Willem van Aelst

WVA (VA interlaced)
painter, draftsman
North Netherlandish
Delft 1627-05/1627-05-16
baptized on 16 May 1627 (Digitale Stamboom Delft; well over a year earlier, on 13 april 1626, the same parents already had a son baptized Willem, probably the child that was burried on 26 April 1626
Amsterdam 1683-05-15/1683-05-22
Amsterdam, city archive DTB 1069, p. 61: buried 22 May 1683
Family relationschips
this field records any family relationship to one or more other artist(s).
On 31-12-1678 banns with Helena Nieuwenhuys, with whom he got married on 15 January 1679 in Amsterdam, 'out 35 jaeren' (35 years old); the witness to the mariage was Eglon van der Neer (De Vries 1885); nephew of the painter Evert van Aelst
See also
In this field, you will find references to names of groups or to the artists that made/make up groups. You may also come across references to other artists if there was/is question of collaboration without a joint name. This is the case, for instance, with artists who rendered parts of works by other artists (such as with P.P Rubens and J. Brueghel I).
Van Aelst likely worked in Picart's worskhop for a while after his arrival in Paris (Paul 2012, p. 12-13).
This person/entity in other databases
Biographical information
Period of activity
1643 - 1683
dated works from 1643 up to and including 1683 are known
Active in
  • Delft 1643
    member of the Guild
  • Parijs 1645 - 1651
    probably from c. 1645/46 till 1651. On his stay in Paris: Paul 2008, vol. 1, p. 55-64; Paul in Paul/Clifton et al. 2012, p. 12-16, p. 20, note 3.
  • Florence 1649 - 1652
    His most important patron was Gian Carlo de Medici, who had sent a painting by Van Aelst to the Roman art dealer Fabrizio Piermattei in 1652, who suggested to send Van Aelst to Rome (Paul in Paul/Clifton et al. 2012, p. 17, referring to a correspondence in the State Archive in Florence).
  • Rome 1653 - 1654
    Fabrizio Piermattei wrote to Gian Carlo de Medici on 20 Dcember 1653 that Van Aelst was in Rome and he promised to provide Van Aelst with work. However, about a month after his arrival Van Aelst got involved in a fight with a Frenchman and had to flee from Rome to escape from prison (Paul in Paul/Clifton et al. 2012, p. 17). According to Bocchi/Bocchi 2004, p. 38, Van Aelst probably stayed in Rome until he left for Venice. The event, however, meant the end of Van Aelst's career in Italy.
  • Venetië 1656-03
    Van Aelst stayed for a short while at the house of Paolo del Sera, a correspondent and agent of Lorenzo de' Medici (documented in a letter from del Sera to Lorenzo), on his way to Holland. He was in the company of 'Monsu Montagna', probably to be indentified with Matthieu van Plattenberg (Paul in Paul/Clifton et al. 2012, p. 17-18).
  • Delft 1656
    possibly went to Delft before he moved to Amsterdam (Houbraken 1719-1721, vol. 1, p. 228; A. Wheelick in Paul/Clifton et al. 2012, p. 40).
  • Amsterdam 1657-03 - 1683
born in
active in
died in
This field specifies the various subject categories or genres that constitute the oeuvre of the artist in question. The contents of this field are generally based more on the documentation available at the RKD than on the literature.
still life, flower piece, fruit piece, forest still life, game piece (still life), fish piece, self-portrait, still life
There is only one Fish-stilllife known by him, that unfortunately got lost in World War II. Also his Self-portrait got lost (Willigen/Meijer 2003).
oil paint
Entered on: 1991-11-20; Modification on: 2019-01-31


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