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 Frans (Francois) Ykens  (1601 - 1693)

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Lived/Active: Belgium/Flemish      Known for: sumptuous floral still life painting

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Ad Code: 2
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from Auction House Records.
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

A Flemish painter of highly realistic, sumptuous floral still life, Frans Ykens was a student of his uncle, Osias Beert (c. 1580-1624), an Antwerp floral still-life painter.  In 1630, Frans joined the Antwerp Guild of St. Luke.  Indicating the esteem in which Ykens was held is the fact that Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), famous Baroque painter, had six still lifes by Ykens in his personal collection.

Ykens adapted styles of other artists in his paintings including the realism of his uncle, Osias Beert and of Willem Claesz Heda (1594-c. 1680).  Both men were known for 'breakfast pieces', meaning still life painting, which featured dining table items such as a glass of wine, fruit and bread.  A 'breakfast piece' oil painting by Ykens is titled A Still Life Of a Pie and Sliced Lemon on Pewter Dishes.  Especially influential on Ykens relative to lushly depicted floral arrangements were Frans Snyders (1579-1657) and Daniel Seghers (1590-1661), devotional flower garland painters, meaning artists who depicted flowers surrounding an image of the Madonna.

Frans Ykens lived at a time when his country was "alive with shipping and trade, and was the richest section of the globe.  Love of beauty developed with this prosperity"
. . . (House and Garden) One of the results of this thriving economy was the flourishing profession of Dutch florist, a person who met the demands of the wealthy for elegant floral arrangements.  Facilitating florists was floriculture, the growing of flowers in the rich native soil, and responding to this visual richness were artists such as Ykens.  Art historians credit Jan Brueghel (1568-1625) as being the 'first' floral painter of note, and Frans Ykens became a part of this tradition directly through Daniel Seghers, who was directly influenced by Brueghel.

Wikipedia: Frans Ykens
Google Books: "Old Flower Paintings in Decoration", House and Garden magazine, July 1919, Volume 36, p. 92 Ykens

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