Pieter Coecke van Aelst ( 1502 - 1550)

Van Aelst was renowned throughout Renaissance Europe as a draftsman, painter, and publisher of architectural treatises. The magnificent tapestries he designed were acquired by the wealthiest clients of the day, up to and including rulers such as Emperor Charles V, King Francis I of France, King Henry VIII of England, and Grand Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici of Tuscany. At the same time, Coecke was remarkable not only for the complexity and unparalleled quality of his tapestries, but also for his fluency in various media: from tapestry and stained-glass window designs to panel paintings, prints, drawings, and architectural treatises.

Though only forty-eight when he died, Coecke was one of the greatest Netherlandish artists of the sixteenth century. His paintings and drawings, initially wrought in the style of the Antwerp Mannerists, evolved through his enthusiastic response to Italian Renaissance design, and influenced generations of artists in his wake. This comprehensive study explores Coecke’s stylistic development, as well as his substantial contribution to the body of great Renaissance art in Flanders.

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