Flink, Govert

, a German artist, was born in 1616, at Cloves, and by the appointment of his father was to have been bred up as a merchant; but neither | the influence of his friends, nor the prospect of making an immense fortune, could prevail with him to abandon the art of painting, to which from his earliest youth he felt an invincible inclination. He was first placed with Lambert Jacobs; under whom he made extraordinary proficiency, by capacity, diligence, and emulation, to excel Backer, who was then a disciple of Jacobs. When he quitted his master, he went to Amsterdam, and entered himself in the school of Rembrandt, and became so captivated with the excellences of that great artist, that he studied his style of composition, manner of colouring, and penciling, incessantly; and at last shewed himself not only a good imitator of him, but in some respects his equal, and in freedom of hand rather his superior. Such talents being soon noticed, he was almost continually employed in painting the portraits of princes and illustrious personages, although his genius was abundantly more inclined to paint historical subjects; and several of his performances in that style were admired for the goodness of the design, and the beauty of the colouring. He remarkably excelled in imitating the manner of Rembrandt, and many of his paintings are sold at this day for the work of his master. But as the Italian taste began to be more esteemed after the death of Rembrandt, Flink took great pains to alter his first manner. For this purpose he made a large collection of the finest casts that could be procured from Rome of the best drawings and designs of the artists of Italy as also of several of their paintings and those he made his principal studies. When he imagined himself to be competently improved, he finished a noble design for the great hall of the senate-house at Amsterdam, representing Solomon praying for wisdom; in which his disposition and manner of grouping the figures appear excellent, and the tone of the colouring is strong and livety, He likewise painted a grand historical composition for the artillery company at Amsterdam, consisting of portraits of the most distinguished persons of that body. The figures were well disposed, and every part of the picture was painted by Flink, except the faces, which are by Vander Heist. He died in 1660, much regretted, and his collection of prints and drawings were sold for twelve thousand florins. 1

1 Pilkington, —Moreri.