Pieter Coecke van Aelst or Pieter Coecke van Aelst the Elder (14 August 1502 – 6 December 1550) was a Flemish painter, sculptor, architect, author and designer of woodcuts, goldsmith's work, stained glass and tapestries.His principal subjects were Christian religious themes. He worked in Antwerp and Brussels and was appointed court painter to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a solid surface. The medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush, but other implements, such as knives, sponges, and airbrushes, can be used. The final work is also called a painting.
The term stained glass can refer to coloured glass as a material or to works created from it. Throughout its thousand-year history, the term has been applied almost exclusively to the windows of churches and other significant religious buildings. Although traditionally made in flat panels and used as windows, the creations of modern stained glass artists also include three-dimensional structures and sculpture. Modern vernacular usage has often extended the term "stained glass" to include domestic lead light and objects d'art created from foil glasswork exemplified in the famous lamps of Louis Comfort Tiffany.
Tapestry is a form of textile art, traditionally woven by hand on a loom. Tapestry is weft-faced weaving, in which all the warp threads are hidden in the completed work, unlike cloth weaving where both the warp and the weft threads may be visible. In tapestry weaving, weft yarns are typically discontinuous; the artisan interlaces each coloured weft back and forth in its own small pattern area. It is a plain weft-faced weave having weft threads of different colours worked over portions of the warp to form the design.
Coecke van Aelst was a polyglot. He published translations into Flemish (Dutch), French and German of Ancient Roman and modern Italian architectural treatises. These publications played a pivotal role in the dissemination of Renaissance ideas in Northern Europe. They contributed to the transition in Northern Europe from the late Gothic style then prevalent towards a modern 'antique-oriented' architecture.
The Renaissance is a period in European history, covering the span between the 14th and 17th centuries and marking the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity. The traditional view focuses more on the early modern aspects of the Renaissance and argues that it was a break from the past, but many historians today focus more on its medieval aspects and argue that it was an extension of the Middle Ages.
Gothic art was a style of medieval art that developed in Northern France out of Romanesque art in the 12th century AD, led by the concurrent development of Gothic architecture. It spread to all of Western Europe, and much of Southern and Central Europe, never quite effacing more classical styles in Italy. In the late 14th century, the sophisticated court style of International Gothic developed, which continued to evolve until the late 15th century. In many areas, especially Germany, Late Gothic art continued well into the 16th century, before being subsumed into Renaissance art. Primary media in the Gothic period included sculpture, panel painting, stained glass, fresco and illuminated manuscripts. The easily recognizable shifts in architecture from Romanesque to Gothic, and Gothic to Renaissance styles, are typically used to define the periods in art in all media, although in many ways figurative art developed at a different pace.
Pieter Coecke van Aelst was the son of the Deputy Mayor of Aalst. The early Flemish biographer Karel van Mander wrote in his Schilder-boeck published in 1604 that Coecke van Aelst studied under Bernard van Orley, a leading Renaissance painter based in Brussels. There are no documents that prove this apprenticeship but there are strong stylistic similarities between the styles of the two artists.
Aalst is a city and municipality on the Dender River, 31 kilometres (19 mi) northwest from Brussels in the Flemish province of East Flanders. The municipality comprises the city of Aalst itself and the villages of Baardegem, Erembodegem, Gijzegem, Herdersem, Hofstade, Meldert, Moorsel and Nieuwerkerken. Aalst is crossed by the Molenbeek-Ter Erpenbeek in Aalst and Hofstade. The current mayor of Aalst is Christoph D'Haese, from the New-Flemish Alliance party. The town has a long-standing (folkloric) feud with Dendermonde, which dates from the Middle Ages.
Karel van Mander (I) or Carel van Mander I was a Flemish painter, poet, art historian and art theoretician, who established himself in the Dutch Republic in the latter part of his life. He is mainly remembered as a biographer of Early Netherlandish painters and Northern Renaissance artists in his Schilder-boeck. As an artist and art theoretician he played a significant role in the spread and development of Northern Mannerism in the Dutch Republic.
