Jacob Andries Beschey – Sir Theodore Turquet de Mayerne –
Sir Théodore Turquet de Mayerne (28 September 1573 – 22 March 1655) was a Genevan-born physician who treated kings of France and England and advanced the theories of Paracelsus.
Paracelsus (1493/4 – 24 September 1541), born Theophrastus von Hohenheim (full name Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim), was a Swiss physician, alchemist, and astrologer of the German Renaissance.
He was a pioneer in several aspects of the “medical revolution” of the Renaissance, emphasizing the value of observation in combination with received wisdom. He is credited as the “father of toxicology”.[
He also had a substantial impact as a prophet or diviner, his “Prognostications” being studied by Rosicrucians in the 1700s. Paracelsianism is the early modern medical movement inspired by the study of his works.
Jacob Andries Beschey (1710 in Antwerp – 1786 in Antwerp) was a Flemish painter and draughtsman who mainly painted religious paintings that were in the style of, or inspired by, Peter Paul Rubens.
Jacob Andries Beschey painted mainly religious subjects and to a lesser extent landscapes. He possibly also painted still lifes. There is mention of a hunting piece in 1945 but it is not clear where this work is located and what was the basis for the attribution.
Most of his work was inspired by the compositions of Rubens or followers of Rubens, which he may have known directly or from prints. An example is the Maria Magdalene washing the feet of Christ (Sold at Christie’s 13 April 2010 in Amsterdam, lot 92) signed and dated 1735. The picture is a mirror copy of a composition executed mainly by Anthony van Dyck together with Rubens that is in the Hermitage Museum and was based on a sketch by Rubens. The composition was known at the time through a print by the Flemish engraver Michel Natalis. It was popular with followers of Rubens and a very similar mirror version was made earlier by Victor Wolfvoet II.
The composition The Rest on the Flight into Egypt (sold at Bonhams 2 May 2012 in London, lot 60) goes back to an initial design by Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari, which was later reprised by Lorenzo Masucci for the Santa Maria dell’Orazione e Morte church in Rome. This was a popular composition known through many versions, both by Chiari and Masucci, which all follow the same pattern but with differences in some details. Beschey’s paintings are often on a small format.
Some of the prominent museums that hold compositions by Beschey are the Hermitage Museum (Christ and his Disciples in Emmaus), the Alte Pinakothek (The flaggelation of Christ) and the Prado Museum (The raising of the cross).