PIETER VAN NOORT (Leiden 1623 – 1672 Zwolle)

Pieter van Noort

Pieter van Noort (Leiden 1623 – 1672 Zwolle)

Still-Life with Freshwater Fish

Oil on canvas, 61.5 x 73 cm (24.2 x 28.7 inch); preserved in an English carved and gilded 18th-century frame

Signed ‘p.v.noort’ (lower left)

Private collection, The Netherlands


Pieter van Noort was born in Leiden in 1623.1 From 1648 he was a member of the Leiden painters’ Guild of St Luke. In 1652 he married Adriana van Grotelande, the daughter of a Leiden notary, and moved to Zwolle.1 The couple lived in the Sassenstraat, where the Ter Borch family and Hendrik ten Oever were also living.2 He later died in that city and was buried in the Grote Kerk.

Van Noort specialised in still-lifes, mostly of hunting and fishing themes. He also painted a number of genre scenes and portraits. His fish still-lifes are mostly of freshwater river fish, probably as he lived mostly in Zwolle, along the River IJssel, rather than near the sea. His fish are spontaneously painted and the largest example often dangles from the fisherman’s fishing rod. The strong chiaroscuro and painterly palette are typical of Van Noort, as was observed by Dr Fred Meijer.3

Paintings by Van Noort are preserved in the collections of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, the Dordrechts Museum, Dordrecht, the Mauritshuis, The Hague, and the Museum De Fundatie, Zwolle.

Our work is particularly loosely painted, fully signed and well preserved and as such it is a highlight of Van Noort’s small oeuvre. It is comparable to a still-life with a suspended fish on a stone legde is preserved in the Lakenhal Museum in Leiden.4


1. For the artist, see Liesbeth M. Helmus (ed.), Fish still lifes by Dutch and Flemish masters 1550-1700, exh. cat. Utrecht (Centraal Museum) 2004, p. 418 and cat. nos. 51 and 52, fig. 55.
2. See E.A. van Dijk, Schilders in Zwolle, Zwolle 1993, pp. 12-13.
3. In Helmus, op. cit., p. 325.
4. Oil on panel, 81.7 x 102 cm, inv. no. S 1129.