GILLEMANS, Jan Pauwel the Elder
(b. 1618, Antwerpen, d. 1675, Antwerpen)
Flemish painter. Although born in Antwerp, he was initially trained in Liège as a goldsmith by a family member. It is not known when he took up painting, who trained him as an artist, or when he returned to Antwerp. It is quite possible that he received at least part of his tuition from Jan Davidsz. de Heem. Gillemans' entire oeuvre consists of still-lifes, many of which show a substantial influence of that great master of still-life painting, particularly early on. Gillemans was accepted as a master in his own right by the Antwerp painters' guild in 1647 or 1648, when he was about 30 years old.
Gillemans pursued a rather successful career as a still-life painter. This can not only be deduced from his substantial production, but also from the records of the Antwerp firm of art dealers, Forchoudt, in which there is mention of numerous still-lifes of various types by Gillemans exported by this firm between 1665 and 1673. This success may have been an incentive for the artist's son, Jan Pauwel Gillemans the Younger, to concentrate on the subject of still-life as well.