David Teniers the Younger
David Teniers the Younger or David Teniers II was a Flemish painter, draughtsman, miniaturist painter, staffage painter and art curator. He was an versatile artist known for his prolific output, he was an innovator in a wide range of genres such as history, landscape and still life. He is now best remembered as the leading Flemish genre painter of his day. Teniers is known for developing the peasant genre, the tavern scene, pictures of collections and scenes with alchemists and physicians, he was court painter and the curator of the collection of Archduke Leopold Wilhelm, the art loving Governor General of the Habsburg Netherlands. He created a printed catalogue of the collections of the Archduke, he was the founder of the Antwerp Academy, where young artists were trained to draw and sculpt in the hope of reviving Flemish art after its decline following the death of the leading Flemish artists Rubens and Anthony van Dyck in the early 1640s. He influenced the next generation of Northern genre painters as well as French Rococo painters such as Antoine Watteau.
David Teniers the Younger was born in Antwerp as the son of David Teniers the Elder and Dymphna de Wilde. His father was a painter of small-scale cabinet paintings. Three of his brothers became painters: Juliaan III, Theodoor and Abraham; the work of his two oldest brothers is unknown while the work of his youngest brother Abraham was close to David's own. From 1626 David the younger studied under his father. A collaborator of his father early on in his career, the father and son pair created together a series of twelve panels recounting stories from Torquato Tasso's epic Gerusalemme Liberata, his father was in financial straits and his debts landed him in jail. David the younger had to make copies of old masters. In 1632–33 he was registered as'wijnmeester' in the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke. A David Teniers is recorded in the Antwerp records as having been issued in 1635 a passport to visit Paris; the artist also travelled to England as on 29 December 1635 of the same year he signed in Dover a contract with the Antwerp art dealer Chrisostomos van Immerseel resident in England.
Rubens received in 1636 a commission from the Spanish king Philip IV of Spain to create a series of mythological paintings to decorate the Torre de la Parada, a hunting lodge of the king near Madrid. The mythological scenes depicted in the series were based on the Metamorphoses of Ovid. Rubens realized this important commission with the assistance of a large number of Antwerp painters such as Jacob Jordaens, Cornelis de Vos, Jan Cossiers, Peter Snayers, Thomas Willeboirts Bosschaert, Theodoor van Thulden, Jan Boeckhorst, Peeter Symons, Jacob Peter Gowy and others, who worked after Rubens' modellos. Teniers was invited to participate in this project and make a picture after Rubens' design; that painting is considered lost. Teniers married into the famous Brueghel artist family when Anna Brueghel, daughter of Jan Brueghel the Elder, became his wife on 22 July 1637. Rubens, the guardian of Anna Brueghel after her father’s death, was a witness at the wedding. Through his marriage Teniers was able to cement a close relationship with Rubens, a good friend and frequent collaborator with his wife's father.
This is borne out by the fact that at the baptism of the first of the couple's seven children David Teniers III, Rubens' second wife, Hélène Fourment was the godmother. Around this time Teniers started to gain a reputation as an artist and he received many commissions; the Guild of St George, a local militia in Antwerp, commissioned a group portrait in 1643. Teniers was a dean of the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke in 1644–1645; when Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria became the Governor General of the Southern Netherlands in 1647, the Archduke soon became an important patron of Teniers. The success went to the artist's head, he claimed that his grandfather Julian Taisnier, who had moved from Ath to Antwerp in the 16th century had been from a family, entitled to bear a coat of arms. Teniers started to use this coat of arms consisting of a croaching bear on a field of gold encircled by three green acorns, his brother-in-law Jan Baptist Borrekens reported him and Teniers was prohibited from using the coat of arms.
Around 1650 Teniers moved to Brussels to formally enter into the service of the Archduke as a “pintor de cámara”. The Archduke asked him to be the keeper of the art gallery he had set up in his palace in Brussels. In that position he succeeded the Antwerp painter Jan van den Hoecke who had earlier worked in Vienna for the Archduke. One of Teniers' key tasks in this position was to enlarge the Archducal collection. Teniers put together a collection for the art gallery which included his own work and that of other artists, which he selected, he was involved in the purchase of a large number of Italian, Venetian, masterpieces from the confiscated collections of Charles I of England and his Jacobite supporters. One of his most important successes was the acquisition of the major part of the collection owned by James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Hamilton, a close associate and favorite of the English King and was, like the King, executed in 1649; the Conde de Fuensaldaña acting as Leopold Wilhelm's lieutenant in the Southern Netherlands sent Teniers to England in 1651 to purchase paintings at the Pembroke and other sales.
