• NameLucas van Uden
  • Sexmale
  • Nationality/DatesFlemish, born 1595, dead 1672
BiographyLandscape painter, draughtsman and etcher.
Lucas van Uden was probably a pupil of his father, the
Antwerp town painter Artus van Uden. He registered
in the Antwerp Guild of St. Luke as a “wijnmeester”, or
son of a master, in 1626/27. Although his work clearly
owes much to Peter Paul Rubens, the assertion that he
worked in the master’s studio in the 1630s, providing
landscape backgrounds for the master’s paintings,
remains unproven. Apart from a tour of the Rhine in
1644–46, he seems to have spent his life in Flanders.
On 31 December 1649 he was registered as no longer
living in the city, so for a period in 1650 he must have
lived elsewhere, possibly in Brussels. In 1640 and 1642
he registered a pupil in the Antwerp Guild. Among his
documented pupils are: Philips Augustyn van Immenraet,
Jan Baptist Bonnecroy and Gillis Neyts.
Van Uden specialized exclusively in landscape
painting. Together with Jan Wildens he is generally
considered one of the most important landscape
painters of his time. In a later edition of Van Dyck’s
Iconography, both artists are described as “Pictor
Ruralium Prospectuum Antverpiae” (Painter of
Country Views from Antwerp). Houbraken
(1718–1721), who had high praise for Van Uden,
wrote that he often set out into the countryside early
in the morning to make landscape sketches. This may
be stretching the truth somewhat, for even more
important than the observation of nature for Van
Uden were earlier developments in Flemish landscape
painting. The influence on his art of Rubens, whose
landscapes he copied in paintings and etchings, was
certainly important, but shows itself in ways that are
very personal to him. Van Uden’s landscapes, painted
mostly between the 1630s and 1650s, also show close
affinity with the tradition of Jan Brueghel I and Joos
de Momper II, especially in his choice of subjects. He
is at his best in small format paintings, and in his
etchings and attractive watercolour drawings, which
reveal his greatest individual talent in the close observation
of nature. David Teniers II often painted the
figures in his landscapes, as can be seen from several
paintings with both artists’ signatures. Van Uden also
collaborated with Jacob Jordaens, Hendrick van Balen
I and Gonzales Coques. Most often, however, the
staffage was Van Uden’s own work, influenced by
Teniers II and Rubens.