Alexander Adriaenssen (1587-1661) Still life with Fish, Oysters and Lobsters


Alexander Adriaenssen (Antwerpen, 1587-1661)

Large still life with oysters, fish and lobsters.
Oil on canvas.

The painting depicts a polished stone table on which oysters, different varieties of fish and two lobsters are arranged; in the background there are barrels for brine, a copper pot and a large basket.
The painting is accompanied by an expert report from Professor Massimo Pirondini who, after much research and in-depth studies, attributes it with certainty to Alexander Adriassen, a painter born in Antwerp, known in particular for his representations of fish.
In the Netherlands, between the end of the sixteenth and the beginning of the seventeenth century, still life reached, as a genre, an extraordinary importance. In the same region, there is a different way of rendering the same subjects: flowers, fruits, game, dishes etc. While Flemish still lifes became increasingly scenographic and sumptuous, Dutch still lifes remained primarily oriented toward simple, domestic themes, as if to represent the deep love of its inhabitants for the reality of the humble, everyday things of life.
This tendency towards simplicity associated with the arrangement of fish, shellfish and sometimes game or vegetables on simple kitchen tables is a recurring theme in a family of artists who, although living in Flemish Antwerp, at a short distance from the Netherlands, undoubtedly is influenced by the choice of content and by the frugality of the composition: that of Adriaenssen. Among them, Alexandre is the only one to have dealt with still life.
Born in Antwerp in 1587, by 1610 he was already registered as a master specializing in still lifes at the San Luca guild of his city, receiving the admiration of Rubens and Anthony van Dyck, with whom he also maintained a close relationship. friendship and collaboration. In his abundant production as a naturalist, he is mainly due to his particular representations of subjects related to fish, with works that can be admired today at the Rijsmuseum in Amsterdam, at the Koninklijk Museum in Antwerp, at the Prado in Madrid. In the latter, in particular, there is an oil on panel by Adriaenssen with “Various fish and oysters” showing various similarities with the Still Life with Oysters, Fish and Lobsters: the similar clarity of the background, with a scattered arrangement of subjects; and then the same silvery and bronzed shades of the surfaces, brought to life by skillful reflections, the precise rendering of details, the flash of clear and sharp light which freezes the entire pictorial work.
The letters VB, legible on the cured barrel, should not be interpreted as a monogram, but it is probably a fire-engraved mark that the painter reproduced on the back, as he saw it during the execution of the painting, with the help of a mirror.

In a Salvator Rosa lacquered frame.

It is accompanied by the expertise of the professor. Pirondini.

canvas cm 109.3 x 66.5



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