Lancrinck, Prosper Henry

, an artist of the English school, though of German extraction, was probably born about 1628. His father, a soldier of fortune, came with his wife and this only son into the Netherlands; and that country being then embroiled in a war, procured a colonel’s command, which he enjoyed not many years, dying a natural death at Antwerp. His widow, a prudent woman, so managed her small fortune, as to maintain herself suitably to her husband’s quality, and give her son a liberal education, designing him for a monastery; but early discovering his turn for painting, she, although with reluctance, placed him with a painter, from whom he learned the rudiments of his art; but his chief instruction was derived from the city-academy of Antwerp. His advances in the science were very great, especially in landscape, in which he had the advantage of Mr. Van Lyan’s collection of curious pieces of all the eminent masters of Europe. Here he selected as his favourite models Titian and Salvator Rosa.

His mother dying, he came to his fortune young; and, passing over to England, met with a reception suitable to his merit. Admiral sir Edward Sprag, a patron of the art, recommended him to several persons of quality, among whom was sir William Williams, whose house was finally adorned with this master’s pictures, but not long after unfortunately burnt; so that, of this great painter, there are but very few finished pieces remaining, he having bestowed the greatest part of his time, while in England, on that gentleman’s house. He was also much courted by sir Peter Lely, who employed him in painting the grounds, landscapes, flowers, ornaments, and sometimes the draperies, of those pictures by which he intended to gain esteem. Lancrinck’s performances in landcapewere admired for invention, harmony, colouring, and warmth, and he was particularly successful in his skies, which were thought to excel the works of the most eminent painters | in this article. Besides the specimens in the possession of Mr. Henly, of Mr. Trevox, and Mr. Austen, the father of which last was his great friend and patron, he painted a cieling at the house of Richard Lent, esq. at Causham in Wiltshire, near Bath, which was much admired. He practised also drawing after the life, and succeeded well in small figures, which were a great ornament in his landscapes, and in which be imitated the manner of Titian. Lancrinck is said to have shortened his days by too free indulgence, and died in August 1692, leaving a wellchosen collection of pictures, drawings, prints, antique heads, and models, most of which he brought from abroad. 1


Walpoe’s Anecdotes.—Biog. Brit. Supplement, in art. Lely