Happy Birthday Gillis van Coninxloo!! Born in Antwerp, Belgium, in 1544, Gillis van Coninxloo was from a family of painters. He apprenticed to an artist in Belgium but then traveled in France, returning to join a guild in Antwerp. Religious strife in the Netherlands forced him to flee to Germany for a time, but he did return to Amsterdam where he lived and worked for the rest of his life. He was expert at forest landscapes, dense rich foliage emphasizing a unity between man and nature.