De Cort, Henry Francis (DNB00)

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DE CORT, HENRY FRANCIS (Hendrik Frans) (1742–1810), landscape painter, was born at Antwerp in 1742, and first studied painting under W. Herreyns. On 16 May 1769 he entered the studio of the landscape-painter Hendrik Joseph Antonissen, and on 16 May 1770 he was admitted a master in the guild of St. Luke at Antwerp. His chief paintings were views of towns and landscapes with architectural surroundings; in some of these he was assisted by his fellow-pupil, Ommeganek, who painted the figures for him. Leaving Antwerp he proceeded to Paris, and entered the academy there, of which he was elected a fellow in 1781. Here he painted some views of Chantilly, and was appointed painter to the Prince de Condé. In 1788 he returned to Antwerp, and took an active part in reorganising the school of painting there, acting as secretary to the newly constituted academy. He contributed six pictures to the first exhibition of the new academy held in 1789. Shortly after this he came over to England, bringing some of his pictures, and in 1790 exhibited seven pictures at the Royal Academy. He continued to contribute to the same exhibition numerous landscapes taken in various parts of England, especially the west, during the ensuing twelve years. In 1806 he contributed three landscapes to the first exhibition of the British Institution. He died in London 28 June 1810, and was buried in Old St. Pancras Cemetery. Though he does not seem to have taken very high rank as an artist, his landscapes were much valued in private collections, being agreeably coloured and treated in the Italian manner, so very much in vogue at the time. His sepia drawings were also much admired. G. H. Harlow [q. v.] was one of his pupils.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Graves's Dict. of Artists, 1760–1880; Van den Branden's Geschiedenis der Antwerpsche Schilderschool; Siret's Dictionnaire des Peintres; Bellier de la Chavignerie's Dictionnaire des Artistes de l'Ecole Française; Catalogues of the Royal Academy, &c.; information from M. Emile Lefèvre.]

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