About Cornelis Mahu
Antwerp 1613 – 1689 Antwerp
Mahu became a Master in the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke in the year 1638/39.
Although a Flemish painter some of his paintings look very Dutch. The reason is simple. In 1633 Mahu married Brigitta Wolfvoet. Her father, Victor Woflvoet I, and her brother, Victor II, were art dealers; they sold a lot of Dutch paintings. Cornelis Mahu must have learned Dutch painting through them; some old scholars erroneously thought he might have been a pupil of Willem Claesz. Heda, for in his early years Mahu regularly copied still lifes by this famous master.
Cornelis Mahu was a very versatile painter. He painted
- marine paintings influenced by Bonaventura I and Jan I Peeters some also by the Dutch painter Jan Porcellis.
- still lifes, some very Dutch, Protestant “ontbijtjes” influenced by Willem Claesz. and Gerrit Willemsz. Heda, but also Flemish still lifes reminding of Jan Pauwel Gillemans I.
- genre scenes, inspired by David Teniers II (such as our painting) or by the Dutch painter Adriaen van Ostade. Cornelis’ son, Victor (circa 1665 – 1700/01), continued painting genre scenes in his father’s footsteps.
Besides his son Victor he had three pupils, the best known one was the flower still life painter Gaspar Peeter Verbruggen I (1635 – 1681).