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(Born Siegen, Westphalia, 28 June 1577; died Antwerp, 30 May 1640). Flemish painter, draughtsman, designer, and diplomat, the greatest and most influential figure in Baroque art in northern Europe. He was born in Germany, the son of a scholarly lawyer from Antwerp who left the city to escape religious persecution (he had Protestant sympathies). In 1587, soon after his father's death, he returned to Antwerp with his mother; he had been baptized a Calvinist in Germany, but he became a devout Catholic.

Text Source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)