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

A Family Group

c. 1664
Oil on canvas, 64 x 86 cm
National Gallery, London

After the middle of the seventeenth century Coques painted numerous family portraits located in a park or on the terrace of a palatial building. The family groups are usually rather more deeply in the composition than in his earlier works, and the figures are located at different levels in the composition, giving a stronger treatment of space. After 1660 the architectural elements and sculptural ornaments, as, for example, in the Family Group, emphatically express the preference for a more theatrical style.

In the present painting the identity of the family has not been established. The youngest child is being pushed along in a 'loopstoel'. The girl on the right plays an instrument which is probably a cittern. The older girl picks roses; because they are the flowers of Venus, the goddess of Love, this action may be a reference to her forthcoming marriage.

The landscape and trees in this work are possibly by another artist.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.