Cross, Michael

, an English artist, and famous copier of paintings, flourished in the reigns of Charles I. and Charles II. Being employed by the first of these kings to copy several eminent pieces in Italy, and having leave of the state of Venice to copy the celebrated Madonna of Raphael in St. Mark’s church, he performed the task so admirably well, that he is said to have put a trick upon the Italians, by leaving his copy, and bringing away the original; and that several messengers were sent after him, but that he had got the start of them so far as to carry it clear off. This picture was afterwards, in Oliver Cromwell’s days, bought by the Spanish ambassador, when the king’s collection was exposed to sale. Cross copied likewise Titian’s Europa, and other celebrated pieces, very successfully. He must be distinguished from Lewis Cross, who died 1724, and of whom it is recorded that he re-painted a little picture of Mary queen of Scots, in the possession of the duke of Hamilton, and was ordered to make it as handsome as he could. He made the face a round one. For many years it was believed an original, and innumerable copies have been made from it. 2


Pilkington. Walpole’s Painters.