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Peter Van de Velde
Painter, b. at Brussels, 1503; d. in that city in 1580. This artist should really be grouped under the head of the Spanish School, and is more generally known by his Spanish name. His actual birth-name was Pieter de Kempeneer, translated into French as Champaigne. His early life appears to have been passed in Italy, where he carefully studied the paintings of Raphael, and declared himself as his pupil. In 1530 he was at work at some scene-painting, representing a triumphal arch to be erected on the occasion of the coronation of Charles V, and he then left for Spain, on the advice, it is said, of Cardinal Grimani, and passed the rest of his life in that country, only returning to Brussels about 1563 or 1565. Between 1537 and 1562 he was associated with Luis de Vargas and the Italian sculptor Torregiano in establishing a school of painting in Seville, which eventually became the academy of the place; amongst the pupils educated in it was the celebrated Morales. He painted for the monastery of St. Mary of Grace, Church of Santa Cruz, in the city, an altar-piece representing the "Descent from the Cross", which is now in the cathedral, having been removed there when the church fell into ruins. This is dated 1548, and is regarded as his masterpiece. There are other works by the same painter in Seville cathedral, especially two representing the "Purification of the Virgin" and the "Resurrection"; and the various churches of the city, S. Isidoro, S. Pedro, S. Catalina, and S. Juan, all possess paintings by this artist. One of his last works was the restoration and repainting of a chapel belonging to Hernando de Jaen, an important resident in Seville. Murillo requested that he buried near Campana's picture, and his burial took place in the Church of Santa Cruz, close underneath the "Descent from the Cross", but the whole building was burned to the ground during the French war, and the tomb perished.
PALOMINO DE CASTRO, Las Vidas de los Pintores Eminentes Espanoles (Madrid, 1715); HARTLEY, Spanish Painting (London, 1904); and the dictionaries of KUGLER, BENEZIT, SIRET, and BRYAN. See also BERMUDEZ, Diccionario historico. . .Bellas Artes en Espana (Madrid, 1800).
GEORGE CHARLES WILLIAMSON