Similar swags of fruit in a landscape, sometimes with putti, by Jan Pauwel Gillemans II seem all to date from the late 1680s and from the 1690s, a period during which the painter lived in Antwerp.
Our painting is a typical example of the idealised, decorative vision of nature during Late Baroque Classicism.
About Jan Pauwel Gillemans II
Flemish still life painter
Antwerp 1651 – 1704 Amsterdam
Still life painter of fruit, flower and hunting scenes.
Son of Jan Pauwel I (Antwerp 1618 – 1675 Antwerp), who was also a well-known still life painter.
His parents had eight children; he was the only one to chose for the same career as his father.
Pupil of his father and from the year 1665/66 onwards of Joris van Son (Antwerp 1623 – 1667 Antwerp), another Flemish still life painter who, in his garlands of fruit, had already influenced his father, Jan Pauwel I.
Dean of the Painter’s Guild of Saint Luke in Antwerp in 1696. He had joined the Guild as a master in 1673/74.
His wife, a daughter of the sculptor Norbeert van den Eynde, died in 1697; five months later he already re-married.
Jan Pauwel II joined the Painter’s Guild of Middelburg in the Dutch Republic in 1702. At the very start of his career, in 1675, he had already received a fine from that guild for being active as a painter in Middelburg without being member of the local Painter’s Guild.
Our painter died in Amsterdam in 1704 and was burried there.
According to Jacob Campo Weyerman in the third of his four volumes (1729 – 1739) with The Lives of Dutch painters and paintresses, Gillemans drowned in a canal, after he had been drinking too much. Weyerman’s Lifes are known for their anecdotes, although it is not clear how many are based on truth and how many on fiction.
The later works of Jan Pauwel Gillemans the Elder are sometimes difficult to distinguish from the early works of his son, the Younger. Generally speaking, the works of Jan Pauwel II have a less forceful and more decorative character than those of his father, whose colour palette was more limited. The still lifes of Jan Pauwel I have generally a dark background, reflecting the influence of the major Dutch still life painter Jan Davidsz. de Heem (Utrecht 1606 – 1684 Antwerp). Following his early years in Leiden de Heem is documented from 1636 in Antwerp. He probably returned to his birthplace Utrecht in the early 1660s, but left again for Antwerp after the French advance to Utrecht in the so-called “disaster year” of 1672.
Our painter strongly influenced a Flemish painter who has remained anonymous: today he is erroneously called the Pseudo-Simons.
About our painting
Jan Pauwel II regularly placed his still lifes against a landscape and/or architectural setting.
For some of these paintings he worked together with a specialist: Pieter Rysbraeck (Antwerp 1655 – 1729 Brussels) for landscapes and Peter Ykens (Antwerp 1648 – 1695 Antwerp) for some figures of putti. Our painting is unsigned and nor the landscape nor the putti remind of any of those two painters.
Similar swags of fruit, sometimes with putti, by Jan Pauwel Gillemans II seem all to date from the late 1680s and from the 1690s, a period during which the painter lived in Antwerp.
About Late Baroque Classicism
In several European countries the Baroque period ended with a French inspired Classical movement: the earlier, dramatic realism was replaced by an idealised, decorative vision of nature and of reality. This Arcadia stood for an unspoiled, harmonous, Mediterranean nature, uncorrupted by civilization.
Why should you buy this painting?
Because it is a highly decorative Flemish, Late Baroque park scene with a garland of fruit and putti from the Classical period.