|Born||May 16, 1627 (Delft, Netherlands)|
|Died||1683 (Amsterdam, Netherlands)|
|Period||Baroque, Dutch Golden Age|
Paintings of Willem van Aelst
Van Aelst painted this still-life (signed and dated lower right) in 1650, the year in which he entered the service of Ferdinand II de’Medici, grand duke of Toscany, and of his brother, Cardinal Carlo de’Medici. It is possible, that this painting was executed for the cardinal, who was the artist’s main patron in Florence. In this still-life Van AElst continues the tradition of fruit and flower painting that flourished in Delft from the early 1630s onward with the work of Balthasar van der Ast, Gillis de Bergh, and Evert van Aelst, Willem’s uncle.
This drawing is a folio of the Abrams Album (named after the donor) in the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Willem van Aelst’s drawing of a gorget and a backplate is an example of the supposedly Delft tradition of vanitas still-life.