Breydel, Charles

, called Cavalier, a painter of landscapes, was born at Antsverp in 1677, and remained under the instruction of old Rysbrack, the landscape painter, for three years, after which period he became, in consequence of his close application, competent to commence the practice of his art. Having been diverted from his purpose of visiting Italy by the encouraging reception which he met with at Francfort and Nuremberg, he spent two years with his brother, Francis Breydel, at the court of Hesse-Cassel; and afterwards went to Amsterdam, where he copied several views of the Rhine, from the designs of Griffier, and thus improved his colouring, pencilling, and taste of design, so that the works of this artist may be regarded as his second and best school. At length he settled at Ghent, where his performances were much admired; but he was reduced by extravagance to the necessity of earning money expeditiously, and to multiply pictures much inferior in design and execution to others which had been produced by his pencil. His health declined towards the close of his life; and his performances during the intervals of ease which he enjoyed, amidst recurring paroxysms of the gout, wanted the spirit, delicate finishing, and firmness of touch, of his better days. Whilst the ideas and style of Griftier were his models, his pictures, principally views of the Rhine, were well designed, neatly executed, and excellently coloured. But he changed this manner, in order to imitate Velvet Breughel, whose works were universally admired, and selected for his subjects battles, sieges, and encampments. He often copied the prints of Vandermeulen; but afterwards composed very readily in this style, without borrowing from any other artist. His best pictures are full of spirit, his touch is firm, and well adapted to his style, and his design is correct. Some of them appear too laboured, but others are full of harmony. He died in 1744. 2