Coques, Gonzalo

, an esteemed painter of portraits and conversations, was born at Antwerp in 1618, and was a disciple of the old David Ryckaert, under whose direction he applied himself diligently to cultivate those promising talents which he possessed, not only by practising the best rules administered to him by his instructor, but also by studying nature with singular attention. He was a great admirer of Vandyck; and fixing on the manner of that great artist as his model, had the happiness of so far succeeding, that next to him he was esteemed equal to any other painter of his time. In the school of Ryckaert, he had been accustomed to paint conversations, and he frequently composed subjects of fancy, like Teniers, Ostade, and his master; and by that habit he introduced a very agreeable style of portrait-painting in a kind of historical conversations, which seemed much more acceptable to persons of taste than the general manner of painting portraits, and procured him great reputation and riches. In that way he composed several fine pictures for Charles I. and likewise several for the archduke Leopold and the prince of Orange; which latter prince, as a mark of respect, presented Coques with a rich gold chain, and a gold medal, on which the bust of that prince was impressed. He died in 1634. He had an excellent pencil; his portraits were well designed, with easy natural attitudes; he disposed the figures in his composition so as to avoid confusion and embarrassment; he gave an extraordinary clearness of colour to his heads and hands; and his touch was free, firm, and broad a circumstance very uncommon in works of a small size. 2


Pilkington, —Descamps. D’Argenville.