Meulen, Anthony Francis Vander

, an eminent artist, was born at Brussels in 1634. He was a disciple of Peter Snayers, a battle painter of considerable note, and his early progress gave strong promise of his future eminence. His ingenious pictures attracted the attention of M. Colbert, the minister of Louis XIV., who induced V. Meulen to settle in Paris; and soon afterwards introduced him to the king, who appointed him to attend and paint the scenes of his military campaigns, gave him a pension of '2000 livres, and paid him besides for his performances. He made sketches of almost all the most remarkable events that occurred in these expeditions of Louis; designing upon the spot the encampments, marches, sieges, &c. of the armies the huntings of the king; the assembling of the officers, &c.: from these he composed his pictures, which are skilfully arranged, with great bustle, animation, and spirit, and executed with a very agreeable, though not always a natural tone of colour, and with a sweet and | delicate pencil. Some of his pictures exhibit uncommon skill and taste in composition. Frequently the scene he had to paint was flat and insipid, such as a marshy country before long extended walls; even these he contrived to render agreeable by his judicious management of the chiaroscuro, and the pleasing groups which he displayed with his figures, which, though dressed in the stiff uncouth frippery of the French court of that period, are handled with so much delicacy and corresponding taste, that they never fail ^o please. He was particularly skilful in pourtraying the actions of the horse, of which he has left behind him a number of excellent studies, drawn with great care from nature. His pictures frequently include a great extent of country, and an immense number of objects. His perfect knowledge of perspective enabled him to manage the objects and distances with the greatest ease and effect, so that the eye accompanies the figures without confusion, and assigns to each its due action and distance. He lived not beyond the age of 56, but left a great number of pictures, most of which are in France, but they are not very unfrequent in this country. 1


Argenville, vol. III. —Rees’s Cyclopædia. Walpole’s Anecdotes.