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(b Aelst [now Aalst], Aug 14, 1502; d Brussels, Dec 6, 1550).

South Netherlandish painter, sculptor, architect and designer of woodcuts, stained glass and tapestries. Son of the Deputy Mayor of the village of Aelst, he was married twice, first to Anna van Dornicke (d 1529), the daughter of the Antwerp painter Jan Mertens, who may have been his teacher; they had two children, Michel van Coecke and Pieter van Coecke II (before 1527–59), the latter of whom became a painter. He later married Mayken Verhulst, herself a painter of miniatures and the mother of three children, Pauwel, Katelijne and Maria; they are shown with their parents in Coecke’s Family Portrait (Zurich, Ksthaus). Mayken is credited with having taught the technique of painting in tempera on cloth to her son-in-law, Pieter Bruegel the elder, who married Maria in 1563. (For family tree see Bruegel family.) Van Mander also stated that Bruegel was Coecke’s apprentice, an allegation no longer universally accepted in view of their substantial stylistic differences. Although the names of other students of Coecke’s, including ...