Frans Francken the Younger

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Frans Francken the Younger, Kunstkamer, 1636. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.
Abbas I as a new Caesar being honoured by the trumpets of fame, together with the Persian embassy, in Allégorie de l'Occasion, by Frans II Francken, 1628.

Frans Francken the Younger (Antwerp, 1581 – Antwerp, 6 May 1642) was a Flemish Baroque painter and is the best-known member of the large Francken family of artists because of his innovations in genre painting and new subject matter.


Francken was born in Antwerp where he trained with his father Frans Francken the Elder.[1] He may also have trained with his uncle Hieronymous Francken I in Paris, together with his brother Hieronymous Francken II. He became a master in the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke in 1605 and was deacon of the Guild in 1616.[2]


Many of his works are small historical, allegorical and biblical cabinet paintings with the focus on figures. He also invented or popularized several new themes that became popular in Flemish painting, such as genre scenes populated by monkeys (later followed by Jan van Kessel and David Teniers the Younger) and Kunstkammer or gallery paintings displaying a wealth of natural and artistic treasures against a neutral wall. Frans the Younger introduced many other unusual themes that later became popular, such as the 'Triumphal Procession of Amphitrite' and 'Croesus and Solon'.

As Francken was only really good at painting the human figure, he frequently collaborated with other artists, such as the landscape artists Tobias Verhaecht, Abraham Govaerts and Joos de Momper, the architectural painters Pieter Neeffs, Hendrik van Steenwijk I, Paul Vredeman de Vries and Bartholomeus van Bassen and flower painters such as Jan Brueghel the Elder and Andries Daniels.

Later in his life he also painted large altarpieces. His paintings are held by most major museums in Europe.[2]

Family tree[edit]

Nicolaes Francken 1515–1596
Hieronymous Francken I 1540–1610
Frans Francken I 1542–1616
Ambrosius Francken I 1544–1618
(Cornelius Francken)
Isabella Francken
Thomas Francken 1574–1625
Hieronymous Francken II 1578–1623
Frans Francken II 1581–1642
Ambrosius Francken II 1590–1632
Hans Francken 1581–after 1610
Frans Francken III 1607–1667
Hieronymous Francken III 1611–after 1661
Ambrosius Francken III 1614–1662
Constantijn Francken 1661–1717

Notes and sources[edit]

  1. ^ Biographical details at the Netherlands Institute for Art History (Dutch)
  2. ^ a b Ursula Härting. "Francken." Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 27 Feb. 2014

External links[edit]

Media related to Frans Francken (II) at Wikimedia Commons