Caravaggio and the Painters of the North
From 21 June to 18 September 2016
This Flemish painter was associated with a group of Mannerist painters in Antwerp. Jan Wellens de Cock was probably born in Leiden but moved to Antwerp where he is found in 1506, the year in which he registered as a master in the guild of Saint Luke. It is known that between 1507 and 1508 he was commissioned to paint angels and restore the Dove of the Holy Sprit in Antwerp cathedral. The records of the painters’ guild show that he was active in the city over the following years. In 1516 he accepted Wounter Key as an apprentice in his charge, while in 1520 he was co-dean of the guild of Saint Luke with the painter Joos van Cleve. Jan Wellens de Cock died before 1527, the date when his wife, Clara von Beeringen, is mentioned in a document as a widow. Two of their four children followed their father’s footsteps: Matthijs Cock became a landscape painter and Hieronymous Cock a printmaker and noted publisher. Friedländer based his reconstruction of the artist’s oeuvre on a Saint Christopher (private collection, Germany). An engraving after this painting includes the inscription “Pictum/J. Cock”. Friedländer was thus able to attribute a group of paintings and prints to the artist although his oeuvre continues to be the subject of widespread debate.