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Utrecht, Adriaen van

Antwerp, 1599, 1652

He was a Flemish painter. Apprentice to Herman de Ryt from 1614, he visited France, Italy and Germany. In 1625, he returned to Antwerp, where he worked as a master. His work was based on that of Snyders, of whom he became a faithful follower, particularly in the detailed and decorative conception of his still lifes. Nevertheless, although Utrecht’s work adopts the same abundant arrangement combining hunting, fruits and vegetables on tables parallel to the plane, it lacks the richness and cohesion of Snyder’s compositions. The dynamism achieved by Snyder through diagonal compositions was never reached by his pupil, who arranged them on the basis of strict horizontal and vertical lines. In his early works, he attained brilliant chiaroscuro effects by setting his still lifes outdoors. Meanwhile, in his later still lifes, he employed warmer effects and browner colour schemes. Aside from this, although a gradual disappearance of figures can be observed in his late paintings, his style experienced little changes. When they do appear, they are usually executed by other artists who collaborated with him; namely Theodoor Rombouts, Erasmus Quellinus and Thomas Willeboirts Bosschaert, with whom he executed commissions for Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange. His final paintings confirm a closer similarity to the works of Jan Fyt or Jan Davidsz de Heem. Additionally, he produced a few paintings exclusively of flowers, in line with those painted by Snyders, but without achieving the same harmony. A Larder (Museo del Prado) is a paradigmatic example of Snyder’s influence on Utrecht’s large still lifes, where the repetition of prototypical elements in the work of Snyders can be observed. However, they appear accumulated in an overloaded manner, without reaching the same internal linkage of his still lifes (Pérez Preciado, J. J., E.M.N.P., 2006, tomo VI, pp. 2129-2130).

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