COQUES, Gonzales
(b. 1614, Antwerpen, d. 1684, Antwerpen)

Biography

Flemish painter. Van Lerius found the artist's name in a baptismal register for the year 1614; however, an inscription on an engraved self-portrait of 1649 gives 1618 as his year of birth, and in 1666 he himself claimed to be 48. His name is listed in the archives of Antwerp's Guild of St Luke for 1627-28, the year he became a pupil of Pieter Brueghel the Younger. Later he studied with David Ryckaert the Younger. Coques was admitted to the painters' guild as an independent master only in 1640-41, this long delay suggesting that he travelled. He may have gone to England, for he was later given the nickname 'Little van Dyck', referring to the perceived influence on his work of Anthony van Dyck, who was in England after 1632.

In 1643 Coques married his teacher's daughter Catharina Rijckaert (1610-74), by whom he had two daughters. His second wife, whom he married in 1675, was Catharina Rysheuvels; they had no children. Coques was a respected member of the artistic community in Antwerp: he was twice deacon of the Guild of St Luke, was a member of two rhetoricians' societies and in 1661 was praised by Cornelis de Bie, in whose book there is an engraved portrait of him. The archives mention two pupils: Cornelis van den Bosch in 1643 and Lenaert Frans Verdussen in 1665-66.