• NamePieter Boel
  • Activity/Titlepainter, draughtsman, printmaker
  • Sexmale
  • Variant namesPieter Boel
    Peter Boel
    Peeter Boel
    Pierre Boel
    Pietro Boel
    Pierre Bol
    Pieter Bol
    Pierre Boël
  • Nationality/DatesFlemish, born före 1622-10-22, dead 1674-09-03
  • PlacesPlace of birth: Antwerpen, Belgien
    Place of death: Paris, France
BiographyAnimal- and still life painter, draughtsman, etcher
and tapestry designer. The son of an engraver, publisher
and art dealer, Pieter Boel was probably
apprenticed at Antwerp to the animal- and still life
painter Jan Fyt. He may have studied previously with
Frans Snyders. Before becoming a master in the
Antwerp Guild of St. Luke in 1650/1651, he had
reputedly spent several years in Italy, working in
Genua and Rome. None of his work from this period
is known. From c. 1668/1669 he worked as a tapestry
designer at the Gobelins tapestry workshop in Paris
with Charles Le Brun and was appointed peintre ordinaire
du Roi (Painter to the King) in the year of his
death. Quite a few of his studies of live animals in
oils, made for the Manufacture Royale des Gobelins,
survive, mainly in French public collections.
Boel dated only a few of his paintings, making it
difficult to establish a chronology of his work. His
paintings were influenced by the Antwerp animaland
still life painters Fyt and Snyders, both of whom
are mentioned as his teachers, as well as by Italian
artists, in particular the Genoese painter Giovanni
Benedetto Castiglione. Boel is best known for his
hunting scenes, some of which clearly show his debt
to Snyders, but the dominant influence on his work
was that of Fyt, particularly evident in his emphatic
brushwork. Boel, however, was more restrained in his
treatment. He borrowed and popularized, the theme
of open-air hunting still lifes from Fyt. Boel occasionally
collaborated with other artists, including Erasmus
Quellinus II and Jacob Jordaens. His eldest son, Jan
Baptist II became a painter; he completely assimilated
his father’s style, which has sometimes led to attribution
problems. The only one of his students who
achieved a reputation of his own was David de Coninck,
whose work has had a similar fate. Earlier seen
as no more than a lesser follower of Fyt, Boel must
now be considered one of the great animal painters of
his time. He had a considerable influence on French
18th-century animal painters such as François
Desportes and Jean-Baptist Oudry.