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Abraham Bloemaert

ca. 1565 Gorinchem – 1651 Utrecht

Thanks to his longevity Abraham Bloemaert, the founder of the Utrecht school of painting, left an astonishingly extensive œuvre, reflecting many of the artistic currents of his time. He was also very influential as a teacher and played a major part in the development of Dutch painting during the first half of the 17th century. His pupils included such varied talents as the Utrecht Caravaggists Hendrik Terbrugghen and Gerard van Honthorst, as well as representatives of the later Italianate style of landscape painting, such as Cornelis van Poelenburgh and Jan and Andries Both. The artist’s graphic œuvre is no less extensive. Bloemaert worked intensively from nature and produced countless figural and compositional studies, which were not only intended as preparations for paintings, but also served didactic purposes in connection with his activity as head of a flourishing studio.