Lucas van Valckenborch

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Self portrait

Lucas van Valkenborch (also Valckenborch, Valkenborgh; c. 1535 – 2 February 1597) was a Flemish painter of mainly landscapes, portraits and allegorical scenes.


Van Valckenborch was born in Leuven. The 17th-century biographer Karel van Mander stated that Lucas van Valckenborch learned to paint landscapes in Mechelen, which was known as a center for oil and water-colours and especially landscape painting.[1] At the time of the Beeldenstorm in 1566 he left Antwerp with his brother (or nephew) Marten van Valckenborch and they made a trip from Luik to Aachen along the Meuse (river), painting river valley views.[1] When William the Silent revolted against Spanish rule, they returned to the Southern Netherlands. They were able to create works that sold well.[1] Van Mander wrote that Lucasbecame patronized by Matthias, Holy Roman Emperor because of his skill as a portrait painter and travelled with him down the Danube as far as Linz.[1]

He was the cousin of the painters Frederik and Gillis van Valckenborch, and the nephew or brother of the painter Marten van Valckenborch.[2][3]

He became the teacher of Georg Flegel. He died in Frankfurt am Main.[2]


Landscape in summer

He is known for landscapes, portraits and allegorical paintings. His style was close to Pieter Brueghel the Elder, but he modified this influence in a personal manner and was not a slavish copyist. His work was rooted in the same Flemish tradition, without following the newer Mannerist movement.

His landscapes generally followed the conventions of composition, with panoramic scenes from a high viewpoint. He relied, however, more on first-hand observation of nature and he made paintings of actual places, rather than the fantastic landscapes of other Flemish landscape painters. He also created some close-up representations of forest landscapes. He also painted some a series of large pictures depicting the labours of the months in the mid-1580s.

He also painted portraits for his patron Emperor Matthias. He was further a figure painter as is shown in a series of nine allegories of the seasons painted in Frankfurt from 1592.[3]


  • Landscape in Spring
  • Landscape in Summer
  • Landscape with a Rural Festival
  • The Massacre of the Innocents
  • Mountainous Landscape
  • Rocky Landscape
  • The Tower of Babel
  • View of Antwerp with the Frozen Scheldt
  • View of Huy from Ahin

Cultural reference[edit]

Lucas van Valkenborch is mentioned by the German writer W. G. Sebald in his book Austerlitz describing the painting View of Antwerp with the Frozen Scheldt (1590).



  1. ^ a b c d Lucas van Valckenborch in Karel van Mander's Schilder-boeck, 1604 (Dutch)
  2. ^ a b Lucas van Valckenborch at the Netherlands Institute for Art History (Dutch)
  3. ^ a b Alexander Wied and Hans Devisscher. "Valckenborch, van." Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 14 Jul. 2014

External links[edit]