Video Transcript: Jan Van Kessel Collection
Jan Van Kessel the Elder was a Dutch painter with a passion for the natural world. His preferred subjects were flowers and animals, particularly insects and birds.
Van Kessel’s signature varies by painting, but one piece shows his unique signature in letters created from snakes and caterpillars. His work was characterized by brilliant color on grey backgrounds, and commitment to technical skill and scientific detail.
The Oak Spring collection consists of 17 oil on copper paintings, believed to be intended for display together as furniture decoration. The largest piece of the collection depicts insects, reptiles, and arachnids, and is dated 1658.