Robert van den Hoecke

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View of Ostend, c.1650. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.

Robert van den Hoecke[1] (30 November 1622 in Antwerp – 1668 in Bergues-Saint-Winoc) was a Flemish Baroque painter and engraver of principally battle scenes in the manner of Pieter Snayers as well as of landscape paintings and still lifes.[2]


He was the son of the painter Gaspar van den Hoecke and the brother of Jan van den Hoecke. Born in Antwerp, he was a pupil of his father. He became a master in the city's Guild of St. Luke in 1644–45.[3] In 1649 van den Hoecke left Antwerp for Brussels where he was the court painter of Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria, the governor of the Habsburg Netherlands.[4] From 1661 until his death in 1668 he worked in Bergues-Saint-Winoc as Côntroleur des fortifications pour le service de sa Maj. en Flandre (Controller of fortifications in the service of his Majesty in Flanders).

Gonzales Coques painted his portrait in the form of an allegory of sight, which was part of a series on the five senses[5] — which shows him as "Côntroleur des fortifications" holding a plan and wearing a belt.[4]


The Storming of a Fortress, Hermitage

Some thirty paintings by Robert van den Hoecke are conserved in public museums of which only two are dated – a Winter Landscape in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (1649) and a Military Camp in the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Dunkerque.[6] The majority of his works consists of battle scenes painted on small canvases, often set at night and including a great many figures.[7] As controller of the fortifications of Flanders, he painted many views of camps, battles, and cities. He is also known for (winter) landscapes and still lives.[8] The Musée Municipal Bergues holds a religious painting representing St Matthias.[9]

His etchings mainly represent military subjects and are characterized by a great correctness, a fine touch and a quick point.[7]

His work is well represented in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.[10]

He was also an architect of note.[10]


Setting up a Tent, Rijksmuseum
  1. ^ Alternative names: Robert van der Hoecke, Robertus van den Hoecke, Robertus van der Hoecke, Robert van den Hoeke, Robert van der Hoeke, Robertus van den Hoeke, Robertus van der Hoeke
  2. ^ Hans Vlieghe (1998). Flemish Art and Architecture, 1585-1700. Pelican history of art. New Haven: Yale University Press. p. 173. ISBN 0-300-07038-1. 
  3. ^ Robert van den Hoecke at the Netherlands Institute for Art History (Dutch)
  4. ^ a b Gregory Martin (1970). The Flemish School circa 1600–circa 1900. National Gallery Catalogues. London: National Gallery Publications. pp. 21–22. ISBN 0-901791-02-4. 
  5. ^ National Gallery website (accessed 14 July 2014).
  6. ^ Robert van den Hoecke at the Dorotheum
  7. ^ a b Adam Bartsch, Le peintre graveur, Volume 5, Van Degen, 1805, p. 147-150 (French)
  8. ^ Muzeul de Artă al Republicii Socialiste România, Liza Damadian, Nina Stănculescu, Flemish Engraving in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, Meridiane Publishing House, 1982, p. 108
  9. ^ St Matthias at the Musée Municipal Bergues
  10. ^ a b Wikisource-logo.svg Gilman, D. C.; Peck, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). "Hoecke, van den". New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead.