Jan van Balen

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Jan van Balen in Het Gulden Cabinet p 119

Jan van Balen (21 July 1611, Antwerp – 14 March 1654) was a Flemish Baroque painter.


Allegory of Hearing

He was the son of Hendrik van Balen, brother of Hendrick van Balen the Younger and brother-in-law to Theodoor van Thulden.[1] and was instructed by his father. After having made considerable progress in the art, his father sent him to Italy, where he had himself derived such advantage from his studies. He remained some years in Rome, and may have attached himself to the works of Francesco Albani, whose style he imitated. In each of his pictures, the style of his country is discernible; although his colouring and pencil are considered excellent, he was inattentive to the correctness of his outline. He generally painted cabinet pictures, although he sometimes attempted larger works, in which he was less successful. He had two brothers, Gaspar (born in 1615)[2] and Hendrik (born in 1620),[3] who were both painters.

He is believed to have returned to Antwerp in 1642, though according to the Netherlands Institute for Art History he returned earlier than that, because in 1635-1639 he collaborated with his brother Gaspard, Theodoor van Thulden, Jan de Labare and Erasmus Quellinus II on prints for the Royal Entry or Pompa Introitus of the Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand into Antwerp in 1635, published by Gaspar Gevartius under the direction of Rubens.[1]

He died in Antwerp in 1654. He is buried in the St. James' Church, Antwerp.[1]


This article incorporates text from the article "BALEN, Jan van" in Bryan's Dictionary of Painters and Engravers by Michael Bryan, edited by Robert Edmund Graves and Sir Walter Armstrong, an 1886–1889 publication now in the public domain.