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Gonzales Coques - Dutch Artist From Art History

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Historical Artist - Gonzales Coques (1615 - 1684)

Gonzales Coques was primarily a portrait painter who was nicknamed “little van Dyck.” He was born in Antwerp and spent the majority of his career there. He also visited and worked in England and Holland. He is primarily known as a painter of small cabinet conversation pieces, a type of elegant informal group portrait that he is credited with inventing. One of his canvases in the gallery at the Hague represents a suite of rooms hung with pictures, in which the artist himself may be seen at a table with his wife and two children, surrounded by masterpieces composed and signed by several contemporaries. Partnership in painting was common amongst the small masters of the Antwerp school. He never ventured beyond the cabinet, but in this limited field the family groups of his middle time are full of life, brilliant from the sheen of costly dress and sparkling play of light and shade, combined with finished execution and enameled surface.

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