8 December 1614
|Died||18 April 1684
He was baptized in Antwerp as the son of Pieter Willemsen Cock and Anne Beys on 8 December 1614. This date based on archival evidence places him in 1626 as a twelve-year-old (the usual age for drawing pupils) on entrance into the Guild of St. Luke as a pupil of Pieter Brueghel the Younger. However, his birthdate was recorded for centuries as 1618 based on the caption under an engraved portrait in Cornelis de Bie's Het Gulden Cabinet. The caption under his portrait mentions him as a pupil of David II Rijckaert. He is primarily known as a painter of small cabinet conversation pieces, a type of elegant informal group portrait that he is credited with inventing. The influence of Anthony van Dyck resulted in his nickname "Little van Dyck".
He was recorded as master in the guild during the years 1640–41, and the long period between mention of him as a pupil and his master status has been explained as a period of travel, probably to England where Van Dyck was active. He was married twice, first to Ryckaert's daughter Catharina, and then to Catharina Rysheuvels. He was a member of two rhetorician guilds in the city, and twice he was made president of the painters' guild.
His small portraits were in great demand with both the bourgeoisie and nobility. Patrons included Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg, Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange and John of Austria the Younger. In 1671 he became court painter to Juan Dominico de Zuniga y Fonseca, governor of Brussels. One of his canvases in the gallery at the Hague represents a suite of rooms hung with pictures, in which the artist himself may be seen at a table with his wife and two children, surrounded by masterpieces composed and signed by several contemporaries. Partnership in painting was common amongst the small masters of the Antwerp school; and it has been truly said of Coques that he employed Jacob von Arthois for landscapes, Anton Ghering and Willem Schubart von Ehrenberg for architectural backgrounds, Hendrik Steenwijck the younger for interiors, and Pieter Gysels for still life and flowers; but the model upon which Coques formed himself was Van Dyck, whose sparkling touch and refined manner he imitated with great success. He never ventured beyond the cabinet, but in this limited field the family groups of his middle time are full of life, brilliant from the sheen of costly dress and sparkling play of light and shade, combined with finished execution and enameled surface.
- Veronique van Passel, "Coques [Cocks; Cox], Gonzales [Consael; Gonsalo]," Grove Art Online. Oxford University Press, [accessed 24 November 2007].
- Gonzales Coques in the RKD
- See the Liggeren, Page 635
- Hans Vlieghe (1998). Flemish Art and Architecture, 1585-1700. Pelican history of art. New Haven: Yale University Press. pp. 146–148. ISBN 0-300-07038-1.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- 23 Paintings by Gonzales Coques at the BBC Your Paintings site
- Vermeer and The Delft School, a full text exhibition catalog from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which has material on Gonzales Coques
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