Michael Coxcie

Michael Coxcie (Mechelen 1499 – March 5, 1592) was a Flemish painter who studied under Bernard van Orley, who probably induced him to visit the Italian peninsula. (Coxcie is sometimes spelled "Coxie", such as in the Mechelen street devoted to the painter).

At Rome in 1532 he painted the chapel of Cardinal Enckenvoirt in the church of Santa Maria dell' Anima; and Giorgio Vasari, who knew him, says with truth that he fairly acquired the manner of an Italian. But Coxcie's principal occupation was designing for engravers; and the fable of Psyche in thirty-two sheets by Agostino Veneziano and the "Master of the Die" are favorable specimens of his skill.

Returning to the Netherlands, Coxcie greatly extended his practice in this branch of art. But his productions were till lately concealed under an interlaced monogram M.C.O.K.X.I.N. In 1539, Coxcie returned to Mechelen, where he matriculated and painted the wings of an altarpiece [Mechelen altarpiece now in Sanct Veit Cathedral in Prague.] for the chapel of the guild of St Luke. The centre of this altar-piece, by Jan Mabuse, represents Saint Luke the Evangelist, patron of painters, portraying the Virgin; the side pieces contain the "Martyrdom of Saint Vitus" and the "Vision of St John the Evangelist in Patmos".

At van Orley's death in 1541 Coxcie succeeded to the office of court painter to the Regent Maria of Austria, for whom he decorated the castle of Binche. He was subsequently patronized by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, who often coupled his works with those of Titian; by Philip II of Spain, who paid him royally for a copy of Jan van Eyck's "Agnus Dei"; and by Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, Duke of Alva, who once protected him from the insults of Spanish soldiery at Mechelen. At that time Coxcie also designed tapestries for the Brussels manufacturers.

Many tapestries were sold to Sigismund II Augustus for his castle on the Wawel. Coxcie may also have designed the tapestries for Phillip II's Royal Palace of Madrid depicting episodes of the life of Cyrus II, based on the writing of Herodotus. [Campbell, T. (2002) Art & Magnificence. Tapestry in the Renaissance, p. 394-403.]

There are large masterworks of his from (1587-1588) in the St. Rumbolds Cathedral of Mechelen, in the St. Michael and Gudula Cathedral of Brussels, and in the museums of Brussels and Antwerp. His style is Raphaelesque grafted on the Flemish, but his imitation of Raphael, whilst it distantly recalls Giulio Romano, is never free from affectation and stiffness. He was known as the Flemish Raphael. [CathEncy|url=http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04463b.htm|title=Michiel Coxcie] He died at Mechelen on the 5 March, 1592, after falling from a flight of stairs.



External links

* [http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/bio/c/coxcie/michiel/biograph.html Web Gallery of Art: Biography of Michael Coxcie]
* [http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/c/coxcie/michiel/index.html Web Gallery of Art: Paintings by Michael Coxcie]
* [http://www.christies.com/promos/oct06/omp/overview.asp?link=2&page=6 Christies.com Overview]

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