Antwerp is a city in Belgium, is the capital of Antwerp province in Flanders. With a population of 520,504, it is the most populous city proper in Belgium, with 1,200,000 the second largest metropolitan region after Brussels. Antwerp is on the River Scheldt, linked to the North Sea by the river's Westerschelde estuary, it is about 40 kilometres north of Brussels, about 15 kilometres south of the Dutch border. The Port of Antwerp is one of the biggest in the world, ranking second in Europe and within the top 20 globally; the city is known for its diamond industry and trade. Both economically and culturally, Antwerp is and has long been an important city in the Low Countries before and during the Spanish Fury and throughout and after the subsequent Dutch Revolt. Antwerp was the place of the world's oldest stock exchange building built in 1531 and re-built in 1872; the inhabitants of Antwerp are nicknamed Sinjoren, after the Spanish honorific señor or French seigneur, "lord", referring to the Spanish noblemen who ruled the city in the 17th century.
The city hosted the 1920 Summer Olympics. According to folklore, notably celebrated by a statue in front of the town hall, the city got its name from a legend about a giant called Antigoon who lived near the Scheldt river, he extracted a toll from passing boatmen, for those who refused, he severed one of their hands and threw it into the river. The giant was killed by a young hero named Silvius Brabo, who cut off the giant's own hand and flung it into the river. Hence the name Antwerpen, from Dutch hand werpen, akin to Old English hand and wearpan, which has evolved to today's warp. A longstanding theory is that the name originated in the Gallo-Roman period and comes from the Latin antverpia. Antverpia would come from Ante Verpia, indicating land that forms by deposition in the inside curve of a river. Note that the river Scheldt, before a transition period between 600 and 750, followed a different track; this must have coincided with the current ringway south of the city, situating the city within a former curve of the river.
However, many historians think it unlikely that there was a large settlement which would be named'Antverpia', but more something like an outpost with a river crossing. However, John Lothrop Motley argues, so do a lot of Dutch etymologists and historians, that Antwerp's name derives from "anda" and "werpum" to give an't werf. Aan't werp is possible; this "warp" is a man-made hill or a river deposit, high enough to remain dry at high tide, whereupon a construction could be built that would remain dry. Another word for werp is pol hence polders. Alfred Michiels has suggested that derivations based on hand werpen, Antverpia, "on the wharf", or "at the warp" lack historical backing in the form of recorded past spellings of the placename, he points instead to Dado's Life of St. Eligius from the 7th century, which records the form Andoverpis, he sees in it a Celtic origin indicating "those who live on both banks". Historical Antwerp had its origins in a Gallo-Roman vicus. Excavations carried out in the oldest section near the Scheldt, 1952–1961, produced pottery shards and fragments of glass from mid-2nd century to the end of the 3rd century.
The earliest mention of Antwerp dates from the 4th century. In the 4th century, Antwerp was first named; the Merovingian Antwerp was evangelized by Saint Amand in the 7th century. At the end of the 10th century, the Scheldt became the boundary of the Holy Roman Empire. Antwerp became a margraviate in 980, by the German emperor Otto II, a border province facing the County of Flanders. In the 11th century, the best-known leader of the First Crusade, Godfrey of Bouillon, was Margrave of Antwerp, from 1076 until his death in 1100, though he was also Duke of Lower Lorraine and Defender of the Holy Sepulchre. In the 12th century, Norbert of Xanten established a community of his Premonstratensian canons at St. Michael's Abbey at Caloes. Antwerp was the headquarters of Edward III during his early negotiations with Jacob van Artevelde, his son Lionel, the Duke of Clarence, was born there in 1338. After the silting-up of the Zwin and the consequent decline of Bruges, the city of Antwerp part of the Duchy of Brabant, grew in importance.
