Jan Davidsz de Heem

Jan Davidsz de Heem 1606 – 1684

The life of Jan Davidsz de Heem

Jan was born on April 17 1606 in Utrecht. Balthasar van der Ast is Jan’s teacher in Utrecht. When his father dies, his mother remarries and the family moves to Leiden.

Jan marries Aletta van Weerde in 1626 and together they have 3 children, including Cornelis de Heem. The family lives in Antwerp from 1631 to 1636, because there are many still-life painters working there and this art is very popular there. Adriaan van Utrecht was one of these painters.

Aletta died in 1643 and Jan Davidsz de Heem remarried with the daughter of a harpsichord builder Anna Catharina Ruckers on 06 March 1644. His witness was his good friend and painter from the Antwerp School, Jacob Jordaens. 6 children will be born out of this marriage, including John.

When Jan is back in Utrecht and cooperates with Abraham Mignon and Jacob Marrell, Jan becomes a member of the Sint Lucasgilde in 1669.

Shortly afterwards, in 1672, Jan returned to Antwerp where he also became a member of the Sint Lucasgilde.

Jan has become so successful in the course of time that he is wealthy. In contrast to his early years in which Jan had actually wanted to go to Italy for study but in the end it became Antwerp because of lack of money.

Jan Davidsz de Heem dies in Antwerp and is buried in St. Paul’s there. For his sons, Cornelis and Johannes Jan was their teacher and also for many still-life painters in the Netherlands and Belgium, including Theodoor Aenvanck, Andries Benedetti, Jacob Marrell.

The work of Jan Davidsz de Heem

Jan paints his oil with flowers, fruits, forest and farm still lifes. His works are a fusion of Dutch and Flemish traditions. When Jan goes to work in Antwerp, his works become more exuberant and colourful. Jan Davidsz de Heem is an important man in the development of still lifes in the Golden Age.

A Dutch masterpiece by Jan Davidsz de Heem on your wall?

Do you want one of De Heems masterpieces on your wall? Take a look at his paintings and choose your favourite painting in the desired size.