Adriaen van Utrecht
Adriaen van Utrecht was, contrary to the suggestion of his name, a native of Antwerp. In 1614 he joined the studio of Herman de Neyt, painter and art dealer, as an apprentice, and was early influenced by Frans Snyders (and later his pupil Jan Fyt). He travelled in France, Germany and Italy, where he absorbed Baroque influences and mastered strong chiaroscuro light effects. After his return to Antwerp in 1625, he was entered as a free master of the Guild of Saint Luke. In 1628 he married the painter and poetess Constantia, daughter of the painter and poet Willem van Nieulandt II, a few months after his sister Catharina had married the painter Simon de Vos. The artist ran his own studio with at least seven known pupils from 1626 to 1646, including Philip Gyselaer (1634/35), and Cornelis van Engelen. He influenced Jan Davidsz de Heem, Evaristo Baschenis, and Nicolas de Largillière.
Van Utrecht specialized in still lifes, in particular monumentalised animal pictures and lush displays of game, fruits and vegetables; also hunting trophies, vanitas themes, fish stalls, game larders, garlands and farmyard scenes, typically including poultry – turkeys, parrots and peacocks. Van Utrecht collaborated with other artists, and is known to have provided the still life elements to paintings by David Teniers the Younger, Jacob Jordaens, Erasmus Quellinus II, Theodoor Rombouts, Theodoor van Thulden, Jan van den Hoecke, and Thomas Willeboirts Bosschaert (1613/14–54); he also contributed to tapestry designs. He painted several works with Willeboirts Bosschaert, commissioned by Constantijn Huygens, for the Huis ten Bosch in The Hague in 1646.
He was popular with his contemporaries, a large number of his paintings finding their way to Spain, where he was patronised by Philip IV and is today represented in the Prado Museum. He was also commissioned to paint for the Austrian and German courts. His work is represented in numerous national collections, including the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, the Louvre, Paris (attr.), the Hermitage, St Petersburg, the Nationalmuseet, Stockholm, the Bowes Museum, England, and in the USA the Getty Museum, Malibu, the Fine Arts Museum, San Francisco, and the Utah Fine Arts Museum; also in public collections in Antwerp, Belgrade, Brussels, Cambrai, Cologne, Copenhagen, Lithuania, Munich, Tokyo, Vienna, etc.
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References and literature
- Baldinucci, Filippo (1728). Notizie de' Professori del Disegno, Da Cimabue in qua, Secolo V. dal 1610. al 1670. Distinto in Decennali. Stamperia S.A.R. per li Tartini, e Franchi (Googlebooks entry). p. 197.
- Edith Greindl, Les Peintures Flamands de Nature Morte au XVIIe Siècle. Brussels 1956; 3rd ed., revised, Sterrebeek 1983.
- J. de Maere, Jennifer A. Martin, and Marie Wabbes. Illustrated Dictionary of 17th-Century Flemish Painters. Brussels: Renaissance du livre, 1994; p. 401.