ARCHITECT, Flemish
(active 1630s in Antwerp)

Exterior view

1631-33
Photo
Kolveniershof, Antwerp

In the course of the seventeenth century decorative ornament in Antwerp, where it was used, gradually acquired a more sculptural and dynamic appearance. However, it was still, at least in the first half of the century, only modestly present. The larger merchants' houses and buildings with an official or social function, such as the north wing of the Kolveniershof (the house of the arquebusiers' guild), were more monumentally conceived. They were expanded horizontally, and arcades of Tuscan columns open onto their inner courts.

The photo shows the inner façade of the north wing of the Kolveniershof. The wall of white stone and harmoniously arranged rows of windows with their segmental and triangular pediments are a modest echo of the Roman-Florentine type of palazzo of the later sixteenth century.

The Kolveniershof adjoins the Rubenshuis, where the painter lived with his family and where he had his studio. In Rubens's day, the guild of the Antwerp kolveniers or kloveniers, one of the city's civic militias, met here, on what was then the outskirts of the city, for shooting practice and festive gatherings. It was the Kolveniers, whose weapon was the arquebus, who commissioned from Rubens the renowned triptych with the Descent from the Cross for their altar in Antwerp Cathedral. Rubens was made an honorary member of the guild, and his contemporary and friend Nicolaas Rockox, burgomaster of Antwerp, was the guild's headman for many years.

Since 1981 the Rubenianum has occupied premises in the restored Kolveniershof.




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