Van Haecken, Joseph (DNB00)

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VAN HAECKEN (VAN AKEN), JOSEPH (1699?–1749), painter, was born at Antwerp about 1699. He came over to England at about the age of twenty, and was a good painter of history and portraits. He found more profitable employment, however, as painter of drapery and other accessories for Thomas Hudson (1701–1779) [q. v.], Allan Ramsay (1713–1784) [q. v.], and other portrait-painters. In this branch of art he showed remarkable excellence. Van Haecken died on 4 July 1749, and was buried in St. Pancras Church, leaving a widow, but no children. Hudson and Ramsay were executors of his will. Hogarth is stated to have drawn a caricature of a mock-funeral procession of Van Haecken, showing the distress of the painters at the loss of their indispensable assistant. Ramsay painted Van Haecken's portrait. A few portraits by Van Haecken himself were engraved in mezzotint by his younger brother, Alexander van Haecken (b. 1701), who lived with him and shared his work. A number of portraits by Amiconi, Hudson, Ramsay, and others were engraved in mezzotint by the younger Van Haecken, who carried on his brother's practice after his death.

[Walpole's Anecdotes of Painting, ed. Wornum; Vertue's Manuscripts (Brit. Mus. Addit. MS. 23074, f. 9); Chaloner Smith's British Mezzotinto Portraits.]

L. C.