The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate,
MD, Senior Contributing Editor.
Amidst a glut of painters in a market-driven occupation, he was well-to-do.
His work was sought after and it commanded respectable prices. His Flemish
contemporary, Peter Paul Rubens, owned three of his works. Today, we hardly
know him. For 300 years after his death he remained in obscurity, until, in
the mid-20th century, he was "discovered." Yet, except for a handful of museums,
his work is not readily accessible; the literature is almost nonexistent,
confined to the occasional passing mention. His name is Jan Jansz. den Uyl
(1595/96-1640), and he was born in Amsterdam in the waning years of the 16th
century. He also died in Amsterdam, at the relatively young age of 45. Although
he painted a few landscapes and occasionally animals, his oeuvre consists
mainly of monochrome banketjestukken, or "banquet
pieces." His pictures are easily recognized, for, in almost every work, he
included an owl (in Dutch, uyl).
Southgate MT. Banquet Piece. JAMA. 2003;289(3):265. doi:10.1001/jama.289.3.265