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Willem van Aelst

(1626 - after 1687)
Dutch painter, specialized in still-life painting with flowers or game

Overview | Works (19)

Willem van Aelst was born in Delft to a prominent family. He was a pupil from his uncle, the still-life painter Evert van Aelst. On 9 November 1643 he became a member of the Guild of Saint Luke in Delft.

Between 1645 and 1649 he was active in France. In 1649 Van Aelst travelled to Florence, where he served as court painter to Ferdinando II de' Medici, grand duke of Tuscany and the future Cosimo III. At the same time, two other Dutch painters, Matthias Withoos and Otto Marseus van Schrieck, were also employed by the Grand Duke.

In 1656 he returned to the Netherlands together with Van Schrieck, to settle permanently in Amsterdam, although Houbraken mentions that he settled in Delft. He became one of the most prominent still-life painters of his generation. He probably died in 1683 as several works dated 1682 survived, and a work dated 1683 has been reported. Rachel Ruysch was one of his pupils.

Books with substantial mentioning of Willem van Aelst

Arthur K. Wheelock, Jr.
Dutch paintings of the seventeenth century, The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue
Washington; New York and Oxford, 1995
Ivan Gaskell
Seventeenth century Dutch and Flemish painting, The Thyssen-Bornemisza collection
London, 1990

Catalogues with an entry on Willem van Aelst

Staatliche Museen zu Berlin--Preußischer Kulturbesitz
Dokumentation der Verluste, Band I - Gemäldegalerie
Berlin, 1995
Pieter J.J. van Thiel, C.J. de Bruyn Kops, Jola Cleveringa, Wouter Kloek, Annemarie Vels Heijn
All the paintings of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, A completely illustrated catalogue
Amsterdam; Maarssen, 1976

Articles on Willem van Aelst

A. Bredius, Archiefsprokkelingen, in Oud Holland, 54, 1937 pp. 266-267

Articles with substantial mentioning of Willem van Aelst

Mr. A.D. de Vries Azn., Biografische aanreekeningen, betreffende voornamelijk amsterdamsche schilders, plaatsnijders, enz. en hunne verwanten, in Oud Holland, 3, 1885 pp. 55-80  read online

Died:after 1687

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