Willem Van Aelst

Dutch, 1627-1683
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Willem Van Aelst oil paintings
Willem Van Aelst : Still Life with Hunting Equipment
1668, oil on canvas, Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe
Willem Van Aelst : Hunting Still-Life
1665 Oil on canvas 25 3/4 x 20 5/8 inches (65.5x52.7cm), Private collection
Willem Van Aelst : Hunting Still-Life (detail)
1665 Oil on canvas, Private collection
Willem Van Aelst : Still-Life of Dead Birds and Hunting Weapons
1660 Oil on canvas 34 x 26 3/4 inches (86.5x68cm), Staatliche Museen, Berlin, Germany
Willem Van Aelst : A Still Life of Grapes, a Roemer, a Silver Ewer and a Plate
1659 Oil on canvas, 27 1/2 x 17 3/4 inches (70.1x45.4cm), Private collection
Willem Van Aelst : Vase of Flowers with Watch
1656 Oil on canvas, Staatliche Museen, Kassel, Germany
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Willem van Aelst (16 May 1627 - in or after 1683) was a Dutch artist who specialized in still-life painting with flowers or game.

Van Aelst was born in Delft to a family of prominent city magistrates. He learned to paint from his uncle, the still-life painter Evert van Aelst. On 9 November 1643 he enrolled as a master of the Guild of Saint Luke at Delft.

Between 1645 and 1649 he lived in France. In 1649 Van Aelst travelled to Florence, where he served as court painter to Ferdinando II de' Medici, grand duke of Tuscany. Here he was known as Guillielmo d'Olanda. At this time, the grand duke also employed two fellow Dutchmen Matthias Withoos and Otto Marseus van Schrieck, the latter also a still-life painter who probably influenced Van Aelst's style. Ferdinando II publicly presented Van Aelst with a gold chain and medal, as a testimony of his approbation and an acknowledgement of his talents.

In 1656 he returned to the Netherlands to settle permanently in Amsterdam. He became one of the most prominent still-life painters of his generation, which allowed him to live on the Prinsengracht. He must have at Amsterdam died in 1683 or shortly thereafter, as his latest dated work is from that year. Van Aelst taught Rachel Ruysch, Isaac Denies, Maria van Oosterwijck, and Ernst Stuven.

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