vol. xiv., p. 26. 1875). 



which we have an opportunity of studying in Brussels, 
Mechlin, Valenciennes, &c., we recognise a painter of 
great power, who, inspired by a deep and sometimes 
grand understanding of nature, could depict wild 
spots and scenes, deep ravines, masses of great oaks 
with their vigorous foliations, the vista of sky through 
the summit of his old beeches, and who, either by the 
composition or the colouring, generally succeeded in 
obtaining grand poetical effectiveness. 

The documents for the biography of his brother 
Jean-Baptiste (1654 — 1716) are incomplete. He 
was the pupil and imitator of Cornelius, and, judging 
from the " Landscape with Animals " in the Museum 
of Brussels (Fig. 87), the only one of his works which 
is known, he deserves a place among the best masters 
of that school of landscape of Brabant, of which De 
Vadder and d'Arthois were the leaders. 

It may be said also of Jean-Baptiste Huysmans, 
that he is the last of those who really deserve the 
title of artists of the time of Rubens. Those who 
follow him in order of time all belong to the age 
of decay. 

Marine Painters. 

In opposition to what can be observed in the 
Dutch school, the painters of sea-pieces form but a 
small group in Flemish Art, and the one, perhaps, 
which offers the least interest. Four names only 
deserve our notice : those of Willaerts, Van Ertveldt, 
Van Eyck, and Peeters ; and the first of these may 
be claimed by both schools. 

■^ErtveldT*"] RUBENS AND HIS SCHOOL. 339 


Adam Willaerts (iS77 — aft. 1665), was born 
in Antwerp, in the same year that witnessed the 
birth of Rubens ; he left his native city for Utrecht ; 
there he passed the greater part of his 
Hfe, and there died. His pictures gene- 
rally represent coasts and harbours 
enlivened by numerous figures. He 
combines powerful colouring and breadth of touch 
with picturesque arrangement in the composition, and 
always gives proof of a very keen observation, as in 
the " Fdte given on the Lake of Tervueren by the 
Archduke Albert and his consort Isabel" (Museum 
of Antwerp). 

The name of Andrea Van Ertveldt (1590 — 

1652), has been handed down to us by Van Dyck, 

who painted the full length of the artist 

&^^ (Museum of Augsburg). He was a good' 

colourist as well as a skilful practitioner. 

His works are slowly emerging from oblivion,* a 

"Naval Combat" at Schwerin ; "War Ships" at 

Bamberg (this bears a monogram), and the same 

subject at Vienna and at Valenciennes have been 

ascribed to him with certainty. M. Siret believes 

that many of his paintings have been erroneously 

attributed to William Van de Velde.f 

Gaspard Van Eyck (1613— 1673) is hardly 

* Dr. F. Schlie : Catalogue du mtisk Schwerin, p. 151. 

t Dictionnaire des feintres, vol. i., p. 38. 1881.— See also 
van L^rius : Biogi-aphies d'ai-lis/es Anversois, vol. ii., p. 174. 

W 2 



better known, though the Prado possesses three " Naval 
Battles" from his hand. The name of PeeTERS 
belongs to a family composed of two brothers and 

one sister. The only one who became 
"p^ YD celebrated is BONAVENTURE, a painter 

of sea-pieces (1614 — 1652). He de- 
lighted in pictures of a stormy sea, with its roaring 
waves dashed by the tempest and illumined by 
the flash of lightning which rents the sky. His 
works are very unequal in merit, but his smaller 
scenes are generally well planned, and the lights dis- 
tributed with great art. There are capital paintings 
by him in the Museums of Lille, Darmstadt, Bordeaux, 
and Belle. Vienna, in her three principal galleries 
contains about fifteen of his productions, which ^ 
enable the critic to judge of his talent under Jz 
its various aspects. His brother jEAN (1624 
— 1677) copied his manner without achieving like 
results, either in power of effect or in the rich trans- 
parency of the colouring. 


.1 I I I 

Giles (I.) Bona venture Catherine Jean (I.) 

1612— 1653 1614— 1652 1615— 1676 1624— 1677 

_J I 

I I I I I 

William Giles (II.) Bonaventure (II.) Jean (II.) Isabel 

1642— ? 1645— ? 1648— ? master in 1662— ? 


The Painters of Architectural Scenes. 
Biirger, who invented the word " architecturist," 
applies the term to those artists of the second degree 



who adopted for their special branch of art the 
paintings of city scenery, entrances to harbours, 



market places and fountains, monuments of all ages, 
interiors of churches and palaces, vestibules, porticoes, 
and terraces. 

Chronologically speaking, the first name which 
presents itself is that of LlEViN DE WiTTE (about 
15 1 3 — aft. 1578) of Ghent, a painter of religious sub- 
jects and architectural perspectives, and who, accord- 
ing to Sanderus, was also a mathematician and a 
distinguished architect. Next, must be mentioned 
two painters of Dutch extraction, both named 

, , Henry Van Steenwyck, the father and 

ri ^■^S 

' the son. During their long residence in 

Antwerp they painted the churches of that city, and 
they instructed many pupils. But the most important 
is Peter Neep'S the Elder (1578 — towards 1656), who 
did for the Roman Catholic Churches of Antwerp that 
which, thirty years later, and with greater talent, a 
more flowing brush, and a better understanding of 
chiaro-oscuro, Emmanuel De Witte was destined to 
do for the Protestant Temples of Delft. Both suc- 
ceeded in evoking poetry from architectural lines. 

Neefs took special delight in the representation of 
night scenes, torchlight funeral services, chapels lighted 
up with wax candles and the like, which he depicted 
with perfect truth. F. Francken, Van Thulden, 
Teniers, and Velvet Breughel themselves often assisted 
him in these small canvases, thus bearing testimony 
to the high esteem in which Neefs was held by his 
colleagues of St. Luke. 

Two other painters of church interiors — ANTHONY 
Gheringh ( ? —1668) and William Van Ehren- 

DenysVan Alsloot.l RUBENS AND HIS SCHOOL. 343 

BERG (1637 — 1675-7)— have in the Museum of the 
Academy of Fine Arts of Vienna, skilful perspectives 
in a grand style, painted in very delicate and silvery 
tones. The superior skill of the latter artist in de- 
picting the fine architecture of vestibules and monu- 
mental terraces caused his aid to be in great request 
among the painters of scenes from high life, particu- 
larly Gonzales Coques, Biset, and Jerome Janssens. 

Denys Van Alsloot (1550-1625 i')*wasacolourist 
who appears to have occupied a somewhat prominent 
place in Brussels in the early part of the century. 
We see in that part of his work which has been 
handed down to us a truly national painter, free from 
all Italian influence, who delighted in the repre- 
sentation of the public squares traversed by religious 
processions or the cortege of guilds and corporations. 
Van Alsloot has four paintings of this description in 
Brussels and Madrid. The same Museums, as well as 
that of Munich, also possess a " Mascarade on the 
Ice," an interesting picture of public manners skilfully 
painted, though wanting in softness. 

The two Antwerpians, William Van Nieulandt 
(1584 — 1635) and Anthony Goubau (i6i6 — 1698), 
according to the fashion of the day, journeyed to 

^ p Italy ; however, they never painted but 

LM f the ruined arches and aqueducts of the 

-/ ■ ' ^-^ ' Eternal City, the several beauties of 

which had exercised a strange fascination over their 

whole being. 

* See the Pinchait's article in the Nagler-Meyer : 
Keunstler-Lexikon. Leipzig, 1872 ; vol. i., p. 527. 



IF we wish to understand that diversified style which, 
during the first half of the seventeenth century, was 
adopted by so many able artists, it is in the galleries 
of Vienna and St. Petersburg that we should study 
it. The painters of still life are largely represented 
both in the gallery of the Prince of Liechtenstein and 
in the Palace of the Hermitage, where special rooms 
are devoted to their works. Lifeless subjects they 
are indeed, and yet portrayed with so much talent 
that they are of striking reality. It is here, in these 
two splendid collections, which offer so much interest 
to the student of Dutch Art, that we can best admire 
the vivacity, the robust and learned elegance, with 
which the northern painters have assembled game, 
fish, flowers, fruit, vegetables, china, glass — in fact, all 
kinds of various objects ; and how powerfully they 
have gathered the lights on these picturesque trophies. 
The brilliant rays of the sun half open the petals of 
roses and tulips, gently caress the plumage of swans 
and pheasants, or the soft fur of hares and stags ; 
lemons and lobsters appear in brighter hues, and 
Rhine wine sparkles in the crystal goblet. 

Adrian Van Utrecht.] RUBENS AND HIS SCHOOL. 345 

This numerous class of artists may be divided in 
two categories — the painters of game, fish, and acces- 
sories, and the artists who depicted flowers and fruit. 

Game, Fish, and Accessories. 

In the chapter devoted to animal painters (page 
280) we have spoken at some length of Snyders and 
Fyt ; we must therefore content ourselves here with 
again bearing testimony to the talent they brought to 
bear on the representation of their hunting trophies 
and grand culinary scenes, and to the success which 
everywhere crowned their efforts. 

In Adrian Van Utrecht, who was born in 
Antwerp two months before Van Dyck (1599 — 1652), 
we recognise a painter equally Flemish in style, 
though less powerful and refined than either Fyt or 
Snyders. His productions are now scarce, though 
many were to be found in the collections of the 
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It is probable 
that the greater number have been ascribed to 
Snyders, Fyt, or Hondecoeter. We have, nevertheless, 
sufficient opportunity of appreciating his great talent 
in those of his pictures which have been handed down 
to us : " Kitchen Interiors," in the Museums of Cassel 
and Brussels (Fig. 89) ; a " Fishmonger's 
Shop," in Ghent; a "Poultry Yard," in AV/ 
Rotterdam ; a " Cock Fight," in Lille ; and 'l^^ 
paintings from still life in the Prado, in Antwerp, 
and in the Vander Hoop Museum — all tell of his 
merit. But if, in presence of such works, we could 
entertain any doubts with regard to the artist, 

346 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Jean Van Es. 

we should remember that Rubens assisted him in his 
magnificent representation of fruit in "Pythagoras 
and his Disciples," in Buckingham Palace ; that 
Teniers worked jointly with him in his " Larder," in 
the d'Arenberg collection ; and that Jordaens painted 
the figures in his large picture of " Dead Birds," in 
the Royal Museum of Madrid. No ordinary artist 
would have been honoured with the collaboration of 
such masters. Van Utrecht excelled particularly in 
portraying the rough skin of crabs and lobsters, the 
silver scales of the mackerel and the chad, and the 
pink flesh of the salmon. His rival in this speciality 
was a fellow-citizen, ALEXANDER AdriAENSEN (1587 
— 1661), whose works in the Museums of Madrid and 
Valenciennes are worthy of every commendation. 
Another of his imitators, FRANCIS Ykens (1601— 
1693), has a large and splendid panel in the Museum 
of the Hermitage — the " Purchase of Provisions." The 
same artist has also left some garlands of flowers after 
the manner of Seghers. 

Jean Van Es (towards 1596 — 1666) is the 
painter of transition who represented at once oysters 
and lobsters like Van Utrecht, plums and grapes 
like Abraham Breughel, and who forms the link 
between the painters of fish and the painters of fruit. 
Van Es is the Flemish Heda, Like the latter, he 
painted " Desserts " — that is to say, tables furnished 
with oysters, cheese, fruit, and accessories. His four 
panels in the Liechtenstein collection are remarkable 
for picturesque arrangement and incomparable deli- 
cacy of form. He has a few more in Lille, F'rankfort, 



Ghent,- Madrid, Antwerp, &c. It is probable that he 
instructed several pupils. Cornelius Mahu (1613 
— 1689), who has some " Desserts " in Ghent and 
Berlin ; ISAAC WiGAN (161 5 — 1662-3), WILLIAM 
Gabron (1619 — 1678), OsiAS Beert (1622 — aft. 

FIG. 89. — KITCHEN INTERIOR. — Adrian Van Utrecht. 
(Museum of Brassels. 5 ft. 4! in. X 7 ft-) 

1678), and Alexander Coosemans (1627 — 1( 
who are represented with the same subject, in Bruns- 
wick or in Madrid. 

Flowers and Fruit. 

From the first, Flemish painters gave their minute 
attention to the study of flowers, as we can see by the 
violets, daisies, and anemones scattered around the 
throne of Mary and the Infant Jesus in the pictures 

348 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Daniel Seghers. 

by Van Eyck, Vander Weyden, and Memling. It is 
but just to add that later artists have not improved 
upon the marvellous perfection of these early masters. 
Van Mander also mentions LOUIS Van Den Bosch 

(1507) and James de Gheyn (1565—1625), 
tS/ who portrayed flowers as a speciality, but are 

forgotten in our day. Later, GEORGE HOEF- 
nagels (1545— 1 601) painted slightly heavy garlands 
of flowers around his delicate landscapes in miniature ; 
and thus gradually it became the custom to surround 
with fresh wreaths of ilowers and fruits the images of 
the saints. Velvet Breughel was the first who handled 
this style successfully in the Netherlands ; Seghers, 
his pupil, following in his steps, acquired greater fame 
than his master. 

