Hendrick Van Balen Belgium

2-1575 Antwerp, NED – 7-17-1632 Antwerp, NED

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Van Balen, Hendrick

Hendrick van Balen family was well-off and thus able to let Hendrick have a good training which included the study of a number of languages. Van Balen was a pupil of Adam van Noort and possibly also of Maerten de Vos. He became a member of the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke in 1592-1593 at the age of 17. In 1608-1609 he was the second dean of the Guild and in 1609-1610 he was the first dean.

From about 1595 to 1602 Hendrick van Balen studied art while traveling in Italy. Although there is no record of his Italian journey, on his return to Antwerp, he became a member of the Guild of Romanists. It was a condition of membership that the member had visited Rome. In the year 1613 the Guild chose him as its dean.

In 1605 Hendrick van Balen married Margriet Briers in Antwerp. The couple had 11 children and three of their sons became painters: Jan van Balen, Gaspard van Balen and Hendrick van Balen the Younger. His daughter Maria married the painter Theodoor van Thulden. In 1613 he accompanied Rubens and Jan on a diplomatic mission to the Dutch Republic. Here they met Hendrick Goltzius and other Haarlem artists.

Hendrick van Balen led for over 30 years a successful studio and had many pupils. He was the teacher of his son Jan van Balen, Anthony van Dyck and Frans Snyders and was also a contemporary of many of the other famous Flemish artists, such as the Brueghels, Jan and Pieter.

Early in his career Hendrick van Balen created a number of large altarpieces, which show the influence of his teacher Adam van Noort. His later altarpieces, with their rich and subtle palette, appear to have been painted after van Dyck's arrival in his studio. Hendrick van Balen also painted mythological or biblical scenes on small plates or copper plates. His works often included nude figures in a mythological or religious scene, set in an idyllic setting. He also painted landscapes.

Hendrick van Balen often collaborated with other artists such as Joos de Momper, Gaspar de Witte, Jan Brueghel the Elder and the Younger and Rubens.

Art Movement: Baroque Art
Influences: Adam van Noort, Maerten de Vos
Traveled: Italy, Netherlands
Influenced: Jan van Balen, Anthony van Dyck, Frans Snyders
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