ROYEN, Willem Frederik van
(b. 1645, Haarlem, d. 1723, Berlin)

Biography

Dutch painter, who spent most of his life in Germany. He was studying in 1661 under Arend van Ravesteyn in The Hague; he was the pupil of Melchior d'Hondecoeter who specialised in finely detailed paintings of birds of rare plumage. In 1669 he was appointed Court Painter by the Great Elector in Potsdam, and in 1689, when Frederick III renewed his appointment, he moved to Berlin where he became a founder member and later Director of the new Berlin Academy. He died in Berlin in 1723.

He specialised in bird, game and flower pieces, of which there are signed examples from 1662 to 1714; at Berlin his pictures frequently showed exotic plants from the Electoral gardens. His fruit pieces show an awareness of the work of Willem van Aelst. Like van Aelst, he occasionally signed his Christian name in its Italian form.