(b Antwerp, c. 1555; d Antwerp, c. 1585). Flemish painter and draughtsman. According to van Mander, as a young boy de Backer was abandoned by his father, also a painter, who had to flee Antwerp because of an impending court trial. Jacob then worked for several years in the studio of Antonio van Palermo (1503/13–before 1589) and later entered the workshop of Hendrick van Steenwijck. Van Mander further claimed that the strenuous labour that van Palermo had imposed on the young man had so wrecked his health that he died at the age of 30, in the arms of his former master's daughter. This, van Mander added, happened a long time ago, thus implying that de Backer died before van Steenwijck left Antwerp in 1586. This is confirmed by other evidence, including the age of van Palermo's daughter Lucretia, who was baptized in Antwerp on 25 July 1561. She lived until 1626 and at the time of her death still possessed six paintings by de Backer.
From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Renaissance Art.