Gerbier, Sir Balthasar

, a painter in miniature, was born at Antwerp in 1592. He was employed by Charles I. but is far more conspicuous as having been engaged, in conjunction with Rubens, to negociate a treaty with Spain; and for having been for a time British resident at Brussels. His being in the suite of Buckingham in Spain was the means of this elevation; for which he does not appear to have been duly qualified. He was somewhat acquainted with architecture, and was employed by lord Craven to give designs for Ilempsted-hall, which has since been burnt. Being neglected by the court, he in 1648 appeared as an author, and founder of an academy at Bethnal-green; and in 1649 published his first lecture on geography. This was followed by others, and by various pamphlets respecting quackish schemes and projects, with which his head appears to have been full. He afterwards went to Cayenne, and settled with his family at Surinam; where, by order of the Dutch, he was seized and sent back to Holland, from the jealousy of that government, which regarded him since his naturalization in England as an agent of the king. On the restoration of Charles II. hereturned to England, and prepared triumphal arches for; his honour. Here he practised various means of riving forsome years, with no great respect or profit, and at last died in 1667, having passed his latter days in all the | expedients of quackery. Lord Orford has bestowed a long article upon sir Balthasar, but has not much exalted his merit as a man or an artist. 1


Walpole’s Anecdotes.—Pilkington.—Lysons’s Euvirons, vol. II.