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Godfried Maes

1649–1700, Antwerp

The Flemish painter and draughtsman, Godfried Maes, was apprenticed in his native city of Antwerp first to his father and then to Pieter van Lint. In 1672 he became a member of the city’s Guild of St. Luke, rising to become its dean ten years later. As a painter he concentrated on altarpieces as well as historical and allegorical motifs, for which he received orders from churches and private individuals in Antwerp, Brussels and Liège. A highly talented draughtsman, Maes produced a large number of designs for tapestries, for which he frequently cooperated with a tapestry studio run by Urbanus Leyniers in Brussels. Among his patrons were Prince Eugen Alexander von Thurn und Taxis and Maximilian II Emanuel, then Gene­ral Governor of the Spanish Netherlands and later Elector of Bavaria, who commissioned him to paint the ceilings in Coudenberg Palace in Brussels. Much less well known than his paintings is Maes’ very modest corpus of prints comprising just four works recorded by Hollstein in which the artist demonstrates his outstanding talent in the use of the etching needle.