Segers, Gerard

, an eminent painter, was born at Antwerp in 1.589. Under the instructions of Henry van Balen, and Abraham Janssens, he had made considerable progress in the art before he went to Italy. On his arrival at Rome, he became the disciple of Bartolommeo Manfredi; and from him adopted a taste for the vigorous style of Michael Angelo Caravaggio, to which he added somewhat of the tone and colour he had brought with him from his native country; producing the powerful effect of candle-light, though often falsely applied in subjects which appertain to the milder illumination of the day. He at length accepted the invitation of cardinal Zapara, the Spanish ambassador at Rome, to accompany him to Madjrid, where he was presented to the king, and was engaged in his service, with a considerable pension. After some years he returned to Flanders, and his fellow-citizens were impatient to possess some of his productions; but they who had been accustomed to the style of Rubens and Vandyke, were unable to yield him that praise to which he had been accustomed, and he was obliged to change his manner, which he appears to have done with facility and advantage, as many of his latter pictures bear evident testimony. His most esteemed productions are, the principal altar-piece in the church of the Carmelites at Antwerp, the subject of which is the marriage of the virgin; and the adoration of the magi, the altar-piece in the cathedral of Bruges. The former is much after the manner of Rubens. Vandyke painted his portrait among the eminent artists of his country, which is engraved by Pontius. He died in 1651, aged sixty-two. His son Daniel, who was born at Antwerp in 1590, was a painter of fruit and flowers, which he, being a Jesuit, executed at his convent at Rome. He appears, indeed, to have painted more for the benefit of the society to which he had attached himself, than for his private advantage: and when he had produced his most celebrated picture, at the command of the prince of Orange, it was presented to that monarch in the name of the society, which was munificently recompensed in return. He frequently painted garlands of flowers, as borders for pictures, which were filled up with historical subjects by the first painters. He died at Antwerp in 1660, aged seventy. 1

1 Argenville, vol. III. Pilkington. Sir J. Reynolds’s Works. Rees’s Cyclopaedia.
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