Simon de Vos

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Simon de Vos
Simon de Vos.jpg
Portrait after a painting by Anthony van Dyck
Born 1603, Antwerp
Died 1676 (aged 72–73), Antwerp
Nationality Flemish

Simon de Vos (20 October 1603, Antwerp – 15 October 1676, Antwerp) was a Flemish Baroque painter of genre, cabinet pictures and history paintings.


The Fortune Teller (1639), oil on copper

De Vos studied from 1615 until 1620 under Cornelis de Vos (1603–76), to whom he was not related.[1] In 1620 he joined Antwerp's Guild of St. Luke. It is possible that he then travelled to Rome as his early works show a similarity with the "low-life" genre paintings of the group of Dutch and Flemish painters active in Rome and known as the Bamboccianti.[1] A Caravaggesque influence, by way of the German painter Johann Liss—active in Italy during the 1620s—is discernible in de Vos's paintings from this time on.[2]

De Vos married a sister of the painter Adriaen van Utrecht in 1626. He worked in Antwerp for most of his life and had a few pupils. He enjoyed the respect of his peers as is shown by the fact that Rubens owned one of his pictures at the time of his death.[1][3]


Merry Company(1631), oil on copper

De Vos' first works were cabinet pictures of genre scenes, including various merry companies and group portraits. These are composed in a Mannerist, pyramidical construction. The settings are loosely sketched in and the colours are rich and often gaudy. His style in this period is close to that of Liss (particularly in the Caravaggesque treatment of the merry company scenes) and Frans Francken II.[1] His works from the late 1620s until around 1640, which were made after returning to Antwerp, are mostly small "merry company" and courtly genre scenes reminiscent of contemporary Dutch painters Dirck Hals and Pieter Codde.[2]

After 1640, de Vos turned away from genre scenes altogether and painted mostly religious and history subjects, influenced stylistically at first by Peter Paul Rubens and then increasingly by Anthony van Dyck.[2] Examples include The Beheading of St. Paul (1648) in the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp. These works were generally larger in format but use the compositional formulae of the cabinet paintings and therefore lack balance.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Christine van Mulders, "Vos, Simon de," Grove Art Online, Oxford University Press, [accessed 11 July 2014].
  2. ^ a b c Hans Vlieghe, Flemish Art and Architecture 1585-1700, New Haven: Yale University Press (1998): 152. ISBN 0-300-07038-1
  3. ^ Simon de Vos at the Netherlands Institute for Art History (Dutch)

External links[edit]

Media related to Simon de Vos at Wikimedia Commons