Het Schilder-Boeck or Schilderboek is a book written by the Flemish writer and painter Karel van Mander first published in 1604 in Haarlem in the Dutch Republic, where van Mander resided. The book is written in 17th century Dutch and its title is commonly translated into English as 'The Book of Painters' or 'The Book of Painting' and sometimes as 'The Book on Picturing'. Het Schilder-Boeck consists of six parts and is considered one of the principal sources on the history of art and art theory in the 15th and 16th century Low Countries. The book was very well received and sold well. Karel van Mander died two years after its publication. A second posthumous edition, which included a brief, anonymous biography of van Mander was published in 1618. This second edition was translated by Hessel Miedema into English and published in 1994-1997 together with a facsimile of the original and 5 volumes of notes on the text.
According to Karel van Mander, Pieter Coecke van Aelst later studied in Italy where in Rome he made drawings after Classical sculpture and architecture. Although there is no firm evidence that Coecke van Aelst travelled to Italy, stylistic evidence supports the notion that he travelled to Italy. The Italian influence could, however, also be attributed to the fact that Raphael’s tapestry cartoons were available in Brussels, where they were used for the manufacture of tapestries around 1516. However, as Coecke van Aelst clearly was familiar with Raphael's fresco of the Triumph of Galatea located in the Villa Farnesina in Rome, it seems likely he did in fact travel to Italy.
Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, known as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. His work is admired for its clarity of form, ease of composition, and visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur. Together with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, he forms the traditional trinity of great masters of that period.
The Villa Farnesina is a Renaissance suburban villa in the Via della Lungara, in the district of Trastevere in Rome, central Italy.
Pieter Coecke van Aelst married twice. He married his first wife Anna van Dornicke in 1525 shortly after his move to Antwerp. Anna was the daughter of Jan Mertens van Dornicke, one of the most successful painters working in Antwerp.His father in law was possibly his teacher. Coecke van Aelst took over his father-in-law's workshop after the latter's death in 1527. There were two children from this first marriage, Michiel and Pieter II. The latter was a painter. After the death of his first wife before 1529, Coecke van Aelst had an affair with Anthonette van der Sandt (also known as Antonia van der Sant). The pair never married but had a daughter, Antonette, and at least one son, Pauwel who also became a painter.
Coecke van Aelst is recorded joining the local Guild of Saint Luke of Antwerp in 1527. In 1533, he travelled to Constantinople where he stayed for one year during which he tried to convince the Turkish sultan to give him commissions for tapestries.This mission failed to generate any commissions from the sultan. Coecke made many drawings during his stay in Turkey including of the buildings, people and the indigenous flora. He seems to have retained from this trip an abiding interest in the accurate rendering of nature that gave his tapestries an added dimension. The drawings which Coecke van Aelst made during his stay in Turkey were posthumously published by his widow under the title Ces moeurs et fachons de faire de Turcz avecq les regions y appertenantes ont este au vif contrefaictez (Antwerp,1553).
The Guild of Saint Luke was the most common name for a city guild for painters and other artists in early modern Europe, especially in the Low Countries. They were named in honor of the Evangelist Luke, the patron saint of artists, who was identified by John of Damascus as having painted the Virgin's portrait.
Constantinople was the capital city of the Roman Empire (330–395), of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, of the brief Crusader state known as the Latin Empire (1204–1261) and of the Ottoman Empire (1453–1923). In 1923 the capital of Turkey, the successor state of the Ottoman Empire, was moved to Ankara and the name Constantinople was officially changed to Istanbul. The city is located in what is now the European side and the core of modern Istanbul. The city is still referred to as Constantinople in Greek-speaking sources.
Upon his return to Antwerp in 1534, Coecke van Aelst produced designs for a large-scale figure, called 'Druon Antigoon' or the 'Giant of Antwerp' of which the head in papier-maché possibly still survives (Museum aan de Stroom, Antwerp).The giant made its premiere many years later in 1549 at the occasion of the Joyous entry into Antwerp of Prince Philip (the future Philip II). The giant became a regular fixture in public processions in Antwerp until the 20th century. In the year 1537 Coecke van Aelst was elected a dean of the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke. He also received a stipend from the Antwerp city government. Around this time Coecke van Aelst received major commissions for the design of stained-glass windows including for the Antwerp Cathedral.
