Les Artistes

"Icon(s)" april - july 2015

Born in the Habsburg Netherlands (Belgium) in 1502, he died in 1550.

Pieter Coecke van Aelst was a sculptor, architect and designer of woodcuts, stained glass and tapestries. He is believed to have studied under the great Bernard van Orley, before founding a studio first in Antwerp, then in Brussels. He travelled extensively, visiting Italy and Constantinople, where he discovered the Renaissance style and ideas. He is credited for introducing the Renaissance ideals to Flanders, for example by translating Vitruvius’ key text De architectura into Flemish. A successful artist, Pieter Coecke van Aelst was the court painter to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, and his tapestries were collected by the likes of François I, Henry V and Cosimo de Medici. Coecke van Aelst had a great influence on many Flemish painters, which included his son-in-law, Pieter Brueghel the Elder.