Sunday, 1 June 2008

Beert, closer up

In this painting De Beert goes straight in and an almost abstract smplicity gives the oysters centre stage. Like many of his contemporaries, Beert minimized the overlapping of these exquisite objects by composing his scene with a high vantage so his subjects look more jewellery than food.

Osias de Beert was a remarkable figure in the early days of the development of the still life in Flanders at the beginning of the 17th century. His work was rescued from obscurity in 1938, since then, it has been discovered that he was registered as a student of the painter Andries van Baseroo from 1596 onwards and became a master in 1602. On 8 in January 1606, he married Margarita Ykens, the aunt of the painter Frans Ykens. This union produced a son, Osias Beert the Younger, baptized on 14 April 1622, who later became a still life painter in his own right.

A member from 1615 to 1623 of the famous brotherhood De Olijftak, Osias Beert was also, as was common practice at the time, merchant trading in cork. In addition to his own son, five of his students have currently been established: Fr. van der Borcht (1610), P. Doens (1611), his nephew Frans Ykens (1615), P. Pontius, the famous engraver (1616) and J. Willemsen (1618).

This is from - "Painstakingly constructing his harmonious compositions in which meticulous attention to detail is combined with a precise arrangement of objects with forms that are detached from each other in a highly legible way, Osias Beert generally juxtaposes food, dishes and precious curios on the inclined surface of a table, positioning them within various planes in space to increase their legibility. The still archaic frontal and distributive presentation, the highly attentive execution with its virtuoso realism drawn from the Flemish tradition, the dark abstract grounds and the bright, enamel-like colours are all the recurrent characteristics of an Ĺ“uvre that immediately positions Osias Beert at the very forefront of the first generation of Flemish painters to specialize in the depiction of banketjes.
His floral compositions, generally dense and luxuriant, are defined by their precise realism and extremely diverse palette.
Using alternatively deep and sparkling tones, Beert successfully maintains a harmonious balance between form and colour to create compositions, which still fascinate viewers centuries later."