Jan van den Hecke
(1620-1684) was a Flemish Baroque painter.
According to Houbraken he painted landscapes, which he populated with animals and other figures himself. He also made flower and fruit still lifes and could paint gold, silver, crystal, and porcelain quite well. He spent a long period travelling and working in Italy, which is noticeable in his landscapes.
According to the RKD he was registered in the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke as an apprentice in 1636 and learned to paint from Abraham Hack, who also taught his contemporary, the flower painter Hieronymus Galle. In 1641 Van den Hecke was registered as a master of the guild. From 1653-1658 he was in Italy, but somewhere in the mid-50's he went back and forth to Belgium, since he is also registered in Brussels during that period. He died the same year as his wife Maria Adriana Heijens; when they died they left three children; Jan (II), aged 24, Maria, aged 21, and Peeter, aged 20. Van den Hecke's pupil Peeter de Clerc eventually became a master painter in the guild. Van den Hecke's son Jan van den Hecke II became a popular flower painter.