Arnold Bronckorst

(fl. c. 1555—1596) painter

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(fl 1565–86). Netherlandish painter, active in England and Scotland. He was one of the first painters to introduce a relatively sophisticated, European mode of portraiture into Scotland. His early career in England is only vaguely known, beginning with a reference to a portrait of Sir Henry Sidney (1529–86) in 1566. Also from his English years is his one fully signed and dated work, a portrait of Oliver, 1st Baron St John of Bletso (1578; priv. col.; see 1975 exh. cat., no. 7). Bronckorst was an associate and friend of the miniaturist Nicholas Hilliard, and this portrait in particular bears some resemblance to the latter's work, especially in the sensitivity to the nuances of personality. Bronckorst first travelled to Scotland as Hilliard's agent in order to prospect for gold. This endeavour was carried out in association with another painter, Cornelius de Vos (or Devosse), about whom nothing else is known. Although Bronckorst had some success in the search, he was prevented by the Regent, James, 4th Earl of Morton, from exporting the gold. As a result, he was forced to enter the royal service as a painter and is recorded in April 1580 as having painted a number of unspecified portraits for the Scottish king James VI.


From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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