Heere, Lucas De

, a painter of considerable fame, when there were few who deserved it, was born at Ghent, in 1534, the son of John de Heere, the best statuary of his time; and Anne Smyters, who had the reputation of being a most surprising pain tress of landscapes in miniature. Van Mander gives almost an incredible account of one performance of that female artist. From such parents De Heere had a fair prospect of gaining every necessary part of instruction; and having under their direction learned to design and handle the pencil with ease and freedom, he was placed as a disciple with Francis Fioris. With that master he improved very expeditiously, and on quitting his school travelled to France, where he was employed for some years by the queen-mother, in drawing designs for tapestry. At his return to his native city, he painted a great number of portraits with applause; and was remarkable for having so retentive a memory, that if he save any person but once, he could paint his likeness as strong | as if he had his model before his eyes. On the shutters of the altar-piece in the church of St. Peter at Ghent, he painted the Descent of the Holy Ghost on the Apostles, in which the draperies are extremely admired; and in the church of St. John he painted an altar-piece representing the Resurrection.

His manner was stiff, resembling that of his master; but m the colouring of the heads of his portraits there appears a great deal of nature and clearness; and he is very commendable for his high finishing, as welt as for giving a fullness to his draperies. This artist resided for several years in England, where many of his portraits of the nobility are still preserved, and much esteemed, such as lady Jane Grey, lord Darnley husband of Mary queen of Scotland, Frances duchess of Suffolk, &c. and at Longleate there is a large picture of a gentleman, his wife and family, consisting of eight persons. Soon after he came to England, he painted a naked man with different-coloured clothes lying besides him, and a pair of sheers in his-hand, as a satire on our fickleness in fashion it is illustrative of a verse by Andrew de Borde, who in his “Introduction to Knowledge,” has prefixed to the first chapter a naked man with these lines:

"I am an Englishman, and naked I stand here,

Musing in mind what raiment I shall wear."

De Heere, before he died, which happened in 1584, in the fiftieth year of his age, returned to Ghent; but his last works are unknown. 1


Pilkington. Walpole’s Anecdotes.