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Pieter Boel: Drawings & Paintings (Annotated)

39 pages4 minutes


Boel mostly followed the style of his teacher Jan Fyt, especially in his smaller compositions, including rabbits or several birds outdoors. His compositions differ from Jan Fyt's works in their restraint and smoother and more controlled paint handling. His palette also differs from that of Fit in his preference for accents of blue, red and pink.
During his stay in Italy, Boel met the work of the Giuseppe Benedetto Castiglione and the painter Giuseppe Recco. He has learned from these Italian masters to reinforce the dramatic effect of his canvases by emphasizing the shadows. He also used red curtains in the background, baroque element par excellence to improve the atmosphere of his compositions.
It is well known that Boel has collaborated with his colleagues from Antwerp Erasmus Quellinus II and Jacob Jordaens - they painted the human figures in his compositions.
Boel is a master of large vanitas paintings depicting an abundance of fruits, flowers, games, and valuable objects. His masterpiece in this genre is still the vanitas at the Palace of Fine Arts in Lille.
It is believed that he revolutionized animalist painting. While artists before him were happy to do static studies of stuffed animals, Boel painted his animals in kind at the menagerie in Versailles. So he represented the animals he portrayed in their natural poses. He was particularly skilled in portraying different textures, especially feathers.
His naturalism has influenced a long line of great animistic artists.

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