At the end of the 15th century the foreign trading houses were transferred from Bruges to Antwerp, the building assigned to the English nation is mentioned in 1510. Antwerp became the sugar capital of Europe, importing the raw commodity from Portuguese and Spanish plantations; the city attracted Italian and German sugar refiners by 1550, shipped their refined product to Germany Cologne. Moneylenders and financiers developed a large business lending money all over Europe including the English government in 1544–1574. London bankers were too small to operate on that scale, Antwerp had a efficient bourse that itself attracted rich bankers from around Europe. After the 1570s, the city's banking business declined: England ended its borrowing in Antwerp in 1574. Fernand Braudel states that Antwerp became "the centre of the entire international economy, something Bruges had never been at its height." Antwerp was the richest city in Europe at this time. Antwerp's golden age is l
Anselm van Hulle
Anselm van Hulle or Anselmus van Hulle was a Flemish painter of portraits whose works were prized at the Northern European Courts. He was court painter to the Prince of Orange and was one of the few portrait painters who attended the peace negotiations for the Peace of Münster in 1648. Van Hulle established an international reputation by having the portraits he made of the delegates at the negotiations engraved and published. Anselm van Hulle was baptized in the St. Bavo Church in Gent on 23 July 1601, he was the son of Egidius van Hulle. He may have been a pupil of Gaspar de Crayer, a leading Baroque painter from Antwerp working in Brussels. A training with such a prominent painter was expensive. Van Hulle came from a wealthy family owning various lands and annuities, which he had inherited, was thus able to afford the cost of such a training should it in effect have taken place. Van Hulle became a master in the Guild of St. Luke of Gent in 1620, he made a trip to Italy in 1631 but was back in Gent in the same year.
He married on 14 December 1631 with Livina of Thuyne. The couple had four children, it is not clear. He became court painter to Prince of Orange. Van Hulle made various portraits of persons of the Orange dynasty; the Prince sent him in 1645 or 1646 to Münster to make portraits of the delegates who attended the peace negotiations for the Peace of Münster. Van Hulle established a large workshop in Münster to make the copies of the same; the Flemish painter Jan-Baptist Floris was initially an employee of van Hulle’s workshop and started working for his own account by making portraits based on van Hulle's work. Floris is recorded as having received a commission for 34 portrait paintings of the delegates for the Münster Town Council at a price of ten thalers. Van Hulle charged 10 ducats for a bust painted by himself. Van Hulle’s workshop produced many copies of the delegates' portraits which were acquired by the delegates themselves and by the local councils of cities in the region where the peace talks were held such as Münster and Osnabrück.
Van Hulle was active as an art dealer during his residence in Münster. He left Münster for a while in 1647 to attend to an inheritance matter in the family of his wife. After the conclusion of the peace negotiations in Münster, van Hulle followed the delegates to Nuremberg where the debriefings took place in 1649, his patron Frederick Henry died the same year. He travelled to Kassel in 1650 and was active at the Dresden court in 1651, he also worked at other courts in the region. From 1652 he was active in Vienna where he entered the service of Emperor Ferdinand III; the emperor gave him a peerage on 27 August 1652. The Emperor sent him to Gottorf Castle in 1653 to paint a portrait of Frederick III, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp, he returned to Vienna. The last known record about van Hulle relates to his administration of the estate of Livina van den Tuyne for which he appeared before a notary in Gent, together with his son Pieter. Van Hulle has been described as a painter of portraits and history paintings.
However, only portrait paintings are attributed to him. His portrait paintings include single portraits, family portraits, bust portraits and equestrian portraits, he was a portrait painter to the elite. As court painter to the Dutch stadtholder Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange he produced, amongst others, a series of equestrian portraits of the Dutch stadtholders starting from William the Silent the Frederick Henry himself; these works have remained in the Royal Collection of the Netherlands and are on display at the Royal Palace of Amsterdam. He was able to establish his international fame thanks to the portraits that he made of the delegates to the peace negotiations for the Peace of Münster. Not only were many copies of the paintings made, but they were widely distributed through engravings after these paintings; as court painter to the Prince of Orange, van Hulle was able to obtain a printing privilege in March 1648. He had reproductions made from his sketches by the leading engravers in Antwerp, such as Paulus Pontius, Conrad Waumans, Cornelius Galle the Younger, Pieter de Jode II and Mattheus Borrekens.
