Juan van der Hamen y Leon
Spanish Baroque Era Painter, 1596-1631, was a Spanish painter, a master of the still life paintings, also called bodegones. During his lifetime, he was prolific and versatile, painting allegories, landscapes, and large-scale works for churches and convents. However, today he is remembered mostly for his still lifes. In the 1620s, He popularized still life painting in Madrid.Juan van der Hamen y (Gemez de) Leen was born in Madrid in 1596 but he was baptized late on April 8, 1596 in Madrid, therefore, he must had been born there just days before that date. He was the son of Jehan van der Hamen, a Flemish courtier, who had moved to Madrid from Brussels before 1586, and Dorotea Whitman Gemez de Leen, a half-Flemish mother of noble Toledan ancestry . Van der Hamen and his two brothers Pedro and Lorenzo (both of whom were writers) emphasized their Spanish roots by using all or part of their maternal grandmother's family name, Gemez de Leen.. The painter's father, Jan van der Hamen, had come to Spain, as an archer, to the court of Philip II were he settled, married, and his children were born. According to 18th-century sources, the artist's father had also been a painter, but there is no evidence for this. Juan van der Hamen inherited his father's honorary positions at court and also served as unsalaried painter of the king. Van der Hamen's artistic activity in the service of the crown is first recorded on 10 September 1619, when he was paid for painting a still-life for the country palace of El Pardo, to the north of Madrid.