Cornelis de Vos, Belgian (1585 - 1651)

Cornelis de Vos

Cornelis de Vos (1584 – 9 May 1651) was a Flemish Baroque painter best known for his portraiture.

He was born in Hulst near Antwerp, now in the Dutch province of Zeeland. Little is known of his childhood; however, Cornelis and his younger brothers Paul and Jan studied under the little-known painter David Remeeus (1559–1626). His sister Margaretha married Frans Snyders, while Cornelis himself was married to Jan Wildens's half-sister Susanna Cock. Although both Paul de Vos and Snyders were animaliers, or painters of animals, and Wildens was known for his landscapes, Cornelis did not share either of these specializations. Instead, he painted mythological, biblical and history scenes, still lifes and, in the late 1620s, some monumental genre paintings. However, De Vos was probably most successful as a painter of individual and group portraits. Additionally, when he became a citizen of Antwerp in 1616 he listed his occupation as an art dealer. De Vos joined the guild of Saint Luke in 1608 at the age of twenty-four, later serving as its dean in 1628.

His style closely follows that of Anthony van Dyck and, to a lesser extent, Peter Paul Rubens. However, De Vos worked frequently as a collaborator with Rubens. Around 1617 he painted two panels, the Nativity and the Presentation in the Temple, to join thirteen others by local painters, including Rubens—who oversaw the project—Van Dyck, and Jacob Jordaens, in the "Mystery of the Rosary Cycle" for Antwerp's church of St. Paul (the series culminated in Caravaggio's Madonna of the Rosary, which was placed in the church in 1620). In 1635, De Vos assisted Rubens on the joyous entry of Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand, a project for which he painted twelve royal portraits to Rubens's designs. Between 1636 and 1638 worked again for Rubens, along with his brother Paul in decorating the Torre de la Parada, a hunting lodge of Philip IV of Spain near Madrid. His work is recognizable by intense color and powerful facial expressions. De Vos died in Antwerp, where he was buried in the cathedral.

His students include Simon de Vos (1603-76), to whom he is not related.

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