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Alsloot, Denis van

Mechelen, 1570 - Brussels, 1628

A Flemish painter, he was active at least starting in 1593, when documentary evidence confirms his participation in the decoration of the Garnier family monument in the Church of Our Blessed Lady of the Sablon in Brussels. There is neither information about the exact period in which he began to work as an independent painter nor about the apprentices who trained in his workshop during his early years, with the exception of Pieter van der Borch. His period of ultimate grandeur came after he was appointed painter for the court of the Archdukes Albert and Isabella in 1599. The author’s meticulous and documentary style led to his being selected on numerous occasions to portray events of everyday life in Brussels. Noteworthy among them is the series of six panels depicting the procession to Our Lady of Sablon in Brussels during the Ommeganck festivities, painted in 1615, which are currently located in London (Victoria and Albert Museum) and in Madrid (Museo del Prado). He additionally painted several works for the Archdukes, primarily views of their possessions and castles, exemplified by that of Mariemont (Musée d’Art Ancien in Brussels). His painting exerted a certain level of influence on the group of landscape painters in Brussels, especially in the work of Jacques d’Arthois, Lucas Achtschellinck and Lodewijk de Vadder, whose landscapes often consist of views of the Soignes forest near Brussels. Alsloot also shares similarities with 16th-century landscape painters, particularly in the gradation of colour adapted to the picture plane in which it is inserted, from the browns used in the foreground to the greens used in the midground and the blues used in the background. Simultaneously, his compositions are typically closed in the foreground, opening up in the background to a panoramic view, often enlivened by the inclusion of rocks and mountains. His works, however, are more closely related to the landscapes of Gillis van Coninxloo. Despite this, the greater calmness of his compositions, the more static style, precise dollops of paint and more realistic compositions, place his work between that of Coninxloo and Jan Brueghel. In some cases, the lively characters in his paintings were executed by Hendrick de Clerck, a painter with whom he collaborated closely because they were both members of the Archdukes’ court (Pérez Preciado, J. J., E.M.N.P., 2006, tomo II, pp. 362-363).

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