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de jonckheere old masters

Hendrik van Balen

1575 - Antwerp - 1632

According to Karel van Mander, the figure painter Hendrik van Balen was the pupil of A. Van Noort. He became a free master in Antwerp in 1593 and continued his apprenticeship in Italy. When he returned to his home town in 1602, he ran a particularly prosperous studio where he trained no fewer than 26 pupils over a twenty-year period, including Van Dyck and Snyders. He was appointed dean of the guild in 1609.

Van Balen painted mythological, religious and allegorical paintings as well as altar panels and portraits. His delicate style, which has numerous affinities with Rottenhammer’s mannerism, is characterised by his meticulous execution combining a precise and confident line with fresh colours. He collaborated with fellow artists from Antwerp such as Joos de Momper, Frans Snyders, Jan Brueghel the Elder, Gaspar de Witte and Jan Brueghel the Younger, peopling their landscapes with elegant and gracious figures.