• NameAdriaen van Utrecht
  • Sexmale
  • Nationality/DatesFlemish, born 1599, dead 1652
BiographyPainter of still lifes and animals. Born at
Antwerp, where he became the pupil of the painter,
art dealer and collector Herman de Rijt in 1614. He
travelled to France, Italy and Germany, but returned
to Antwerp by August 1625, when he was accepted as
a master in the Guild of St. Luke. He spent the rest
of his life in his native city. From 1626 to 1646 he
taught seven apprentices, including Philip Gyselaer
(1634/1635). Numerous replicas and variations of his
works exist, many of them probably from his studio
and some perhaps partly or entirely by his wife, the
poet Constancia, daughter of the painter Willem van
Nieulandt II, to whom he was married in 1628. In
1646–1648 he assisted Thomas Willeboirts Bosschaert
when carrying out a commission for the
Stadtholder of the Netherlands in the Oranjezaal of
the Huis ten Bosch at The Hague. Adriaen van
Utrecht also occasionally collaborated with Erasmus
Quellinus II and other figure painters, such as Jacob
Jordaens, David Teniers II, Theodoor Rombouts,
Theodor van Thulden and Jan Cossiers.
Van Utrecht was a painter of live animals, including
poultry yard scenes, fish markets, flower garlands and
large still life compositions and pantry scenes, showing
a certain degree of influence from Frans Snyders,
and later also of Jan Fyt and Jan Davidsz. de Heem.
His still life compositions are less dynamic than those
of Snyders, his touch more exacting and less fluid. He
generally favoured warm earth tones unified by pronounced
chiaroscuro effects, probably derived from
knowledge of Italian Caravaggesque still life painting.
Dated paintings are known from 1627 to 1652. His
earliest work, to be placed between about 1627 and
1630, is marked by pronounced chiaroscuro effects and
a preference for locating his still lifes out of doors: his
impressions gained in Italy may have played a role
here. His later still lifes have a warmer and more
brownish tonality. Van Utrecht was highly esteemed
in his own time. Cornelis de Bie (1662) wrote: “His
skill in depicting beasts and fruit delighted many a
spirit”. According to Meijer (2003), Van Utrecht’s
influence on Antwerp still life painting is still very
much underrated.