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Pieter Boel or Peeter Boel (1626â€“1674) was a Flemish painter who specialised in lavish still lifes and animal paintings. He moved to Paris, where he worked in the gobelin factory and became a painter to the king. Pieter Boel revolutionized animal painting by working directly from live animals in a natural setting. He thus arrived at representations of animals showing them in their natural, characteristic poses. He had many followers in France. Boel principally painted still lifes including flower still lifes, hunting still lifes, animal and fish still lifes, vanitas paintings and still lifes of weapons. He also painted some landscapes. Since most of his works are undated, it is difficult to establish a chronology for his work. Boel achieved a very high quality in his work. It is believed that a number of his compositions may have had their signature removed so that they could pass as works by Frans Snyders or his master Jan Fyt. Only recently a number of still lifes in museums, which were formerly given to Fyt, have been reattributed to Pieter Boel. Boel follows to a large extent the style of his teacher Jan Fijt, in particular in his smaller compositions featuring a hare or a few birds in the open air. Boel's compositions differ from Fijt's works in their restraint and the smoother and more controlled handling of the paint. His palette also differs from Fijt's in his preference for accents of blue, red and pink. During his stay in Italy Boel got to know the work of the Genoese artist Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione and the still life painter Giuseppe Recco. He learned from these Italian masters to heighten the dramatic effect of his canvases by emphasizing the shadows. He also used red drapes in the background, a Baroque element par excellence, to enhance the atmosphere of his compositions. (Wikipedia)
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