Daniel Seghers (1590 — 1661) was born in Ant- 
werp. Theology had charms for his ardent mind as 
well as painting, and even while a student, in 
1614, he was induced to become a novice in 
the Society of Jesus at Mechlin. Happily, 
under the black gown of the Jesuit the 
young artist did not forget his love for flowers, and 
the powerful company put no obstacle in the way 
of the artistic vocation of the new associate. Father 
Daniel continued, therefore, to apply his excellent 
taste and skill in forming lovely bouquets of roses, 
marguerites, lilies, and jasmine, and in weaving his 
delicate wreaths of poppies, guelder-roses, pionies, 
and honeysuckle. Rubens, Van Dyck, Erasmus 
Quellinus, Van Thulden, Van Diepenbeeck, and 
especially Cornelius Schut, delighted in adorning his 


OF FLOWERS AND FRUIT. — Daniel Seghers and Cornelius Schut. 


graceful productions with cameos, often painted on a 
grey ground, and representing madonnas or saints, 
bas-reliefs, busts, or portraits. Before long the talent 
of the painter was famed abroad, and every amateur 
in Europe sought to enrich his collection with the 
young Jesuit's delightful creations (Fig. 90). They 
are to be admired in almost every one of the private 
or public galleries. The brilliant tints of his flowers 
have lost nothing of their pristine freshness, and the 
bees, butterflies, and beetles which the delicate brush 
of the artist has scattered among them are still 
enamoured with their beauty and their perfume. 

The renown of Seghers and Velvet Breughel 
suddenly gave great expansion to the painting of 
flowers and fruit, and the celebrated Dutchman, Jean 
David de Heem, who had settled in Antwerp about 
the same period, further aided 
in its development. Several 
other artists copied their man- 
ner or came to them for advice ; 
we will mention them by order 
of date. James Van Hulsdonck (1582 .? — 1647) 
has fruits in the Pinacothek of Munich ; CLARA 
Peeters painted in 1611, AMBROSE BREUGHEL 

(1617 — 167s), John Paul Gillemans (1618 — aft. 
1675), John Philip Van Thielen (161 8 — 1667), 
who was the direct pupil of Daniel Seghers, and who 
himself instructed his three daughters, Mary, Ann, 
and Frances ; ANDREA Bosmans (1621 — towards 
1681), who has a picture in the Prado ; CHRISTIAN 
LUCKX (1623 — ? ), who was painter to the King of 



Spain ; George Van Son (1623 — 1667), and his son 
Jean (1658 — towards 1785) ; JEROME Galle I. (1625 
— aft. 1679), one of the masters in this special style ; 
Jean Van Kessel (1626 — 1679) * who acquired the 
taste for flowers and animals in the work- 
shop of John Breughel II. (his " Four Farts 
of the World," mentioned by C. De Bie, 
are in the Schleissheim Gallery) ; GaS- \^\/ / 
pard-Peter Verbrugghen I. (1635 — 
1681), Nicholas Van Verendael (1640 — 1691), an 
excellent follower of Seghers ; Elias 
Van Den Broeck (towards 1653 — 
171 1), a painter of flowers and of "des- 
serts ;" finally, the two brothers Breughel, 
JEAN-BAPTISTE (1670 — 1710) and ABRAHAM (1672 — 
1720), who, judging by the tempting pictures of downy 
fruit which enrich the Pinacothek of Munich, deserve 
to be classed among the most brilliant worshippers 
of Pomona. 

* See the genealogy of Van Kessel, grafted on that of Breughel 
(P- 327)- 



At a time when the fame of Rubens was paramount 
in Antwerp, when all those artists (his pupils or fellow- 
workers) whose names were more or less connected 
with his own, shared in some degree the glorious 
prestige of his genius — at this very time, a new gene- 
ration of painters was rising in Belgium, whose brush 
had preserved something of the daring of the master, 
and who were to ornament town-halls, churches, 
hospitals, and guild-halls with imposing portraits or 
religious representations bold in colouring and full of 

Among these new-comers many were endowed 
with natural ability and the gift of colour and compo- 
sition, and they have left highly commendable works. 
How is it, then, that fame has not proclaimed one of 
their names ? Had they striven for originality, tried 
to represent nature in a new manner, or sought a 
new ideal, it might have been otherwise ; but these 
descendants of Rubens were content with repeating 
the work which had been carried on before them, and 
in a far superior style, by the master's great disciples. 


Van Dyck, Jordaens, De Vos, and De Crayer ; and 
because of this they are unknown, except to a few 
amateurs, even in Belgium, which possesses the greater 
part of their works. On their paintings, which dazzle 
by their striking lines and boisterous attitudes, the 
passer-by does not even read their names ; as he 
gazes, he recognises the school of Rubens, and passes 
■ on content. 

Antwerp* — In 161 5 two pupils entered the work- 
shop of Cornelius De Vos — Jean CossiERS (1600 — 
i67i)t and Simon De Vos (1603 — 1676). Both 
imitated their master's elegant and refined tones, 
while remaining far below his great and sympathetic 
talent. Both these artists have left us religious sub- 
jects, portraits, and a few genre pictures. The best 
and most numerous specimens of their easy and 
graceful talent will be found in the museums of Ant- 
werp and in the churches and the Beguinage of 
Mechlin. Cossiers journeyed through Italy and 
France, and Rubens chose him as his travelling com- 
panion when, in 1628, he set out for Spain. His 
" Saint Nicholas " in the Museum of Lille, and his 
" Saint Anthony " in the Church of the Beguinage 
of Mechlin, are valuable productions. 

Jean Cossiers was in great favour at the Court of 

* See the works of Messrs. Rooses and Van den Branden on the 
Histoire de Vicole de peinture d^Anvers, and the Catalogue du 
musee d^Anvers. 

t Ch. Ruelens : Jean Cossiers (Bulletin - Rubens, vol. i., 
p. 261). 


354 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Jean BoeAhorst. 

the Governor; in like manner, PETER VAN LiNT 
(1609— 1690) succeeded in gaining high patronage. 
He spent several years in Rome, where he was ap- 

-p. pointed painter to Cardinal Guinacio, Dean 
\B of the Sacred College ; and when he returned 

'^ to his native land he was engaged on many 
a commission for Frederic III., King of Denmark. 
The Cardinal's portrait is in the Museum of Antwerp, 
and a likeness of the artist painted by himself in 
Brussels ; while that of his wife is preserved as a 
family heirloom by one of his great-grandsons, a 
sculptor in Pisa. 

Jean Boeckhorst (1605 — "1668), a painter of 
very different stamp, whose style was at once more 
manly and noble, was surnamed by his brothers-in-art 
" Lange Jan," on account of his height. He 
was the pupil of Jordaens ; and though he T J ) "[ 
never exhibited the triumphant fire of his I Jj} J 
master, yet he produced works which denote 
a more than ordinary talent. "David Penitent," for 
instance, in the Church of St. Michael in Ghent, is 
a truly Flemish production, painted in a grand 
style, and powerful both in the colouring and the 
composition. Boeckhorst also painted the figures 
in the four large scenes from still life now in the 
Hermitage, and which Snyders executed for the 
Bishop of Ghent. Be it said to the honour of" Lange 
Jan," these figures were for many years ascribed to 

An equally flattering error attributed to Van 
Dyck the portrait of Balthazar Moretus I. (Plantin 

X 2 


Museum), painted in 164 1 by Thomas WiLLEBOIRTS 
(1614— i6S4).This artist, a pupil of Gerard Zeghers, 
was entrusted by the Stadliolder Frederick Henry with 
the commission for seventeen mythological paintings. 
These are stamped with a character of marked grace, 
which to a certain extent replaces many absent qualities. 
In the Church of St. James, Antwerp, we find the 
chief work of PETER Thys (1624 — 1679), the " Chap- 
lain and Directors of the Brotherhood of the Holy 
Sacrament in Adoration before the Host." This is 
in truth a great picture of portraits, the warm and 
delicate tones of which prove with how much talent 
this artist, who is not sufficiently known in our day, 
could portray the human countenance. The Emperor 
Leopold I. appreciated him, and appointed him 
painter to his court. The portraits of many persons 
of high rank, due to his brush, have since been con- 
founded with the second-rate works of Van Dyck, his 

Theodore Boeyermans (1620 — 1678), another 

disciple of Van Dyck, is still less known ; and yet, 

in his best works, this artist runs the master rather 

close, while preserving his personal character 

f-^ in a more accentuated manner than the 

^Jr^ painters of whom we have but lately spoken. 

He specially delighted in the representation 

of large religious or allegorical scenes — such, for 

example, as the "St. Francis-Xavier," in Ypres ; the 

" Assumption of the Virgin," in St. James', Antwerp ; 

" St. Louis of Gonzaga," in the Museum of Nantes ; 

or the " Pool of Bethesda," in the Museum of Ant- 


werp. He exhibits great imaginative powers, a 
colouring rich in delicate harmonies, and a thorough 
understanding of chiaro-oscuro. 

Other contemporaries — Balthazar Van Cort- 
DEMDE (1612 — 1663), Marcus Garibaldo (1620 — 
1678), Michael Angelo Immenraet (1621 — 1683),* 
Peter Ykens (1648 — 1695), James Peter Gouwi 
(master in 1637), Francis Muntsaert (1623 — 1650), 
do not claim our special attention. We must, 
however, mention JOSSE VAN Hamme ( ? — < jX 
1660), who composed the large "Adoration yTh 
of the Shepherds" (1655), in the Museum of 
Vicenza ; and GODEFROID Maes, who painted the 
" Martyrdom of St. George " (Museum of Antwerp), 
which lacks neither enthusiasm nor inspiration, and 
whose great picture, " A Sale of Fish by Auction," 
which we discovered very unexpectedly in the Manfrin 
Gallery at Venice, is as a last echo of the school of 
Snyders, Fyt, and Van Utrecht. 

Brussels. — Although during the seventeenth cen- 
tury the whole artistic interest appears concentrated 
on Antwerp, Brussels, the residence of sovereigns 
and governors, also possessed a Guild of St. Luke, 
abounding in talented painters. We have already 
mentioned Van Tilborg, Duchastel, De Vadder, 
d'Arthois, Van Alsloot, and Sallaerts ; we shall speak 
hence of Champaigne and Van der Meulen. But to 
their more celebrated names we must add that of 

* Goovaerts : Le peintre Michel- Ange Iiiimenrael d'Anvers et sa 
faniille, 1 878. 

3S8 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Peter Franchoys. 

Peter Van Der Plas (1595?— aft. 1646), who 
painted votive offerings for the Corporations; and, 
prominently first, that of PETER Meert (1619?— 
1669), who has in Brussels a canvas representing the 
" Syndics of the Fishmongers' Company." This pic- 
ture figures in the Museum between two of Rubens' 
masterpieces, as a companion picture to the splendid 
family portrait by Cornelius De Vos, and it bears 
itself nobly in this overwhelming company. Can we 
give the picture any higher commendation? These 
four kneeling men, well draped in their black cos- 
tumes, whose defined characteristic heads are modelled 
as by a sculptor, appear in bold relief on a Jightly- 
brushed bituminous background. These alone suffice 
to save from oblivion the name of Peter Meert, and 
place him among the most remarkable portrait- 
painters of his time. Unfortunately, his other works 
have probably perished ; all we know by him is this 
masterpiece in Brussels and " Two Persons Seated by 
the Sea Shore " in the Museum of Berlin. 

Mechlin* — The family of the FRANCHOYS is the 
first we meet in the ancient residence of Margaret of 
Austria. Its head, LuCAS THE ELDER (1574 — 1643), 
was painter to the court. We have seen the last son, 
Lucas the Younger (1616— 1681), studying under 
Rubens. Peter, the eldest (1606 — 1654), entered 
the studio of Gerard Zeghers, and left far behind 
the inferior talents of his father and brother. Like 

* Sec VHistoire dc la fcinlure cl de la sculpture h Malines. 
By Emm. Neefs. 

Peter Franchoys.] RUBENS AND HIS SCHOOL. 


Boeyermans, who worked with him under Zeghers, 
he continued the manner of Van Dyck. He was re- 


OF TONGERLOO. — Peter Franchoys. 

(Museum of Lille, 4 ft. S\ in. X 3 ft. 3 in. 

360 FLEMISH PAINTING. [James Van Oost. 

nowned for his portraits, which, both in Belgium and 
France, are now very scarce. We know one in Lille 
(Fig. 92), one in Dresden, and one in Cologne ; to these 
we must add the half-length figure called " The Last 
Drop," in the possession of the Royal Museum in 
Brussels. This work, exceptional in the intensity of 
life it betrays, full of originality in the expression, and 
charm in the colouring, is indeed a mcisterpiece. 

After the Franchoys family came the HerrE- 
GOUTS, of whom little can be said ; then GILES 
Smeyers (1635 — 1710), who has in the Museum of 
Brussels two " Scenes from the Life of St. Norbert." 
These are large and flowing compositions, in which 
the dominant blue and silvery tones, which time has 
paled, blend harmoniously. We see the great school 
of Rubens becoming gradually weaker. Smeyers, 
who, though wanting in power, was not a colourist 
without charm, is the last of its talented disciples. 

