Isaac van Duynen
Still Life of Freshwater Fish; an eel; and a frog, on a table in an interior
Private Collection, England.
Isaac van Duynen (also called van Deynen or van Duijnen) was apparently born into a family of fish merchants, according to documentary evidence of the artist’s life (RKD archives, The Hague, Netherlands). He may have been a pupil of Jacob Gerritsz. Cuyp and was also influenced by Jan Davidsz. de Heem and Abraham van Beyeren, both highly regarded as painters of still life subjects. Van Duynen travelled to Rome between 1651 and 1657, settling in The Hague upon his return.
Van Duynen is best known for still lifes of fish, of which the present picture is a typical example. Houbraken (1718) considered him one of the best artists in this genre, and it is clear that he demonstrates great skill in the handling of the slippery, wet bodies of the fish and their gleaming, reflective scales.