KESSEL, Jan van, I
Flemish painter

(b. 1626, Antwerpen, d. 1679, Antwerpen)

 

Flemish still-life and flower painter active in Antwerp,

where he became a Guild member in 1645.

 He continued the traditions of his grandfather, Jan "Velvet" Brueghel,

and was also influenced by Daniel Seghers.

Jan van Kessel painted

many animals (especially insects), garlands and bouquets of flowers,

as well as some mythological scenes.

 

His choice of subject leaned towards those which included animals and plants;

 for example, he painted Noah's Ark.

He is best known for small, jewel-like pictures, often on copper, of insects or shells

against a light background, executed with strong colour and great exactitude.

Good examples of his prolific output are in Oxford (Ashmolean), Cambridge (Fitzwilliam),

and Madrid (Prado).

 

 

The Continent of Africa
1672
Oil on canvas, 108 x 149 cm
Private collection

 

 

 

 

The Animals
1660
Oil on copper plate, 175 x 123 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

 

 

 

 

 

 Birds
-
Oil on copper, 19 x 24 cm
Private collection

 

 

 

 

 Birds on a Riverbank
1655
Oil on copper, 22 x 30 cm
Private collection

 

 

 

 

The Soap Bubbles
1660s
Oil on canvas, 67 x 51 cm
Mus�e du Louvre, Paris

 

 

 

 

The Continent of Europe
1666
Oil on canvas
Alte Pinakothek, Munich

 

 

 

 

The Continent of Asia
1666
Oil on canvas
Alte Pinakothek, Munich

 

 

 

 

 The Continent of Africa
1666
Oil on canvas
Alte Pinakothek, Munich

 

 

 

 

The Continent of America
1666
Oil on canvas
Alte Pinakothek, Munich

 

 

 

 

Flowers
1650s
Oil on panel, 52 x 37 cm
Private collection

 

 

 

 

A Garland of Flowers
-
Oil on panel, 64 x 48 cm
Private collection

 

 

 

 

Still-Life
1660
Oil on panel, 27 x 37 cm
Private collection

 

 

 

 

Harbour Scene with Fish
1660
Oil on copper, 20 x 30 cm
Private collection

 

 

 

 

Holy Family
1660s
Oil on panel, 64 x 50 cm
Amstelkring Museum, Amsterdam

 

 

 

 

Insects
1650s
Oil on copper, 12 x 15 cm
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

 

 

 

 

Butterflies and Insects
c. 1655
Oil on copper, 11 x 15 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington

 

 

 

 

Study of Butterflies and Other Insects with a Sprig of Apple Blossom
1659
Oil on copper, 12 x 18 cm
Private collection

 

 

 

 

Study of Insects, Butterflies and a Snail with a Sprig of Forget-Me-Nots
1659
Oil on copper, 12 x 18 cm
Private collection

 

 

 

 

Insects
1657
Oil on copper, 15 x 20 cm
Private collection

 

 

 

 

Insects
1657
Oil on copper, 15 x 20 cm
Private collection

 

 

 

 

Interior of a Kitchen with a Dog
1660s
Oil on copper, 23 x 33 cm
Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti), Florence

 

 

 

 

Madonna with the Child and St Ildephonsus Framed with a Garland of Flowers
1646-52
Oil on canvas, 138 x 110 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

 

 

 

 

St Mary Magdalen Surrounded by a Garland
-
Oil on copper, 30 x 22 cm
Private collection

 

 

 

 

The Mockery of the Owl
-
Oil on canvas, 170 x 234 cm
Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp

 

 

 

 

Still-Life with a Monkey Stealing Fruit
1660s
Oil on copper, 23 x 33 cm
Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti), Florence

 

 

 

 

River Landscape with a Windmill
-
Oil on copper, 26 x 33 cm
Private collection

 

 

 

 

River Landscape
-
Oil on copper, 25 x 34 cm
Private collection

 

 

 

 

The Day's Catch
1661
Oil on copper, 18 x 28 cm
Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti), Florence

 

 

 

 

 

Still-Life on a Table with Fruit and Flowers
-
Oil on copper
Private collection

 

 

 

 

Still-Life
-
Oil on copper, 41,9 x 76,9 cm
Galleria Doria Pamphilj, Rome

 

 

 

 

Still-Life with Fruit
-
Oil on copper, 13 x 16 cm
Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena

 

 

 

 

Still-Life
1653
Oil on oak panel, 33 x 51 cm
Private collection

 

 

 

 

Still-Life with Fruit and Shellfish
1653
Oil on canvas
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

 

 

 

 

Still-Life with Vegetables
-
Oil on canvas
Museo Civico, Prato

 

 

 

 

Venus at the Forge of Vulcan
1662
Oil on canvas, 60 x 84 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

 

 

 

 

  

 Jan van Kessel the Elder or Jan van Kessel I

 

Jan van Kessel in Cornelis de Bie's Het Gulden Cabinet

 

 

Jan van Kessel the Elder or Jan van Kessel (I)

(baptized 5 April 1626, Antwerp – 17 April 1679, Antwerp)

was a Flemish painter active in Antwerp in the mid 17the century.

A versatile artist he practised in many genres including studies of insects, floral still lifes,

 marines, river landscapes, paradise landscapes, allegorical compositions,

scenes with animals and genre scenes.

 

 A scion of the Brueghel family many of his subjects

 took inspiration of the work of his grandfather Jan Brueghel the Elder

as well as from the earlier generation of Flemish painters

such as Daniel Seghers, Joris Hoefnagel and Frans Snyders.

 

 

A sprig of redcurrants with an elephant hawk moth, a ladybird,

a millipede and other insects

 

 

 

Jan van Kessel the Elder was born in Antwerp as the son of

Hieronymus van Kessel the Younger

and Paschasia Brueghel (the daughter of Jan Brueghel the Elder).

 

He was thus Jan Brueghel the Elder's grandson,

Pieter Bruegel the Elder's great-grandson

and the nephew of Jan Brueghel the Younger).

 

His direct ancestors in the van Kessel family line were

his grandfather Hieronymus van Kessel the Elder

and his father Hieronymus van Kessel the Younger, who were both painters.

Very little is known about the work of these van Kessel ancestors.

 

At the age of only 9, Jan van Kessel was sent to study with the history painter Simon de Vos.

He further trained with family members who were artists.

He was a pupil of his father and his uncle Jan Brueghel the Younger.

 

 

A River Landscape with Figures on a Track

 

 

In 1644 he became a member of the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke where he was recorded

as a "blomschilder" (flower painter).

 He married Maria van Apshoven on 11 June 1646.

The couple had 13 children of whom two, Jan and Ferdinand, were trained by him

and became successful painters.

He was captain of a local schutterij (civil guard) in Antwerp.

 

Jan van Kessel was financially successful as his works commanded high prices.

He bought in 1656 a house called the Witte en Roode Roos (White and Red Rose)

 in central Antwerp.

By the time his wife died in 1678 his fortune seems to have turned for the worse.

 In 1679 he had to mortgage his house.

He had become too ill to paint and died on 17 April 1679 in Antwerp.

He trained other painters and also his own family members.

His pupils included his sons Jan and Ferdinand.

 

 

Butterflies, other insects and flowers

 

 

 

The Soap Bubbles

 

 

 

Allegory of Air

 

 

 

Venus at the Forge of Vulcan

 

 

 

Masques made with seashells

 

 

 



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