Diepenbeck, Abraham Van

, an artist, was born at Bois-le-Duc, in 1607, and was at first a painter on glass, in which he was accounted excellent, and even superior to any of his time; yet he discontinued it, on account of a variety of discouraging accidents that happened to him, in his preparations for that kind of work. He studied for some time in Italy, and found there good employment as a glass painter; but he turned his thoughts entirely to painting in oil; and, to obtain the best knowledge of colouring, entered himself in the school of Rubens, where he improved exceedingly, and was considered as one of the good disciples of that great master; yet, notwithstanding the opportunity he had of refining his national taste, during his residence in Italy, he never altered his original style of design; for all his subsequent compositions were too much loaded, and not very correct. His invention was fertile, and shewed genius, and his execution was full of spirit; but it was no inconsiderable prejudice to him, to have been engaged in such a number of designs as were perpetually thrown in his way, and which he was obliged to strike out in a hurry, without competent time allowed for judgment to revise, digest, and correct them. Designs for title-pages, for theses, and devotional subjects, engrossed the greatest part of his time and his labour; or designs for the decoration of books; of which kind, that called the “Temple of the Muses,1662, afforded him great employment, and added much honour to the artist, merely as a designer. His designs, indeed, of the Bellerophon, the Orpheus, the Dioscuri, the Leander, the Ixion, Tantalus, and Sisyphus, have never been excelled by the | conception of the best masters of the best schools. He was one of the few scholars of Rubens that came to England, where he was much employed by William Cavendish, duke of Newcastle, whose managed horses he drew from the life; from whence were engraved the cuts that adorn that nobleman’s book of horsemanship. Several of the original pictures are, or very lately were, in the hall at Welbeck. Diepenbeck drew views of the duke’s seats in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, and portraits of the duke, duchess, and his children, and gave designs for several plates prefixed to the works of both their graces. At Cassiobery is the story of Dido and Æneas by him. 1


Pilkington. Argenville. —Descamps. Waipole’s Anecdotes.