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Aristidius Amatus Joannes De Clerck was born in Ostend on 24th September 1841 and spent many years working from Antwerp, the hometown of Rubens, Bruegel and Rembrandt. His work was readily commissioned by seafarers from New England, Canada, and Europe; he was especially valued by the
Scandinavians who called him "The Rembrandt of Antwerp". He himself liked to be referred to as A. de Clerck. His career as a pierhead painter began when he was 30, before this he had been a sailor, both of steam and sail. He married Virginia Scheltiens in 1869 and the first of their five children, Virginia
Maria, was born the following year. Their second child, Joannes Petrus was born in 1872 in Liverpool. It is unknown why the family moved to Liverpool but it would have made a good alternative to Antwerp with a prodigeous volume of commerce exchanged with North America at this time. After six years in Liverpool the De Clercks returned to Antwerp where he spent the rest of his years.
Examples of his work are to be found in a large number of institutional collections, especially those of Scandinavia, but including the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, Peabody Museum of Salem, MA, and the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto.
My grateful acknowledgment of these facts goes to Kenneth R. Martin who published the pamphlet
"The Maritime Folk Art of A. De Clerck" for the Maine Maritime Museum.
w:36.25 in x h:27.25 in (32 in x 22.75 in)