Abraham van Beyeren
Abraham van Beyeren was born around 1620 in The Hague, in the Netherlands. He trained with the landscape painter Tyman Arentsz Cracht, also known as Botterkul, as a teenager. He moved to Leiden in 1638, where he met and married Emmerentia Stercke. The couple moved back to The Hague in 1640 and van Beyeren became the master of the local Guild of Saint Luke, a common city association for visual artists and sculptors. After the death of his first wife, in 1647 van Beyeren married Anna van den Queborn, a painter herself and the daughter of noted portrait painter Crispijn van den Queborn. Her uncle Pieter de Putter, a painter who specialized in fish still lifes, likely tutored van Beyeren in the genre. Van Beyeren made frequent visits to the nearby fishing village of Scheveningen to paint still lifes and seascapes. Neither fish still lifes nor marine paintings were commercially popular during the 1640s, so the van Beyerens struggled financially and frequently moved. Beginning in the 1650s, van Beyeren shifted his focus to painting pronkstillevens, “ostentatious still lifes” depicting luxury objects like imported Venetian glassware, Chinese porcelain, and exotic fruits. Van Beyeren’s works followed genre conventions set by artists like Willem Claesz. Heda and Jan Davidsz de Heem in their monochrome color and attention to detail, but van Beyeren’s were unusual for their large scale. In 1656, van Beyeren was a founding member of the Confrerie Pictura, a group of local artists frustrated with the organization of their Guild of St. Luke. The van Beyeren family moved frequently from the late 1650s through the 1680s, living in Delft, Amsterdam, Alkmaar, and Gouda, then finally settling in Rotterdam. Abraham van Beyeren died in the Overschie neighborhood of Rotterdam in 1690.