Cornelis van der Geest

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Portrait of Cornelis van der Geest by Anthony van Dyck, before 1620, now in the National Gallery

Cornelis van der Geest (1577 – 10 March 1638) was a spice merchant from Antwerp, who used his wealth to support the Antwerp artists and to establish his art collection. He was also the dean of the haberdashers guild.[1] He has been portraited repeatedly by Anthony van Dyck, while Willem van Haecht painted his "constcammer", a view of the visit of Albert VII, Archduke of Austria and Isabella Clara Eugenia to his art collection. He owned two paintings by Quentin Matsys, one of which, a Madonna, can be seen in the Van Haecht painting. Other works included in that view are Women at her toilet by Jan van Eyck, a still life by Frans Snyders, Ceres Mocked by Adam Elsheimer, Danaë by Van Haecht, Battle of the Amazons and a portrait by Peter Paul Rubens, Peasant Company with Woman making Pancakes by Pieter Aertsen, Apelles by Jan Wierix and a hunting scene by Jan Wildens. The painting also shows some of Van der Geest's sculptures, with copies of the Venus de' Medici, the Farnese Hercules, and the Apollo Belvedere.[2] Van Haecht, who was the curator of the collection, painted two other views of the collection as well.[3]

Van der Geest also functioned as a maecenas. He arranged for Rubens to get the order for a triptych for the Saint Walpurga church in Antwerp, which resulted in the Elevation of the Cross, now in the Cathedral of Antwerp.[4] Similarly, the order for the 1630-1632 Triptych of Saint Ildephonsus, intended for the Saint James church, but now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, was given to Rubens through the influence of Van der Geest.[1]

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  1. ^ a b Giorgi, Rosa (2008). European art of the seventeenth century. Getty Publications. p. 383. ISBN 978-0-89236-934-8. 
  2. ^ Sutherland Harris, Ann (2005). Seventeenth-century art & architecture. Laurence King Publishing. p. 426. ISBN 978-1-85669-415-5. 
  3. ^ "Kamers vol kunst in 17de eeuws Antwerpen". Rubenshuis. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  4. ^ Timmermans, Bert (2008). Patronen van patronage in het zeventiende-eeuwse Antwerpen (in Dutch). Amsterdam University Press. p. 250. ISBN 978-90-5260-247-9. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
The Gallery of Cornelis van der Geest. The left side of the painting includes various portraits of contemporaneous figures, including (from the left) Infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia of Spain, Archduke Albert of Austria, Peter Paul Rubens, Prince Władysław Vasa of Poland (who visited van der Geest's Gallery in 1624, with black hat) and the host showing a picture. 1628, By Willem van Haecht, now in the Rubenshuis