Anecdotes of Painting in England: With Some Account of the Principal Artists - Vol. 2

By Horace Walpole | Go to book overview
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Vanloo soon bore away the chief business of London from every other painter. His likenesses were very strong, but not favourable, and his heads coloured with force. He executed very little of the rest of his pictures, the draperies of which were supplied by Vanaken, and Vanloo's own disciples, Eccardt 1 and Root. However, Vanloo certainly introduced a better style ; his pictures were thoroughly finished, natural, and no part neglected. He was laborious, and demanded five sittings from each person. But he soon left the palm to be again contended for by his rivals. He laboured under a complication of distempers, and being advised to try the air of his own country, Provence, he retired thither in October 1742, and died there in April 1746. 2


JOSEPH VANAKEN.

As in England almost everybody's picture is painted, so almost every painter's works were painted by Vanaken. He was born at Antwerp, and excelling in satins, velvets, lace, embroidery, &c., he was employed by several considerable painters here to draw the attitudes and dress the figures in their pictures, which makes it very difficult to distinguish the works of the several performers. 3 Hogarth drew the supposed funeral of Vanaken, attended by the painters he worked for, discovering every mark of grief and despair. He died of a fever, July 4, 1749, aged about fifty. He left a brother, who followed the same business.

There was another of the same surname, ARNOLD VANAKEN, who painted small figures, landscapes, conversations,

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1
Eccardt was a German, and a modest worthy man. He remained here after Vanloo's return to France, and succeeded to some of his business ; but having married the daughter of Mr. Duhamel, watchmaker, in Henrietta-street, with whom he lodged, he retired to Chelsea, where he died in October 1779, leaving a son, who is a clerk in the Custom-house.
2
[He left five sons, two of whom became distinguished painters—Louis Michel, painter to Philip V. King of Spain, and Charles Amadee Philippe, painter to Frederic the Great, of Prussia. A portrait of Horatio, Lord Walpole, younger brother of Sir Robert Walpole, was sold at the Strawberry-hill sale for 8 guineas. —W.]
3
This important service was chiefly rendered to Hudson, who was nearly driven to quit his profession when Vanaken died. Northcote observes, (vol. i. p. 18,) "that the genius of Hogarth was too great, and his public employment too little, to require the assistance of a drapery painter, and therefore he might safely point his satire at those who did."—D.

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