Around 1538–1539 Coecke van Aelst married for the second time. His second wife Mayken Verhulst was originally from Mechelen and a painter of miniatures. The couple had three children, two daughters called Katelijne and Maria and a son named Pauwel (even though he had another son with this name).The prominent painter Pieter Brueghel the Elder married Coecke van Aelst's daughter Maria (called 'Mayken'). Karel van Mander has asserted that Coecke van Aelst's second wife was the first teacher of her grandchildren, Pieter Brueghel the Younger and Jan Brueghel the Elder. Through his marriage with Mayken Verhulst, Pieter Coecke became a brother-in-law of the prominent printmaker and publisher Hubertus Goltzius who had married Mayken's sister Elisabeth.
There is speculation that Coecke set up a second workshop in Brussels but there is no evidence for this.Coecke van Aelst was appointed court painter to Charles V only a few months prior to his death. Coecke was in Brussels in 1550 where he died in December. As his two youngest children died at the same time, it is possible that all three family members were victims of a contagious epidemic.
His students included leading painters such as Gillis van Coninxloo, Willem Key, Hans Vredeman de Vries, Michiel Coxcie, and possibly Pieter Brueghel the Elder.
Pieter Coecke van Aelst was a versatile artist and a master designer who devised projects across a wide range of different media, including panel paintings, sculptures, prints, tapestries, stained glass and goldsmith's work.No signed and few reliably documented paintings by Coecke van Aelst have survived.
His drawings are an important witness to his skills as they are the only body of works by the artist, which are autograph. Approximately forty drawings are regarded as autograph, in addition to cartoons and cartoon fragments on which he likely worked with assistants. A majority of his drawings are related to his tapestry designs.
In his art Coecke showed his ambition to emulate contemporary Italian artists. From the later 1520s his works start to reveal the Italian influence, as is noticeable in his figures, which gain in monumentality, and the greater movement and drama in his compositions. His main model was Raphael and his circle. Coecke was likely already familiar with their compositions in Antwerp. However, when he traveled to Constantinople around 1533, he likely visited Mantua, where Raphael's leading pupil Giulio Romano was active at the time. Romano possessed a large collection of Raphael's drawings and Coecke must have availed himself of the opportunity to study these in detail during his visit. After his return to Flanders Coecke's style changed dramatically and approached the Italian models he had studied.
Coecke operated a large workshop, which was organized in an efficient manner. He acted as an entrepreneur who provided his assistants with his original inventions, which were then turned into final works under his supervision.The style that he created was widely imitated.
Van Aelst's composition of the Last Supper became extremely popular in the 16th century and many versions were produced. The version dated 1527 in the collection of the Duke and Duchess of Rutland, Belvoir Castle, Grantham, England is believed to be the original copy from which all the other ones were derived. [ citation needed ]The composition was popularised through a print after it made by Hendrik Goltzius.
Van Aelst's painting of the subject was freely inspired by Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper (1498, Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan) and Marcantonio Raimondi's engraving of about 1515–1516 based on a lost drawing by Raphael. The gestures of the apostles are derived from Dürer's print of the Last Supper dated 1523. There exist about 45 versions of this composition, which were executed with the assistance of workshop assistants. A great number of the versions are dated, and of these 6 or 7 are dated 1528. Van Aelst likely produced the original drawing for the Last Supper, which was subsequently copied onto a panel by means of intermediary cartoons. The composition could be ordered in two formats: 50 x 60 cm and 60 x 80 cm. The large version was more popular than the smaller one.
Small biblical scenes in the background of the composition place the Last Supper in its theological context. Through the window it is possible to discern a scene depicting the Entry in Jerusalem of Jesus Christ , the principal event preceding the Last Supper according to Christian literature. Scenes of the Fall of Man and the Expulsion from Paradise can be discerned in the ornaments of the upper panes of the window. The medals on the wall depict the biblical stories of the Slaying of Cain and David and Goliath. The scene representing the slaying of Cain is based on a print by the prominent Romanist artist Jan Gossaert. The whole iconography accentuates the Christian occupation with original sin and the belief that mankind's salvation solely relies on Christ's sacrifice.The original version of 1527 expresses in some of its details an iconography, which shows a close link to the Protestant Reformation movement. In the other versions this meaning is less pronounced.
