BEYEREN, Abraham van
(b. 1620, Den Haag, d. 1690, Overschie)

Still-life with Fishes

Oil on canvas, 125 x 153 cm
Gemäldegalerie, Dresden

Van Beyeren, the master of banquet tables, also painted flower, fruit, and fish pieces. The earliest of the last named, dated 1649, predates van Beyeren's earliest pronkstilleven, a fact that supports the claim that the fish painter Pieter de Putter (c. 1600-59) was his teacher.

Van Beyeren's fish pieces seldom attract as much attention as his sumptuous banquet tables. Most people would rather study a picture of an exquisitely laid table than one of a mess of fish. But van Beyeren's celebrations of the abundance of the sea are as remarkable as his festive dinner tables. In them he sometimes includes a glimpse of a beach in the background. The fish and crustacea he painted always look wet - they appear to have been just taken from the water - and the mother-of pearl greys of his creatures of the sea, their browns, silvers, and white are as delicate and finely felt as the colour accords in his more showy pieces.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.