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Life of ALEXANDER ADRIAENSSEN


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  Flemish painter. He was the son of the composer Emanuel Adriaenssen and brother to the painters Vincent Adriaenssen (1595-1675) and Niclaes Adriaenssen (1598-1648/9). In 1597 he was apprenticed to Artus van Laeck (d 1616) and in 1610 became a master in the painters guild. In 1632 he took on Philips Milcx as apprentice, and in 1635 he painted the coats of arms of the 17 provinces on the triumphal arches in honour of the new governor. Adriaenssen s many signed and often dated oil paintings on wood and canvas are all still-lifes, mainly of food on tables with copper- and tinware, glass and pottery (e.g. Still-life with Fish, 1660; Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum). There are four paintings of vases of flowers, but vases of flowers, as well as single flowers on the table, also appear in other still-life combinations. Only two canvases are known in which he worked with figure painters: a garland of flowers around a painting of the Holy Family (private collection) by Simon de Vos and a porcelain bowl of fruit beside a Virgin and Child (private collection) attributed to a follower of Rubens.
  His compositions are graceful and balanced but somewhat stereotyped, and they are bathed in a soft chiaroscuro. Adriaenssen depicted with great skill the moist waxiness of fish and oysters, the luminous transparency of drops of water and glasses filled with liquid, as well as crisp, juicy fruit, downy feathers and velvety fur.
  
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Still-Life with Fish
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