1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Coques, Gonzalez
COQUES (or Cocx), GONZALEZ (1614–1684), Flemish painter, son of Pieter Willemsen Cocx, a respectable Flemish citizen, and not, as his name might imply, a Spaniard, was born at Antwerp. At the age of twelve he entered the house of Pieter, the son of “Hell” Breughel, an obscure portrait painter, and at the expiration of his time as an apprentice became a journeyman in the workshop of David Ryckaert the second, under whom he made accurate studies of still life. At twenty-six he matriculated in the gild of St Luke; he then married Ryckaert’s daughter, and in 1653 joined the literary and dramatic club known as the “Retorijkerkamer.” After having been made president of his gild in 1665, and in 1671 painter in ordinary to Count Monterey, governor-general of the Low Countries, he married again in 1674, and died full of honours in his native place. One of his canvases in the gallery at the Hague represents a suite of rooms hung with pictures, in which the artist himself may be seen at a table with his wife and two children, surrounded by masterpieces composed and signed by several contemporaries. Partnership in painting was common amongst the small masters of the Antwerp school; and it has been truly said of Coques that he employed Jacob von Arthois for landscapes, Ghering and van Ehrenberg for architectural backgrounds, Steenwijck the younger for rooms, and Pieter Gysels for still life and flowers; but the model upon which Coques formed himself was Van Dyck, whose sparkling touch and refined manner he imitated with great success. He never ventured beyond the “cabinet,” but in this limited field the family groups of his middle time are full of life, brilliant from the sheen of costly dress and sparkling play of light and shade, combined with finished execution and enamelled surface.