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The Crucifixion
Photo credit: Royal Pavilion & Museums Trust, Brighton & Hove

The Crucifixion c.1530

Pieter Coecke van Aelst the elder (1502–1550)

Royal Pavilion & Museums Trust, Brighton & Hove

(b Aelst, 14 Aug. 1502; d Brussels, 6 Dec. 1550). Netherlandish painter, architect, sculptor, designer of tapestries and stained glass, writer, and publisher. He was probably a pupil of Bernard van Orley in Brussels, but he was active mainly in Antwerp, where he became a member of the painters' guild in 1527. Some time before then he had probably been to Rome and in 1533–4 he visited Constantinople. His mission to gain business there for the Brussels tapestry works was unsuccessful, but the drawings he made on his journey were later published by his widow Mayken Verhulst as woodcut illustrations in Les Mœurs et fachons de faire des Turcz (The Manners and Customs of the Turks, 1553). He ran a large workshop and was regarded as one of the leading Antwerp painters of his day, but his work is fairly run-of-the-mill and he is generally more important for his publishing activities.

Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)


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