About Matheus van Helmont
Antwerp 1623 – after 1679 Brussels
His first name is sometimes spelled “Matthieu” or “Mattheus”, his last name “van Hellemont”.
Genre painter of peasant interiors, market scenes and alchemists' s workshops, influenced by David Teniers II (Antwerp 1610 – 1690 Brussels) and by David Ryckaert III (Antwerp 1612 – 1661Antwerp).
His portrait groups ("conversation pieces") are often mistaken for those of Gillis van Tilborgh.
As the son of a homonymous, but further unknown painter, van Helmont became Master in the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke in the year 1645-46. He married in 1649; the couple had four children, all four sons.
Van Helmont left Antwerp because of a heavy debt burden and settled in Brussels, where he was recorded in the local guild of painters in 1674. Here he collaborated with Jacques d'Arthois, painting figures in his landscape paintings. He remained in Brussels until his death.
Two of his children, Jan and Gaspard, became portrait painters.
Why should you buy this painting?
Because it is an unusually small and intimate interior scene with van Helmont’s typical dark background, painted in a unique tondo format.