• NameLodewyk de Vadder
  • Sexmale
  • Nationality/DatesFlemish, born 1605, dead 1655
BiographyLandscape painter, draughtsman, etcher and
designer of tapestry cartoons. Lodewijk de Vadder
enrolled as a free master in the Brussels Guild of St.
Luke in 1528, probably, like his brother Hubert, after
an apprenticeship to an older brother, Philippe. In
1644 Lodewijk was granted a privilege to make tapestry
cartoons by the Brussels city magistrature. In this
capacity he worked mainly for weavers such as Jean
Courdyn and Baudouin van Beveren. De Vadder was
highly regarded in his time, and Van Beveren once
referred to him as the best landscape painter in the
country, paying him 1000 florins in 1644 for a series
of designs of the Story of Diana and Pan. Only two
pupils are recorded: Jean Claessens became his
apprentice in 1643 and Ignatius van der Stock in
1653. According to De Bie (1661), though uncorroborated
by the guild registers, Lucas Achtschellinck
also studied with De Vadder. Around 1650 Jean
Courdyn employed tapestry cartoons made by De
Vadder in collaboration with Jacob Jordaens. De Vadder
also collaborated with David Teniers II, Gaspard
de Crayer and others, who painted the staffage figures
in his landscape paintings.
It was thought that De Vadder painted only small
panels, usually bearing his monogram “LDV”, but De
Callatay (1960) has shown that he was also responsible
for several large compositions previously attributed
to Brussels landscapist Jacques d’Arthois. Like
D’Arthois and Achtschellinck, whose works are often
confused with his, De Vadder painted the tranquil
rural surroundings of Brussels and the woods near
Soignes. His works are distinguished by their free
compositions and loose brushwork. The breadth of
his touch, and his intense, often strongly contrasted
colours, are reminiscent of the style of Rubens. De
Vadder’s work also shows affinities with D’Arthois’
early paintings, although his decorative sense seems
to be supported by a more direct experience of
nature. De Vadder etched about twenty of his own
compositions, and Arnold de Jode and Wenzel Hollar
also made engravings after his drawings.