Pieter Gaal Biography

Pieter Gaal




Painter and printmaker Pieter Gaal was born on July 19, 1769 in Middleburg, Zeeland, the son of painter Thomas Gaal, who was his first painting teacher. He was known for his images of bucolic landscapes, farm animals, and still lifes.

Gaal took private lessons in painting with Jacob Perkois in Middleburg and Hendrik Willem Schweickhardt in England, and also studied printmaking through copying old masters, a common practice at the time. He traveled throughout Europe to further his studies and took courses at the Academie des Beaux-Arts de l'Institut de France in Paris in 1791. He lived briefly in London (1789 - 1791) and continued to travel at length, including in Italy, Switzerland, and Germany, before returning to Middleburg sometime in the late 1790s. He was a member of the Confrerie Pictura. His son, Jacobus Cornelis Gaal also became a painter, studying under his father along with Johan Pieter Bourje and Adriaan Gerrit van Prooyen.

Gaal's own work and teaching methods were highly respected and his work was often copied by younger students. He died in Middleburg sometime between January 13 and 18, 1819. His work can be found in major museums throughout Europe and the US.