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Coxcie, Michael

COXCIE, MICHAEL (1499-1592), Flemish painter, was born at Malines, and studied under Bernard van Orley, who probably induced him to visit Italy. At Rome in 1532 he painted the chapel of Cardinal Enckenvoort in the church of Santa Maria dell' Anima; and Vasari, who knew him, says with truth "that he fairly acquired the manner of an Italian." But Coxcie's principal occupation was designing for engravers; and the fable of Psyche in thirty-two sheets by Agostino Veneziano and the Master of the Die are favourable specimens of his skill. During a subsequent residence in the Netherlands Coxcie greatly extended his practice in this branch of art. But his productions were till lately concealed under an interlaced monogram M.C.O.K.X.I.N. Coxcie returned in 1539 to Malines, where he matriculated, and painted for the chapel of the gild of St Luke the wings of an altarpiece now in Sanct Veit of Prague. The centre of this altarpiece, by Mabuse, represents St Luke portraying the Virgin; the side pieces contain the Martyrdom of St Vitus and the Vision of St John in Patmos. At van Orley's death in 1541 Coxcie succeeded to the office of court painter to the regent Mary of Hungary, for whom he decorated the castle of Binche. He was subsequently patronized by Charles V., who often coupled his works with those of Titian; by Philip II., who paid him royally for a copy of van Eyck's "Agnus Dei"; and by the duke of Alva, who once protected him from the insults of Spanish soldiery at Malines. There are large and capital works of his (1587-1588) in St Rombaud of Malines, in Ste Gudule of Brussels, and in the museums of Brussels and Antwerp. His style is Raphaelesque grafted on the Flemish, but his imitation of Raphael, whilst it distantly recalls Giulio Romano, is never free from affectation and stiffness. He died at Malines on the 5th of March 1592.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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