To Edouard, Josephine, Clementine, Adrian and Maximilien
LODEWIJK DE VADDER
So gifted in his art that no one in our century could come near to him
(CORNELIS DE BIE, 1661)
His work is as a caress for the eye
(ARNOLD HOUBRAKEN, 1718)
He is the leader, the master of the Brabant landscape painters
(ALPHONSE-JULES WAUTERS, 1887)
Painter and draughtsman of great sensitivity and with a fine cool eye in front of nature, sometimes so surprisingly direct and fast that he seems to belong to the nineteenth century
(JACQUES FOUCART, 1987)
One of the most revolutionary painters of the seventeenth century
(JAN DE MAERE, 1994)
He does not simply reproduce nature as it is, but literally embraces it
(MICHEL KERVYN DE MEERENDRÉ, 1995)
This is how over centuries renowned art historians praised Lodewijk de Vadder, this enchanting and, for his time, revolutionary Brussels artist of the XVIIth century, altogether painter, draughtsman, engraver and tapestry designer.
Little is known about Lodewijk de Vadder’s life.
The only elaborate study on him and his work, to which abundant reference is made in this site, is the outstanding masters’ thesis Lodewijk de Vadder (1605-1655) by Luc Geeroms, under the direction of Prof. Roger-Adolf D’Hulst, submitted in Dutch at the University of Ghent in 1985. This thesis, which was not published, is available for consultation at the library of the University of Gent (Universiteits Bibliotheek Gent, Sint-Hubertusstraat 8, 9000 Ghent, Belgium, BIB.GTH.027922).
Also of interest are the contributions by Nagler (1913), Joos (1935), Laes (1949), Thiery (1953), de Callataÿ (1960), Thiéry & Kervyn de Meerendré (1987), De Maere & Wabbes (1994) and Kervyn de Meerendré (1995) and, as far as the few found tapestries are concerned, De Meûter (2012) (see Bibliography).
The little we know about Lodewijk de Vadder’s life is summarised below and is based on recent research by historian Erik Wauters.
Lodewijk de Vadder was the youngest son of Gielis de Vadder and Margriet Cocx. His place and date of birth are unknown.
On April 8, 1605, he was baptized in the Church of Our Lady of the Chapel in Brussels. His godfather was Louis de Villart, his godmother Cateline de Vadder.
He had two elder brothers, Philips (born 1590) and Huybrecht (born 1592), both painters as well. Philips became an apprentice in 1606 and a master of the Brussels Guild of Saint Luke in 1613. Huybrecht became an apprentice to his brother Philips in 1613 but did not become a master.
It is not known to which master Lodewijk was apprentice as, exceptionally, when he became master in May 1628, the register of the Brussels Guild of Saint Luke did not mention his apprenticeship supervisor. He may have been apprentice to his older brother Philips.
On November 24, 1626, he married Susanna Tack in the St. James'Church in Antwerp. For an unknown reason, the Archbishop of Brussels refused to marry the couple at the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula, although the banns of mariage had been announced there. On February 12, 1627 the marriage was endorsed at the Church of Our Lady of the Chapel, indicating the parish where the couple may have settled.
On May 15, 1628, Lodewijk de Vadder became master of the Brussels Guild of Saint Luke.
On June 12, 1643, Jan Claessens became his apprentice (but did not become a master).
On February 27, 1644, he received from the Brussels city authorities tax privileges for his activities as tapestry cartoon designer for the Brussels tapestry makers. Around 1650, he drew, possibly in collaboration with Jacob Jordaens, tapestry cartoons for the weaving workshop of Jan Courdijs. Several records show that Lodewijk de Vadder's cartoons were used by a multitude of Brussels tapestry weavers such as Hendrik de Putter, Gerard van Strecken, Jan van Leefdael, Jan Cordijs and Boudewijn van Beveren. For the latter he produced a pattern depicting the story of Diana and Pan (1645). Paradoxically, very little, not to say anything, is known today about his activity as tapistry cartoons designer.
In 1653, Ignatius Van der Stock (1635-1664) became his apprentice (he became a master in 1660). Lucas Achtschellinck (1626-1699) was not officially his apprentice but is believed to have been his pupil and assistant. They had family ties as in 1658 Ignatius van der Stock married Lucas Achtschellinck's younger sister Barbara.
The precise date of de Vadder's death is unknown. On August 10, 1655, his funeral took place in Brussels in the Predikheren church. No less than sixteen priests celebrated his funeral mass, indicating the wealth of the deceased. The Predikheren church was part of the Dominican convent that was demolished in 1796. It was located at the present Muntplein (Place de la Monnaie). At the time of his death, Lodewijk de Vadder was living near the Vismarkt (Marché aux poissons).
Strangely and contrarily to most of his contemporaries, he produced almost no religious works and only a few large paintings of him are known.
