Flemish painting and De Jonckheere Gallery's old master paintings
Active in Anwerp between 1549 and 1570
Little is known about the life of this singular master. Apparently born in Antwerp, he became a master in this city in 1549. His dated works, which range between 1560 and 1570, reveal a complex artistic personality: essentially attracted by the certainties of the world of his illustrious predecessors, Coffermans comes across as a master with archaic inclinations who is somewhat behind the times in the middle of the 16th century. Preferring the models, compositions and typologies derived from the world of the Flemish Primitives, from Gerard David to van der Goes and van der Weyden, he also draws his inspiration from the graphic work of M. Schongauer.
A more careful examination of his work, however, reveals distinctly more eclectic and modern influences, in the attention devoted to the rendering of the landscape, the typology of his buildings, the naturalistic feel of his figures and his energetic and simplified workmanship.
Comfortable working on a small scale, he nonetheless generally succeeds in imbuing his compositions with a sort of contained monumentality that is characteristic of his art.
Bearing witness to the persistence of the appeal of the old style among both artists and patrons in the 16th century, Coffermans' oeuvre also displays a "different" and distinctly personal facet of the period of upheaval in all areas of life that the Renaissance constituted in the Netherlands.