FRANCKEN, Hieronymus, II
(b. 1578, Antwerpen, d. 1623, Antwerpen)
Flemish painter, son of Frans Francken I. He probably trained with his father and in 1605 was apprenticed to his uncle, Ambrosius I. Hieronymus II became a master of the Antwerp Guild of St Luke in 1607 and was apparently in Paris in 1609. The similarity of style in the figures in the groups of dancers by Frans II and Hieronymus II may possibly be explained by their both having spent some time training in Paris with Hieronymus I, who had already earlier produced variations on this theme. Hieronymus II's signed painting of Jan Snellinckx's Studio (1621; Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels) is the starting-point for other ascriptions to him of such pictures of art galleries as the Art Gallery with the Archdukes Albert and Isabella (Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore). The staffage in these interiors is sometimes by as yet unidentified figure painters.
Hieronymus II's subject-matter and his figure style have such affinities with works by Frans II that his paintings (e.g. the Seven Wise and the Seven Foolish Virgins, National Museum, Warsaw) have often been ascribed to his younger brother. The scale of Hieronymus II's figures is sometimes awkward, as in his signed and dated Horatius Cocles at the Sublicius Bridge (1620; Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp) and his monogrammed gouache drawing of David and Goliath (private collection, sold as by Hieronymus Francken I). Hieronymus Francken II also made a speciality of still-lifes, developed from the contrast of the signed painting of the Rich and the Poor at Table (1604; Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp).