Famous VA's            


Famous VA's from Europe

by Kipp Van Aken 
Vista, CA  vanakekc@songs.sce.com

     Well, I told you I would send some info on famous VA's from Europe. Of course, we all know that the famous Flemish painter, Hieronymus Bosch

"Taken from Britannica OnLine http://www.britannica.com/bcom/eb/article/0/0,5716,82970+1+80797,00.html

Born 1450's, Hertogenbosch, Brabant (now in The Netherlands), d. Aug. 9, 1516, 's Hertogenbosch, also spelled JHERONIMUS BOS, pseudonym of JEROME VAN AEKEN, also spelled AQUEN, or AKEN, also called JEROEN ANTHONISZOON, brillant and original northern European painter of the late Middle Ages whose work reveals an unusual iconography of a complex and individual style. Although at first recognized as a highly imaginative "creator of devils" and a powerful inventor of seeming nonsense full of satirical meaning, Bosch demonstrated insight into the depths of the mind and an
ability to depict symbols of life and creation. An exact chronology of Bosch's surviving work is difficult because, of the approximately 35 to 40 paintings attributed to him, only 7 are signed and none are dated. There exists little documentary information on the early life of the artist, other than the fact that he was the son and grandson of accomplished painters. His name does appear on the register of the Brotherhood of Our Lady, located in the city of his birth, and there is mention of him in official records from 1486 until the year of his death, when he was acclaimed an Insignis pictor ("distinquished painter"). In addition to painting he undertook decorative works and alterpieces and executed designs for stained glass.
This is followed by more discussion of specific paintings and other analysis. I should also explan that "Aquen" comes from the Latin name of Aachen, "Aquae Granus" (Great Water?) then a spa or resort for the northern Roman legions in Germany, from which the name "van Aken" in Spanish is "de AquisGran". Linguistically, the term "aken" is translated as meaning
"springs" or many water sources. I believe, but not sure, that the French name "Aix-la-Chapelle" is translated as "cross of the chapel" referring to Charlemagne's palace chapel and also to the one obvious VA coat-of-arms with the patriarchal cross.

     There are others. When I was in college (35 years ago), I happened to work as the mail clerk for the Midwestern Division, Netherlands Informatie Bureau of the Ministrie van Buitenlandse Zaken, then located in Holland, Mich., now in Chicago. In our office, we had a set of the Dutch
encyclopedia "Winkler-Prins". From that I copied the following entries in Dutch and sat down last night to translate them for the first time. Please note that my understanding of Dutch leaves much to be desired and the translation may not be entirely accurate.

     1) Hans von Aachen or van Aken, German painter, (Cologne 1552 - d. Prague, March 4, 1615), was taught by a Cologne painter, Jerrigh. In 1574, he travelled to Italy where he was influenced by various Italian painters. He visited Venice, Rome and Florence. He was in Cologne in 1588 where he painted a large altarpiece for St. Mary's im Kapitol. Between 1588 and 1596, he worked in Munich and Augsburg. For the first place, he depicted a crucifixion for St. Michael's Church and for the second, a coronation of Mary for the Ulrich's Church. Following, he was named court painter to Prague, where he painted distinguished portraits of Rudolf II and Mattias
in mythological settings. His best known work in this genre "Jupiter and Antiope" is in Vienna (Kunstmuseum?). Hans von Aachen had a strong personality. He experienced differing influences and his style changed repeatedly. His art is totally realistic, yet reflects powerful universal

     2) Hein van Aken, Middle-Dutch poet from the last of the 13th to the beginning of the 14th Century, was probably pastor of Corbeke (Korbeek-lo) by Leuven (Louvain) and must have died before 1330. Between 1291 and 1318 he wrote "De Roman van Heinric ende Margriete van Limborch" wherein the hero is Duke Hendrik IV (van Limburg), who accompanied Kaiser (Emperor) Frederik on a crusade in 1227. The historical gist of the story was however
lost among other legends. Later, he translated the French fable "De l'Ordene de Chavalerie" under the title "Huge van Tyberian", an explanation of knighthood and the significance of a knight's devotion. He is noted above all for his translation of the "Roman de la Rose", the chivalric poem
by Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meung, that he shortened considerably however.

     3) Jan van Aken, 17th Century Dutch painter, artist and etcher who painted and sketched horses above all. Apparently he lived in Amsterdam and he was buried there on March 25, 1661. Paintings of his hand are notwithstanding not well known, while many signed and spirited landscapes appear before. Some existing paintings of his have however, later been copied by Herman Saftleven.

     4) Sebastien van Aken, Southern Dutch painter (baptized Mechelen, March 31, 1648 to November 21, 1722) was first a pupil of Lucas Franchoys, going afterwards to Italy, where he studied under Carlo Maratta. A representation by him painted by H. Norbertus, "Mary receiving the garment of her order", can be found at Duffel by Mechelen.

     5) Piet van Aken, Flemish writer (man of letters), (born Terhagen, February 15, 1920) has so far lived his life by the "Rupelstreck", center of the Flemish stone industry. From the beginning, he has been known for his short stories and a novel, which are distinquished by great
imagination, development of atmosphere and exquisite style.

     Well, there they are. Thought they would add "color" to the European
section of the website.

Best wishes,
Kipp C. Van Aken, Cousin #53