HAECHT, Willem van
(b. 1593, Antwerpen, d. 1637, Antwerpen)

Apelles Painting Campaspe

c. 1630
Oil on panel, 105 x 149 cm
Mauritshuis, The Hague

This painting depicts a 'kunstkamer', or art room. It was a popular subject in seventeenth-century Antwerp. The shown paintings are existing Flemish, German and Italian works of art, while the statues are well-known classical pieces.

In the left foreground, the painter depicted a story from classical antiquity. The story goes that Alexander the Great commissioned Appelles, illustrated by the man holding the paintbrush, to paint the portrait of Campaspe, one of his most beautiful mistresses. The painter fell madly in love with her. Alexander, as a mark of his appreciation of the painter's work, presented his lover to Apelles as a gift.

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