About Elias Vonck
Amsterdam circa 1605 – 1652 Amsterdam
Still life painter of dead game, occasionally of fish.
His teacher is unknown.
Elias Vonck was the first Dutch master to specialize in still lifes of game, probably under Flemish influence.
Apparently he favoured painting hunting still lifes holding large birds, such as swans, herons or a peacock. He was a real master in representing their feathered bodies. His impressive, large canvases are extremely decorative.
Our painter must have had an adventurous character.
In his early twenty’s he travelled to Brazil as a naval cadet corporal. Between 1630 and 1654 the Dutch colonized and controlled Northern Brazil; their capital was Recife. They finally lost Dutch Brazil to the Portuguese.
Vonck also travelled to Torun in Poland, the birthplace of Copernicus. His son and pupil Jan (1631 – 1663/64) was born there. In those days, in the early 17th century, its population of 30.000 was equal to that of Warshaw.
Certainly from 1639 on until his death he lived and worked in Amsterdam, the main artistic centre of the Dutch Republic.
He strongly influenced his son Jan technically and thematically.
Both Elias and Jan painted animals in landscapes by Jacob Isaacksz. van Ruisdael (1628/9 – 1682).
Why should you buy this painting?
Because this a grand, fully signed example of the very start of Dutch hunting still life.