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Frans Francken the Younger

Frans Francken the Younger

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Frans Francken the Younger (Antwerp, 1581 – Antwerp, 6 May 1642) was a Flemish painter and the best-known member of the large Francken family of artists. Francken created altarpieces and painted furniture panels, but his reputation chiefly relies on his small and delicate cabinet pictures with historical, mythological, or allegorical themes. He played an important role in the development of Flemish art in the first half of the 17th century through his innovations in many genres including genre painting and his introduction of new subject matter. He was a frequent collaborator of leading Antwerp painters of his time. -Wikipedia

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Frans Francken the Younger (Antwerp, 1581 – Antwerp, 6 May 1642) was a Flemish painter and the best-known member of the large Francken family of artists. Francken created altarpieces and painted furniture panels, but his reputation chiefly relies on his small and delicate cabinet pictures with historical, mythological, or allegorical themes. He played an important role in the development of Flemish art in the first half of the 17th century through his innovations in many genres including genre painting and his introduction of new subject matter. He was a frequent collaborator of leading Antwerp painters of his time.

Frans Francken the Younger was born in Antwerp as the son of Frans Francken the Elder and Elisabeth Mertens. His father was a pupil of Antwerp's leading history painter Frans Floris and one of the most important creators of altar pieces of his time in Flanders. Frans Francken the Younger trained with his father Frans the Elder. He, together with his brother Hieronymus Francken II, may also have received additional training with his uncle Hieronymus Francken I in Paris.

Frans Francken the Younger likely first worked in the family workshop before he became an independent master in the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke in 1605. He was deacon of the Guild in 1616. Francken's talent was recognised from an early age. He became a very successful artist and operated a large workshop which made many copies of his original compositions. Already in 1607 he was able to buy a house in the city centre where he established his residence and workshop.

On 8 November 1607 Francken married Elisabeth Plaquet 'with the special permission of the bishop'. This may have had something to do with the fact that their firstborn son was born before the end of 1607. The son was given the same name as his father and grandfather. He would be known as Frans III and earned himself later as a painter the nickname the Rubense Francken (the Rubensian Francken). Three further boys and five girls were born to the Francken couple. One of them, Hieronymus, would also become a painter.

Frans Francken the Younger's pupils included Daniel Hagens (1616/17), the Monogrammist N.F., his brother Hieronymus II and his son Frans III.

Frans Francken the Younger was a versatile artist who practised in many genres and introduced new subjects into Flemish art. Many of his works are small historical, allegorical and biblical cabinet paintings with the focus on figures. He also invented or popularized several new themes that became popular in Flemish painting, such as genre scenes populated by monkeys (also referred to as singeries) and Kunstkammer or gallery paintings displaying a wealth of natural and artistic treasures against a neutral wall. Frans Francken the Younger introduced many other unusual themes that later became popular, such as the 'Triumphal Procession of Amphitrite' and 'Croesus and Solon'. Francken also made a series of paintings depicting witches and witchcraft, including portrayals of witches' sabbats.

Frans Francken the Younger signed his works with 'de jonge Frans Francken' ('the young Frans Francken') before the death of his father in 1616. From the late 1620s he used the signature 'de oude Fr. Francken' ('the old Fr. Francken'), to distinguish himself from his son Frans III. His father had also started signing his paintings with 'den oude Frans Francken' ('the old Frans Francken') after Frans Francken the Younger had become active as an artist.

This is a part of the Wikipedia article used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). The full text of the article is here →


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Frans Francken the Younger Artworks
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