Bruges. — The glorious city of Van Eyck and Mem- 
ling — which, thanks to the Pourbus family shone with 
momentary lustre in the sixteenth century, saw in 
the seventeenth the family of the Van Oosts close 
its artistic history. Among the five painters who bore 
this name, the most celebrated is James THE ELDER 
(1600 — 1 671), who represented the school of Rubens 
in the former capital of the Dukes of Burgundy. His 
portraits are far superior to the religious pictures 
which ornament the churches of his native city, and 
in which the influence of the Carracci is paramount ; 
they give the measure of "his manly talent. Not un- 


frequently did Van Oost seek to give his portraits the 
dignity of a picture by representing his models in the 
exercise of their profession. " The Churchman Dic- 
tating a letter to a Young Clerk " (Museum of the 
Academy in Bruges), and a " Philosopher in Medi- 
tation" (St. John's Hospital), are painted with great 
spirit, and, by their colouring and their realism, they 
remain essentially faithful to the national traditions. 
The Elder Van Oost had two sons who adopted 
painting as a career; James the Younger (1639 — 
1713), who copied the manner of his father, is alone 
known to us. For a space of about forty years he 
lived in Lille, and this city possesses a great many of 
his works. He has, however, various pictures of 
religion in the churches of Bruges, where we see also 
the compositions of Peter Bernaerdt, John 
Maes (.? — 1677), Nicholas Vleys (.? — 1703), and 
Louis Dedeyster (1656— 1711), his feeble and in- 
animate contemporaries. 

Ghent.* — Gaspard De Grayer settled in Ghent, and 
there became the centre of a certain artistic movement 
which produced several painters of relative merit. 
Nicholas De Liemaeckere, surnamed . 
"Roose"(i575 — 1646), who studied with 5 TTt' 
Rubens in the studio of Otho Vaenius, » J-** 
and assisted De Crayer in several works of mere 
decoration; Anselm Van Hulle (1594 — 1665-8), 
Anthony Van Den Heuvele (1600 — 1677), and 

* See Recherches sur les peintres et sculptetirs Je Gand, au xvi'-' 
xvii':' et xviW- Hides. E. De Busscher, 

362 FLEMISH PAINTING. [iiertno.ei r .=..„.,=. 

Jean Van Cleve (1646—1716), were the pupils 
of De Crayer, and possessed in a greater or lesser 
degree some of his qualities— his dramatic imagi- 
nation, his ardent colouring, or the skill of his 
brush. Van Cleve, far superior to his two colleagues, 
succeeded in likening his style to that of his master, 
whom he sometimes runs very close. Two of his 
productions, remarkable in an equal degree by the 
arrangement of the composition, the dignity of the 
attitudes, and the elevation of the expression — 
"The Infant Jesus Crowning St. Joseph" (Museum of 
Ghent) and the " Martyrdom of St. Crepinus " (Church 
of St. Michael) — might be ascribed to De Crayer 
without in any way injuring his reputation. 

Lie£-e*—Th.e city of the Prince-Bishops, sud- 
denly emerging from the lethargy in which she 
had been sunk since Lambert Lombard, also con- 
tributed artists whose talent had been matured by 
the genius of Rubens. The earliest is Gerard Douffet, 
whom we have seen in Antwerp in the workshop of 
the master, and who in his turn instructed Bertholet 
FLfiMALLE (1614 — 1675). On his way back from 
Italy Fl^malle stopped in Paris, where he was honoured 
with the patronage of Mary of Medici. It was for 
this princess that he decorated, in 1644, the arched 
ceiling of the Church " des Carmes de Vaugirard." 
This is a curious specimen of painting, in this sense — 
that it is the earliest example in France of the vaulted 

* See /" Ilisloire Je la pcinture au pays de Liige. By J. Helbig. 


roof of a church being painted bodily.* Bertholet 
Flemalle, whose manner was strongly impressed with 
the Italian decorative art in the age of decay, in- 
structed two pupils — John Carlier (1638 — 1675), 
whose works were remarkable for their great 
spirit, and the celebrated GfiRARD DE Lairesse /T, 
(1641 — 171 1). The latter artist left Liege for 
Amsterdam, where he sought to initiate the contem- 
foraries of Chevalier Van der WerfT in the classical 
beauties of Lebrun. A Belgian instructing Dutchmen 
in the traditions of the classical school of Paris! — that 
was too complicated a cosmopolitism for the ingenuous 
followers of John Vermeer and Peter De Hooghe. It 
was fatal to them ; and, the general circumstances of 
the time assisting in the work of destruction, De 
Lairesse hastened the downfall of the Dutch School. 

* Ed. P'etis : Les feintres beiges a Velravger, vol. ii., p. 374. 



The impulse which carried Flemish artists abroad 
during the seventeenth century, while it did not mani- 
fest the wonderful activity of the preceding period, 
nevertheless offers a most interesting study. Foremost 
among such artists we must place the elegant figure 
of Van Dyck, who appears at the Court of Charles I. ; 
then Suttermans, painter to the Medici ; Pourbus, 
Champaigne, and Van der Meulen, painters to the 
Kings of France. 

Francis Pourbus the Younger (1569 — 1622) 
has no claim to be assigned to any particular country, 
for he pursued his labours in the Netherlands as 
assiduously as in Italy and in France. The Duke of 
Mantua, Vincent of Gonzaga, saw Pourbus in 1599 at 
the Court of Albert and Isabella, and, charmed with 
his talent, took him in his service. Thus the artist 
spent nine years in Mantua (1600 — 1609), sharing 
with Rubens the title of Painter to the Duke. Durine 
this period he painted the portraits of many persons 
of high rank, while he also worked at the collection of 
"the most beautiful women in the world, whether 

FIG. 93. — PORTRAIT OF HENRY IV, — Francis Pourbus the Younger. 
(Museum of the Louvre, i ft. zf in. X 9i >"■) 


princesses or private ladies " — a collection interesting 
to the highest degree, on which M. Armand Baschet 
has given us most curious details.* 

Pourbus journeyed to Paris on a mission from his 
sovereign on two separate occasions — in 1606 and 1609. 
The warmth of his reception and the number of com- 
missions which he received from Mary of Medici and 
her Court induced him to renounce Italy for France. 
From that time he finally settled in Paris, where he 
occupied an honoured position with the title of 
"Painter to the Queen." It is a fact worthy of 
remark that the works of an artist thus occupied 
should be so little known. Of the paintings which he 
must have executed in Brussels one only is mentioned 
— the "Ball at the Court of Albert and Isabel" 
in the Museum of the Hague, and the portraits of 
Albert and Isabel in the Museums of Stockholm. But 
what has become of all those which he painted in 
Mantua ? The Ducal Collection being dispersed in 
1627-28, the greater part of its works were carried to 
England ; a little research, and we should probably 
discover here some fragments at least of the celebrated 
" Chamber of Beauties." 

His Parisian productions are better authenticated. 
" Henry IV.," to be admired in the Louvre (Fig. 93), 
is almost classical. The portraits of Mary of Medici 
(Louvre, Prado, and Valenciennes), of Ann of Austria 
(Prado and Rothan Collection), of Louis XIII., and 
Gaston of Orleans (private collections), are also highly 

* Franfois Pourbus, fcintre de portraits ^ la cour de Mantoue 
Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 1868, vol. xxv., pp. 276 and 438. 

Sutlermfns.] RUBENS AND HIS SCHOOL. 367 

valued works. In Paris the artist also executed several 
religious compositions for churches, two of which are 
in the Louvre. He adorned with portraits the apart- 
ment, formerly called the Hall of Paintings, now the 
Apollo Gallery, and painted for the Hotel de Ville a 
series of large canvases, chiefly portraits, which were 
destroyed in the revolution of 1789, though several 
fragments are still to be seen in the Hermitage. 

Neither Francis Pourbus the Younger nor his 
father, Francis the Elder, ever obtained the grand 
effectiveness of the celebrated portraitists ; neverthe- 
less, both were true artists, and, as M. Armand 
"Baschet so justly remarks, " painters capable of pro- 
ducing a masterpiece, delighting in well-doing, lovers 
of perfection in detail, and excellent practitioners." 
In Paris Francis Pourbus (II.) instructed a pupil who, 
during the whole course of his long life, was as well 
occupied as his master, and who enjoyed an equal 
degree of honour : this was Justus Suttermans, of 

Italy. — The portrait painter in highest repute in 
Florence in the seventeenth century was not an 
Italian, but this very pupil of Pourbus, of whotn we 
have just spoken, JUSTUS Suttermans* 1597 — 
1681), apjjointed painter to Cosmo II., Ferdinand II., 
and Cosmo III. de' Medici. The collection of his 
historical portraits, extending over more than half 
a century, offers most precious documents for the 

* Ed. Fetls: Les feintres beiges h t'etranger. Brussels, vol. i., 
P' 257- 

368 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Justus Suttemans. 

annals of Tuscany and the history of this celebrated 

Having studied in Antwerp under William De 
Vos, and afterwards in Paris under Pourbus, and 
having sojourned three years in this city, Suttermans 
arrived in Florence a few years only before Van 
Dyck. Cosmo II. immediately took him in his ser- 
vice, and the name of the artist was soon famed in 
the whole of Italy and Austria. He was called to 
Vienna by the Emperor Ferdinand II., to Parma by 
the Grand-Duke Edward I., to Mantua by Ferdinand 
of Gonzaga; and to Rome, where he executed the 
portraits of Urban VII. and the Barberini, and some- 
what later those of Innocent X. and the Panfilia: ; 
lastly, he left brilliant traces of his passage in 
Modena, Ferrara, Genoa and Inspruck. 

Suttermans was on friendly terms with Rubens, 
who executed for him the picture, the " Evils of War " 
(Pitti Palace), and with Van Dyck, who has left us the 
artist's portrait in his " Iconographie." Suttermans 
was also an historical painter, if we judge from a large 
decorative panel — about twenty feet six inches in 
length — composed with great skill, and representing 
the " Senate of Florence swearing fidelity to the 
Child-King Ferdinand II." (Uffizi). His portraits 
enrich nearly all the public or private galleries of 
central Italy. We have counted as many as six in 
the Uffizi, twelve in the Pitti Palace, eighteen in the 
gallery of the Count of Corsini in Florence, five in the 
Academy of Fine Arts in Lucca, &c.* 

* Principal works : Galileo (Uffizi), Fig. 94 ; The Prince of Den- 

Justus Suttermans.] RUBENS AND HIS SCHOOL. 


I'"IG. 94. — GALILEO. — Justus Suttermans. 
(Museum of the Uffizi at Florence, i ft. loj in. X i ft. l\ in.) 

mark (Pitti); A Young Woman (Acad, of Fine-Arts in Lucca); 
Cardinal Leopold of Medici (ditto) Cardinal Corsini (Ccrsini collec- 
tion in Florence) ; Mary Magdalen of Austi-ia (ditto, Fig. 95) ; 
Ferdinand II. of Mediei {Pitti) ; Vitloria delta Ravere (ditto) ; Puliciani 
and his Wife (Ufiizi) ; Portrait of the painter (ditto) ; Spinola (Museum 
of Edinburgh) ; the Archduchess Clattdia (Museum of Vienna) ; the 

370 FLEMISH PAINTING. Lievin Mchus. 

The half-length portrait of Galileo (Fig. 94), is his 
masterpiece. The illustrious astronomer inspired the 
artist ; his eloquent glance, his inspired countenance 
from which light seems to spring, hia rude white 
beard, his severe dress ; all this enveloped as it 
were by the chiaro-oscuro of the background is 
handled in a masterly style, free from useless 
details, and admirably painted, designed and 
modelled. In Lucca he has the portrait of a young 
woman which is of indescribable charm. We do not 
fear to say that, after Rubens, Van Dyck, and 
Cornelius De Vos, the Flemish school of the seven- 
teenth century can boast of no better portraitist than 

His brother jEAN joined him in Florence, and 
accompanied him to Vienna, where he took up his 

The Medici, at least Duke Matthias, also pro- 
tected LlEviN Mehus of Oudenaerde (1630— 

1 691)* who was the pupil of Peter 
iyf) Cortona, and at once portraitist, f%/f^ 
landscapist, and historical painter. /^C 
His "Abraham's Sacrifice" (Museum of the 
Uffizi) is a good composition and full of action ; and 
his "Man's Portrait" (Corsini Collection, Florence) 
an expressive and vivid painting, executed in a broad 
and powerful style. 

Senate of fhraur s.vearing fdcUly to the Cluhl-Kins Fadinand IT. 
(Uffizi) ; the Magdalen (ditto). 

* Fetis : Les pcintres beiges ct rkra''^cr, vol. i., p. iqi 



OF MEDICI. — Justus Sutterinans. 
(Corsini Collection, Florence.) 

Another Antwerpian, Jean MiEL (towards 1599 
— 1664),* became painter to the Duke of Savoy, 
Charles Emmanuel, in Turin. He generally painted 

* Fetis : Les peintres beiges h fetr anger, vol. i., p -SIS- 
Y 2 



genre subjects, and has enriched the collections of the 
Louvre, the Hermitage, the Prado, the Uffizi, Turin, 
and others, with landscapes, with figures and animals, 
the meet of the hounds, pastorals, and village dances, 
all small but ingenious compositions, in which the 
actions and expression of the dramatis persotice prove 
the painter to have been an intelligent observer of 
popular manners. After Suttermans, Mehus and 
Miel, we must yet mention, in Rome, the two por- 
trait painters LouiS Primo (1606 — 1668), surnamed 
Gentil, and Ferdinand VOET (who painted in 1640 — 
91), both painters to the Pontifical Court ; in Mantua, 
James Denys (1644 — aft. 1659.?), and Robert De 
LoNGfi in Piaccnza, both of whom have left religious 
paintings in the churches of their respective towns ; 
in Venice, DANIEL Van Dyck (1599 — 1670!') was 
inspector of the Gallery of the Duke of Mantua ; 
lastly, in Genoa, the animal painter John Roose 
(1591 — 1638), surnamed Rosa, who was still living in 
Genoa when the brothers De Wael took up their 
residence in that city, and who, at a later period, 
came to Anthony Van Dyck for lessons. 

England. — The brilliancy of the Court of Charles I. 
could not fail to attract other Flemish artists besides 
Van Dyck. We have seen Peter Thys, Van Leemput, 
Van Belcamp, and Van Neve, taking place around the 
master ; Van Diepenbeeck worked for the Duke of 
Newcastle, John Siberechts for the Duke of Bucking- 
ham, while the Prince of Wales, afterwards Charles II., 
appointed Francis Wouters his own painter. Chrono- 

Paul Van Somer.] RUBENS' AND HIS SCHOOL. 373 

logically speaking, we ought to have mentioned before 
those names that of Paul Van Somer (1576 ? — 1624), 
of Antwerp, the portraitist of King James I* 

This artist, whose works are often mistaken for 
those of the Dutch painter, Daniel Mytens, is hardly 
known beyond the museums and galleries of England. 
In Hampton Court he has the portraits of James I. 
and his Queen, and those of the King and Queen of 
Denmark. Waagen, who has seen a certain number 
of this artist's paintings in the private collections of the 
English nobility,t speaks in terms of high commenda- 
tion of his colouring and his skill. He mentions 
specially the portraits of Lord Bacon (Cowper collec- 
tion), and of Lord and Lady Arundel (Norfolk collec- 
tion). Van Somer was represented in the Exhibition 
of Manchester with nine portraits, among which 
Biirger mentions that of the Countess of Mandeville, 
in bridal costume, as a work of no ordinary merit. 

In 1616 the artist was working in Brussels, when 
the Chambres des Comptes of Brabant commissioned 
him to paint the portraits of Albert and Isabel ; and 
eight years later he ended his career in Amsterdam. 

All these Flemish portrait-painters were the real 
forerunners of the English school ; Van Dyck was its 
great initiator ; Reynolds (1723 — 1792), and Gains- 
borough (1727 — 1788), its first great artists. The 

* Walpole : Anecdotes of Painting in England, vol. ii. , p. 5. 

t See also on the treasures of these private galleries a nutnber of 
articles virhich have appeared in the Alhenaum, under the titl : Priv te 
Collections of England. 


English masters knew how much they owed to the 
painter of Charles I., and did not shrink from doing 
him homage. " We shall all go to heaven," said Gains- 
borough to Reynolds, on his death-bed, "and we 
shall have Van Dyck with us." * 

France. — Under Henry IV., Louis XIII., and 
Louis XIV., a real colony of Flemish artists had 
settled in Paris, several of whom contributed, in 1648, 
to the foundation of the Royal Academy of France. 
We have mentioned already the names of Pourbus, 
Van Thulden, De Mai, Justus of Egmorit, de Boel, 
Fl^malle and Genoels ; but our duties as a recorder 
would be incomplete were we to forget to mention 
James Foucquier(is8o .' — 1659 X), a landscapist who 
had studied under Rubens, and whom Louis XIII. 
employed in the decoration of the Louvre ; NiCAlSE 
Bernaerts (1620 — 1678), better known as Nicasius, 
a talented animal painter who worked for the Gobe- 
lins, and who instructed Francis Desportes, one of 
the best animal painters of France ; Van Boeck, 
surnamed Van Boucle ( .? — 1673,) also an animal 
painter who learnt his art from Snyders ; finally, 
Louis Finson, an historical painter and portraitist of 
talent, who habitually signed his works Finsonniiis 
belga brugensis (towards 1580 — 1632!'), and who 
settled in Provence, where his principal productions 
are to be seen.f 

* Ern. Chesneau : The English School of Painting, translated by 
L. N. Etheringlon, p. 33. 

+ De Chennevi^res : Kccherches sur la vie et les ouvrages de iiiielques 
feintres provinciaux, vol. ii., Paris, 1850. 

376 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Philip of Champaigne 

After the death of Francis Pourbus, one of his 
compatriots, Philip of Champaigne (1602— 1674), 
who was appointed painter to Ann of Austria, in- 
herited the Royal favour. The French and the 
Flemish schools both claim this artist ; and, in truth, 
he belongs to both. Several of his figures — more 
especially his portraits — by their breadth of execution 
and the boldness of their colouring, partake of the 
character of the Flemish School ; others, in greater 
number, by their delicacy, their correctness of design, 
and their discreet ordering, unmistakably bear the 
stamp of the French contemporary school. At the 
age of nineteen Champaigne set out for Paris, where 
he met Poussin, and a friendship sprung up between 
them which exercised a strong influence on the young 
painter's style. Overwhelming commissions awaited 
him from the Court, the ministers of state, the clergy, 
and private amateurs; and his productions became 
countless. He worked especially for Port Royal and 
the members of that celebrated community — Pascal, 
Jansdnius, Arnauld d'Andilly, Saint Cyran — to whom 
he was. bound by the strongest ties of affection, and 
whose features he has handed down to us. The 
greater part of his works have remained in France. 
The Louvre posseses twenty-three of his pictures, 
among which the " Dead Christ " and the portrait of 
Richelieu, are reckoned among his best produc- 
tions. In the Museum of Brussels, his native city, 
we admire a "St. Ambrose," which clearly shows 
the Flemish origin of the painter. Philip of Cham- 
paigne instructed his nephew, Jean-Baptiste (163 1 

Van der Meulen.] RUBENS AND HIS SCHOOL. 377 

1681), who imitated his style, but with inferior 

Adam-Francis Van der Meulen (1632 — aft. 
1693) * succeeded PhiHp of Champaigne, and depicted 
the campaigns of Louis XIV. It was Colbert 
who, influenced by the advice of Lebrun, in- /'Vl 
vited him to Paris. Van der Meulen began 
with cartoons for the Gobelins ; but afterwards, dating 
from the invasion of the Spanish Netherlands (1667) 
to the taking of Charleroi (1693), he was constantly 
occupied with the representation of warlike scenes. 
Brush in hand, he was present at all the great feats 
of arms — the siege of Lille (1667), the taking of D61e 
(1668), the passage- of the Rhine (1672), (Fig: 96), 
the taking of Maestricht (1673), and of Dinant 
(1692), &c. 

The most important part of his works is in the 
Louvre and in Versailles, but the Museum of Douai 
has a large equestrian portrait of Louis XIV. Van 
der Meulen continued the traditions of the Flemish 
painters of battle scenes, but more especially those of 
Snayers, his master. He more often depicted those 
episodes of war — sieges for the most part--^which 
Louis XIV. preferred, and his works are valuable, 
chiefly by the historical facts which they bring 
back to memory. Van der Meulen died about 1694. 
The engraver Peter Van Schuppen has left us his 

* And not, as he has been generally called, Anthony-Francis. See 
A. Jal. ; DicHonnaire Critique de Biographic et d'Histaire (Paris, 1867, 
p. 860), and Alph. Wauters : Les Tapisseries Bruxelloises, p. 259 

378 FLEMISH PAINTING. [James Van Schuppen. 

The family of the VAN SCHUPPEN, painters and 
engravers, was also of Flemish origin. The father, 
Peter (1623 — 1707), a pupil of Nanteuil, was succe.s- 
sively employed by Prince Eugene of Savoy and by 
Colbert. The son, JAMES (1669 — 175 O. who was in- 
structed by Largilli^re, has portraits in Vienna, Turin, 
Hamburg, Amsterdam, &c. He spent the greater 
part of his life in Paris, but afterwards left for 
Vienna, where he died, with the titles of Painter 
to the Court and President of the Academy. 

James Van Schuppen was the last of those 
Flemish painters who acquired fame at the Court of 
France. The hour of decay had come for the national 
school, and more than fifty years were to elapse before 
she would be able to send abroad any other masters 
worthy of her and her ancient renown. 

Nole. — The table on the following page, which gives the geographical 
distribution of a portion of the works of the principal Flemish painters 
of the seventeenth century, has necessarily been drawn up from imper- 
fect data, and must therefore not be considered as wholly accurate. 
But, in spite of unavoidable mistakes, ils figures, considered gene- 
rally, will tell more eloquently ihan words could do of the wondrous 
facility and productiveness of the early Flemish masters. 


Great Britain. 




Belgium. ^ 














, Darmstadt 

(London (Nat. Gallery) 
Hampton Court . . . 
Private Galleries . . . 
^Vienna Museum . . . 
„ Gallery Liechten- 
J stein . . 
,, Gallery Czernin . 
„ Acad.of FineArts 




Churches and Pul)lic 

\^ Buildings .... 

Denmark. Copenhagen .... 

Spain. Madrid (Prado) . . . 

/'Paris (Louvre) 

France. ■{ Lille 

i^ Provincial Museums . 

ir„n„.,j i Amsterdam .... 
Holland. I 

I The Hague .... 

f Florence (Uffizi and 
Rome (Museums and 
Private Galleries)'. . 
l_ Turin ....'.. 
Russia. St. Petersburg . . . 

Sweden. Stockholm 

United States. New York 



























749 148 





2 2 

















jfiftf) ^niob. 




The historian's wish is to pass rapidly over this 
unfortunate period. 

After the dazzhng brilhance of the seventeenth 
century it is painful to be compelled to linger in the 
dark shades of the eighteenth. 

With the closing of the Scheldt came the ruin of 
the country ; foreign commerce was reduced to a 
mere tradition, Antwerp was but the shadow of what 
she had been in the previous century. One simple 
fact will suffice to show the utter decay in which the 
splendid city, so lately queen of the West, had fallen : 
in 1665, the arrival of a foreign ship created such 
enthusiasm that the magistrates presented her captain 
with a gift from the Town Council. Brussels was not 
less tried ; in 1695 the town suffered an infamous and 
useless bombardment at the hands of the Duke of 
Villeroi, and many years elapsed before she could 
rise from her ruins. When, in 17 14, the Peace of 

382 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Jean Van Orley. 

Rastadt transferred Belgium to Austria, the country, 
which was httle better than an exhausted province, 
surrendered itself, without a struggle, tp its new 

National art is always a faithful reflex of the 
public mind, and the low state to which it had fallen 
• plainly manifests the universal 
^ ^ I y^ depression. This is the time of 
/• J • \/ * {J Gaspard Van Opstal(i6S4— 
1 7 17) and of Robert Van 
Oudenaerde(i663 — i743),both painters 
of sacred history and of portraits ; of VIC- 
TOR HoNORfi Janssens (1664 — 1736), 
whose large allegorical and historical pic- 
tures (pot-boilers) so long excited admiration in Brus- 
sels ; of Mark Van Duvenede (1674 — 1730) who 
was one of the founders of the Academy of Bruges ; 
of Henry Goovaerts (1669 — 1720) and of Andrea 
Lens (1739 — 1822), and his feeble attempts at the 
representation of mythological subjects. When one 
of the historical painters of the time tested his talent 
in portraiture, then, and only then, some faint glimmer 
of the national genius lit up his work and endowed 
it with comparative merit, in the midst of this im- 
'] \j O poverished period. Among these superior 
works we may cite the large portraits of 
"Jean Van Orley" (1665—1735), for instance, the 
portrait of Charles II. of Spain on horseback, in 
the Hotel de Ville of Brussels, and the life-size picture 
of Philip V. in that of Mechlin ; we must mention 
also the portrait of Balthazar Beschey (1708 

Peter Verhaegen.] FALL OF THE SCHOOL. 383 

1776), painted by himself, which is in the Museum of 

One artist alone had preserved some of the vigour 
of the heroic age, and possessed a few of its great 
qualities. He proved that the art of painting was not 
yet dead in Belgium, and to him the eighteenth cen- 
tury owes the solitary name which it adds to the list 
of painters in the grand style. 

Peter Verhaegen (1728 — 1811) was painter to 
Prince Charles of Lorraine, governor of the Austrian 
Netherlands. Maria Theresa, having taken the artist 
under her protection, enabled him to visit France, Italy, 
and Austria. He remained for some time in Vienna, 
and was honoured with the title of premier painter 
to the Imperial Court. His " Presentation in the 
Temple" (Museum of Ghent), and other pictures in 
the churches and convents of Louvain and the neigh- 
bourhood, show the energetic nature of his talent and 
the brilliancy of which he was capable. In the midst 
of this time of decay and perverted taste he always 
remained an ardent and true admirer of Rubens. He 
. is the last of the disciples of the great master, and 
holds in the Flemish school the place which Tiepolo 
occupies in the Italian, and Goya in the Spanish 

In genre subjects we can mention only one artist 
of talent. It is not the painter of isolated figures. 
La Fabrique (1649 — 1736), nor Theobald Michau, 
who painted landscapes and country scenes (1676 — 
1765); still less Jean Horemans (1682 — 1759), 
painter of country interior.s. Balthazar Van den 


BOSSCHE (168 1— 1 71 5), was by far the most talented 
of these artists. His picture in the Museum of 
Antwerp, representing the "Reception du bourg- 
mestre del Campo au local du serment de I'arbal^te," 
is an interesting and 'refined work, the figures are 
well grouped, and there is great reality in their atti- 
tudes. This painting is also remarkable for a certain 
originality of interpretation, which was indeed a merit 
at a time when the majority of artists were content 
with a servile and spiritless imitation of earlier 

Battle scenes were frequently depicted, but they 

were all devoid of originality ; CHARLES VAN Falens 

(1683— 1733), John Peter (1654— 1745), 

P.V'R* and John Francis Van Bredael (1686 — 

1750) only sought to imitate Ph. Wouwer- 

man ; Charles Breydel (1678 — 1744), copied Van 

der Meulen. 

