*This site is is best viewed on a PC or laptop.


Otto van Veen

1556-1629 Flemish/Mannerism


Brief Biography-Otto van Veen or Otto Venius was born in Leiden in 1556, the son of a burgomaster who educated him in art under Isaac Nicholas and Jodocus van Winghen. In 1572 when he refused to join the insurgents against Philip II, he settled in Li├Ęge. There Veen found favour with Cardinal Grosbeeck, who sent him, with a reference, to Cardinal Madruccio in Rome, who introduced him to the atelier of Federico Zuccari. He spent seven years in Italy, and after returning to Leiden via Munich and Cologne, he worked in the Court of Alessandro Farnese, Prince of Parma, and the Guild of Saint Luke in Antwerp, admitted him in 1593. Veen married and stayed in Antwerp, where his commissions were in churches and civic buildings. He painted the Last Supper at the Cathedral and a picture of Mary Magdalene anointing the feet of our Saviour in the Abbey of Saint Vinox. His most eminent student was Peter Paul Rubens, who, on his advice, visited Italy. The successor of Alessandro Farnese, Archduke Albert, was so impressed by his works that he brought him to Brussels and engaged him as his principal painter and Master of the Mint. His brother Gijsbert engraved his designs for his books, of which he wrote several. The Life of Thomas Aquinas is one of them. His other brother Pieter was an amateur painter, and his sister Gertrude, born in Brussels, was a successful history painter and portraitist. She worked in the style of her father. Veen died in Brussels in 1629.


a lady bitten by
a parrot

a lady bitten by a parrot

albert VII archduke
of austria

albert seven archduke of austria

amazons and

amazons and scythians

the artist painting
wuth his family

the artist painting surrounded by his family

the mocking
of christ

the mocking of christ

triumph of wisdom
over fortune

triumph of wisdom over fortune