OS, Jan van
Dutch painter (b. 1744, Middelharnis, d. 1808, Den Haag)
Oil on canvas, 71 x 89 cm
Painter and poet, part of a Dutch family of artists. The dynasty was founded by Jan van Os and included his sons Pieter Gerardus van Os (1776-1839), painter and etcher, and Georgius van Os, painter, his daughter, the fruit and flower painter Maria Margaretha van Os (1780-1862), and his grandson, the painter of landscapes with horses and cattle Pieter Frederik van Os (1808-1892).
After moving to The Hague at an early age, Jan van Os was apprenticed to Aert Schouman. In 1773 he became a member of the painters’ club Pictura. Two years later he married the deaf-mute pen portraitist Susanna de La Croix, daughter of the French portraitist Pierre Frédéric de La Croix (1709-82), also a deaf-mute. Although van Os started his career with paintings of seascapes in the manner of Jan van de Cappelle and Willem van de Velde the Younger - a genre that he continued to employ throughout his life - he was most famous for his asymmetrically composed pyramidal still-lifes of fruit and flowers in the manner of Jan van Huysum. These are set, like those of van Huysum, on a marble ledge, often with a terracotta vase, against a pale green landscape background. Van Os acquired an international reputation for his still-lifes: his work was valued highly both in England, where he exhibited at the Society of Arts in London from 1773 to 1791, and in France and Germany. Dated flower and fruit pieces survive from 1765 onwards.
The painting depicts a river landscape with moored sailing boats and a village behind, a still-life of cabbages, carrots, hares and a black hen in the foreground.
The painting is signed lower centre.