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Crayer, Gaspard De

CRAYER, GASPARD DE (1582-1669), Flemish painter, was born at Antwerp, and learnt the art of painting from Raphael Coxcie. He matriculated in the guild of St Luke at Brussels in 1607, resided in the capital of Brabant till after 1660, and finally settled at Ghent. Amongst the numerous pictures which he painted in Ghent, one in the town museum represents the martyrdom of St Blaise, and bears the inscription A° 1668 aet. 86. Crayer was one of the most productive yet one of the most conscientious artists of the later Flemish school, second to Rubens in vigour and below Vandyck in refinement, but nearly equalling both in most of the essentials of painting. He was well known and always well treated by Albert and Isabella, governors of the Netherlands. The cardinal-infant Ferdinand made him a court-painter. His pictures abound in the churches and museums of Brussels and Ghent; and there is scarcely a country chapel in Flanders or Brabant that cannot boast of one or more of his canvases. But he was equally respected beyond his native country; and some important pictures of his composition are to be found as far south as Aix in Provence and as far east as Amberg in the Upper Palatinate. His skill as a decorative artist is shown in the panels executed for a triumphal arch at the entry of Cardinal Ferdinand into the Flemish capital, some of which are publicly exhibited in the museum of Ghent. Crayer died at Ghent. His best works are the "Miraculous Draught of Fishes" in the gallery of Brussels, the "Judgment of Solomon" in the gallery of Ghent, and "Madonnas with Saints" in the Louvre, the Munich Pinakothek, and the Belvedere at Vienna. His portrait by Vandyck was engraved by P. Pontius.

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

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