Birth Year : 1620|
Death Year : 1690
Abraham van Beyeren, known for his rich still lives, was born in The Hague and worked successively in Leyden, The Hague, Amsterdam, Goude and Ouerschie, where he died in 1690. In 1640, while in The Hague, he was one of the founders of that city's Painters Guild, and the following year he was admitted to the Delft Guild. Little is known of the personal details of van Beyeren's life. We do know that while in Leyden, van Beyeren was influenced by the still-life painter, de Heen, who painted in the Baroque style of still life with its compositions of fruit and precious vases often set in the shadow of pillars and drapery against a landscape background. The University of Leyden also fostered another form of still life painting with which van Beyeren experimented-Vanitas-whose subject matter was concerned with the morality of man and whose symbolic objects were stern reminders of the natural decay of all things and the vanity of human desires.
It was while he was painting in The Hague, the happiest and most successful years of his career, that van Beyeren achieved that style for which he is best known today. The Hague, with its nearby fishing village of Scheveningen, favored those lavish displays of seafood, which exactly suited the dashing, almost impressionistic techniques of an artist who was unsurpassed in recreating the iridescent sheen of fish and other creatures of the sea. Van Beyeren's later work was concerned with sumptuous still lives of fine chinaware and choice foods set in warm translucent backgrounds. The modernism of his technique, with its use of bravura lighting, was not, however, always to the liking of a clientele of rich bourgeoisie, who regarded illusionist realism and linear exactitude as the supreme achievement in art.
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Abraham van Beyeren
Still Life, Lobster and Jug
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