Tobias Verhaecht

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Tobias Verhaecht portrait in Het Gulden Cabinet
St John the Evangelist at Patmos, Tobias Verhaecht and Gillis Coignet

Tobias Verhaecht (1561–1631) was a Flemish painter primarily of landscapes. His style was indebted to the mannerist world landscape developed by artists like Joachim Patinir and Pieter Bruegel the Elder.


Verhaecht was born in Antwerp, it is not clear with whom he studied. Before 1590 he travelled to Italy and first worked in Florence where Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany was his patron. He then moved on to Rome where he was active as a painter of landscape frescos,[1] he returned to Antwerp where he became a master of the Guild of St. Luke in 1590–91. He married Suzanna van Mockenborch, who was the granddaughter of Peter Paul Rubens' stepfather and a cousin of his mother,[2] after the death of his first wife in 1595, he remarried the next year. Verhaecht was a member of a local Chamber of rhetoric and wrote a comedy for it in 1620.[1]

He was the first teacher of Rubens who studied with him around 1592, his other pupils included his son Willem van Haecht, Jacques Backereel, Geeraert van Beemel, Cornelis Bol, Pieter van den Hoeck and Abraham Matthyssens.[3][4]


Tower of Babel, Tobias Verhaecht and Jan Brueghel the Elder

Verhaecht specialized in landscapes and also produced several versions of the Tower of Babel, his landscapes followed the traditional style of the world landscape, which had first been developed in the first half of the 16th century by Joachim Patinir and had reached its peak with Pieter Bruegel the Elder. The landscapes depict imaginary mountains characterized by rocky peaks seen from a high viewpoint and typically including a religious or mythological scene, his work closely resembles in style the set of 12 large landscape prints published by Hieronymus Cock after designs by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Verhaecht's landscapes were not entirely oblivious of the work of Josse de Momper and Gillis van Coninxloo who were evolving towards a more close-up and realist approach and he adopted some of the elements of the new approach.

Some of Verhaecht’s landscapes were made into prints, he collaborated with other local painters such as Jan Brueghel the Elder, Frans Francken the Younger, Sebastian Vrancx and Gillis Coignet who painted the figures in his paintings.[1]

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Hans Devisscher. "Verhaecht , Tobias." Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 29 July 2014
  2. ^ Marie-Anne Lescourret, Rubens: A Portrait, Ivan R. Dee, 21 May 2002
  3. ^ Tobias Verhaecht at the Netherlands Institute for Art History (in Dutch)
  4. ^ Christine van Mulders. "Haecht, Willem van, II." Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 29 July 2014

External links[edit]