Bega, Cornelius

, an artist, the son of Peter Begyn, a sculptor, was born at Haerlem, in 1620, and was the disciple of Adrian Ostade. If he did not equal his master, he was at least the best of his disciples. He set out in his profession with credit, and proceeded in it for some years with sufficient success; but he grew too fond of a dissipated life, and at last his morals were so depraved, that his father, after many ineffectual remonstrances, disowned him. For this reason he cast off his father’s name, and assumed that of Bega; his early pictures being marked with the former, and his latter works with the other. He had a fine pencil, and a transparent colour; and his performances are placed among the works of the best artists. He took the plague from a woman with whom he was deeply enamoured and he shewed so much sincerity of affection, that, notwithstanding the expostulations of all his friends and physicians, he would attend her to the last moments of her life, and imbibed from her the same fatal distemper, of which he died in a few days after her, Aug. 27, 1664. He is also classed among engravers, having etched several drolleries, and a set of thirty-four prints, representing alehouse scenes, &c.2


Pilkington, —Strutt.Descamps, vol. II.