Morel was born and trained in Antwerp, but he was successful in Brussels, where he settled in 1695, following the horrible bombardment ordered by King Louis XIV of France.
About Jean Baptiste Morel
Antwerp 1662 - 1732 probably Brussels
Still life painter of flower pieces and of garlands.
Morel studied under Nicolaes van Verendael (Antwerp 1640 - 1691 Antwerp) circa 1674. He married in 1689; the couple had six children.
In 1695 he moved to Brussels, four years later he joined the local Painter’s Guild. His wife died already in 1696. In August 1695 Brussels had been bombarded during two consecutive days in the most barbaric way by the French troops of King Louis XIV. Within five years most of the destroyed town had been rebuild. That swift reconstruction attracted many artists, such as Morel. The Governor of the Southern Netherlands, Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria, commissioned him to decorate several of his palaces.
This attack on Brussels was completely unnecessary: its only purpose was to draw away Allied troops from the siege of Namur, which the French had captured three years earlier, so that the French army would face the Allies in an open battlefield. The Allies did not give up their siege. While King Louis XIV had at first proposed to destroy Bruges or Ghent, it was the newly appointed French general, François de Neufville, Duke of Villeroi, who decided to attack Brussels, the capital of the Spanish Netherlands. The barely defended town was heavily bombarded for three successive days. One third of the buildings of the city were destroyed, among them the complete Grand Place. This was the first bombardment of a town with a civilian population, which was useless from a military point of view.
In 1710 Morel, by now a wealthy man, returned to Antwerp. He stayed here until 1729. He married for the second time, a woman from an aristocratic Brussels family. But he did not join the local Antwerp Painter’s Guild and this created problems: in 1713 two of his flower pieces had been seized and sold by the Guild of Saint Luke.
Morel returned to Brussels by 1729, rejoined its local Guild and must have passed away here three years later in 1732.
His unsigned paintings can be mistaken for those of Jan Baptist Bosschaert II (1667 - circa 1746). He was a few years younger and had remained active in his native Antwerp all his live.
Why should you buy this pair of paintings?
Because it is a typical Late Baroque example of decorative painting.