The engravings were made on copper plates with a size of 30 x 20 cm and printed on large-format paper sheets of up to 41 x 32 cm. The prints show the bust of the delegate in an oval in which his motto is inscribed, above him the coat of arms of the entity that the delegate represents at the peace negotiations, below the coat of arms of the delegate's family and below this a cartouche with the delegate's titles; the architectural framework of each portrait is in the form of an epitaph which emphasises that the portrait was made for posterity. The delegates approved the final version of the motto, coats of arms and the titles of their portraits. Van Hulle received financial assistance from the city of Münster for his printing project. In 1648 a first edition of the prints was published in Antwerp by Daniel Middeler under the title Celeberrimi legati ad pacificandum Christiani nominis orbem, legati ad Monasterium et Osnabrugas ex omni pene gentium nationumque genera missi. Ad vivum Anselmi v. Hulle penicillo expressi eiusque cura et aere per ingeniores huius aevi sculptores caelo representati.
This edition contained about 35 to 37 plates. The engravings were sold individually, so that each diplomat could assemble a personal selection of portraits and have them bound with a specially printed title page; as a result no two of these anthologies are the same in the
The Vienna Museum is a group of museums in Vienna consisting of the museums of the history of the city. In addition to the main building in Karlsplatz and the Hermesvilla, the group includes numerous specialised museums, musicians' residences and archaeological excavations; the permanent exhibit of art and the historical collection on the history of Vienna include exhibits dating from the Neolithic to the mid-20th century. The emphasis is on the 19th century. In addition, the Vienna Museum hosts a variety of special exhibitions. Known as the Historical Museum of the City of Vienna, its existence dates back to 1887, until 1959 was located in the Vienna Town Hall; the first plans for a city museum on Karlsplatz date back to the beginning of the 20th century. However, not least because of two world wars, the building of the museum was postponed for several decades. In 1953, the City Council of Vienna passed a resolution to honour Austrian president and former mayor Theodor Körner, on the occasion of his 80th birthday by making the museum building a reality.
A design contest was organised, in which 13 architects were invited to take part but, open to any other entrants. Designs were evaluated by a jury, chaired by the architect Franz Schuster and whose other members were the architects Max Fellerer and Roland Rainer, the Vienna Director of Building, the Director of City Collections, Franz Glück, the Head of the City Department of Regulations and the Head of the Department of Architecture. 80 contestants submitted a total of 96 designs. The jury awarded Oswald Haerdtl fourth place, but he was subsequently "off-handedly" contracted to design the building, executed in an unassuming contemporary modern style. Haertl was responsible for the interior design, down to the furnishing of the director's office; the museum opened on 23 April 1959 as the first newly built museum of the Second Republic, remained the only such for decades. The Historical Museum distinguished itself with its exhibitions. In 1985, under director Robert Waissenberger, it presented the Jugendstil exhibition Traum und Wirklichkeit at the Vienna Künstlerhaus on the opposite side of the square.
In 2000, the courtyard was roofed over. In 2003, under the direction of Wolfgang Kos, the museums of the City of Vienna were united under the umbrella name of Vienna Museum and the Historical Museum was renamed Vienna Museum. In early 2006, the foyer was renovated and in addition, new exhibition space was created in what had been a storage area; the main building of the museum presents a mix of historical and art exhibits with the intent of offering the visitor a cross section of the development of the city, from its beginnings in the Neolithic through the Roman camp of Vindobona up to the 20th century. In addition to the permanent exhibits, there are frequent special exhibitions. A memorandum of understanding and cooperation was signed in January 2000 with the Nagoya City Museum, establishing it as a partner museum. In autumn 2008, to celebrate its 50 years in the Karlsplatz building, the Vienna Museum published a list of highlights of its history, including the following: 23 April 1959: Formal opening of the Historical Museum building and of the first special exhibition, on Hieronymus Löschenkohl, by President Adolf Schärf 1960: Exhibition on the Vienna Municipal Armoury 1961: Opening of the permanent exhibition on the Art and History of Vienna 1963: Exhibition on Otto Wagner: The Architects' Oeuvre 1964: Opening of Prater Museum.
Cooperation established with Nagoya City Museum. 2002: Separation of the Historical Museum of the City of Vienna from city government 2003: Renamed Vienna Museum 2004: Exhibition on Gastarbajteri: 40 years of worker migration.
