Giusto Suttermans


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(1597–1681). Flemish painter, active in Italy. He was trained in Antwerp under Willem de Vos (active 1593–1629) and then in Paris under Frans Pourbus the younger. In 1620 he went to Florence as a follower of the Belgian tapestry weaver Pieter Fevère whom Cosimo II de' Medici (ruled 1609–21) had persuaded to leave Paris to direct the Medici tapestry manufactory. His portait of Fevère (Florence, Corsini Coll.) attracted favourable attention and he was nominated court painter. His first known documented work for the Medici is the portrait of Maria Maddalena of Austria, the widow of Grand Duke Cosimo II de' Medici (1622; Brussels, Mus. Royaux). For the next 60 years Suttermans recorded the appearance of virtually all the members of the Medici family. He was also able to travel widely: Vienna (1623); Rome (1627 and 1645); Modena (1649 and several further occasions in the 1650s); Genoa (1649); Parma (1656); Innsbruck (1656–7). His absences from Florence and lack of his personal supervision might account for the excessive proliferation of inferior studio productions which have been associated with his name. If Medici patronage underpinned Suttermann's enormous success in his own lifetime, the family's extinction in the 18th century almost certainly precipitated the decline in his posthumous reputation.

From The Oxford Companion to Western Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Art.

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