Boudewyns, Adriaen Frans (1644-1719)

Boudewyns, Adriaen Frans (1644-1719)

Flemish artist Adriaen Frans Boudewyns produced a glorious range of landscape paintings from a fascinating range of inspirations.

Boudewyns first received artistic training in his hometown of Brussels. Here he was tutored by the landscape painter Ignatius van der Stock (f. 1660-1661). Soon after he moved to Paris to begin a three-year contract working under the Flemish painter Adam Frans van der Meulen (1632-1690).

Van der Meulen was a favourite of the French King Louis XIV, and Boudewyns helped Van der Meulen with the completion of a number of works for the monarch. Typically Boudewyns would complete the landscape aspects of the works whilst Van der Meulen, or another collaborating artist such as Abraham Genoels (1640-1723), would complete the figures and other elements. Boudewyns must have cultivated a good relationship with both Van der Meulen and Genoels. He travelled with the latter to a castle near Belgium to make sketches, and he married Van der Meulen’s sister. He also produced engravings of both artists’ works.

Boudewyns’ engravings are composed of bold lines and a free manner of expression. This intaglio printmaking process was a painstaking labour of love, the scoring of lines into a metal sheet to be printed in ink sometimes taking months. The high quality of Boudewyns’ engravings pays testament to his workmanship. He translates the glorious vistas of Van der Meulen’s landscapes, losing none of their drama and grandness. Each ruffled branch and leaf in the foreground trees is carved, the bushel of the forest in the distance is textured, enticing the eye. The same treatment is given to the landscapes of Genoels.

In the 1670s, Boudewyns returned to Brussels. Here he set up his own successful studio and took on students such as Andreas Meulebeek and Mathys Schoevardts. The landscape paintings of Boudewyns’ that survive to this day are seemingly all from this post-Paris era. They reveal an interesting blend of inspirations.

Boudewyns drew on his Flemish roots and his time under Ignatius van der Stock, producing landscapes with wide, flat foregrounds bounded by trees. Often the Sonian Forest near Brussels was an inspiration for Boudewyns and the Flemish artists who inspired him, such as Van der Stock, Jacques d'Arthois (1613-1686), and Cornelis Huysmans (1648-1727). Bright light beams down upon this foreground, sprinkled with small figures who encourage ideas of leisure and pleasure derived from nature. This was something favoured by some Flemish artists during this time, and in his refreshing bright and highly colourised landscapes, Boudewyns seems to lean into this trend.

He also found inspiration from classicism which was at this time more prevalent in French landscape painting. Artists such as Claude Lorrain (1600-1682) and Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665) depicted classically inspired landscapes. These were harmoniously balanced, usually fictionally created scenes or at least heavily modified to emphasise balance and refinement, skies glorious and spanning. Classical buildings were usually placed into the scenes to tie them to the classicism in art, which was perceived as being the highest genre, thus elevating the status of their landscapes.

Boudewyns included his own classical buildings and created gorgeously azure skies, dappled with clouds which sit above far-off mountains. Such elements of fantasy blend with his Flemish influences in some of his works to create a distinct blend unique to Boudewyns’ oeuvre.
Unfortunately, Boudewyns’ fortunes failed in 1695 when the French bombarded Brussels and his studio was apparently destroyed. What became of the painter after this time is unknown, and how many works were lost remains a saddening mystery.

Boudewyns is a fascinating example of an artist working at the heart of developments in landscape painting during the 17th century. His blend of influences reveals how artists from different areas drew on different sources of inspiration and how these became transmuted by artists such as Boudewyns. Above all, he created works distinctive to himself based on his own initiative as an artist.


Born in Brussels, Belgium.


Married Louise de Ceul.


Became a member of the Brussels Guild of Saint Luke.


Lived and worked in Paris, France.


Married Brabara van der Meulen.


Wife Brabara van der Meulen died.


Married for a third time.


Died in Brussels, Belgium.

Stay In Touch
Subscribe to our Wednesday newsletter for the latest finds and 10% off your order.