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Stalbent, Adriaen van

Antwerp, 1580 - Antwerp, 1662

This Flemish painter specialised in cabinet painting in a wide range of themes, from landscape to depictions of art galleries. Born into a Protestant family, he emigrated to Middelburg in his youth. Later, he returned to Antwerp where he became the master of the Guild of Saint Luke in 1609–1610. Additionally, he actively participated in the intellectual life of the city through his membership of the chamber of rhetoric known as De Violeren. He worked in Antwerp throughout his entire life, although records from a trip to England in 1633–1634 indicate that he produced works such as The View of Greenwich with Charles I and Henrietta Maria (Royal Collection, Hampton Court in London). The majority of his paintings, however, are landscapes with religious, mythological or allegorical scenes. The scarcity of accurately dated works makes it impossible to identify the evolution of his style, although various influences can be established in his painting. His early history compositions reveal a style based on works by Elsheimer and influenced by David Teniers I. An example of this is the history of Paul and Barnabas at Lystra (Städelsches Kunstinstitut in Frankfurt). Another group of works demonstrate his relationship to Jan Brueghel the Younger through identical meticulousness in the manner of approaching landscapes, visible in Landscape with Illustrations of Fables (Koninklijk Museum in Antwerp). In fact, Stalbent and Brueghel collaborated closely on certain works. This fact remains exemplified by The Triumph of David over Goliath (Prado), which is signed by both painters. However, Brueghel painted it in 1618 with Stalbent intervening one year later to include the figures. Finally, Stalbent’s later paintings are closer to Hendrick van Balen’s, with greater maturity and freedom in the treatment given to the contrasts of light and shade, greater expressiveness of the characters and better quality in the depiction of the cloth and their folds. A notable general characteristic is the use of low points of view. Besides the one cited above, the Museo del Prado has in its holdings two works that represent cabinet paintings (Pérez Preciado, J. J., E.M.N.P., 2006, tomo VI, pp. 2031-2032).

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