Jan van den Hoecke

Jan van den Hoecke is an Antwerp painter, draftsman, and designer of wall tapestries. It is possible he receives his first lessons from his father Caspar van der Hoecke II (1595-1648). In the beginning of his career, van den Hoecke is a student of Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640). He is stylistically related to the great Master. Van den Hoecke combines the achievements of the art of Rubens with the 17th-century Italian Classicism.

It is supposed that the painter studied the ancients in Italy. There, he is influenced also by various contemporary artists. Important in this respect is the influence of Guido Reni (1575-1642) with his idealised figures. Van den Hoecke is the court painter of Governor Leopold Wilhelm (1614-1662), who has him complete copies after the work of Reni. The oeuvres of Domenichino (1581-1641), Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665) and Andrea Sacchi (1599-1661) are also an inspiration for the Antwerp painter.

His most important and most elaborate commission is the design of a series of 12 wall tapestries for Leopold Wilhelm around 1650. Van den Hoecke receives the help of other artists who are responsible for specific figures and still-life motifs.

At the end of his career, van den Hoecke is influenced by Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641), which is seen in a work such as Adoration of the Christ-child by Saint Francis of Assisi (KMSKA, Antwerp).

July 1611

Jan van den Hoecke is born in Antwerp.

Circa 1630

The artist works with Peter Paul Rubens.

1635

Van den Hoecke works along with his father and other artists on the decorations of the Glorious Entrance of Cardinal-infant Ferdinand (1609-1641) (Pompa Introitus Ferdinandi), after the designs of Rubens.

Circa 1637-1644

Van den Hoecke stays on the Italian peninsula. In 1644, the artist becomes a member of the select club, Virtuosi al Pantheon.

1644-1647

The artist establishes himself in Vienna and works for the Habsburg court.

1647-1650

Van den Hoecke returns to the Southern Netherlands. He becomes court painter for Archduke Leopold Wilhelm, Governor of the Southern Netherlands and makes several portraits of his liege.

Circa 1650

For Governor Leopold Wilhelm, van den Hoecke designs the pattern boards for a series of 12 wall tapestries on the motif of vanitas. Several artists work on the series. (See, for example, the pattern board for the months of March and April, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna).

1651

Jan van den Hoecke dies in Antwerp.

Matthias Depoorter