Guild of Saint Luke
The Guild of Saint Luke was the most common name for a city guild for painters and other artists in early modern Europe in the Low Countries. They were named in honor of the Evangelist Luke, the patron saint of artists, identified by John of Damascus as having painted the Virgin's portrait. One of the most famous such organizations was founded in Antwerp, it continued to function until 1795, although by it had lost its monopoly and therefore most of its power. In most cities, including Antwerp, the local government had given the Guild the power to regulate defined types of trade within the city. Guild membership, as a master, was therefore required for an artist to take on apprentices or to sell paintings to the public. Similar rules existed in Delft, where only members could have a shop; the early guilds in Antwerp and Bruges, setting a model that would be followed in other cities had their own showroom or market stall from which members could sell their paintings directly to the public. The guild of Saint Luke not only represented painters and other visual artists, but also—especially in the seventeenth century—dealers and art lovers.
In the medieval period most members in most places were manuscript illuminators, where these were in the same guild as painters on wood and cloth—in many cities they were joined with the scribes or "scriveners". In traditional guild structures, house-painters and decorators were in the same guild. However, as artists formed under their own specific guild of St. Luke in the Netherlands, distinctions were made. In general, guilds made judgments on disputes between artists and other artists or their clients. In such ways, it controlled the economic career of an artist working in a specific city, while in different cities they were wholly independent and competitive against each other. Although it did not become a major artistic center until the sixteenth century, Antwerp was one of, if not the first, city to found a guild of Saint Luke, it is first mentioned in 1382, was given special privileges by the city in 1442. The registers, or Liggeren, from the guild exist, cataloging when artists became masters, who the dean for each year was, what their specialities were, the names of any students.
In Bruges, the dominant city for artistic production in the Low Countries in the fifteenth century, the earliest known list of guild members dates to 1453, although the guild was older than this. There all artists had to belong to the guild in order to practice in their own names or to sell their works, the guild was strict about which artistic activities could be practiced–distinctly forbidding an artisan to work in an area where another guild's members, such as tapestry weaving, were represented; the Bruges guild, in a idiosyncratic medieval arrangement included the saddlemakers because most members were painting illuminated manuscripts on vellum, were therefore grouped as a sort of leatherworker. Because of this link, for a period they had a rule that all miniatures needed a tiny mark to identify the artist, registered with the Guild. Only under special privileges, such as court artist, could an artist practice their craft without holding membership in the guild. Peter Paul Rubens had a similar situation in the seventeenth century, when he obtained special permission from the Archdukes Albert and Isabella to be both court artist in Brussels and an active member of the Guild of Saint Luke in Antwerp.
Membership allowed members to sell works at the guild-owned showroom. Antwerp, for example, opened a market stall for selling paintings in front of the cathedral in 1460, Bruges followed in 1482. Guilds of St. Luke in the Dutch Republic began to reinvent themselves as cities there changed over to Protestant rule, there were dramatic movements in population. Many St. Luke guilds reissued charters to protect the interests of local painters from the influx of southern talent from places like Antwerp and Bruges. Many cities in the young republic became more important artistic centres in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Amsterdam was the first city to reissue a St. Luke's charter after the reformation in 1579, it included painters, sculptors and other trades dealing in the visual arts; when trade between the Spanish Netherlands and the Dutch Republic resumed with the Twelve Years' Truce in 1609, immigration increased and many Dutch cities reissued guild charters as a form of protection against the great number of paintings that began to cross the border.
For example, Gouda and Delft, all founded guilds between 1609 and 1611. In each of those cases, panel painters removed themselves from their traditional guild structure that included other painters, such as those who worked in fresco and on houses, in favor of a specific "Guild of St. Luke". On the other hand, these distinctions did not take effect at that time in Haarlem. In the Haarlem Guild of St. Luke, however, a strict hierarchy was attempted in 1631 with panel painters at the top, though this hierarchy was rejected. In the Utrecht guild founded in 1611, the break was with the saddlemakers, but in 1644 a further split created a new painters' guild, leaving the guild of Saint Luke with only the sculptors and woodcarvers. A similar move in The Hague in 1656 led to the painters leaving the Guild of Saint Luke to establish a new Confrerie Pictura with all other kinds of visual artists, leaving the guild to the house-painters. Artists in other cities were not successful in setting up their own guilds of St. Luke, remained part of the existing gui
John Michael Wright
John Michael Wright was a portrait painter in the Baroque style. Described variously as English and Scottish, Wright trained in Edinburgh under the Scots painter George Jamesone, acquired a considerable reputation as an artist and scholar during a long sojourn in Rome. There he was admitted to the Accademia di San Luca, was associated with some of the leading artists of his generation, he was engaged by Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria, the governor of the Spanish Netherlands, to acquire artworks in Oliver Cromwell's England in 1655. He took up permanent residence in England from 1656, served as court painter before and after the English Restoration. A convert to Roman Catholicism, he was a favourite of the restored Stuart court, a client of both Charles II and James II, was a witness to many of the political maneuverings of the era. In the final years of the Stuart monarchy he returned to Rome as part of an embassy to Pope Innocent XI. Wright is rated as one of the leading indigenous British painters of his generation for the distinctive realism in his portraiture.
Due to the unusually cosmopolitan nature of his experience, he was favoured by patrons at the highest level of society in an age in which foreign artists were preferred. Wright's paintings of royalty and aristocracy are included amongst the collections of many leading galleries today. John Michael Wright, who at the height of his career would interchangeably sign himself "Anglus" or "Scotus", is of uncertain origin; the diarist John Evelyn called him a Scotsman, an epithet repeated by Horace Walpole and tentatively accepted by his biographer, Verne. However, writing in 1700, the English antiquarian Thomas Hearne claims Wright was born in Shoe Lane, London and, after an adolescent conversion to Roman Catholicism, was taken to Scotland by a priest. A London birth seems supported by a baptismal record, dated 25 May 1617, for a "Mighell Wryghtt", son of James Wright, described as a tailor and a citizen of London, in St Bride's Church, Fleet Street, London. What is known is that, on 6 April 1636, the 19-year-old Wright was apprenticed to George Jamesone, an Edinburgh portrait painter of some repute.
The Edinburgh Register of Apprentices records him as "Michaell, son to James W, citizen of London". The reasons for this move to Scotland are unclear, but may have to do with familial connections or the advent of plague in London. During his apprenticeship, Wright is to have lodged at the High Street tenement near the Netherbow Gate that served as Jameson's workplace; the apprenticeship was contracted for five years, but may have been curtailed by Jameson's imprisonment in late 1639. There is no record of any independent work by Wright from this period, it is possible that Wright met his wife during his Scottish residency. Nothing is known of her, except from a statement of thirty years which describes her as "related to the most noble and distinguished families of Scotland." If this is accurate, it may explain how Wright was able to find aristocratic patronage. All, known for certain is that Wright had at least one child by her, a son, Thomas. There is evidence to suggest that Wright went to France following his apprenticeship, however his eventual destination was Italy.
It is possible that he arrived in Rome as early as 1642 in the entourage of James Alban Gibbes, but he was resident there from 1647. Although details of his time there are sketchy, his skills and reputation increased so much so that by 1648 he had become a member of the prestigious Accademia di San Luca. At that time, the Accademia included numbers of established Italian painters as well as illustrious foreigners including the French Nicolas Poussin and Spaniard Diego Velázquez. On 10 February that year he was elected to the Congregazione dei Virtuosi al Pantheon, a charitable body promoting the Roman Catholic faith through art, which hosted an annual exhibition in the Pantheon. Wright was to spend more than ten years in Rome. During that time became an accomplished linguist as well as an established art connoisseur, he became prosperous enough to build up a substantial collection of books, paintings and medals, including works attributed to Mantegna, Raphael and Correggio. He acquired some forty paintings – as much through dealing as collecting.
Richard Symonds, the amateur painter and royalist, catalogued Wright's collection in the early 1650s. In 1654, after a decade in Rome, Wright travelled to Brussels where his abilities were recognised by Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria governor of the Spanish Netherlands. Leopold employed him not as an advisor on antiquities; as the younger brother of the Emperor Ferdinand III and cousin of Philip IV of Spain, the Archduke had the wherewithal to amass a large collection of paintings and antiquities. Moreover, in the spring of 1655, the Archduke was enjoying a period of cordial relations with Oliver Cromwell Lord Protector of England. Since the execution of Charles I in 1649, Leopold had been purchasing artworks from the royal collections and those of various aristocrats, against this background, commissioned Wright to travel to
Pieter Thijs, Peter Thijs or Pieter Thys was a Flemish painter of portraits as well as religious and history paintings. He was a successful artist who worked for the courts in Brussels and The Hague as well as for many religious institutions, his work was close to the elegant style of Anthony van Dyck and his followers. Pieter Thijs was born in a modest family as the son of a baker. Thijs had three masters, he trained with Artus Deurwerdeers as a cabinet painter, in the style practiced in the workshop of Frans Francken the Younger, the father-in-law of Deurwerdeers. It is only after moving to the workshop of Anthony van Dyck that Thijs learned portrait and history painting and started copying the great masters, he is considered to be van Dyck's last pupil. Everything suggests he completed his training with Gonzales Coques, a leading painter of portraits and history paintings, known by the nickname'de kleine van Dyck'. Thijs continued working in Coques' workshop for more than three years after becoming a master of the Antwerp Guild of St. Luke in 1644–45.
