Denys van Alsloot

Dates1570 - 1628

Denys van Alsloot, a tapestry maker's son, pioneered the Brussels landscape school. He joined the painters guild there in 1599, around the same time that he was named official painter to Archduke Albert and Archduchess Isabella, for whom he created landscape paintings, images of court festivities, and designs for at least one set of tapestries. Alsloot's most famous and lucrative commission was a series of paintings recording the Ommegang, a splendid court procession through Brussels in 1615, during which Isabella was made Queen of the Crossbowmen's Guild.

Alsloot's surviving works are rare: some thirty paintings and a few drawings. In his landscapes, Alsloot drew inspiration from the forest of Soignes near Brussels. Landscape painting of the late 1500s and the wooded landscapes of Gillis van Coninxloo also influenced his work. Alsloot's own style displayed a refined handling of foliage with a tendency to include views of castles and abbeys from the forest of Soignes. His paintings are usually topographically accurate, making it possible to identify places that survive today. The artist Hendrick de Clerck regularly added brightly colored figures, which often clash with the landscapes' brown-green tonality, to Alsloot's paintings,.