SPAENDONCK, van, Dutch family of artists, active in France
The brothers Gerard van Spaendonck and Cornelis van Spaendonck were the sons of Jan Anthony van Spaendonck and Maria Theresia (née Couwenberg). Their father was the steward of the seignory of Tilburg, belonging to the Prince of Hesse-Kassel, a position he retained after the property was sold. Of their five children, only Gerard and Cornelis, both of whom became important flower painters, left Tilburg, but they remained in close touch throughout their careers. The Prince is known to have had one of the finest gardens in the area, designed in the latest French style, and this must have influenced the young Gerard and, through him, Cornelis. The year 1769, when Gerard went to Paris, is an important date in the history of flower painting: for the first time, flower painting left its traditional centre in the Low Countries.