• NameGaspar de Crayer
  • Sexmale
  • Nationality/DatesFlemish, born 1584, dead 1669
BiographyGaspar de Crayer was the son of the scenepainter
and art dealer Gaspard de Crayer the Elder
and mainly painted history paintings and portraits. In
Brussels he was a pupil of Raphaël Coxie and in 1607
he became a master in the city’s Guild of St. Luke. He
purchased paintings on behalf of Archduke Albert and
Archduchess Isabella and worked as court painter
from 1635. In 1644 he settled down in Ghent after
having worked there many years earlier on the decorative
preparations for the Archduke’s entry to the
city in 1635 and at the same time became a master in
the city’s guild of artists. De Crayer also served as
court painter to Philip IV of Spain. He collaborated
with Jacques d’Arthois and Lodewijk de Vadder on
landscapes and with Pieter Boel who painted the animals
in his works. De Crayer completed paintings for
the Archduke Ferdinand, Jacques Boones, Archbishop
of Mechelen, Philip IV and Archduke Leopold Wilhelm.
In his early portraits there are affinities to
Frans Pourbus II and in his later works to Anthony
van Dyck. He painted a large number of religious
works, altarpieces for various churches in particular,
which reveal the distinct influence of Rubens and Van
Dyck. Like these artists he developed compositions
with a firm diagonal effect, well developed movement
and drama and monumental expression. During the
latter part of his life, De Crayer, who was very productive,
had a large studio with many assistants and
pupils. The latter included Anselm van Hulle, Jost
van Cleve III, Nicolas de Liemaker and François
Duchatel. Hans Vlieghe has divided his oeuvre into
five different phases: an introductory period inspired
by 16th century painting in Antwerp, a second period
up until 1630 under the inspiration of the monumental
works of Rubens, a third phase from 1630 to 1637
when he falls under the influence of Van Dyck, a
fourth phase beginning in 1630 when his paintings
are increasingly characterised by refined techniques
and use of colour and finally a period from about
1648 when his figures are rendered with increasing
theatricality and grey tones dominate his works. The
artist J. Vinckels has executed copies of De Crayer’s