, or Franciscus Francken, but more generally called Old Francks, was an artist of the sixteenth century. Very few circumstances relative to him are handed down, although his works are as generally known in these kingdoms as they are in the Netherlands: nor are the dates of his birth, death, or age, thoroughly ascertained; for Dcscamps supposes him to be born in 1544, to be admitted into the society of painters at Antwerp in 1561, which was at seventeen years of age; and fixes his death in 1666, by which computation Francks must have been a hundred and twenty-two years old when he died, which appears utterly improbable; though others fix his birth in 1544, and his death in 1616, aged seventy-two, which seems to be nearest the truth. He painted historical subjects taken froni the Old orNewTestameut, and was remarkable for introducing a great number of figures into his compositions, which he had the skill to express very distinctly. He had a fruitful invention, and composed readily; but he wanted grace and elegance in his figures, and was apt to crowd too many histories into one scene. His touch was free, and the colouring of his pictures generally transparent; yet a predominant brown or yellowish tinge appeared over them, neither natural nor agreeable. But, in several of his best performances, the colouring is clear and lively, the design good, the figures tolerably correct, and the whole together very | pleasing. -At Wilton is his “Belshazzar’s Feast,” a very curious composition.

Vandyck often commended the works of this master, and esteemed them worthy of a place in any collection. Many of them are frequently seen at public sales, which render him well known, though several are also to be met with in those places, which are unjustly ascribed to Francks, and are really unworthy of him. 1

1 Pilkinjton. —Descamps. D’Argeuville, vol. III. Reynold’s Works, vol. Ii. p. 286.