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Marten de Vos

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Marten de Vos

*  1532 Antwerpen
† 1603 Antwerpen


Marten de Vos counts among the most important representatives of Flemish mannerist painting and graphic art.
Marten de Vos was born in the capital of southern Dutch Mannerism, Antwerp, in 1531. His father Peter de Vos, also a painter, presumably took care of the young boy's first lessons in art. Frans Floris is also mentioned as Marten de Vos' teacher.
After Marten de Vos had completed his apprenticeship in the mid 1550s, he traveled to Italy. In Florence, Rome and Venice he studied the works of the old masters. Young Marten de Vos was especially fascinated by Jacopo Tintoretto's style.
In 1558 Marten de Vos returned to Antwerp, where he joined the local gild, which he presided as dean in 1572/73, the same year he was first mentioned as free master. In Antwerp Marten de Vos operated a prospering studio which produced altar panels, but also portraits and mythological subjects.
Paintings made by the workshop of Marten de Vos in the 1560s are characterized by a warm and lucid coloring, a clear resonance of the style he had encountered in Venice. In his later works the palette cooled down and brightened up, the stroke of the brush has become smoother and the composition calmer in a more "classicist" manner, however, his figures are still perceived in a dramatic manner.
Marten de Vos also gained great importance as graphic artist; he created numerous engravings for a wide range of topics. His influence on Flemish Mannerism and early baroque was largely owed to this part of his oeuvre.
Marten de Vos died at Antwerp in 1603.