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Abraham Genoels

25 Oct

Abraham Genoels was a  Flemish painter and etcher, baptised Antwerp, 25 May 1640, died Antwerp, 10 May 1723. His father was Peeter Genoels, not the minor Antwerp painter Abraham Genoels I ( fl 1628-37). He was apprenticed to Jacob Backereel (c. 1612-after 1658) by the age of 11 but left in 1655 to join Nicolaas Maerten Fierlants (1622-94), who specialized in perspective paintings. In 1659 Genoels went to Paris after a journey through the northern Netherlands. There, with the help of his cousin Laurent Francken ( fl 1622-63), he became an assistant to the French academician Gilbert de Sâve, in whose workshop he painted background landscapes for tapestry cartoons. Genoels also worked on a series of paintings for the château of Chantilly for the Princesse de Condé and on a commission from the English ambassador to France (all untraced). De Sâve introduced him to Charles Le Brun, who invited him to work at the Gobelins, of which Le Brun was then director. Le Brun also proposed Genoels for membership of the Acadèmie Royale de Peinture, to which he was received on 4 January 1665.

 Genoels returned to Flanders in 1669. His desire to visit Rome was fulfilled in 1674 when he had earned enough money to finance this undertaking in a comfortable way. He undertook his Grand Tour with a group led by Marselis Liberechts. He returned to Antwerp in 1682.

Genoels’s etchings show a distinctly Italian influence with their landscape owing much to the Roman Campagna, including the architectural ruins that he includes.  His prints are very well drawn with careful attention to detail. These idyllic landscapes were highly popular and Genoels designs were etched by others, Adrian Frans Boudewijns in particular. They typify the Italian style of imagery that countered the local naturalism of those other artists who preferred to depict grittier northern landscape.

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  • Geoffrey Bertram
  • 1 Knuscroft Lane, Thurloxton, Somerset TA2 8RL
  • 01823 413388
  • 0771 257 7934