If his fame has faded by time, he was renowned and admired during his lifetime and in the following years, as emphasized by Cornelis De Bie in 1661 and as evidenced by the tax privileges he received from the Brussels city authorities.
As was not unusual at the time, Lodewijk de Vadder occasionally collaborated with other artists. So, he painted landscapes for a.o. Gaspard de Crayer, Antoon Sallaert or Michael Sweerts, and David Teniers painted the staffage of some of his paintings.
He might also have had an original collaboration with Wilhelm Schubert van Ehrenberg (1630-1676), as he possibly painted himself, in van Ehrenberg’s Kunstkamer met « Candalaudes en Gyges » (CB 715) one of his own paintings (in the upper right corner), as did in the same painting Gonzales Coques, Jacob Jordaens and others.
There is no known portrait of Lodewijk de Vadder. So far we know, he himself made no self-portrait except possibly one, sketched on the reverse side of a drawing kept at The Courtauld Institute of Art, Witt-Collection in London (inv. D.1952.RX.1003 – CB 582). It represents a mature man’s head with curly hair under a large floppy hat, a bent nose, a slightly projected upper lip, marked mouth corner and a voluntary chin on a sturdy neck, looking deep in thoughts. A self-portrait?
The information contained in this documentation is collected and sorted by Emmanuel de Cannart d’Hamale (Law Graduate and Philosophy Bachelor, Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium) in collaboration with Dominique Bovet (Art History Graduate, Université de Lausanne, Switzerland), with the software skills of Jean-Michel Kiener (Encyclia) and Jean-Baptiste Felix (Moove).
Information was mainly found in museums; in documentation centres and libraries: Frick Art Reference Library (New York); Louvre (Paris); RKD (The Hague); Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium (Brussels); Royal Library of Belgium (Brussels); Rubenianum (Antwerp); Thomas J. Watson Library (New York); Witt Art Library, The Courtauld Institute of Art (London); in the archives of Jan De Maere (Brussels), Cornelis Hofstede de Groot, Cards Collection (RKD, The Hague), Michel Kervyn de Meerendré (Université Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve) and Pierre de Séjournet de Rameignies (Rubenianum, Antwerp); and in online databases such as Artcyclopedia, Art UK, Art Renewal Centre, BALat-KIK-IRPA, BHA and Rila, Bildindex, Bridgeman Art Library, Culture.fr, Cultura Italia, Europeana, Getty Provenance Index, Joconde, Frick Digital Collections, RKD, Vlaamse Kunstcollectie, VADS, Web Gallery of Art, WikiPaintings, etc.
Images of the works are posted on this site for obvious information and identification, not esthetical or reproduction purposes. They were either made by us or found in the sources. Their quality is sometimes poor and some are truncated. Hopefully their quality will improve over time thanks to visitors’ possible contributions.
The following persons collaborated in a way or another to the preparation of this site and are herewith warmly thanked:
Kalle Andersson * Françoise d'Argenson * Dominik Auverman * Bettina Baumgärtel * Jos Beerens * Holm Bevers * Mireille Bienvenu * Małgorzata Biłozór-Salwa * Ralf Bormann * William Breazeale * Christophe Brouard * Régine Chatelain * Pier Franco Chillin * Wolfgang Cilleßen * Antonia Coca-De Bortoli * Ghislaine Courtet * Howard Coutts * Anja Damaschke * Hilde De Bruyne * Jean Dandois * Thomas Degner * Bénédicte De Donker * Virginie Delcourt * Philippe Dellis * Jan De Maere * Ingrid Demeûter * Virginie D’Haene * Anne D’Hauwer * Monique Dickhaut * Simona Dolari * Barbara Dossi * Brigitte Donon * Donatienne Dujardin * Julia Ellinghaus * Esther Esmyol * Jérôme Fabiani * Marc Favreau * Marie-Christine Feunteun * Rune Finseth * Gernot Frankhäuser * Carina Fryklund * Mélanie Gaillet * Cristina Galvão * Luc Geeroms * Annett Gerlach * Viola Geyersbach * Annie Gilet * Ingrid Goddeeris * Colette Gouron * Marc Gouttiere * Hélène Guenet * Maud Guichané * Eleonore Gürtler * Natalia Gritsey * Alexandra Hanzl * Cordelia Hattori * Stefaan Hautekeete * Frantz Hemeleers * Signe Havsteen * Thorsten Heese * Freya Henriksen * Elizabeth Honig * Hélène Isnard * Ernst-Jan Jansen * Justine Rinnooy Kan * Ingrid Kastel * Guillaume Kazerouni * Stephan Kemperdick * Katja Kleinert * Tilman Kossatz * Kathy Kreichenbach * Cécile Kruithooft * Molli Kuenstner * Adela Kutschke * Géraldine Lefebvre * Catherine Le Guen * John Lindaman * Heidrun Ludwig * Céline Marcle * Claudia Mark * Amy Marquis * Barbara Martin * Suz Massen * Nelly Matras * John McDermott * Natalie Murray * Uta Neidhardt * Mirjam Neumeister * Andreas Pischel * José Juan Pérez Preciado * Hayden Proud * Jenny Ramkalawon * Angela Roche * Philip Roe * Michael Roth * Anne Röver-Kann * Francesca Saccardo * Thomas Schrader * Stéphane Semelier * Rachel Sloan * Sandra Schmidt * Michael Schramm * Irina Sokolova * Joaneath Spicer * Shlomit Steinberg * Marja Stijkel * Monika Stöckl-Reinhard * Danièle Stutz-Zanchi * Agota Szilasi * Martin Sonnabend * Guenevere Souffreau * Sabine van Sprang * Cécile Tainturier * Davide Tolomelli * Dirk Torenvlied * Christophe Vachaudez * Martine Van de Poel * Joost Vander Auwera * Peter van der Coelen * Viviane Verbraeken * Veerle Verhasselt * Cathérine Verleysen * Elisabeth Vidal-Naquet * Michèle Vinois * Suzanne Wagini * Adriaan Waiboer * Maureen Warren * Erik Wauters * Bettina Werche * Fabian Wolf * Lara Yeager-Crasselt * Christina Zenz * Elena Zhivkova * Mary Zuber
