Dutch painter, part of a family of painters and draughtsmen. Abraham van Strij I and Jacob van Strij were sons of Leendert van Strij, a painter and certainly Abraham’s first teacher, together with Joris Ponse (1723-83), also a decorative painter.
Abraham studied at the Antwerp Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten but may not have actually attended classes. In 1774, together with several other artists, he founded the Dordrecht drawing society Pictura for which a building was purchased in 1796.
In 1783 Abraham married Sophia Vermeulen and in 1789 bought a house on the Voorstraat in Dordrecht.
After his return from Antwerp to Dordrecht, he started painting flower still-lifes and in 1779 he changed his subject to portraits, genre pieces inspired by Metsu and De Hooch and landscapes in the style of Cuyp. Abraham was more versatile than his younger brother Jacob who as a painter concentrated on depicting landscapes.
For a period from 1801 the brothers shared a studio, working together on numerous commissions for the decoration of houses in Dordrecht, such as that of Jacob Vriesendorp, now in the Dordrechts Museum. As fashionable artists of their day, they played a significant part in stimulating a revival of interest in 17th-century Dutch painters, some of whose works provided them with inspiring models for emulation and, on occasion, imitation. Abraham’s eldest son, Abraham van Strij II (1790-1840), followed his father’s profession.