Cœck, Peter

, called likewise P. Van Aelst, from the place of his nativity, a town in Flanders, was, if we may judge from the writers who have spoken of him, or from the admirable prints remaining from his designs, one of the greatest painters which either Germany or Flanders produced in his age. After he had been some time instructed in the school of Bernard of Brussels, he went to Rome to complete his studies, and soon proved himself an excellent designer, and a bold and spirited painter, as well in fresco as in oil. At his return to his own country he married, but his wife soon dying, he once more travelled, and at the solicitations of a merchant, a friend of his, accompanied him to Constantinople in 1531. Having stayed some time with the Turks, and drawn some most animated representations of their customs and ceremonies, which he afterwards cut in wood, he once more arrived in the place of his nativity, and took a second wife. Towards the latter part of his life he wrote some excellent treatises upon geometry, architecture, and perspective. His pictures of history, as well as his portraits, were much esteemed. He was made painter to the emperor Charles V. | and died at Antwerp in 1550. After his death, the prints which he had made of Turkish costume were published by his widow. This admirable work consists of seven large pieces, which, when joined together, form a frieze, divided into compartments by Cariatides on a tablet in the first block is written in old French “Les moeurs et fachom de faire de Turcz, avecq les regions y appertenantes, ont est au vif contrefaicetze par Pierre Cceck d‘Alost, luy estant en Turque, Tan de Jesu Christ MDXXXIII. lequel aussy de sa main propre a pourtraict ces figures duysantes a Pimpression dy’celles;” and on the last is this inscription: “Marie ver hulst, vefue du diet Pierre d'Alost, tres passe en Tan MDL. a faict imprimer les diet figures, soubz grace et privilege dTimperialle majeste en Tan MCCCCCLIII.” These prints are very rare. 1