Pieter van Aelst
Pieter Coecke van Aelst (August 14, 1502 - December 6, 1550) was a
Flemish painter. He studied under Bernaert van Orley and later lived
in Italy before entering the Antwerp Guild of painters in 1527. In
1533, he travelled to Constantinople for one year in a failed
attempt to establish business connections for his tapestry works.
Van Aelst established a studio in Brussels in 1544, where he created
paintings and tapestries. His students include Gillis van Coninxloo,
Willem Key, Hans Vredeman de Vries, Michiel Coxcie, and possibly
Pieter Brueghel the Elder, who did eventually marry van Aelst's
daughter, Mayken. His second wife, Mayken Verhulst, was an artist as
well, and, according to Carel van Mander, the first teacher of her
grandchildren, Pieter Brueghel the Younger and Jan Brueghel the
Elder. He was also the uncle of Joachim Bueckelaer. Van Aelst's
studio is also well known for its engraved works.
In particular, van Aelst is noted
for his 1539 translation of Sebastiano Serlio's architectural
treatise, Architettura, which is credited with having played a
crucial role in spreading Renaissance ideas to the Low Countries and
hastening the transition from the late Gothic style prevalent in the
area at the time. He was in charge of the spectacular decorations
for the 1549 Royal entry into Antwerp of Philip II of Spain, "the
most famous entry of the century", according to Roy Strong.