Van Mander, Charles

, another eminent artist, was born at Meulebeke, a small distance from Courtray, in 1548, and was successively the disciple of Lucas de Heere, at Ghent, and Peter Vlerick, at Courtray; but his principal knowledge in the art of painting was acquired at Rome, where he studied for three years. There he designed after the antiques, and the curious remains of Roman magnificence; the temples, baths, ruinous theatres, sepulchral monuments and their decorations, and, in short, every elegant and noble object that invited his attention. He also studied after nature in the environs of Rome, sketching every scene that pleased his imagination, or could afford him materials for future compositions in the landscape-style; and having practised to paint with equal freedom in fresco and in oil, he executed several historical works as well as landscapes, for the cardinals and nobility of Rome, with extraordinary approbation.

At his return to his own country he was received with unusual respect, and soon after painted the representation of the Terrestrial Paradise, which procured him great honour, and a picture of the Deluge, which was highly applauded for the composition and expression, as it described all the passions of grief, fear, terror, horror, and despair, with a sensible and affecting variety. In general he was esteemed a good painter of landscape; the choice in his trees was judicious, his figures were well designed, his colouring was agreeable, and his composition full of spirit; though, in the advanced part of his life he appeared to have somewhat of the mannerist. This artist | distinguished himself not only as a painter, but as a writer. He composed tragedies and comedies, which were acted with applause; and, what is very uncommon, he painted also the decorations of the theatre. At Haerlem he introduced an academy, to diffuse among his countrymen a taste for the Italian masters; and the world is indebted eminently to Van Mander for searching out, and transmitting to posterity, the characters and merits of so many memorable artists as are comprised in his “Lives of the Painters.” He died in 1605, aged fifty-eight. 1


Pilkington, by Fuseli.