POURBUS, Frans the Younger
(b. 1569, Antwerpen, d. 1622, Paris)

Portrait of Petrus Ricardus

Oil on oak panel, 107 x 77 cm
Groeninge Museum, Bruges

Two Flemish court painters of Bruges descent who earned their reputation abroad, Frans Pourbus the Younger (1569-1622) and Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger (1562-1636), were active at the close of the sixteenth century and especially in the first quarter of the seventeenth. They are linear descendants of famous Bruges painter families. Their solid, old-fashioned technique and the rigid, immovable expression of their figures seem more like an extension of the sixteenth century than a herald of the seventeenth.

Frans Pourbus the Younger was Pieter Pourbus' grandson. He was trained in Antwerp and worked briefly for the Archdukes Albert and Isabella before going on to become court painter at Mantua, under Duke Vincenzo Gonzaga, and in Paris, under Marie de' Medici and Louis XIII. Until about 1600, Pourbus painted in the smooth and technically brilliant style established by his grandfather, which he augmented with an analytical realism attributable to Adriaan Key. The Portrait of Petrus Ricardus, a famous doctor and professor at the University of Leuven, is a good example of his first period.