Flemish painting and De Jonckheere Gallery's old master paintings
1570 Malines – 1628 Brussels
Son of a Brussels tapestry-maker of the same name (cf. M. de Maeyer, 1933, pp. 3 to 11 and W. Schrickx, 1947, pp. 47 to 64). Painter of landscapes and open-air festivities. He became a master of the Guild of Saint Luke in Brussels in 1599. It was probably in 1600 that he became the appointed painter of Archduke Albert and the Infanta Isabella (cf. A.J. Wauters, 1889, pp. 9 to 36). His most important work, as Y. Thiéry (1965, no. 3) reminds us, is a collection of documentary paintings representing the annual Ommegang procession, of 31st May 1615 in Brussels (cf. L. van Puyvelde, 1960). He was asked to paint the entire cavalcade in a series of paintings, four of which are undisputedly his; two are kept in Madrid (Prado) and two in London (Victoria and Albert Museum).
As a landscape artist, he was interested in the Forest of Soignes and in the picturesque surroundings of Brussels. At the start of his career, he followed in the footsteps of the Brueghelian tradition and Gillis van Coninxloo (as R.A. d’Hulst [1972, no. 2] points out, his rare drawings clearly show the influence of this artist). Afterwards, his style became simpler and more original. Y. Thiéry (1953, p. 170) has listed sixteen signed or monogrammed paintings, fourteen of which are dated between 1608 and 1626 (museums of Antwerp, Brussels, Madrid, Nantes, Vienna, various sales, etc.).
It is worth noting that he painted in collaboration with Hendrick de Clerck on paintings such as Céphale et Procris (1608, museum in Vienna) and Paradis (Schleissheim Palace).
The critical fortune of this artist was varied. Cornelis de Bie (1661) dedicated eight banal lines and four verses to him. In the 18th century, Descamps (1753) simply said that he was the painter of Archduke Albert. Mensaert (1763) did not mention him at all. In the 19th century, Balkema (1844) and Kramm (1857) provided a few lines with the same limited information. It was not until 1872 that Alexandre Pinchart published a noteworthy study of the painter; then, in 1889, an article by Wauters was published. Contemporary publications include those by E. Larsen (1948), W. Wegner (1961), E. de Callatay (1963) and the works of Y. Thiéry (1953).