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Steven van der Meulen

(fl. 1543—1568) painter


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(b ?Antwerp; fl 1543–68). Netherlandish painter active in England. He was a pupil of Willem van Cleve the younger (c. 1530–1564) in 1543 and was admitted to the Antwerp Guild of St Luke in 1552; by 1560 he had travelled to London, and he was naturalized in 1562. Van der Meulen brought with him a deep knowledge of the portrait style of Anthonis Mor. This sombre, shadowed style appealed to patrons at the English court who could not travel to Antwerp to sit to the greater artist. Early in 1561 an English merchant, John Dy-moch, had visited Sweden in connection with negotiations for a marriage between Queen Elizabeth and Erik XIV, taking with him a Netherlandish painter described as ‘Master Staffan’, and it seems likely that this was van der Meulen. The King was much pleased with the resulting portrait of himself, for which he paid 100 daler; it was presented to the Queen in June. Its subsequent fate in England is not known, but it has been plausibly identified with a full-length at Gripsholm Castle, Mariefred, near Stockholm.

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

Subjects: Renaissance Art.


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