COXCIE, Michiel van
(b. 1499, Mechelen, d. 1592, Mechelen)
Flemish painter and engraver of religious subjects in the Raphaelesque style adopted after he visited Italy with his master Bernaert van Orley. Perhaps he was born in Liège, but very early in his career he must have settled in Mechelen because, in time, they treated him like a native son. Like so many Flemish artists, he travelled to Rome where many of his works are still on display at the church of Santa Maria dell'Anima. Upon his return in Mechelen he went right back to work and did not stop until his dying day. He created more than a hundred large paintings, countless designs for tapestries, etchings, and drawings.
During his career, he became the favourite of Charles V and Philip II. For the latter he copied the Van Eycks' altarpiece The Adoration of the Lamb. Although in his day they called him the "Flemish Raphael", he is now considered a Romanist and a compulsive imitator of the Italian style. Admittedly, his style did not evolve much over time but he remains an important link between the Flemish primitives and the Baroque art of Rubens.
He had many sons, some of whom walked in their father's footstep without ever reaching his level.