Jan van Kessel the Elder

NOTE: Sometimes referred to as Jan van Kessel II. His son, Jan van Kessel the Younger was sometimes referred to as Jan van Kessel III. There was another Antwerp painter with the name Jan van Kessel (referred to as the other Jan van Kessel) who painted still lifes, while in Amsterdam there was a Jan van Kessel known as a landscape painter. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_van_Kessel_the_Younger)

Jan van Kessel (baptized 5 April 1626, Antwerp-17 April 1679, Antwerp); a Flemish painter of still lifes and Jan Brueghel the Elder's grandson.

Born into a family of artists and was member of the famous Flemish dynasty of painters of the Brueghel family. The painter was the son of Hieronymus van Kessel the Elder and Paschasia Brueghel (the daughter of Jan Brueghel the Elder), thus becoming Jan Brueghel the Elder's grandson.

Being born into this family he received his artistic training through the family members, that were like him all artists. He was a pupil of his older brother Hieronymous van Kessel the younger, and his uncle Jan Brueghel the Younger.

Specialized in small-scale pictures of subjects gleaned from the natural world such as floral still lifes and allegorical series showing animal kingdoms, the four elements, the senses, or the parts of the world. Obsessed with picturesque detail, van Kessel worked from nature and used illustrated scientific texts as sources for filling his pictures with objects represented with almost scientific accuracy.

He painted many animals (especially insects) and flowers, as well as some mythological and biblical scenes. His choice of subject leaned towards those which included animals and plants.

He was influenced by Daniel Seghers and the scientific naturalism of Joris Hoefnagel, particularly Hoefnagel's studies of flowers and insects.

There are 2 paintings by Jan van Kessel in the High Museum of Art in Atlanta ("Butterflies, Caterpillars, and Other Insects"). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_van_Kessel_the_Elder)
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Suzan Hamer


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