Another popular and widely distributed work was the composition St. Jerome in his Study of which Coecke van Aelst and his workshop produced multiple versions.[ citation needed ]
Saint Jerome is revered by Christians for his translation into Latin of the Bible, which he produced while residing in a monastery in Palestine. In the version of the subject in the Walters Museum Coecke van Aelst suggests the Oriental setting by the view visible through the window which shows a landscape with camels. To the wall is affixed an admonition, "Cogita Mori" (Think upon death), a vanitas motif that is reiterated by the skull. Further reminders of the motifs of the passage of time and the imminence of death are the image of the Last Judgment visible in the saint's Bible, the candle and the hourglass.
Another version of this subject was sold at Christie's (28 January 2015, New York, lot 104). This version reprises similar iconographic elements, which stress Christian beliefs regarding the transience of human life and the importance of the sacrifice of Christ for people to find salvation at the time of the so-called Last Judgement.
Pieter Coecke van Aelst was renowned for his tapestry designs which were executed by the Brussels tapestry workshops.These designs were typically small-scale drawings in black-and-white. His cartoon for the Martyrdom of St. Peter (Brussels Town Hall) is in grisaille with touches of green and red while the names of the other colors, such as gold or blue, are written in.
The patrons for the tapestries included Emperor Charles V, Francis I of France, Henry VIII of England and Cosimo de' Medici.His reputation as a tapestry designer was established through his popular series of the Story of Saint Paul, the Seven Deadly Sins, the Story of Abraham, the Story of Vertumnus and Pomona, the Story of Joshua, the Creation, Poesia, the Conquest of Tunis and Julius Caesar.
Between 1545 and 1550 Coecke designed tapestries in which the scenes are placed in architectural or landscape settings. Mary of Hungary, the Governor General of the Netherlands, appealed to Coecke to assist Jan Cornelisz Vermeyen with the design of the Conquest of Tunis tapestry series. The Conquest of Tunis series was designed around 1546 and recounts Charles V's successful recapture of Tunis from the Turks. The events depicted in the series had taken place about 10 years before the tapestries were designed. Some earlier authors believed that Coecke himself had been a witness of the recapture of Tunis.[ citation needed ]
The Poesia series was inspired by the stories in Ovid's Metamorphoses . Only one set of the tapestries was ever woven after they were designed around 1547–1548. King Phillip II of Spain acquired the set in 1556. The Story of the Creation was designed around 1548 and acquired by Grand Duke Cosimo I de' Medici and his spouse Eleanor of Toledo.
Coecke van Aelst's studio was well known for its graphic works and publications. Coecke van Aelst had during his visit to Turkey made drawings of local sights and scenes. The drawings were published posthumously in 1553 by his widow Mayken Verhulst under the title Ces moeurs et fachons de faire de Turcz avecq les regions y appertenantes ont este au vif contrefaictez (Antwerp,1553).[ citation needed ]
He was also the publisher and designer of a volume of prints entitled De seer wonderlijke…Triumphelijke Incompst van … Prince Philips commemorating the Joyous entry into Antwerp of Prince Philip (the future Philip II) in 1549. Coecke had himself designed some of the triumphal arches and stages that were reproduced in the volume.It is believed that the appreciation for these prints at the Spanish court led to Coecke van Aelst's appointment as court painter to Charles V.
Pieter Coecke van Aelst was a gifted linguist and is noted for his translation of Vitruvius' De architectura into Flemish under the title Die inventie der colommen met haren coronementen ende maten. Wt Vitruuio ende andere diuersche auctoren optcorste vergadert, voor scilders, beeltsniders, steenhouders, &c. En allen die ghenuechte hebben in edificien der antiquen published first in 1539.He, and after his death, his widow Mayken Verhulst, published the five books of Sebastiano Serlio's architectural treatise Architettura in Flemish, French and High German (the German translation was done by another translator). The first translation published was the fourth book of the Architettura published under the title Generale Reglen der architecturen op de vyve manieren van edificie in 1939.