Are presented herein paintings, drawings, prints and tapestries, which:
(i) are or were once given or attributed to Lodewijk de Vadder; or,
(ii) if given to another or unidentified artists, could in our opinion be given or attributed to him; or
(ii) are by another artist but are related to works presented herein.
Thus, works attributed to « Circle», « Follower», « Manner», etc. of Lodewijk de Vadder are in principle not presented herein, unless they could in our opinion be given or attributed to him.
Also not presented herein are works for which we found no or no publishable image (except a few that are catalogued as “signed” or “monogrammed”) or for which the information in our possession is for the time being insufficient to be published.
The HOME page presents all the documented works in the following order: paintings, drawings, prints and tapestries.
In each category, the works, which we believe are or could be by Lodewijk de Vadder, are presented first, the other works being presented subsequently. None of the works being dated, a precise chronological presentation thereof is not possible. They are therefore presented in an order that, in our opinion, reflects the evolution of his art, or stylistic or thematic affinities.
The tables PERMANENT COLLECTIONS, POSSESSORS, ART DEALERS, PUBLIC AUCTIONS, EXHIBITIONS and BIBLIOGRAPHY accessible via the top banner allow sorting pursuant to the following criterias :
Permanent Collections : by country, city, collection or inventory number.
Possessors (past or present, when known) : by possessor or country.
Art Dealers (when known): by art dealer or country
Public Auctions : by date, city, country, auction house or lot number
Exhibitions : by year, country, city, institution, exhibition’s title or number in the exhibition
Bibliography : by author, title or year of publication
Under CONCORDANCE is a correspondence table between Thiéry & Kervyn de Meerendré’s, Geeroms’, and our list of Lodewijk de Vadder’s works.
The FILTERS appearing on both the left and the right sides of the images on the Home page allow multiple exploration ways through Lodewijk de Vadder’s works.
The works’ individual cards contain self explanatory information and some that may need an explanation such as :
Image : can be magnified by a click ; their quality is sometimes poor and some are truncated.
CB number : corresponds only to the encoding number and have no other meaning; by clicking on this CB number the work appears in its given position in the works’ general presentation.
Title : title chosen by us being either (i) an original title, or (ii) an English translation of a title in another language or (iii) a title given by us.
State : for prints, when there is more than one state.
Other title(s) : various titles found for the work, in their original language.
Dimensions : height and width are indicated in centimetres (cm) and rounded up or down to the closest cm or half cm unit (ex. 10 or 10,5); thus, the indicated dimensions are approximations and may slightly differ from those of other sources.
Thiéry & Kervyn : is mentioned when the work is one of the works, which Yvonne Thiéry and Michel Kervyn de Meerendré (198, p. 233) inventory as de Vadder’s works.
Geeroms : is mentioned when the work is one of the illustrated works which Luc Geeroms listed in his 1985 thesis, on the attribution of which he judged as follows :
G Geauthentificieerd (authenticated)
T Toegeschreven (attributed)
Tw Tweifelgevallen (dubious)
N Niet controleerbaar (non verifiable)
A Afschrijvingen (rejected)
Our assessment : we made our own assessment as to the attribution of the works, as follows:
LDV, figures by another hand
LDV, figures possibly by another hand
Possibly LDV, figures by another hand
Possibly LDV, figures possibly by another hand
Possibly LDV (landscape)
Public auctions : for technical reason, when an auction extends over more than one day, only the first day thereof is mentioned.
1. This site being made by non-professionals and the work of Lodewijk de Vadder being largely undiscovered, the information contained in this site is inevitably incomplete and may contain errors or inaccuracies.
2. This site claims no scientific or academic authority, especially on the question of attribution of the works.
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