Flemish painting and De Jonckheere Gallery's old master paintings
Ca. 1525 - Antwerp - 1589
Hendrick van Cleve was born in Antwerp in 1525. The son of Willem van Cleve, the original ancestor of this illustrious line of painters, he trained in the studio of Frans Floris.
He is believed to have travelled to Italy before 1551, the very year he became a free master in Antwerp. It is possible that he was also known as a master of the Guild of Utrecht under the name of Hendrick “van Cleef”, where his presence is confirmed in 1569.
We know little of his work other than the engravings published by Filips Galle after his topographical landscapes, townscapes – including those of Rome – and his Roman ruins. Only a few paintings are confirmed as his: versions of a view of the Vatican; a panorama of Rome in 1550; a view of Cardinal Cesi’s gardens in Rome; copies of the construction of the Tower of Babel, painted in an impressive style close to that of Marten Van Valckenborch, including one – formerly attributed to Hans Rottenhammer – that is reminiscent of an architectural drawing or a large painted miniature opening the way to a grandiose conception of landscape; romantic encounters set in an classical decor or palace foreshadow the works of Louis de Caullery.