Pbter Van Bredael or Van Breda, 1629 — 1719. 

I i I 

John-Peter (I) George Alexander 

1654— 1745 1661 — before 1706 1663 — 1720 

I 1 
I 1 

John Peter (II) Joseph John-Francis 

1683— 1735 1688— 1739 1686— 1750 

Painter to Prince Ptr. to the Bnke \ 

Eugene at Vienna of Orleans at John-Francis (II) 
Palis 1729 — ? 

The landscape painters, following the example of 
De Witte and Genoels, continued to wander sadly 

The Van Eloemens.] FALL OF THE SCHOOL. 


among the ruins of Roman scenery. Henri Van 
Lint, surnamed Studio Q aft. 1725). Frans and 
Peter Van Bloemen, the first surnamed Orizonte 

FIG. 97. — LANDSCAPE ; DRAWING. — (ialtkazar Ommeganck. 
(Museum of the Louvre.) 

(1662^-1748)* the second Standaert (1657 — 1720), 

never tired of depicting ItaHan landscapes. 

They failed, however, to gain renown, 

are lost among the imitators of Poussin. 

It was not until the end of the century that 

a return to the painting of home scenes was success- 

i,and -on 
lussin. yJJ^ 

* Siret: Les Van Bloemen (Journal des Beaux-Aris, 1870), 


fully attempted. BALTHAZAR OmmeGANCK (i75S— 
1826) has left us landscapes which were much praised 
in his day. They are picturesque, his trees are traced 
with great delicacy, and he evinces a true apprecia- 
tion of nature (Fig. 97). The great care which he 
bestowed on his shepherds and their flocks earned for 
him the name of the " Racine des Moutons," nor 
indeed is the title inappropriate- — for his sheep are 
painfully elaborated, and their fleeces white and 
lustrous. Nevertheless, this name might be applied 
with still greater truth to EUGENE VerboECKHOEVEN 
(1798 — 1881), the most celebrated among the pupils 
of Ommeganck. We have yet to mention Peter 
Snyers (168 1 — 1752), who painted flowers and 
landscapes ; Adolphus and Adrian De Gryeff 
(1670? — 17x5 i"),* painters of both dead and living 
animals, and Martyn Geeraerts (1707 — 1791), 
who was especially successful in monochrome, and 
whose imitation of sculpture was well calculated to 
deceive the most practised eye. These few names, 
alas ! exhaust the list of the painters of the eighteenth 
century who deserve any commendation. We could 
lengthen this list considerably if we chose, so numerous 
are the names inscribed at the Academy or in the 
books of St. Luke. But the Academy had not ful- 
filled the hopes of its eminent founder, David Teniers, 
and it was powerless to arrest decay ; nor had the 
Institute of the Carracci, at Bologna, been more 

* Pinchart : Histoire de la tapisserie de haute lice dans les Pays- 
Bas, p. 109. Van den Branden : Geschicdenis, &c., p. 1 106. 


It is a question whether such estabhshments, which 
are so useful to the progress of the industrial arts, are 
equally favourable to the development of the fine arts. 
Judging from the benefits they have hitherto conferred 
we may be permitted to doubt it. 

However this may be, at the end of the eighteenth 
century the Academies of Antwerp, Ghent, Brussels, 
and Bruges appeared to exist for the sole purpose of 
witnessing the death-struggle of the Flemish school. 
The dreariest night reigned in the birthplace of Van 
Eyck and Memling — in the cities where Van der 
Weyden and Van Orley lived, which witnessed the 
triumph of Rubens and Van Dyck. 

Suddenly the thunder of Jemmapes was heard 
(1792). Dumouriez' soldiers, in rags, though victorious, 
entered Brussels, and the " Rights of Man " were pro- 
claimed. Then the few Belgian artists, roused from 
their far niente, remembered that a native of Bruges, 
Joseph Suv£e (1743 — 1807), was at the head of the 
Academy of France, and they went to hail in the 
horizon of Paris, the rising star — LOUIS DAVID. 

Z 2 





At the beginning of the nineteenth century there only 
remained in Belgium one artist who still believed in 
the ancient national traditions : this was the president 
of the Academy of Antwerp, William Herreyns 
(1743 — 1827).* His execution was 
a reflex of that of earlier masters ; ^-^ rUt ' 
nevertheless, he had been power- '' 

less to stem the current which 
carried the school toward French 
classicism, when, in 181 5, Louis David (1748 — 1825), 
whom the Restoration had proscribed, came to fix 
his residence in Brussels. 

And now followed a period of lethargy for the 

* Full lengths of Charles VI. and of Leopold II. of Austria (Hotel 
de Ville of Mechlin) ; The Adoratioti of the Alagi (Museum of Brussels) ; 
TheDeath of .Christ (Museum of Antwerp). 



Belgian school, extending over the fifteen years during 
which Belgium and Holland were united under one 
rule. In spite of the efforts of several of the heads 
of schools and chefs d'aielier, such as Herreyns 
and Van Bree ; in spite of official encouragements, 
which were distributed on a large scale, painting was 
not able to free itself from the obscure depths in which 
a century of decay had plunged it. pRANgoiS (1759 
—1851), Van Huffel (1769— 1844), Odevaere 
(1783 — 1859), painter to King William I. of Holland, 
Paelinck (178 1 — 1839), painter to the Queen, and 
Matthew Van Br£e (1773 — 1839),* painter to the 
Prince of Orange, have not produced among them 
one single work of note.f Artists still devoted all 
their energies to the painting of Greek and Roman 
heroes, and considered that the first, if not the only 
qualities of a painter were correctness of design, studied 
elegance in composition, and sculptural simplicity of 

A reaction was inevitable, especially in Belgium, 
although the presence of David, the head of the 
classical school, possessed as he was of great and 
fine qualities, delayed it for a few years. When the 
reaction came it was the more violent for the hin- 
drance it had suffered. In Antwerp it partook of the 
character of a protest by the national art against 
foreign influence. 

* F. Bogaevts : Mathicu Vati Bn'e. Antwerp, 1842. 

t Tlic Jfivetiticn of the Cross, by Joseph Paelinck (Church of St. 
Michael, Ghent), nevertheless obtained a wonderful success when it 
first appeared. See Alvin : itoge fimcbre de J. Paelinck. 

FIG. 98. — PORTRAIT OF LOUIS YikWD.— Francois Navez. 
(Portaels Collection, in Brussels. 2 ft. 4I in. X i ft. iij in.) 

392 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Fransois Navez. 

FRANgois Navez(i787— i869)*then occupied the 
first rank among national painters. He was a brilliant 
follower of David, and, like him, a portrait-painter of 
no ordinary merit, imbued with a high sense of in- 
dividuality in his sitter, great facility in rendering ex- 
pression, and an action somewhat resembling that of 
the old masters. The portrait of Louis David (Fig. 
98), Navez' own portrait in the Portaels Collection, 
Brussels, the group of the De Hemptinne Family, that 
of Professor Van Meenen in the University of Brussels, 
are amongst the most remarkable of his numerous por- 
traits, while " Hagar in the Desert," in the Museum of 
Brussels, and the " Spinners of Fundi," in the Pina- 
cothek of Munich, rank among his best pictures. 

Navez was also an eminent chef d'atelier. He 
opened his painting-room freely to all, and in spite of 
his numerous productions found leisure to instruct 
a whole generation of artists. Though a classical 
painter, he counts among his pupils several talented 
artists in the romantic style, and, to his greater 
honour still, he initiated several adepts of the future 
realistic school. The diversified style and talent of 
his pupils, Degroux, Alfred Stevens, Ch. Hermans, 
Portaels, Smits, Baron, Stallaert, Robert and Van der 
Haert, prove beyond a doubt that "the eminent pro- 
fessor never forced upon any of his followers his own 
idea of comprehending and interpreting nature. Upon 
the death of David (1825) he inherited his influence 
for a short time, but, like his illustrious master, he 

* Alvin ; Ft: J. Navez, sa vie, ses auvres et sa correspondance, 
Brussels, 1870. 

Gustavus Wappers.] THE BELGIAN SCHOOL. 393 

was destined to taste of misfortune and suffer in- 

The year 1830, which commences the era of Bel- 
gian Independence, likewise gave the signal of the 
struggle between the romantic and the classical schools. 

When, a few weeks before the revolutionary days of 
September, the " Exposition des Beaux-Arts " opened 
in Brussels, Navez saw rising suddenly to his side a 
young and ardent pupil of the school of Antwerp, 
whose ambition it was to dispute with him the leader- 
ship of the artistic movement. 

Gustavus Wappers (1803 — 1874)* was a doubly 
powerful rival, for he was endowed with no ordinary 
talent, and he proclaimed a brilliant and patriotic pro- 
gramme — the finding of the lost track of Rubens and 
the long-forgotten tradition of the Flemish school. 
The blow was cruel, but the struggle could not be 
long nor the result doubtful. Three more years 
elapsed and Wappers, with a boldly-drawn and really 
valuable work, planted on the ruins of conquered 
classicism the victorious standard of the Flemish 
romantic school. The " Episode of the Belgian Revo- 
lution," in the Museum of Brussels, full of unrestrained 
movement, of exaggerated sentimentality and colour, 
admirably personifies the revolutionary and enthusi- 
astic school of 1830. A legion of young artists eagerly 
followed in his steps, and the patriotic infatuation was 
such, that during ten years their productions, which, 
though loud and ostentatious, were not absolutely 

* Ed. E6tis : Notice sur Gustave Wappers (^Annuaire de 
VAcadhnie royale de Belgique, 1884). 

394 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Antoine Wiertz. 

without artistic value, were proclaimed national paint- 
ings and masterpieces, to the exclusion of all others. 
This was the time of the " Battle of the Spurs of 
Goid," in the Museum of Courtrai, and of the " Battle 
of Woeringen," in the Museum of Brussels, by 
NiCAlSE De Keyser; of the "Illustrious Belgians," 
by Henri De Caisne (-1799 — 1852), in the Museum 
of Brussels ; of the " Avenger,'; by Ernest Slinge- 
NEYER, in the Museum of Cologne; and of "Judas 
a Wanderer," by ALEXANDER THOMAS, in the Mu- 
seum of Brussels. 

Antoine Wiertz (1806 — 1865) also belongs to 
this period. This artist enjoyed for a time the most 
astounding renown. He was admired even in his 
faults, and straightway conducted to the Capitol. 
" Bow your heads," exclaimed a poet ; "this is Homer 1" 
" Humble yourselves," cried a critic, " before this man 
of genius ! " And this talent was mistaken for genius, 
which, after all, was only the longing to equal at once 
Homer, Michael Angelo, and Rubens. His " Patroclus," 
a large and animated composition, and the " Triumph 
of Christ," 1848 (now in the Wiertz Museum, Brussels), 
an inspired work, the finest of all his paintings, carried 
the reputation of their author to its climax. 

A noble spirit animates his works, and at times 
they have the air of an epic poem. Some of his 
figures are grand ; but his means of execution fell 
very short of his great conceptions, and his work 
lacks the real qualities that a painter should possess. 
The pictures by this artist form a separate collection 
and adorn the edifice, built as a ruined temple, which 

fl .s 
a ^ 




396 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Louis Gallait. 

the painter inhabited in his lifetime, and is generally- 
known as the " Musee Wiertz." They are well nigh 
forgotten, and prove once more that in any question 
of art vox Populi is not always vox Dei. 

An artist, whom nature had made a painter, and 
study a learned man, then came to mitigate the 
momentary excitement of those who rejoiced in the 
thought that Rubens had been equalled. LouiS 
Gallait, taught in the cold and collected romantic 
school of Paul Delaroche, and abhorring the exaggera- 
tion noticeable in the followers of Wappers, brought 
into the Belgian school the touching and pathetic 
element which these painters, absorbed as they were 
with the material imitation of Rubens, had purposely 
and affectedly neglected. His first pictures were 
masterpieces, the " Abdication of Charles V.," now in 
the Museum of Brussels, the " Lying in state of the 
Counts Egmont and Horn " in that of Tournai 
(Fig. 99), and especially the " Last Moments of the 
Comte d'Egmont," which is in the Museum of Berlin, 
and at once revealed in their author the science of com- 
position, design and expression, as well as the iritelli- 
gent choice of his types and the perfect appreciation of 
the feelings of his figures in their various situations. 
These three masterly works, painted from 1840 to 
1850, will no doubt remain the most perfect monu- 
ments of historical painting in that epoch of transi- 
tion, when artists studied the Middle Ages and the 
sixteenth century, with an ardour almost equal to 
that which prompted the research of ancient art at the 
outset of the Italian Renaissance. 



398 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Henry Uy^. 

Wappers had instructed many pupils in Antwerp ; 
Gallait had, in Brussels, a large numbers of followers, 
and for several years the struggle lasted as to which 
should conquer — matter or spirit. In the train of 
Gallait we remark De Biefve (1809— 1 88 i), whose 
great historical canvas the " Compromise of the 
Nobles," in the Museum of Brussels, is a painful 
memento of a temporary success ; HamMAN, the 
painter of " Andrd Vesale at Padua," in the Museum 
of Marseilles, and of the " Mass of Adrian Willaert," in 
the Museum of Brussels ; Cermack, a native of 
Bohemia, full of vigour and originality ; ROBERT, 
Pauwels, Stallaert, Hennebicq, &C. 

