Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Vadder, Lodewijk de

Sonian Forest with peasants (Het Zoniënwoud met marktkramers)
oil on canvas
year unknown (c. mid.17th century)
175 x 230 cm
Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Ghent, Belgium

A number of Brussels artists developed an individual landscape style with which to convey the characteristic appearance of the heavily forested area around their city - the 'Soignes forest painters' produced large and elegant wooded landscapes using an oil painting technique recalling that of Rubens.
The human figures in their paintings are customarily shown as tiny compared to the luxuriant nature that fills the compositions with large, dark bodies of trees. Lodewijk de Vadder was one of the three leading Brussels landscape artists. The landscapes of them have something of the character of tapestries and probably had a corresponding decorative function.

Lodewijk de Vadder (1605 - 1655) was a Flemish Baroque landscape painter, engraver and tapestry designer. He learned painting from his father and brothers and he became a master of Antwerp's Guild of St. Luke in 1628.
He is best known as a landscape painter, although he also executed landscape engravings and drawings. He was granted a privilege to make tapestry cartoons by the Brussels city magistrate in 1644. In this capacity he worked mainly for weavers. He was referred to as the best landscape painter in the country by such weavers.