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Boel, Peeter

Antwerp, 1622 - Antwerp, 1674

He was a Flemish painter, draughtsman and engraver. He was the son of the engraver, publisher and art dealer Jan Boel and he received training from the painter Jan Fyt and presumably from Frans Snyders. In the early years of his career, he travelled to Italy. During his stay in Genoa, he met the painter and art dealer Cornelis de Wael. However, there is no evidence of paintings from this period. After his return to Antwerp in 1650, he was admitted into the Guild of Saint Luke as a master, where David de Conick was his pupil. His sons, Jan Baptist and Balthasar-Lucas, were also his pupils. Specialising in hunting still lifes, he produced an oeuvre which draws inspiration from that of his master Jan Fyt, although with smoother and less emphatic brushstrokes, which he combined with motifs known as animal caravans in Italy. Due to the specialised nature of his work, he collaborated on numerous occasions with history painters, including Jacob Jordaens, Abraham van Diepenbeeck, Erasmus Quellinus II and Pieter Thijs. Beginning in 1668, he settled in Paris as a painter to Louis XIV of France and started an outstanding career designing tapestry cartoons for the Gobelins factory. There he was amply rewarded due to the classicist taste prevailing at the Parisian court, quite consistent with his refined and polished style. He also collaborated actively with Charles Le Brun on several series on the months and on royal buildings. A further significant aspect of his artistic activity is the painting of vanitas (Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lille), which exemplifies a great tendency for the decorative. Nevertheless, the highlight of his career is to be found in his drawings and oil sketches of animals preserved in Paris (Musée du Louvre) and in numerous French provincial museums. In these drawings and sketches, one can observe his mastery in depicting animal nature and his skilful interpretation of textures such as feathers and fur. His ability to capture the qualities of objects and materials exerted a powerful influence on subsequent French still life painters, namely François Despartes and Jean-Baptiste Oudry. The works in the Museo del Prado represent the best of his career as a painter of still life and hunting subjects in the outdoors. Particularly noteworthy is Hunting and Dogs, in which the influence and style of Fyt are evident in the lifeless position of the animals, but with the lively forms typical of Boel. These aspects are repeated in Arms and Instruments of War, where he once again imitates the style of his master. The majority of his paintings in the Museo del Prado originate from the collection of Isabella Farnese at La Granja Palace, from which they were subsequently relocated to various sites including the palace of Aranjuez (Pérez Preciado, J. J., E.M.N.P., 2006, II, pp. 520-521).

Artworks (6)

Nutria acosada por perros
Oil on canvas, XVII century
Boel, Peeter
Armas y pertrechos de guerra
Oil on canvas, XVII century
Boel, Peeter
A Larder
Oil on canvas, XVII century
Boel, Peeter
A Larder
Oil on canvas, XVII century
Boel, Peeter
Caza y perros
Oil on canvas, XVII century
Boel, Peeter
Bodegón de caza y pesca
Oil on canvas, Third quarter of the XVII century
Boel, Peeter
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