Karel Philips Spierincks
Brussels 1600 - Rome 1639
The Holy Family with the Infant Saint John the Baptist and angels.
Oil on canvas 87.2 x 126.3 cm
In an impressive carved and gilt Louis XV frame
Private collection (since the nineteenth century);
Sale, Bonhams, London, 7 July 2021, lot 69, when acquired by the present owner.
Flemish painter Karel Philips Spierincks was born in Brussels at the beginning of the seventeenth century, probably in 1600. Although biographical information on the artist is scarce, he is known to have been a pupil of Michel de Boerdous in 1612 and a master in the Brussels Guild of Saint Luke in 1622. By the end of the year, he moved to Rome, where he became known as Carlo Fiammingo (Charles the Flemish) or Carlo Filippo, and briefly trained with Paul Bril (1554-1626). In 1625, Spierincks is documented as living in the Strada Paolina with a fellow Fleming, the sculptor François Duquesnoy (1597-1643), who introduced him to Nicolas Poussin (1594-1660), with whom he had previously shared the same house. In the 1630s, Spierincks was one of the artists who participated in the Galleria Giustiniana, the enterprise publishing Vincenzo Giustiniani's exceptional collection of classical sculpture. He died on May 22, 1639 and was buried near the high altar of Santa Maria presso il Camposanto teutonico, leaving incomplete paintings for the sacristy of Santa Maria dell'Anima. Four pictures by Spierincks are known to have been owned by Flemish merchants in Rome: three Bacchanals are recorded in the inventory of Philips Baldescot in 1641 and a St Norbert (one of the Santa Maria dell'Anima canvases) was listed on March 2, 1643 in the house of Peter Vissche.