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Maarten de Vos

1532 – Antwerp – 1603

Maarten de Vos was born in Antwerp. His father, the painter Pieter de Vos from Leiden in Holland, registered with the Guild of Saint Luke in Antwerp in 1507. The youngest of four children, Maarten undoubtedly trained in his father’s studio. He also travelled to Italy at the same time as Pieter Brueghel in 1552 and we know that he executed background landscapes for Tintoretto on his journey through Rome then Venice.

In 1558, he was admitted to the Guild of Saint Luke in Antwerp and married Joanna Le Boucq. In 1564, he had the good fortune to obtain commissions from the rich Antwerp merchant Gillis Hooftman. He was then called to Celle in 1570 to decorate the palatine chapel of William, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg. Thanks to this growing notoriety, he was appointed dean of the guild in 1572. He was awarded large commissions from the brotherhoods of Antwerp and executed the monumental altarpieces for Antwerp Cathedral. Above all a painter of religious scenes, he was also a highly-skilled portrait painter and artist. Beginning with mannerism, his style evolved to become clear and descriptive, which perfectly corresponds to the ideas of the Counter-Reformation.