Thanks to the presence of the collection of George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, in Antwerp, Thijs was able to study the paintings of the Cinquecento. After leaving Coques' workshop Thijs started out on a career, successful despite the prevailing dire economic situation in Antwerp, he maintained a busy workshop. In the 1660s he had enough work to keep six assistants busy, he obtained many commissions for altarpieces in churches in Flanders and Brabant as well as for portraits, allegorical and mythological paintings from patrons in both the Southern Netherlands and the Dutch Republic. Through the international business connections of his father-in-law who ran a large import-export business in Antwerp with offices in the major ports and cities of Europe, he was able to sell his paintings to an international clientele and get commissions for altarpieces in Vienna and Croatia as well as for the Cologne Cathedral. Thijs enjoyed royal patronage. From 1647 onwards, he became a portrait painter as well as a tapestry designer for Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria the Governor of the Southern Netherlands, while at the same time taking on commissions from the rival House of Orange in The Hague.
He collaborated on the decorations in Huis Honselaarsdijk, the palace of Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange near The Hague. Thijs married Constantia van der Beken on 19 March 1648; the couple had four sons. His son Pieter Pauwel Thijs died young. After the death of his first wife he married Anna Bruydegom on 2 July 1670. Thijs played a major role in Antwerp’s cultural life, he served as deacon and treasurer of the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke and was the driving force behind the further development of the Chamber of rhetoric Violieren of the Guild. He was able to persuade the local playwright Willem Ogier to compose several works for the theater. Thijs was the teacher of Jan Fransicus Lauwereyssens. Pieter Thijs produced allegorical and mythological compositions for the courts of the Southern Netherlands and the Dutch Republic as well as the local churches and monasteries, he was in demand as a portrait painter by the court and the local bourgeoisie. In the past his reputation suffered because of misattributions of his work.
As his style was close to that of van Dyck and the followers of van Dyck, Thijs works have been attributed to van Dyck and artists working in the van Dyckian idiom such as Thomas Willeboirts Bosschaert, Jan Boeckhorst and Erasmus Quellinus the Younger. With the rediscovery of the artist, works have been re-attributed to Pieter Thijs; as the styles of Thomas Willeboirts Bosschaert and Thijs are close, there are still disagreements about the attributions of some works to either artist. The main distinguishing features between the styles of the two artists is that Willeboirts Bosschaerts' work uses a looser brushwork and displays a distinctive humanity and sensuality in the figures the female figures. Thijs, on the other hand, applied the paint more and thickly, his figures express their emotions with more decorum and contained theatricality; the influence of van Dyck on Thijs' style is due to his direct working relationship with van Dyck. Other possible influences are the works of senior painters such as Thomas Willeboirts Bosschaert and Gonzales Coques who were both early followers of van Dyck as well as Thijs' predecessors at the courts of Brussels and The Hague.
The patrons at these courts showed a preference for van Dyck’s refined courtly style. He showed himself to be an eclectic painter who did not strive for originality but adapted and borrowed from the styles of other artists where he felt the commission demanded it. Pieter Thijs was in demand as a portrait painter, he gained in particular a reputation for large family portraits, a genre made popular by his teacher Anthony van Dyck. His portraits followed the style of van Dyck in the eloquence of the hands and the meticulous execution of the reflections on the shimmering fabric. Though a popular portrait painter, the early Flemish biographer Cornelis de Bie stated that his likenesses were criticized for not being like their subjects. A representative portrait painting by Thijs is the Portrait of His Wife, its composition recalls van Dyck's large family-group portraits painted in his late English period, which Thijs would have seen when he was a pupil of van Dyck. The figures in the group portrait closely adhere to the van Dyckian type the