Coecke van Aelst’s translation of Vitruvius was hailed by the humanist Dominicus Lampsonius as the only Dutch-language book to discuss the building styles of other countries. In line with Italian translations of Vitruvius published earlier in the 16th century, Coecke's translation gave prominence to woodcut illustrations of the text and used columns to indicate the difference between three kinds of architectural representation: plan, elevation, and view. This was a clear break with the few treatises on architecture published earlier in the Low Countries which generally did not provide any visual exegesis.[ citation needed ]
Coecke van Aelst’s 1539 Flemish translation of Serlio provided to the Low Countries a relatively affordable translation of one of the first illustrated architectural treatises in Europe. The original Italian edition had appeared in Venice only two years earlier. Coecke van Aelst’s Flemish (Dutch) edition in turn served as the basis for the first English translation of Serlio.The translations of Serlio's works were in fact pirated editions since Serlio never authorised Coecke to translate and publish his works. In the Flemish translation of volume IV Serlio was only mentioned in the notice to the reader and in the colophon. The first translation in French by Coecke (also of Book IV) dated 1542 only mentioned Serlio in the colophon. In the first German translation dated 1543 Coecke mentioned Jacob Rechlinger from Augsburg as the translator but remained silent on Serlio's authorship. Serlio was clearly unhappy with these unauthorised translations and repeatedly threatened to sue Coecke who was, however, safe from prosecution as Coecke lived in a region under Spanish control while Serlio resided in France, an enemy of Spain.
The translations of these important Roman and Italian architectural works played a crucial role in spreading Renaissance ideas to the Low Countries and hastening the transition from the late Gothic style prevalent in the area at the time towards a modern "antique-oriented" architecture in Northern Europe.The translations were further instrumental in establishing a theoretical distinction between the acts of planning and executing a building. This led to the development of architecture as a new independent discipline distinguished from the craft of stonemason. In the Low Countries the relation between architecture and perspective also acquired theoretical backing in Coecke van Aelst’s translations. Coecke's translations of architectural publications had an important impact on the architect and graphic artist Hans Vredeman de Vries who is said to have assiduously copied their designs.
In the interest of 'localisation', Coecke van Aelst’s translation made significant changes to Serlio’s original designs. For instance in one illustration he inserted 24 Latin block-letter patterns where Serlio had placed woodcuts of shields.
Pieter Brueghelthe Younger was a Flemish painter, known for numerous copies after his father Pieter Bruegel the Elder's work as well as his original compositions. The large output of his studio, which produced for the local and export market, contributed to the international spread of his father's imagery.
Pieter Bruegelthe Elder was the most significant artist of Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painting, a painter and printmaker from Brabant, known for his landscapes and peasant scenes ; he was a pioneer in making both types of subject the focus in large paintings.
Jan Brueghelthe Elder was a Flemish painter and draughtsman. He was the son of the eminent Flemish Renaissance painter Pieter Brueghel the Elder. A close friend and frequent collaborator with Peter Paul Rubens, the two artists were the leading Flemish painters in the first three decades of the 17th century.
Bernard van Orley, also called Barend or Barent van Orley, Bernaert van Orley or Barend van Brussel, was a versatile Flemish artist and representative of Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painting, who was equally active as a designer of tapestries and, at the end of his life, stained glass. Although he never visited Italy, he belongs to the group of Italianizing Flemish painters called the Romanists, who were influenced by Italian Renaissance painting, in his case especially by Raphael.
Sebastiano Serlio was an Italian Mannerist architect, who was part of the Italian team building the Palace of Fontainebleau. Serlio helped canonize the classical orders of architecture in his influential treatise variously known as I sette libri dell'architettura or Tutte l'opere d'architettura et prospetiva.
Jan Snellinck or Jan Snellinck (I) was a Flemish painter, draughtsman and designer of tapestries, prints and frescoes. He is known for his large altarpieces and was also recognized as a leading battle painter in his time. Snellinck was active as an art dealer and art collector.
Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painting represents the 16th-century response to Italian Renaissance art in the Low Countries. These artists, who span from the Antwerp Mannerists and Hieronymus Bosch at the start of the 16th century to the late Northern Mannerists such as Hendrik Goltzius and Joachim Wtewael at the end, drew on both the recent innovations of Italian painting and the local traditions of the Early Netherlandish artists. Antwerp was the most important artistic centre in the region. Many artists worked for European courts, including Bosch, whose fantastic painted images left a long legacy. Jan Mabuse, Maarten van Heemskerck and Frans Floris were all instrumental in adopting Italian models and incorporating them into their own artistic language. Pieter Brueghel the Elder, with Bosch the only artist from the period to remain widely familiar, may seem atypical, but in fact his many innovations drew on the fertile artistic scene in Antwerp.
Mayken Verhulst (1518–1599), also known as Marie Bessemers, was a sixteenth-century miniature, tempera and watercolor painter, identified by Lodovico Guicciardini in 1567 as one of the four most important female artists in the Low Countries.
Pieter van Lint or Peter van Lint (1609–1690) was a Flemish painter, draughtsman and designer of tapestries. He excelled in history paintings, genre scenes and portraits in the Flemish Baroque style with some Classisizing influence. He worked in Antwerp and Italy.
Van Aelst is a Dutch and Flemish surname. Notable people with the surname include:
Willem Adriaensz Key was a Flemish renaissance painter.
Cornelis Bos or Bossche was a Flemish engraver, printseller and book publisher, known for his accurate engravings of Italian works. His work is often signed with the monogram C-B.
Hubert Goltz or Goltzius was a Renaissance painter, engraver, and printer from the Southern Netherlands. He is not to be confused with the much more famous Hendrik Goltzius, who seems not to have been a relation.
Brussels tapestry workshops produced tapestry from at least the 15th century, but the city's early production in the Late Gothic International style was eclipsed by the more prominent tapestry-weaving workshops based in Arras and Tournai. In 1477 Brussels, capital of the duchy of Brabant, was inherited by the house of Habsburg; and in the same year Arras, the prominent center of tapestry-weaving in the Low Countries, was sacked and its tapestry manufacture never recovered, and Tournai and Brussels seem to have increased in importance.
Peter van Aelst, Peeter van Aelst or Pieter van Aelst is the name of a number of artists including:
The family of de Pannemaeker or de Pannemaker were tapestry weavers from the Southern Netherlands, more or less equivalent to modern-day Belgium. Pieter de Pannemaeker, working from Brussels, was a celebrated weaver who, for European royalty, created tapestries resplendent with gold and silver threads, and expensive fine silks and woollen items. In 1520, Pieter de Pannemaeker commissioned the artist Bernard van Orley to make tapestry cartoons for his workshop. A surviving fragment depicts the Allegory of the Four Winds. Pannemaeker was court weaver to Margaret of Austria, Regent of the Southern Netherlands, who commissioned the Passion in four parts, and in 1523, she ordered an imposing dais made up of three tapestries, which later featured in the abdication ceremony of Emperor Charles V.
Pieter van Aelst or Pieter van Aelst III was a Flemish tapestry weaver whose workshop commenced by his grandfather was one of the leading weavers of Flanders in the first half of the 16th century.
Mayken Coecke or Maria Coecke was the daughter of Pieter Coecke van Aelst and Mayken Verhulst. Mayken married Pieter Bruegel the Elder in 1563. Bruegel was apprenticed to Pieter Coecke van Aelst, a leading Antwerp artist who had relocated to Brussels.
The Brueghel family, also spelled Bruegel or Breughel, is an extended family of Flemish painters which played a mayor role in the development of the art in Flanders throughout the 16th and 17th centuries. Due to the organisation in guilds and training being done with established painters and not in schools or academies, painters often passed on the knowledge from father to son, and there are many examples of Flemish painting families spanning two or more generations, e.g. the Francken family, which had at least ten painters spanning four generations. The Brueghel family produced the largest number of major painters of all Flemish families.