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Jan van Kessel the Elder

Still life of a basket with grapes, game, cat and guinea-pig

Still life of a basket with  grapes, game, cat and guinea-pig
Copper - 22.5 x 29.5 cm
Still lifes, XVIIth Paintings

Provenance: private collection.

 

In Jan van Kessel’s work, nature is a source of delicacy and meticulousness. The undisputed master of still life, the entire essence of his art can be seen in...

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1626 - Antwerp - 1679

The grandson of the "Velvet" Brueghel on his mother’s side, and the nephew of both Jan Brueghel the Younger and David Teniers, Jan van Kessel was influenced more by his grandfather and his uncle than by his apprenticeship to Simon de Vos.
He specialised in painting animals, birds, amphibians and insects, which he included notably in representations of the Four Elements, the Four Corners of the Earth, (Museums of Cambridge, Madrid, Prague, and Strasbourg), allegories, and fables as well as very small-scale gallery scenes. Jan van Kessel was also one of the most brillant floral painters of the century. His roses often pink in colour, and his tulips are finely detailed and arranged in airy bouquets. This finesse in handling detail is also seen in his still lives of fruit and in the objects included in them such as dishes, baskets, and vases. The charm of his compositions, and their exquisite and precise rendering, together with the rich and dazzling hues of his palette have made Jan van Kessel one of the most appealing and highly-regarded of the Flemish masters.

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