Joos de Momper

1564 – Antwerp – 1635

Joos de Momper spans the transition between the panoramic, Mannerist ‘world landscapes’ of Joachim Patinir and the more realistic views of his friend Jan Brueghel the Elder (1568-1625); he was influenced by both artists. De Momper was born in Antwerp in 1564, the son of the painter Bartholomeus de Momper (1535-after 1597), with whom he studied. De Momper became a Master of the Guild of St Luke in 1581, at seventeen years of age (his father was then Dean). He may have gone to Italy in the 1580s to work in the Treviso studio of Lodewyck Toeput, a Flemish emigré painter known as Il Pozzoserrato. Frescoes in S Vitale in Rome, previously given to Paul Bril, were attributed by Gerzi to de Momper.

De Momper married Elisabeth Gobijn in Antwerp on 4th September 1590. They had ten children, including Philip (1598-1634), who also became a painter. From 1591 there were several pupils in his workshop: Hans de Cock, Fransken van der Borcht, Louis Caullery and Peer Poppo. In 1610 de Momper was co-Dean, then in 1611 Dean of the Antwerp St Luke’s Guild. Between 1613 and 1614, also in Antwerp, he met Ercole Bianchi from Milan. He was a close friend of Jan Brueghel the Elder who, until the latter died in 1625, was the artist he favoured most to paint the staffage for his landscapes. Other artists whom de Momper chose for human and animal staffage were Hendrik van Balen, Sebastiaen Vrancx, Frans Francken the Younger, Jan Brueghel the Younger and David Teniers the Elder. Joos de Momper died in Antwerp on 5th February 1635.

The work of Joos de Momper is represented in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna; the Prado, Madrid; the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden; the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford and the Louvre, Paris.

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