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Jan van Kessel the Elder

A Study of Insects Print by Jan van Kessel the Elder

A Study of Insects

A Study of Butterflies, Moths, Spiders, and Insects Print by Jan van Kessel the Elder

A Study of Butterflies, Moths, Spiders, and Insects

Jan van Kessel the Elder

The Continent of Africa

Jan van Kessel the Elder

The Animals

Jan van Kessel the Elder

Birds

Jan van Kessel the Elder

Birds on a Riverbank

Jan van Kessel the Elder

The Soap Bubbles

Jan van Kessel the Elder

The Continent of Europe

Jan van Kessel the Elder

The Continent of Asia

Jan van Kessel the Elder

The Continent of Africa

Jan van Kessel the Elder

The Continent of America

Jan van Kessel the Elder

Flowers

Jan van Kessel the Elder

A Garland of Flowers

Jan van Kessel the Elder

Still-Life

Jan van Kessel the Elder

Harbour Scene with Fish

Jan van Kessel the Elder

Insects

Jan van Kessel the Elder

Butterflies and Insects

Jan van Kessel the Elder

Study of Butterflies and Other Insects with a Sprig of Apple Blossom

Jan van Kessel the Elder

Study of Insects, Butterflies and a Snail with a Sprig of Forget-Me-Nots

Jan van Kessel the Elder

Insects

Jan van Kessel the Elder

Insects

Jan van Kessel the Elder

Interior of a Kitchen with a Dog

Jan van Kessel the Elder

Madonna with the Child and St Ildephonsus Framed with a Garland of Flowers

Jan van Kessel the Elder

St Mary Magdalen Surrounded by a Garland

Jan van Kessel the Elder

The Mockery of the Owl

Jan van Kessel the Elder

Still-Life with a Monkey Stealing Fruit

Jan van Kessel the Elder

River Landscape with a Windmill

Jan van Kessel the Elder

The Day's Catch

Jan van Kessel the Elder

The Day's Catch (detail)

Jan van Kessel the Elder

Still-Life on a Table with Fruit and Flowers

Jan van Kessel the Elder

Holy Family

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Kessel Art - A Swallowtail Red Admiral and other Insects with Shells and a Sprig of Borage by Jan van Kessel the Elder

A Swallowtail Red...

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

Life


Insects and garden pansy, 1679

Jan van Kessel the Elder was 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.

As a result of 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.[1]

He became a member of the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke in 1644 as "blomschilder" (flower painter).[1] The 17th-century Flemish biographer Cornelis de Bie included van Kessel in his book on Flemish painters called Het Gulden Kabinet.[2] Arnold Houbraken praised him for the neatness of his flower paintings for which he was known during his lifetime.[3]

As part of the Brueghel family, he went on training other painters and also his own family members. His pupils were his sons Jan van Kessel the Younger and Ferdinand van Kessel.[1]
Still Life with fish


Work

Jan van Kessel 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.[1]

He was influenced by Daniel Seghers and the scientific naturalism of Joris Hoefnagel, particularly Hoefnagel's studies of flowers and insects.[1][4]

There are two paintings by Jan van Kessel in the High Museum of Art in Atlanta ("Butterflies, Caterpillars, and Other Insects").

References

Jan van Kessel (I) at the Netherlands Institute for Art History (Dutch)
Johannes van Kessel, page 409, in Het Gulden Cabinet, 1662
Johannes van Kessel biography in De groote schouburgh der Nederlantsche konstschilders en schilderessen (1718) by Arnold Houbraken, courtesy of the Digital library for Dutch literature (Dutch)
Jan van Kessel on Venetian Red

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