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Artist: Kessel (I), Jan van 1 of 2 Previous Previous | Next Next
Still Life with Fruits and a Bird, 17th century

Jan van Kessel (I)
Flemish, 1626-1679
Oil on copper (one of a pair)
6-5/8 x 8-5/8 in. (16.8 x 21.9 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation
© Norton Simon Art Foundation

On view

Jan van Kessel preferred to paint on copper, which accounts for the small and intimate size of his paintings. His still lifes depict a variety of subjects, all rendered in a meticulous manner. Van Kessel shared with his grandfather, great flower painter Jan Breughel the Elder, a delight in pictorial description that was an outgrowth of the interest in scientific naturalism of the late sixteenth century. He was particularly adept at depicting birds and insects, often painting them against a light or dark ground to emphasize their characteristic silhouettes. The inherent liveliness of the animal serves as an interesting comparison to the "still" life surrounding it. The artist was highly esteemed by his contemporaries, and his paintings have been avidly collected, though it is rare to see them in museum collections.

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Artist: Kessel (I), Jan van 1 of 2 Previous Previous | Next Next