COPPENS, Augustin
(b. 1668, Brussel, d. 1740, Brussel)


Flemish painter, engraver, draughtsman and tapestry designer active in Brussels. He specialized in landscape and city views. He is now mainly known for his tapestry designs and for his drawings and prints documenting the devastating effect on the civil buildings caused by the Bombardment of Brussels by French troops in 1695.

Augustin Coppens was youngest son of the landscape painter Frans Coppens in Brussels. He is believed to have trained with Jean-François Millet. After the Bombardment of Brussels he documented the destruction of his hometown. He engraved 12 of the drawings, some with the help of his friend Richard van Orley. The plates were published the same year in Brussels under the title Perspectives des Ruines de la Ville de Bruxelles.

Augustin Coppens joined the Brussels Guild of Saint Luke in 1698. By his account he had already commenced designing tapestries and cartoons before he joined the Guild. He was very productive as a tapestry designer working on commissions from workshops in Brussels, Antwerp and Oudenaarde.

Augustin Coppens specialized in city views, landscapes and portraits. He worked in various mediums including painting, etching, drawing and tapestry design. He is mainly known for his tapestry designs and drawings. He worked as a designer of many tapestry series for workshops in the leading tapestry manufacturing centres in Flanders. He typically collaborated on these designs with specialist history painters. Coppens would take responsibility for the landscapes in the cartoon designs. He worked with many of the leading tapestry designers of his time including Victor Honoré Janssens, Jan van Orley, Lodewijk van Schoor and Zeger Jacob van Helmont.

In the early 1700s Coppens and Jan van Orley became the leading team of tapestry designers for the Reydams - Leyniers tapestry workshop in Brussels. Coppens and Jan van Orley created a neo-Baroque style for the Brussels workshops.

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