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J.-P. Esther

[Liévin]

(b Ghent, ?1640; d Ghent, ?1720)

Flemish priest, draughtsman and etcher, active also in Italy and France. While living in Wetteren (nr Ghent), he was involved in the completion of the Gothic St Michielskerk in Ghent. The construction of the western tower had been interrupted in 1566 because of religious unrest, and in 1652 steps were taken to complete it. After a Renaissance design was proposed in 1653, Cruyl submitted a drawing in Brabantine Late Gothic style (Ghent, Bib. Rijksuniv.) in 1662. His tower was to have been 134 m high, higher than the north tower of Antwerp Cathedral (1521). However, the project was never realized because of lack of funds. Although unoriginal and of an outdated style, the design had elegance and grandeur.

In 1664 Cruyl left for Rome, where he lived until c. 1670. During this time he drew many views of the city (e.g. 18 sheets, Cleveland, OH, Mus. A.) and etched ten plates representing the ...