(b Antwerp, 15 Dec. 1610; d Brussels, 25 Apr. 1690). Flemish painter, the most important member of a family of Antwerp artists. His output was huge and varied (about 2,000 pictures have been attributed to him), but he is best known for his peasant scenes—similar to those of Brouwer, although less hearty. In 1651 he was appointed court painter in Brussels to Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria (see Habsburg), governor of the Spanish Netherlands, and he was also made custodian of the archduke's art collection. He compiled a catalogue of part of it, published in 1660 as Theatrum Pictorium, and made small copies of some of the paintings to assist the engravers who produced the illustrations (his copies are now widely dispersed; examples are in the Courtauld Gallery and Wallace Collection, London).
Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)