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A Still Life of Chrysanthemums


93.98 cm (37")
77.47 cm (30 1/2")
Pieter Casteels was born in Antwerp and belonged to a family of painters of which he was the most significant member. He was the eldest son and pupil of Pieter Casteels II and Elizabeth Bosschaert.

He specialised in painting decorative arrangements of birds and flowers and following the death of Jacob Bogdani in 1724, he became the leading painter of this genre. He came to England in 1708 accompanied by his brother-in-law, Pieter Tillemans, becoming Director of Sir Godfrey Knellers Academy in 1711. Casteels returned briefly to Antwerp in 1713, because he became a member of the Guild of St. Luke, which was based there.

It was in England that Casteels found a ready following for his very decorative flower pieces and bird subjects. These were often conceived as part of an interior setting to be used as overdoors, overmantles and chimneypieces. It was this primarily decorative function of these works that dictated their proportions which often have a low viewpoint, designed to be seen from below. He was influenced by Gaspar Verbruggen and Jan van Huysum in the composition and execution of his paintings, which also showed that he was a master draughtsman who painted with a clear understanding of his subject matter.

Casteels painted an important series entitled Twelve Months of Flowers for Robert Furber of Kensington. These were subsequently engraved in 1730 and published in a catalogue for potential buyers. His Twelve Months of Fruits followed in 1732. Casteels retired from painting in 1735 and spent the rest of his life as a designer of calico.

Casteels, like his older contemporary, Bogdani, remains one of the best known decorative painters of birds, fruit and flowers that lived and made his name in England. Casteels died in Richmond at the age of 65 years.

His work can be found in the Museum of Lubeck and most other major museums in Europe as well as in many private collections in England.

93.98 cm (37")
77.47 cm (30 1/2")
More Information
Year 1684 - 1749
Medium Oil on canvas
Country Flemish
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