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Barent Van Orley

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Painter, b. at Brussels, about 1491; d. there 6 January, 1542. He studied under Raphael in 1509. He returned to Brussels and was commissioned in 1515 to paint an alter-piece for the Confraternity of the Holy Cross at Furnes. In 1518 he was appointed official painter to Margaret of Austria, Regent of the Netherlands, and two years afterwards entertained Dürer in his house for some time, during which Dürer painted Orley's portrait, now in the Dresden Museum. In 1530, Margaret of Austria having died, Orley received the official appointment from her successor, Mary of Hungary. Orley was a Catholic, but assisted at various Lutheran meetings held in his father's house. He and his brother were arrested, with several other painters, and sentenced to pay fines, and to do public penance in the church of St. Gudule (Brussels). The artist had seven children by his first wife, Agnes Segheres, and two by his second wife, Catherine Hellinex.

He painted in oil and tempera, and made a great many designs for glass windows. Some of the finest windows in St. Gudule's are from his drawings. He was an engraver and an able craftsman. With Michael Cocxie he superintended the manufacture of the tapestries for the Vatican designed by Raphael's cartoons for Leo X. Three pieces of tapestry from his own drawings are at Hampton Court, the Louvre, and the Caserta Palace at Naples. Many of his pictures derive their extreme brilliance from being painted on a ground of gold leaf. A tradition that he visited England lacks definite proof. The eight portraits of the first Regent of the Netherlands, and four of the second, he is said to have painted, have not yet been found. His works occasionally bear the family motto "Elx sijne tijt" (Every man his day).

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