Diest, Abraham Van

, another artist, known in this country, was born at the Hague, in 1655; but spent the greatest part of his life in England, to which he came in his seventeenth year, and where he gradually rose into considerable credit, having been well instructed by his father, who was a skilful painter of sea-pieces. His taste of landscape was formed almost entirely (as he often declared) by designing the lovely views in the western parts of England, and along the coasts. Some of his pictures have great clearness and transparence in the colouring, and a peculiar tenderness in the distances; they are truly fine in the skies, have an uncommon freedom in the clouds, and an agreeable harmony through the whole. But, as he was often obliged to paint for low prices, there is a great disproportion in his works. The narrowness of his circumstances depressed his talent, and rendered him inattentive to fame, being solely anxious to provide for his family. Had he been so happy as to receive a proper degree of encouragement, it is not improbable that he might have approached near to those of the first rank in his profession. The figures in his landscapes were frequently inserted by the younger Adrian Coloni, his brother-in-law. He began to engrave a set of prints, after views from his own designs, but the gout put an end to his life in 170-1, in the forty- ninth year of his age. Lord Orford, who has a portrait of him, thinks he was not much encouraged in England, except by Granville earl of Bath, for whom he drew several views and ruins in the West of England. 2


Pilkinton. Walpole.