Van Diest, Adriaen (DNB00)

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VAN DIEST, ADRIAEN (1656–1704), landscape-painter, born at The Hague in 1656, was son of Willem Van Diest, a well-known painter of marine subjects. Van Diest received his principal instruction from his father, and came to England with him when about seventeen years of age. He was patronised by various members of the nobility, and gained some repute for his landscapes. It is probable that he was employed by Sir Peter Lely for this purpose, for seven landscapes by Van Diest are enumerated in the catalogue of Sir Peter Lely's collection. The landscapes were chiefly in the Italian manner, suitable for mantelpieces or to be placed over doors. That he visited Italy at one time is evident from a statement by Vertue that he had seen a portrait, of Van Diest ‘from a drawing done at Rome when he was there by a painter in England; he is represented with a sort of Raysed stuff about his head and a drawing in his hand partly enrolled representing part of a landskip.’ His works were carefully if somewhat laboriously finished. Van Diest died of gout in 1704, aged 48, and was buried in St. Martin's-in-the-Fields. He left a son, J. Van Diest, who painted portraits, some of which have been engraved.

[Walpole's Anecdotes of Painting, ed. Wornum; Vertue's Diaries (Brit. Mus. Addit. MSS. 23068–9); Chaloner Smith's Mezzotinto Portraits.]

L. C.