• NameJacob Fopsen van Es
  • Sexmale
  • Nationality/DatesFlemish, born 1596, dead 1666
BiographyPainter of still lifes, mainly breakfast and
banquet pieces and flowers. First recorded in 1617 at
Antwerp, where he was admitted as a master in the
Guild of St. Luke. There is, however, no record of his
having served an apprenticeship in the city. Possibly, he
was of Frisian descent. He spent his whole career in
Antwerp, but is said to have been in Rome in 1636.
One of his four sons joined the Antwerp guild in 1648,
but it is not known which one. Two apprentices are
recorded: Jacob Gillis (1621/1622) and Jan van Thienen
(1623). Numerous mentions of works by Jacob Fopsen
van Es in the inventories of 17th-century Antwerp collectors
testify to his success. He seems to have enjoyed
certain esteem among his fellow artists; Rubens, at the
time of his death, owned two of his works.
Together with the Antwerp painter Osias Beert I
and Clara Peeters, Van Es was one of the leading representatives
of the “archaizing” trend in Flemish still
life painting. He specialized in still lifes, almost exclusively
breakfast and banquet pieces (banketjes), which
grew out of the Antwerp still life tradition of the early
17th century, and flowers, some of his works, especially
the early ones, clearly influenced by Osias Beert. His
paintings subsequently evolved from purely “additive”,
or “descriptive”, compositions to more unified, monochrome
breakfast and banquet pieces, executed with
forceful brushwork that captured a wide range of
materials and textures. Today, the known oeuvre of
Jacob van Es, spanning a career of a full half century,
consists of just over a hundred still life paintings, suggesting
that a considerable number of his works have
been lost over the course of the centuries. Van Es usually
signed his name in full and in capital letters, but
only very rarely did he date his works, which makes it
difficult to establish a chronological order.