Genre was likewise represented both in Brussels 
and in Antwerp. In Brussels, Jean Baptiste 
Madou (1796 — 1877),* though not so brilliant a 
colourist as some of his brother artists in Antwerp, 
was yet a faithful interpreter of accurate expression 
and attitudes, and a skilful painter, 'whose composition 
was always intelligent. He has painted many a 
village and tavern scene of the eighteenth century, 
all of which bear trace of his humorous spirit (Fig, 
100). In Antwerp we find J. L. Dyckmans, who 
painted the " Blind Beggar," in the National Gallery, 
and Ferdinand De Braekeleer (1792 — 1883), who 
had Leys for a pupil. 

Henry Leys (1815— i869)t occupies a distinct 

* F. Stappaerts : Notice sur Jean Baptiste Madou (Annuaire de 
VAcad. royale de Belgique, 1879, p. 255). Camille Lemonnier: /. B. 
Madou {Gaz. des Beaux-Arts, 1879, vol. xix., p. 385). 

t Ed. F^tis : Notice sur Jean Augtiste Henri Leys (Annuaire de 
V Academic royale de Belgique, 1872, p. 201). Paul Mantz : Henri 

Henry Leys.] 



place in the history of the Belgian school of the 
—nineteenth century. Several artists, his master 

Leys (Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 1866, vol. xxii., p. 300). 
Eaux- fortes de M. Henri Leys ibid., p. 467 

Ph. Burty : 

400 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Henry Leys. 

De Braekeleer, Peter De Hoogh and RemlDrandt, 
successively influenced him at the outset of his 
career, and his first attempts were modest. He 
began with "Interiors," "Guard-rooms," and "Scenes 
from High Life;"* then he gradually turned to- 
wards history and chose most of his subjects 
from the sixteenth century, on which he built his 
fame. The year 1852 is a most important one 
in the biography of Leys ; a change as sudden 
as it was complete took place in his 
manner and modified his ideal. In 
this year he travelled to Germany, he 
^"^ visited Cologne, Frankfort, Leipzig, Dres- 
den, Prague, Nuremberg, Heidelberg, &c. These 
picturesque German cities awakened his imagination 
and brought back memories of Luther, Erasmus, 
and the Reformation ; and with a tact as sure and 
delicate as it was prompt, he understood their 
time, he lived in their midst. It was a revolution 
in his mind ; the impression was deep, the result 
immediate. When he returned from the birthplace 
of Cranach to the land of Breughel the Elder, his ideas 
had undergone a complete change ; after an interval 
of three centuries he united in himself the traditions 
of these two great artists and reproduced the severity 
of the Saxon master enhanced by the rich colours of 
the Fleming. 

* J?ic/ie et Pauvre (Museum of Brussels), Inthieur flamand (Brug- 
mann Collection at Brussels), and the Atelier (Huybrechts Collection at 
Antwerp), may be considered as striking examples of his three styles 
before 1852. 


It was in the Exhibition of Pictures which 
took place in Ghent in 1853 that his new 
manner of painting — his Gothic manner — became 
apparent.* Towards the end of his career he gave 
his style more freedom and imprinted on some of 
his larger works an air of real grandeur. The last 
specimens of these are the frescoes in his residence 
and in the great hall of the Communal Council at 
Antwerp. Here the artist appears to us in the pleni- 
tude of his talent ; the character of his compositions, 
the dignity of their ensemble, and the strength of their 
colouring attain their highest perfection. We do not 
fear to prophesy that some of the figures in the four 
large panels at the Hdtel de Ville will rank among 
the finest creations of the nineteenth century. This 
new, unexpected, and attractive style of Leys could 
not fail to call forth pupils and imitators. Among 
the former we must name before all others Alma 
Tadema, a native of Friesland, who continues the 
manner of the master with infinite art, though he has 
chosen his subjects from different epochs in history ; 
then Joseph Lies (1821 — 1865), who painted the 
" Evils of War," in the Museum of Brussels ; Felix 
De Vigne (1806 — 1862), and Victor Lagye. 

While Leys was thus acquiring for himself a 
European renown in a style entirely his own, and 

* Among the best works of his Gothic manner we may cite ; — The 
Promenade outside the City Walls (Royal Palace in Brussels) ; The 
Trentaines de Berthall de Haze (Museum of Brussels) ; The Catholic 
Women (Van Praet Collection) ; The Edict of Charles Quint ; Clan- 
destine Freachin:: by Adrian Van Haemstede ; Luther Singing Hymns 
in the Streets of Eisenach (Fig. loi) ; and the frescoes of Antwerp. 
A A 

402 FLEMISH PAINTING. [Charles Degroux. 

which could not but puzzle critics and philosophers of 
art, a great revolution was taking place in the Pari- 
sian studios destined to stir the artistic world to its 
foundations. From this revolution sprang " realism," 
which was indeed but a return to the sentiment of the 
schools of Velasquez, Franz Hals, and the minor Dutch 
masters. Courbet exhibited in Brussels, in the year 
1 85 1, his picture the "Stone Breakers," and imme- 
diately he saw the school, of which he was the first 
disciple, rally to its ranks a number of ardent prose- 
lytes, as well as a few learned and talented painters. 

The first among his followers, CHARLES Degroux 
(1825 — 1870), with real talent and a just appreciation 
of colour and expression, represented scenes from 
humble life : cottages, garrets, courts and taverns. 
He sought painful subjects and sad types and was 
ironically nicknamed " the painter of social inequali- 
ties." " Saying Grace," in the Museum of Brussels, 
and the " Coffee Mill," in the Ravenstein Collection, 
Brussels, are robust paintings which command ad- 

From that time forward Belgium has produced 
a whole generation of artists in the realistic style. 
The deep and searching study of nature has ever 
elevated and regenerated art. When once the artistic 
horizon became enlarged every subject was attempted. 
Genre in its manifold forms animals, views of towns, 
sea-pieces and rivers ; in one word, both still and 
animated nature found, as in the grand century, their 
faithful and sincere interpreters. 



It would be a most unthankful task, if not an alto- 
gether impossible one, to try to classify the works of 
contemporary artists. Quietude and distance of 
time are required for such a labour. But it may 
prove interesting and instructive to gather together 
certain titles of paintings, facts^ dates and details, 
which posterity will take up at some later period and 
weigh with impartiality ; knowing better than we can, 
which of them deserves a prominent place, and which 
it will be necessary to reduce to a humbler level or 
perhaps to forget entirely. 


from' 1851 TO 1884. 

1 85 1.— Salon de Bruxelles : "Last honours rendered to the Counts 
Egmont and Horn" (Museum of Tournai, Fig. 99); " Ffete 
given to Rubens by the Corporation of Arquebusiers " (Museum 
of Antwerp), and the " Burgomaster Six at the house of Rem- 
brandt," by Henri Leys. 

1853. — Salon de Gand : "Frans Floris on his way to a f^te of the 
Corporation of St. Luke," by Henri Leys. 

1854. — Salon de Bruxelles : " Promenade beyond the City Walls,'' by 
. Henri Leys (Palace of Brussels); "The Widow," by Fl. 
Willems (Collection Van Praet, Brussels) ; "The Intruder," by 
Madou (Museum of Brussels, Fig. 100); "Adrian Willaert 
playing his Mass in the Monastery at Bruges," by Hamman 
(Museum of Brussels). 
A A 2 


1855. -International Ejihibition of Paris.— 114 Belgian artists sent 223 
pictures to this exhibition. Medal of Honour : Henri Leys 
(history) ; 1st Class Medals : Fl. Willems (genre) ; 2nd Class 
Medals : Verlat (history and animals), Portaels (history), Madou 
(oenre), Joseph Stevens and Robbe (animals), Van Moer (city 
scenery) ; 3rd Class Medals : Hamman, Robert and Thomas 
(history), Dillens {genre), Verboeckhoven (animals). 
Foundation of the Society of Painters in Water-colours. 
1857.— Salon de Bruxelles : " Dog-market in Paris," by J. Stevens 
(Museum of Brussels, Fig. 102); "Buffalo attacked by a 
Tiger," by Verlat (Zoological Society of Amsterdam) ; " The 
Rat Hunt, "by Madou (Palace of Brussels). 
1859. — Death of the portrait painter Francis Simonau (1783 — 1859), in 

i860. — Salon de Bruxelles : " Death of Charles Quint," by Degroux ; 
"Andre Vesale at Padua," by Hamman (Museum of Mar- 
seilles); " The Storks " by Louis Dubois (Museum of Brussels); 
"La Campine," by Fourmois (Museum of Brussels). 
1862. — London International Exhibition. — Fifty- two Belgian painters 
sent 121 pictures to this Exhibition. Grand reception of Gallait 
by the English artists. 
1863. — Salcn de Bruxelles: "Solitude," by Louis Dubois (Collection 
Portaels, at Brussels); "View taken at Edeghem," by Lauio- 
riniere (Museum of Brussels). 
1865. — Flourishing epoch of the Portaels studio at Brussels, in which 
were instructed the painters of figures, Emile Wauters, Ag- 
neessens, Cormon, Hennebicq, theOyens;the landscape painters 
Van der Hecht and Verheyden ; the sculptor Van der Stappen, &c. 
Death of Antoine Wiertz (i8o6 — 1865), in Brussels. 
1866. — Salon de Bruxelles: "Portrait of Leopold I.," by De Winne 
(Museum of Brussels) ; "The Lady in Pink," by Alfred Stevens 
(ditto); "Landscapes," by H. Boulanger ; "Roma," by Smits 
(Palace of Brussels). 
1867. — International Exhibition of Paris : Seventy-five Belgian painters 
take part in it, and send 186 pictures. Medal of Honour : Henri 
Leys (history) ; 1st Class Medals : Alfred Stevens and Floreut 
Willems (genre) ; 2nd Class Medal : Clays (sea-piece), General 
manifestation of gratification from the town of Antwerp in honour 
of Henri Leys. 
1869.— Death of Navez in Brussels. Exhibition of his work. Death 
of Henri Leys in Antwerp. 



Decorative paintings representing views of Venice, executed by Van 
Moer, in the large staircase of the Royal Palace in Brussels. 

Salon de Bruxelles : " The horsemen of the Apocalypse," by Cluyse- 
naar ; " The Port of Antwerp," by Clays (Museum of Brussels, 
Fig. 104) ; " The Separation," by Degroux (Picard Collection) ; 
"Spring," by A. Stevens (Royal Palace in Brussls); the "Mill," 

FIG. 102. — AN EPISODE OF THE DOG-MARKET, PARIS. — Joseph Stevens. 
(Museum of Brussels. 7 ft. gj in. X 9 f- 3i in- 

by Fourmois (Museum of Brussels) ;' the "Stallion," by Alfred 

1S70. — Inauguration of the frescoes by Henri Leys, in the great hall of 

the Conseil Communal in the Hotel de Ville of Antwerp, 
1871.— Death of the landscape painter Theodore Fourmois (1814 — 

1871)* in Brussels. 

• E. Greysoii : TMadore Foimmis (,/imrmil des Beaux-Arls, p. 164, 


:872.— Salon de Bruxelles : "Madness of Hugo Van der Goes" 
(Museum of Brussels), and "Mary of Burgundy before the 
Magistrates of Ghent" (Museum of Liege), by Emile Wauters ; 
the "Atlas," by Henri De Braekeleer (Museum of Brussels, 
Fig. lOS) ; " Portrait of M. Sanford," by De Winne ; "Italian 
labourers in the Campagna," by Hennebicq (Museum of 
Brussels); "The Seasons," by Smits (ditto); a "Delightful 
Promenade," byBoulanger (ditto). 

1873.— International Exhibition of Vienna : 103 painters contribute 
207 pictures. 
Inauguration of the views of old Brussels, by Van Meer (Hotel de 
Ville of Brussels). 

1874. — Death of Gustave Wappers in Paris (1804 — 1874). 

International Exhibition of London : Joseph Stevens contributes 
" Protection " (Collection of the Count of Flanders) and obtains 
the first prize in the general competition open to every style of 
Death of the landscape painter Hippolyte Boulanger (1837 — 1874), 
in Brussels.* 

1875.— Salon de Bruxelles- "At Break of Day," by Ch. Hermans 
(Museum of Brussels, Fig. 107) ; " Portrait of young Somz6e," by 
Emile Wauters; "A Vocation,'' by Cluysenaar (Museum of 
Brussels) ; "A group of Children," by Agneessens. 
Guffens and Swerts decorate with frescoes the walls of the Sheriffs 
Hall in the H6tel de Ville of Courtrai. 

1877. — Third centenary of Rubens celebrated in Antwerp with great 
solemnity. + 
Death of Madou in Brussels. 

1878. — International Exhibition of Paris. — 144 Belgian painters con- 
tribute 327 pictures. Medal of Honour : Emile Wauters 
(history and portraits) ; 1st Class Medals : De Winne (portraits) ; 
Ch, Verlat (history and animals) ; Alfred Stevens and Fl. 
Willems (genre) ; 2nd Class Medals : Cluysenaar (history and 
portraits), and Clays (sea-pieces) ; 3rd Class Medals : Alfred 
Verwee (animals), Mme. Marie CoUart and Lamoriniere (land- 

• Camille Lemonnier : Hippolyte Boulanger (Gazette lies Beaux- Arts, vol ii , 
p. 253, 1879). 

