• NameCornelis de Vos
  • Sexmale
  • Nationality/DatesFlemish, born 1584, dead 1651
BiographyPortraitist, history- and genre painter. Born
at Hulst in Zeeland, his family moved, in 1596, to
Antwerp, Cornelis de Vos became a pupil of David
Remeers in 1599. After 1604 he may have travelled
before settling again in Antwerp by 1608, the year he
enrolled as a master in the local Guild of St. Luke, of
which he was later elected dean in 1619 and high
dean (opperdeken) the following year. In 1616 he
acquired Antwerp citizenship. De Vos was also active
as an art dealer and in this capacity he visited Paris in
1619 and in subsequent years. De Vos married
Suzanne Cock, a half-sister of the landscapist Jan
Wildens, in 1617. His brother Paul was also a painter;
his sister Margaretha married animal and still life
painter Frans Snyders in 1611. Along with artists such
as Jacob Jordaens, De Vos worked with Peter Paul
Rubens on the decorations for the Pompa Introitus
Ferdinandi, the triumphal entry of Archduke Ferdinand
into Antwerp in 1635, and on those of the Torre
de la Parada, the hunting lodge near Madrid of King
Philip IV of Spain in 1637. He died at Antwerp a successful
and wealthy man.
A fine, if conservative, portrait painter, De Vos
became the premier portraitist of patrician Antwerp
society from the early 1620s until the mid-1630s.
Influenced by Rubens’ portraits of the 1610s and,
especially, by those of the young Anthony van Dyck,
De Vos’ carefully observed and probing likenesses
emphasize, in the costumes and formal settings, the
qualities of solid prosperity associated with his upper
middle class clientele rather than the courtly grace
and refinement expressed by Van Dyck. The strength
of his early, well-balanced and attractively coloured
portraits lies in the strong plasticity of the sharply lit
faces, modelled with broad brushstrokes. While his
earliest portraits are characterized by the detailed,
meticulous and decorative representation of interiors,
from about the mid-1620s onwards he began introducing
opened-up backgrounds and distant views of
scenery. In some of the later examples of his popular
and attractive life-size family group portraits, painted
after c. 1634, De Vos experimented with more innovative
arrangements. A large part of his oeuvre is
devoted to portraiture, but he also painted Caravaggesque
genre scenes, and history paintings
strongly influenced by Rubens in their composition
and execution. De Vos had seven recorded pupils
between 1615 and 1642, among them the genre and
history painter Simon de Vos (1615) and Willem
Eversdyck (1633).
Interior, called "Rubens' salon"
Portrait of a Middle-Aged Woman
The Lamentation
The Card Game