South Netherlandish family of artists. Jan de Heere the elder (b 1502/5; d 1576/8) worked in Ghent from 1526 or earlier, probably following his apprenticeship in Mechelen, where he was born. He worked in the studio of the sculptor Jan de Smijtere (d 1528) and married his daughter Anna, a painter of miniatures. Little survives of his work, although he was the leading architect and sculptor in Ghent for several decades. He collaborated with Jan Gossart in 1529 on the mausoleum of Isabella of Austria (1501–26) and with Frans Floris in 1562 on the altar to St Luke in St Bavo's Cathedral, Ghent. His work spans the transition from Gothic to Renaissance styles in the southern Netherlands. In 1559 he designed the rood screen for St Bavo's, commissioned to celebrate the 23rd Chapter of the Order of the Golden Fleece. Two sons from his marriage, Jan de Heere the younger and (1) Lucas de Heere, both became painters. The latter remains the best-known member of the family through his activities in the fields of painting, literature and politics. Jan de Heere the younger is documented as having assisted his brother with the civic decorations for the official Entry of William the Silent into Antwerp in 1577.(1) Lucas de Heere (b Ghent, c. 1534; d ?Ghent, c. 29 Aug 1584). Painter, tapestry designer, draughtsman and poet. He was probably trained by his parents. The suggestion that he became a member of the Ghent Guild of St Luke before 1540 was derived from an incorrect interpretation of the Guild records for 1574–5. Van Mander recorded that, as a boy, de Heere accompanied his father on his trips to the stone-quarries of the Meuse region, where he made topographical drawings. Lucas was sent to Frans Floris's studio c. 1555 or shortly before to complete his training, and he may have collaborated with his master on tapestry cartoons and stained-glass designs, although no cartoons or preparatory drawings survive. During this period de Heere also became noted as a poet in the local rhetoricians’ chambers. His father's influence helped him to gain commissions in Ghent from 1555, and, according to Marcus van Vaernewijck (1568), he worked on new stained-glass windows for the St Janskerk in Ghent in the same year. In 1559 de Heere also worked on the rood screen built to his father's designs in St Bavo's and painted Solomon and the Queen of Sheba (Ghent, St Bavo Cathedral), in which the composition and the figures were strongly influenced by Floris; the quality of the execution, however, is poor.
From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Renaissance Art.