Quintin Matsys

Quintin Matsys sometimes called the Farrier of Antwerp, was famous for having been transformed from a blacksmith to a painter by the force of love. He had followed the trade of a blacksmith and farrier near twenty years, when, falling in love with a painter's daughter, who was very handsome, and disliked nothing in him but his profession, he quitted his trade and betook himself to painting, in which art, assisted by a good natural taste, a master, and the power of love into the bargain, he made a very uncommon and surprising progress. He was a painstaking, diligent imitator of ordinary life, and much better at representing the defects than the beauties of nature.

One of his best pieces is a Descent from the Cross, in the chapel at the Cathedral of Antwerp, for which, and a multitude of other histories and portraits, he gained many admirers, especially for his laborious neatness, which, in truth, was the principal part of his character. He died in 1529. His works are dispersed throughout Europe.

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