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Herregouts

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There were three artists of the name of Herregouts, father, son, and grandson, of whom the chief was Hendrik, the son of David, and the father of Jan.

David Herregouts

Historical painter ; born at Mechlin in 1603; died at Ruremonde. He was a pupil of his cousin Salmier and a member of the corporation of painters in his own city in 1624. The latter part of his life he spent at Ruremonde, where he was received in 1647 a member of the Guild of St. Luke. One of his pictures is still preserved in the little town, but his chief work, "St. Joseph Awakened by an Angel ", is at Mechlin in the church of St. Catherine.

Hendrik Herregouts

David's son; born at Mechlin in 1633; died at Antwerp in 1724. When his father left Mechlin for Ruremonde, Hendrik went to Rome, to which city he became so attached that he added the name of Romain to his signature on certain of his pictures. We hear of him at Cologne in 1660, where he was married the following year. In 1664 he was admitted a member of the Guild of St. Luke at Antwerp and practised his art in that city. Two years afterwards he came back to Mechlin and was admitted into the guild there, remaining in his native place for some years. In 1680 he was once more in Antwerp, and his studio was full of pupils, one of them being Abraham Goddyn. His best work, "The Last Judgment", is now to be seen at Bruges ; his "Martyrdom of St. Matthew " in the cathedral at Antwerp is a very fine picture, and in Brussels there are two important works, the chief of which is "St. Jerome in the Desert ". He was employed by the Corporation of Antwerp to design and eventually decorate a triumphal arch which was erected to celebrate the jubilee of the restoration of the Catholic Faith in the city, and for this work, which was executed in 1685, he was thanked and honoured by the citizens. His work is imposing, as the figures are noble and expressive, and the colouring admirable.

Jan Herregouts

Died at Bruges, 1721. It is uncertain where Jan was born. Some authorities say his birth took place at Rome, others Termonde. Of his early life we know nothing, the first date we have in connexion with him being 1677, when he was admitted to the Guild of St. Luke at Antwerp. He eventually settled in Bruges, was a member of its guild, held many important positions in its Corporation, and was one of the founders of its Academy. It was there he died in 1721, and his best pictures are to be seen in the Academy, and in the churches of St. Anne and of the Carmelites. His portraits of his grandfather and of himself are admirable, and his chief picture in the Carmelites' church is of the Blessed Virgin and saints kneeling before Christ. He practised engraving and also etching, his "St. Cecilia" being a notable work. He was an artist of distinct merit, and his colouring is particularly good.


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