+ L'CEuvve de Rubens : Catalogue de l' Exposition, by MM. Goovaerts H 
Hymans, Rombouts and Rooses &'c. Antwerp, 1879. ' 

FIG. 103. — FfiDORA. — Alfred Stevens. 
{Crabbe Collection, Brussels. 4 ft. ajin. X 2 ft. 11 in.) 


Decoration of the "Escalier des lions," at the HStel de Ville of 
Brussels, by Emile Wauters. 
1879.— The tapestry hangings of the " Salle gothique de I'Hotel de 
Ville " de Bruxelles, manufactured by the firm Bracquenie, of 
Mechlin, according to the designs of G. Geets. 

Alfred Cluysenaar decorates the University of Ghent with 

Gallait paints fifteen historical portraits for the Senate, in Brussels 
1880. — Celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the National Indepen- 
dence. Inauguration of the Palace oT the Fine Arts. Historical 
Exhibition of Belgian Art (1830 — 1880);* 337 painters exhibit 
967 pictures. Principal Exhibitors — " History and portraits : " 
Gallait, Leys, Cluysenaar, Lies, Hennebicq and Meunier. 
" Portraits and figures : " Navez, De Winne and Portaels. 
Genre: Alfred Stevens, Henri De Braekeleer, Ch. Hermans, 
Degroux, Madou, Willems, Smits, Mellery, Van Beers and Jean 
Verhas. "Animals:" Joseph Stevens and Alf. Verwee 
"Landscape:" H. Boulanger, Fourmois, De Knyff, Heymans, 
Lamorinifere, Mme. Marie Collart, Coosemans, Dubois, De 
Cock, Baron, Is. Verheyden, and De Schampheleer. "Views 
of towns :" Van Moer. " Sea-pieces :" Clays, Mols, and Artan. 
"Flowers:" Jean Robie. "Water-colours and drawings:" 
Felicien Reps, Staquet, Uytterschaut and Pecquereau. Private 
exhibitions of Emile Wauters and Ch. Verlat. 

Death of the portrait-painter Lievin De Winne (1821 — 1880), in 
Brussels. Pauwels decorates the "halles" of Ypres with 
1881. — Salon de Bruxelles: Portraits (Coll. Somzee), by Emile Wauters 
(Fig. 108) ; " Circe," by Hermans ; the " Maisonhydraulique," 
by De Braekeleer; the yacht, ^'The Siren," by Van Beers; 
" Spring," by Van der Hecht. 

Formation of a company for the Exhibition of Panoramas ; " Cairo 
and the banks of the Nile," by Emile Wauters (Vienna) ; the 
" Battle of Waterloo," by Ch. Verlat (Antwerp); the " Battle 
of Froeschwiller," by Alf. Cluysenaar (ditto). 
1883.— International Exhibition of Berlin: The Grand Medal of the 
Salon awarded to Emile Wauters ; Ceremony in Avhich the Town 

• Camille Lemonnier : Cingunnte ans di liberK. Hisloire des Beavx-Arls en 
Btlgique, Brussels, i88i. Lucien Solvay : Vart et la liierU. Les Beaux- Arts en 
Belgique depuis 1830. Brussels, i88i. 


Council and the artistic societies of Brussels express to this 
artist their high gratification at the honour he had achieved. 
Salon de Gand :— " Le Broyeur," by H. De Braekeleer ; "View 
of Cairo," by Emile Wauters; "Bull Fight," by Alfred 
Verwee (Museum of Ghent). 
1884.— Salon de Bruxelles :— " A Flemish Landscape," by A. Verwee, 
the "Horn-Blower," by H. De Braekeleer; the "Wrestlers" 
and an Equestrian Portrait, by J. de Lalaing ; " L'Entre-cote," 
by Alfred Verhaeren. 

The rapid glance which we have cast over 
the work of the present century, proves that 
Belgium has been reinstated among the European 
schools of painting, to a rank worthy of the great 
Flemish school it is her mission to continue. Her 
artists have not, it is true, the same degree of per- 
sonality as their predecessors of the fifteenth and 
seventeenth centuries ; their colouring and their com- 
prehension of a given subject are not so distinctly 
their own ; but the cause of this change is in the 
march of time, which transforms both men and things. 
Art is always the reflex of society. The astounding 
progress of locomotion ; the institution of international 
exhibitions, which become yearly more frequent and 
better attended; education, which spreads to every 
class of society ; the brotherhood of peoples and their 
incessant intercourse, are so many causes tending to 
effect the disappearance of national distinctions. 

It can hardly be said, in our day, that this or that 
school adopts any special method ; artists of all coun- 
tries seek inspiration at the same sources ; the same 
books are read everywhere ; the public taste is be- 
coming everywhere alike. Distance is a thing of the 
past. At the present time, Paris is nearer to Brussels 


than Brussels was to Antwerp in the seventeenth 

century. This is the age of democracy and cosmopoli. 
tism. Distinctions between the various classes and the 


various races of men are disappearing ; the distance 
which divided the social orders and the differences of 
nationality are fast being effaced. The men who but 
yesterday seemed to tower so much above their fellow- 
creatures do not now appear so great, for those who 
were beneath them have become greater* 

With the exception, therefore, of a few superior 
temperaments, in whom the national character exists 
more vividly, the Belgian school, taken as a whole, 
has a tendency to merge itself in the great European 
school. The love of art is as great as it ever was. 
Painting remains in Belgium the poetical language of 
the country. Whenever Europe has called the Belgian 
artists to great artistic tournaments, throngs have 
answered the challenge, and have produced works 
which have merited applause; and obtained the noblest 
distinctions. A short time ago, speaking in a public 
ceremony, the Burgomaster of Brussels remarked that 
"A country may acquire glory in many a way, but 
the form of it most prized in Belgium will ever be the 
glory which is conferred by the cultivation of the art 
of painting." Nor is there any place where every 
branch of this art has been more studied and studied 
with more care. Belgium boasts of many portrait- 
painters, painters of history, both religious and profane, 
painters of battle-scenes, of genre, of animals, and of 
sea-pieces ; artists who depict views of towns, still-life, 
flowers, and accessories. She looks with pride on 
those of her sons who are faithful to the traditions of 

* Emile de Laveleye : Exposition Univ.rseUe de 1867 a Paris 
(CEuvres iVArt, Rapports, p. 3). 


the great age of art, and who, refusing to keep within 

the narrow limits of any speciality, attempt every style 
and boldly contemplate in its whole extent the vast 

FIG. I08. — PORTRAIT. — Emile li'aufers. 
(Somz^e Gallery, Brassels. 9 ft. 7 in, x 6 ft. 6 in. ) 


domain of painting. It is as well to dwell on this fact 
at a time when talent is most praised when it asserts 
itself in any special branch of the art. The foremost 
place alone remains unoccupied. The school still lacks 
the genius who, disdainful of any limitation, could 
boldly interpret the spirit of the century — that is to 
say, the spirit of our artistic, scientific, industrial or 
political life. Social struggles, the exercise of our 
political rights, the progress of civilisation, artistic 
ceremonies, the marvels of modern science and in- 
dustry, are not these sufficiently rich grounds, and the 
reasonable sources of the great imaginative art of our 
time ? There are some in whom no chord will be 
moved by the contemplation of our social life, of 
political assemblies, justice halls, or public ceremonies ; 
but have we not also the dockyards of Antwerp, the 
factories of Seraing, the iron-works of Li^ge, the 
mines, the furnaces, and the glass-works of the "Bori- 
nage " ? What resources ! what a population ! what 
life ! And besides, how noble the mission of glori- 
fying such struggles, such progress, and such conquests ! 
When shall we see the great, noble, dramatic, and 
popular work which will make the soul of the nine- 
teenth century breathe in the decoration of our 
monuments and in the compositions of the great 
imaginative art > We need not despair of a magni- 
ficent future for the Belgian school, while it numbers, 
as it does, within its pale, so many gifted artists inspired 
with the noble ambition of winning undying fame. 



Achtschellinck (Lucas) . . 
Adriaensen (Alexander) . 
Agneessens (Edward), Appen 


Aken (see Bosch). 
Alsloot (Denis Van). . . 
Apshoven (Ferdinand Van) 
Apshoven (Thomas Van) . 
Artan (Louis), App. 
Arthois (James d') . . . 
Artveldt (see Eertvelt). 
Avont (Peter Van) . . 
Axpoele (William Van) 

Backereel (Giles). . 
Backereel (The) . . 
Balen ( Henry Van) . 
Baron (Theodore), App. 
Beer (John de) . . 
Beers (John Van), App 
Beert (Osias) . . . 
Belcamp (John Van) 
Bellechose (Henry) . 
Bellegambe I. (John) 
Bellegambe II. (John) 
Bellegambe (Martin) 
Bernaerts (Nicaise) . 
Bemaerdt (Peter) . 
Beschey (Balthazar). 
Beuckelaer (Joachim) 
Beauneveu (Andrew) 
B B 











Bie (Adrian de) . . 
Biefoe (Edward de) . . 
Biset (Charles Emmanuel). 
Biset (John Baptist). 
Bles (Henry) . . . 
Bloemen (Frans Van) 
Bloemen (Peter Van) 
Blondeel (Launcelot) 
Bloot (Peter de) . . 
Boeck (Van) . . . 
Boeckhorst (John) . 
Boel (Peter) .... 
Boeyermans (Theodore) 
Boides (William) . . 
Bol (Hans) . . . 
Bologna (John of) . 
Borrekens (John Baptist) 
Bosch (Jerome) . 
Bosch (Louis Van den), 
Bosschaerts (John) . ^ 
Bosschaerts (see Willeboirts). 
Bossche (Balthazar Van den) 
Boucle (see Boeck). 
Boudewyns (Adrian Francis) 
Boulanger (Hyppolite), App 
Bout (Peter) . . . 
Bouts (Albert) . . 
Bouts I. (Thierry) . 
Bouts II. (Thierry) . 
Braekeleer (Ferdinand de). 
Braekeleer (Henry de) App 
Brauwer (Adrian) . 











Breda (see Bredael). 
Bredael {John Francis Van) 
Bredael (John Peter Van) . 
Bredael (Genealogy of the 


Br^e (Matthew Van) . 
Breughel (Abraham) . . 
Breughel (Ambrose) . . 
Breughel (John), Velvet 
Breughel II. (John). . . 
Breughel (John Baptist) 
Breughel I. (Peter), the Droll 
Breughel (Peter), HeUish . 
Breughel (Genealogy of the) 
Breydel (Charles) . . . 
Bril (Matthew) .... 

Bril (Paul) 

Broeck (Crispin Van den) . 
Broeck (Elias Van den) . 
Broederlam (Melchior). 





Caisne (Henry de) .... 394 

Calvaert (Uenys) 180 

Campana (see Kempeneer). 

Campin (Robert) 53 

Candido (see Witte). 

Carlier (John) 363 

Cavael (James) 28 

Cayo (see Key, William). 

Champaigne (John Baptist o^ 376 

Champaigne (Philip of) . . 376 

Charles ofYpres 178 

Claeis (Peter) 134 

Claeis (Genealogy of the). . 134 

Clays (Paul John), App. . . 408 

Cleve (John Van) .... 361 
Cleef (see Cleve). 

Clerck (Henry de) .... 203 

Cleve (Henry Van) . . . . 138 

Cleve (Josse Van) .... 136 

Cleve 1. (Martin Van) ... 13S 

Cleve II. (Martin Van) . . :88 

Cleve (Genealogy of the Van) 138 

elite (Lievin de Le) ... 62 

Clouet (The) 18S 

Cluysenaar (Alfred), App. . 408 

Cobergher (Wenceslas) . . 201 

Cock (Jerome) 136 

Cock (Matthew) .... 136 

Cock (Xavier de), App. . . 408 

CoUart (Mme. Marie), App. . 408 

Congnet (Giles) 198 

Coninck (David de) . . . . 289 

Coninxloo (Cornelius Van) . 142 

Coninxloo (Giles Van) . . . 142 
Coninxloo (Genealogy of the 

Van) 142 

Coosemans (Alexander) . . 347 

Coosemans (Joseph), App. . 408 

Coques (Gonzales) .... 309 

Cornelius (Lucas) .... 184 

Cortbemde (Balthazar Van) . 357 

Cossiers (John) 353 

Coter (Colin de) 63 

Coucke (Peter) 152 

Coulx (Servais de) . . . 203 

Coustain (Peter) 92 

Coxie (Michael) . . . . 149 

Coxie (Raphael) ... . 151 

Coxie (Genealogy of the) . . 151 

Craesbeek (JesS Van) . . 300 

Grayer (Gaspard de) . . . 260 
Cristus (Peter) ... -63 

Crislus (Sebastian) .... 64 
Curvus (see Rave). 

Daret (Daniel) .... 
Daven (see Thiry). 
David (Gerard ) . . . . 
Decuyper (Wilhelm) . . 
Dedeister (Louis) , . . 
Degroux (Charles) . . . 
Delmonte (see Mom). 
I lenys (James) .... 
Diepenbeek (Abraham Van) 
Dillens (Adolphus), App. . 
Douffet (Gerard). . 
Dubois (Ambrose) . 
Dubois (Louis), App. 
Duchastel (Francis) . 
Duvenede (Mark Van) 
Uyck (Anthony Van) 
Dyck (Daniel Van) . 









