(fl 1570s–1602; dbefore 1610). Netherlandish painter, active in Scotland. He is first recorded in Edinburgh in June 1581, when James VI's treasurer paid him for two small paintings that had been sent to the Calvinist reformer Theodore Beza (1519–1605) in Geneva. Beza's Icones (Geneva, 1580), a book of engravings depicting heroes of the Reformation, contains portraits of the young James VI and the reformer John Knox, which are probably taken from Vanson's paintings (untraced); there is evidence that Vanson also sent a portrait of George Buchanan (untraced), the King's tutor (c. 1506–82), although there is not an engraving of him in the book. The engraved portrait of the King is close to the image on Scottish coins of 1575 and 1582, which are known to be derived from portraits by a painter employed by the courtier George Seton, 5th Lord Seton (c. 1533–85). Seton frequently travelled in France and the Low Countries (where he had been painted by Frans Pourbus I), and it is probable that his painter and Vanson are the same person.
From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Renaissance Art.