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Died on 09 May 1586: Luis
de Morales el Divino, Spanish Mannerist
painter born in 1520 (1509?)
De Morales worked for most of his life in Badajoz, a town on the Portuguese border, and his style-formed away from the influence of the court or great religious and artistic centres such as Seville - is highly distinctive. His pictures are usually fairly small and he concentrated on devotional images. He painted numerous versions of the Virgin and Child, sometimes with the infant Saint John, and touching visions inspired by the theme Ecce Homo, which are among his most popular works. The piety of his work has earned him the nickname El Divino. His style owes something to Dutch art, but his misty modelling seems to derive more from Leonardo da Vinci.
Ecce Homo _ Luis de Morales had an original personality. The distinctive features of his style a painstaking technique inherited from the Flemish masters, and elongated forms that foreshadow the art of EI Greco are especially evident in the works of his final period. Morales painted numerous versions of the Virgin and Child, sometimes with the infant St.John, and touching visions inspired by the theme "Ecce Homo," which are among his most popular works. Sensitivity to content and concentration on the sacred drama are the chief characteristics of this typical representative of Spanish asceticism. another Ecce Homo (head and shoulders only)
The Virgin and Child (1567) Madonna with the Child = Virgin and Child (1568, 84x64cm) _ We know very little about Morales. He appears never to have left Spain, and the influence of Italian Mannerism reached him only through the work of Pedro de Campana, an artist of Flemish origin. Virgin and Child is one of his most characteristic pictures, and there are several variants. The composition of the painting may possibly be traced to an engraving by Dürer, but the influence of Italian Mannerism is very strongly felt in the delicate elongation of the neck, the tapering of the fingers, the Leonardo-like softness of the features, the sweet expression reminiscent of Raphael and the use of large blocks of strong color for the garments. And even if most of Morales's painting does not rise above the average standard achieved by his contemporaries, the variants of Virgin and Child demonstrate an engaging and pleasant handling which justifies the attribute so generally conferred upon him: El Divino. Madonna with the Child (72x52cm) _ The influence of Italian Mannerism is is supposed to have reached de Morales through Pedro de Campana, a painter of Flemish origin.
Saint Stephen (67x50cm)
Died on 09 May 1651: Cornelis
de Vos, Flemish painter born in 1584, brother of Paul
de Vos, brother-in-law of Frans
Snyders; studied under Peter
Paul Rubens. The students of Cornelis de Vos included Simon
de Vos and
De Vos was a portrait painter in Antwerp who occasionally worked for Rubens; some of his portraits have been mistaken for those of Rubens or van Dyck. He also painted large historical and allegorical works. There are examples in Antwerp, Berlin, Birmingham, Brussels, London (Wallace Collection), Madrid, Munich, Philadelphia (Museum), San Francisco (Legion of Honor), Vienna, York and elsewhere. His brother Paul de Vos (1596-1678), was a painter of lively hunting scenes and large still-life subjects with dead game, fruit and live birds and animals. Their sister married Snyders, with whose art Paul's has much in common, and they were close friends of van Dyck.
Cornelis de Vos was born in Hulst (Zeeland). Nothing is known about his training and early work; for a time he worked as an art dealer. Vos was the brother-in-law of Frans Snyders and was accepted as a master in the Antwerp St. Lukas Guild in 1608. In 1635, he worked with Jordaens as assistant to Rubens on the decorations for the reception of Cardinal Ferdinand. From 1636 to 1638 he worked with Rubens on the decoration of the hunting-lodge Dorre de la Parada near Madrid. Vos was primarily a portrait painter in Antwerp society and of family groups. In their restrained elegance and fine observation of character his portraits approach those of van Dyck. Among his best works were those of children, e.g. Magdalena and Jan-Baptist de Vos, which stand out for their freshness naturalness, and alertness of expression and fine coloring. He is also known as the author of some religious and mythological pieces. His younger brother, Paul de Vos (1590-1678) painted animals and hunt scenes. Cornelis de Vos died in Antwerp in 1651.
Portrait of a Lady with Her Daughter (1620, 110x86cm) Portrait of a Gentleman (1632, 128x98cm) Portrait of a Woman (1632, 124x94cm) Group Portrait of Three Children (96x109cm)
Portrait of the Artist with his Family (1621) The Family of the Artist (1633, 145x204cm)
(not the de Vos family's) Family Portrait (1631, 165x13cm) _ Portraiture was generally viewed as a slightly inferior branch of art, as it required less inventiveness on the part of the painter. The portraits of Cornelis De Vos, who was born in Hulst in the Northern Netherlands, but who was active in Antwerp, are amongst the most beautiful produced in the Southern Netherlands in the 17th century. The full-length, life-size subjects of his Family Portrait are executed in a truthful and intriguing manner.
Elisabeth (or Cornelia) Vekemans as a Young Girl (1625, 123x93cm) _ There are four portraits of the Vekemans family in the collection of Mayer an den Bergh. Joris Vekemans was a prominent Antwerp merchant, as witnessed by the wealth displayed in these portraits. He died in 1625, shortly after the birth of his sixth child. He probably commissioned all portraits at once, some time before January 1625. This hypothesis is strengthened by the fact that two of the portraits are not entirely finished, probably due to the unexpected death of the man who ordered them.
The portraits are all conceived as pairs. De Vos treated the subjects in each pair in a similar manner, as we can see from the corresponding poses, background and coloring, which create a strong sense of unity between them. With his portraits of the Vekemans family Cornelis de Vos left behind the stereotypical faces of his early works, creating instead a series of very realistic characters — the children's faces are charming, imbued with a sense of youthful pride and shyness. It is, of course, the treatment of the face that lends a successful portrait its expressive power.
The portrait of Elisabeth Vekemans is incomplete, as we see from the unfinished background, the somewhat casual execution of the skirt and the absence of the mainly deep red, intensely colorful details like the socks, tie, jewellery and so on that might have enlivened the sombre, green palette. Even so, the portrait stands out for the sureness with which the face is rendered and the daring highlights in the outer garment, which skillfully suggest the material. The portrait is fairly unusual for its time. Life-size, full-length portraits of young girls only really appear in De Vos's work from the 1630s onwards.
The Triumph of Bacchus _ Cornelis de Vos was an Antwerp portrait painter who occasionally worked for Rubens. He also painted large historical and allegorical works such as this.