Egmont (Justus d') . . 
Ehrenberg (William Van) 
Ertvelt (Andrew Van) 
Es (John Van) . . 
Eyck (Gaspard Van) 
Eyck (Hubert Van) . 
Eyck (John Van) 
Eyck (Lambert Van) 
Eyck (Margaret Van) 
Eyck (Nicholas Van) 

Fabrique (Nicholas la 
Falens (Charles Van) 
Finson (Louis) . . 
Flemalle (Bertholet) 
Floris (Anthony). 
Floris (Frans). . 
Floris (Genealogy of the) 
Foucquier (James) . . 
Fourmois (Theodore), App. 
Franceschi (see Franchoys, 

Franchoys I. (Lucas) 
Franchoys II. (Lucas) 
Franchoys (Paul) 
Franchoys (Peter). . 
Francis (Peter) . . 
Franck (John) . . 
Francken (Ambrose) 
Francken I. (Francis) 
Francken II. (Francis) 
Francken (John) . 
Francken (Jerome) . 
Francken (Nicholas) 
Francken (Genealogy of the) 
P'yt (John) 













■ 358 
348, 358 

Gabron (William) . 
Gallant (Louis) . . 
Galle (Jerome) . 
Garibaldi (Marcus) . 
Garrard (see Gheerardt). 
Gassel (Lucas) . i - 
Geeraerts (Martin) . 
Geets (William), App. 
Geldorp (Gortzius) . 



Genoels ( Abraham) . 
Gerbier (Balthazar) . 
Gestele (Mark Van). 
Gheerardt I. (Mark) 
Gheerardt II. (Mark) 
Gheringh (Anthony) 
Gheyn (James of) 
Gillemans (John Paul) 
Goes (Hugo Van der) 
Goltzius (Hubert) . 
Goovaerts (Henry) . 
Gossaert (John) . 
Goubau (Anthony) . 
Gourvi (James Peter) 
Govaerts (Abraham) 
Grimer (Abel) 
Grimer (James) . 
Gryeff (Adolphus de) 
GryefF (Adrian de) . 
GufFens (Godfrey), App. 
Gysels (Peter) . . . 

Haecht (Tobias Van) 
Haert (Peter Van der) 
Hammau (Edward). 
Hamme (Josse Van) 
Hecht (Henry Van der), App, 
Hecke (John Van) . . . 
Heere (Lucas de) 
Heil (Daniel Van) . . . 
Hele (Isaac de la) . . . 
Hellemont (Matthew Van) 
Hemessen (John Van) . . 
Hemling (see Memling). 
Henne (Peter) .... 
Hennebicq (Andrew), App. 
Hermans (Charles), App. . 
Herp (William Van) 243 


Herreyns (William) . . . 
Heuvele (Anthony Van den) 
Heymans (Adrian), App. . 
Hinxt(Loyle) .... 
Hoecke (John Van den) . 
Hoecke (Robert van) . . 
Hoefnagels (George) . . 
Horebout (Gerard) . . . 

and ■ 



Horebout (Lucas) , . 
Horemans (John) 
Horst (Nicholas Van del) 
Huffel (Peter Van) . . 
HuUe (Anselm Van) 
Huys (Peter) .... 
Huysmans (Cornelius) . 
Huysmans (John Baptist) 

Immenraet (Philip) . . . . 
Immenraet (Michael Angelo) . 

Janssens (Abraham) w . 
Janssens (Jerome) . . 
Janssens (Victor Honore) 
Jehan of Bruges. . . 
Jehan Van der Hasselt . 
Joncquoy (Michael) . . 
Jordaens (Hans) . . . 
Jordaens I. (Jacob) . . 
Jordaens II. (Jacob) 
Juan Flamenco . . 
Justus of Ghent . . . 

Keirrinckx (Alexander) 
Kempeneer (Peter de) 
Kessel (John Van) . 
Kessel (Jerome Van) 
Kessel (Genealogy of the Van) 
Key (Adrian Thomas) 
Key (William) . . 
Key (Genealogy of the) 
Keyser (Nicasius de) , 
Knyff (Alfred de), App, 

Lagye (Victor) .... 
Lairesse (Gerard de) . . 
Lalaing (James de) . . . 
Lamen (Christopher Van der) 
Lamoriniire (Francis), App. 
Lampsonius (Dominick) . 
Leemput (Remy Van) . . 
Lens (Andrew) .... 
Leux (see Luycx). 














35 1 



2 ,2 

Leys (Henry) 

Liemaeckere (Nicholas de) 
Lies (Joseph) .... 
Liesaert (Peter) . 
Lint (Heruy Van) . . 
Lint (Peter Van). . . 
Lombard (Lambert). 
Longe (Robert de) . . 
Lucidel (see Neuchatel) 
Luckx (Christian) . 
Luycx (Francis) . . . 

Mabuse (see Gossaert). 
Madou (John Baptist) 
Maes (Godfrey) . . 
Maes (John) . . . 
Mahu (Cornelius) 
Malwel (John) . . 
Mander I. (Charles Van) 
Mander II. (Charles Van) 
Mander IIL (Charles Van) 
Marinus de Romerswalen 
Marmion (Simon) . . 
Martins (John) . . . 
Martins (Nabur) . 
Massys (see Metsys). 
Meert (Peter) .... 
Mehus (Li^vin) . . . 
Meire (Gerard Van der) 
Meire (John Van der) . 
Mellery (Xavier), App. 
Memling (Hans) . . 
Mere (Li^vin Van der) . 
Mertens (John) . . . 
Metsys (Cornelius) . . 
Metsys (John) . . . 
Metsys (Quentin) . . 
Metsys (Genealogy of the) 
Meulen (Adam Francis Van 


Meulener (Peter). . . 
Meunier (Constant), App. 
Michaud (Theobald) . 
Miel (John) .... 
Mirou (Anthony) . . 
Moer (John Baptist Van), App. 
Moermans (James) . 



Mol (Peter Van) . . . 

Molenaer (Cornelius) . 

Mols (Robert), App. . 

Momper (Josse de) . . 
Mont (Dieudonne Van der) 

Most (John Van der) . 

Mostert (Francis) . . 

Mostert (Giles) . . . 

Mostert (John) . . . 

Munstart (Francis) . . 

Mytens (Arnold) . . . 

Navez (Francis) . . . 
Neefs (Peter) .... 
Neuchatel (Nicholas) . 
Neve (Cornelius de). . 
Nicasius (see Bemaerts). 


Nieulandt (Adrian Van) 
Nieulandt (William Van) 
Noort (Adam Van) . . 
Noort (Lambert Van) . 
Nyts (GUes) .... 

Odevaere (Joseph) . . 
Olivier of Ghent . . . 
Ommeganck (Balthazar) 
Oost I. (James Van) 
Oost II. (James Van) . 
Opstal (Gaspard Van) . 
Orley (Bernard Van) . 
Orley (John Van) . . 
Orley (Genealogy of the Van) 
Orrizonte (see Bloemen). 
Oudenaerde (Robert Van) . . 










Paelinck (Joseph) , .. . 
Pasture (see Weyden, Roger) 

Patinier (Joachim) .... 93 

Pauwels (Ferdinand), App. . 408 

Pecquereau (Alphonse), App. 408 

Peeters (Bonaventure) . . . 340 

Peelers (Clara) 350 

Peeters (John) 340 

Peeters (Genealogy of the) . 340 

Pennemaeckers .... 
Pepyn (Martin) .... 
Plas (Peter Van der) . . 
Plattenburg (Matthew Van) 
Poindre (Jacob de) . . . 
Portaels (John), App. . . 
Portier (Hugo) ..... 
Pourbus I. (Francis) . . 
Pourbus II. (Francis) . . 
Pourbus (Peter) .... 
Primo (Louis) 

Quellinus (Erasmus) . . . 
(juellinus (John Erasmus) . . 
Quellinus (Genealogy of the) . 

Rave (John) 

Reesbroeck (Tames Van) 
Remeeus (David) 
Reyn (John Van) 
Ricx (Lambert) . 
Robbe (Louis), App. 
Robert (Alexander) . 
Robie (John), App. 
Rombouts (Theodore) . . . 
Romerswalen (see Marinus). 

Roose ([ohn) 

Roose (see Liemaeckere). 
Rops (Felicien), App. . . . 
Rubens (Peter Paul) . . . 
Ryckaert II. (David) . 
Ryckaert III. (David) . . . 
Ryckaert (Martin) . . . . 
Ryckaert (Genealogy of the) , 
Ryckere (Abraham de) . . . 










Sadeler (Giles) 193 

Sallaerts (Anthony) .... 268 
Sanders (see Hemessen). 

Savery (Roland) 194 

Schampheleer (Edmund of), 

App 408 

Schaubroek (Peter) .... 326 
Schernier (see Coninxloo). 

Schoeraerdts (Martin) . . . 330 



Schoenere (Saladin de), 
Schuppen (James Van) 
Schuppen (Peter Van) 
Schut (Cornelius) . 
Seghers (Daniel). . 
Siberechts (John) . 
Simonau (Francis), App. 
Slingeneyer (Ernest) 
Smeyers (Giles) . . 
Smits (Eugfene), App. 
Snayers (Peter) . . 
Snellaert (Nicholas). 
Snellaert (John) . . 
Snellinck (John) . . 
Snyders (Francis) . 

Snyers (Peters) . . 
Soraer (Paul Van) . 

Son (George Van) . 

Son (John Van) . . 
Soyer (Hanyn) . . 

Spierinckx (Peter) . 

Spranger (Bartholomew 

Stalbemt (Adrian Van) 

Stallaert (Joseph) 

Standaert (see Bloemen). 

Staquet (Henry), App. 

Star (Francis Van der) . . 

Steenwyck (Henry Van) . 

Stevens (Alfred), App. . . 

Stevens (Joseph), App. . 

Stevens (Peter) . . . . 

Sti-aden (see Straeten). 

Straeten (John Van der) . 

Stuerbout (see Bouts). 

Susterman (see Lombard). 

Suttermans (John) . . . 

Suttermans (Justus) . 

Suvee (Joseph) . . . . 

Swerts (John), App. 

Teniers (Abraham) . 
Teniers I. (David) . 
Teniers II. (David) . 
Teniers III. (David) 
Teniers IV. (David). 
Teniers (Genealogy of the) 
Thielen (John Philip Van) 








■ 336 

• 194 

• 329 

■ 38s 

. 408 

. 189 

• 342 

• 404 

• 404 

■ 193 





Thiry (Leonard) 183 

Thomas (Alexander) ... 394 
Thomas (John) -. . . -35° 

Thulden (Theodore Van) . . 248 

Thys (Peter) 35^ 

Tilborgl. (Giles Van) . . . 305 

Tilborg II. (Giles Van) . . 305 

Truffin (Philip) 62 

Uden (Lucas Van) .... 330 
Utrecht (Adrian Van) ... 345 
Ulterschaut (Victor), App. . 408 

Vadder (Louis de) . . . . 332 
Vaenius (see Veen). 

Vaillant (Waillerant) ... 244 

Valkenborgh (Lucas Van) . . 196 

Valkenboi^h (Martin Van) . 196 

Veen (Otho Van) .... 202 

Verboeckhoven (Eugene) . . 386 

Verbrugghen (Gaspard Peter) 351 

Verendael (Nicholas Van) . . 351 
Verhaecht (see Haecht). 

Verhaegen (Peter) .... 383 

Verhaeren (Alfred), App. . . 410 

Verhas (John), App. . . . 408 

Verheyden (Isidore), App. . 408 

Verlat (Charles), App. ... 408 

Vermeyen (Henry) .... 142 

Vermeyen (John Cornelius) . 140 

Verwee (Alfred) App. . . . 410 

Vigne (Felix de) 401 

Vinas (see Wyngaerde). 

Vinckboons (David). . . . 328 

Vlerick (Peter) 179 

Vleys (Nicholas) 361 

Voet (Ferdinand) .... 372 

Vos (Cornelius de) . . . . 274 

Vos (Martin de) 163 

Vos (Paul de) 284 

Vos (Simon de) 353 

Vos (Genealogy of the De) . 164 

Vranck (Sebastian) .... 317 

Vranque 31 

Vriendc (see Florib). 



Wael (Cornelius de) 
Wael (Lucas de). 
Wans ( lohn Baptist) 
Wappers (Gustave) . 
Wauters (Emile), App. 
Werth (Adrian de) . 
Wery (Gerard) ... 
Weyden (Gossin Van der) 
Weyden (Roger Van der) 
Weyden, (Genealogy of 

Van der) . . 
Wierts (Anthony) 
Wigan (Isaac) 
Wildens (John) . 
Wil'aerts (Adam) 
Willeboirts (Thoma?) . 
Willems (Florent), App. 
Winghen (Jesse Van) . 
Winne (Lievin De), App. 
Witte (Gaspard de) . . 






Witte (Lievin de) . . . 


Witte (Peter de) . . . . 


Witte I. (Peter de) . . . 


Witte ir. (Peter de) . . 


Witte (Genealogy of the De) 


Woestin (Roger Van der) . 


Wolfvoet (Victor) . . . 


Woluwe (John Van). . 


Wouters (Francis) . . 


Woutiers (Micheline) . . 


Wyngaerde (Van den) . 


Wytevelde (Van) . . 


Ykens (Francis) 346 

Ykens (Peter) 357 

Zaide (Jehan de le) 
Zegers (Gerard) .