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 Gonzales Coques  (1614 - 1684)

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Lived/Active: Flemish/Belgium      Known for: portrait painting and sculpture

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Ad Code: 3
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Jeune famille devant un feu de cheminée
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Gonzales Coques was a Flemish Baroque painter born in Antwerp.  He was the son of Pieter Willemsen Coques, a respectable Flemish citizen, and not, as his name might imply, a Spaniard. In 1626-28 he entered the studio of Pieter Brueghel the Younger, and subsequently studied with David II Rijckaert. He is primarily known as a painter of small cabinet conversation pieces, a type of elegant informal group portrait that he is credited with inventing. The influence of Anthony van Dyck resulted in his nickname "Little van Dyck".

After a period of travel, probably to England where Van Dyck was active, he entered Antwerp's Guild of St. Luke in 1640-41. He was married twice, first to Ryckaert's daughter Catharina, and then to Catharina Rysheuvels. He was a member of two rhetorician guilds in the city, and twice he was made president of the painters' guild.

His small portraits were in great demand with both the bourgeoisie and nobility. Patrons included Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg, Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange and John of Austria the Younger.

One of his canvases in the gallery at the Hague represents a suite of rooms hung with pictures, in which the artist himself may be seen at a table with his wife and two children, surrounded by masterpieces composed and signed by several contemporaries. Partnership in painting was common amongst the small masters of the Antwerp school; and it has been truly said of Coques that he employed Jacob von Arthois for landscapes, Anton Ghering and Willem Schubart von Ehrenberg for architectural backgrounds, Hendrik Steenwijck the younger for interiors, and Pieter Gysels for still life and flowers; but the model upon which Coques formed himself was Van Dyck, whose sparkling touch and refined manner he imitated with great success.

He never ventured beyond the cabinet, but in this limited field the family groups of his middle time are full of life, brilliant from the sheen of costly dress and sparkling play of light and shade, combined with finished execution and enameled surface.

Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gonzales_Coques

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