Art Timeline  
  1 c. 15000 - 5000 BC Prehistoric Art
  2 5000 BC - 5ОО BC The Art of the Ancient Kingdoms of Egypt - Aegean Art
  3-4 5ОО вс - 12th century The Art of the Greeks
  5-6 5ОО вс - 12th century Italic Art
  7-8-9 12th century (1100-1199) The Early Christians  Art - Byzantine Art
  10-11 13th century (1200-1299) Gothic Art
  12 14th century (1300-1399) Gothic Art - International Style
  13 15th century (1400-1499) The Early Renaissance
  14 16th century (1500-1599) The High Renaissance
  15-16 16th century (1500-1599) Mannerism
  17-18-19-20 17th century (1600-1699) Baroque
  21-22 18th century (1700-1799) Rococo
  23-24-25-26-27-28-29 19th century(1800–1899) Neoclassical - Romanticism
    19th century (1863-1899) Impressionism Timeline
    19th century (1860-1899) Simbolism
    20th century(1900-1999) ART OF THE 20TH CENTURY
17th century (1600-1699)
Baroque & Rococo
Michelangelo da Caravaggio
Jusepe de Ribera
Orazio Gentileschi
Artemisia Gentileschi
Agostino Carracci
Annibale Carracci
Giovanni Lanfranco

Guido Reni

Pietro da Cortona

Luca Giordano
Sanchez Cotan
Salvator Rosa
Diego Velazquez
Francisco de Zurbaran
Bartolome Esteban Murillo

Carlo Maderno
Gianlorenzo Bernini

Francesco Borromini
Guarino Guarini
Alessandro Algardi
Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi
Filippo Juvarra
Niccolo Salvi

Baldassare Longhena

Pieter Brueghel the Younger
Peter Paul Rubens

Anthony Van Dyck
Jacob Jordaens
Jan Brueghel the Elder
Frans Snyders
Adriaen Brouwer
Gerard Terborch
Pieter de Hooch
Frans Hals
Rembrandt van Rijn
Jan van Goyen
Willem Kalf
David Teniers the Younger
Aelbert Cuyp
Jacob van Ruisdael


Jan Davids de Heem
Jan Steen
Jan Vermeer

Nicolaes Maes
Willem van de Velde the Younger
Jacob van Campen
Pieter Post

Meindert Hobbema
Gabriel Metsu
De La Tour

Louis Le Nain
Jacques Callot
Nicolas Poussin
Philippe de Champaigne
Claude Lorrain
Simon Vouet

Peter Lely
Charles Le Brun

Francois Mansart
Claude Perrault
Louis Le Vau
Jules Hardouin-Mansart
Antoine Coysevox
Pierre Puget
Francois Girardon
Inigo Jones
Christopher Wren
John Vanbrugh
Thomas Archer
Domenico Trezzini
Bartolomeo Rastrelli

Jacques Lemercier
Lucas von Hildebrandt

Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer
Georg Rafael Donner
James Gibbs
Nicholas Hawksmoor
Jean-Antoine Watteau
Nicolas Lancret
Francois Boucher
Jean-Honore Fragonard
Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin
Marie-Louise-Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun
William Hogarth
Allan Ramsay
Thomas Gainsborough
Joshua Reynolds
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
Corrado Giaquinto
Bernardo Bellotto (Canaletto)
Giovanni Battista Piranesi
Pompeo Batoni
Francesco Guardi
Christophe-Gabriel Allegrain

Jean Baptiste Greuze
Allan Ramsay
George Stubbs
Nicolas Pineau
Clodion (Claude Michel)
Jean-Baptiste Pigalle

Ange-Jacques Gabriel
Germain Boffrand
Jacques-Germain Soufflot
Etienne-Maurice Falconet
Louis Francois Roubiliac
John Wood the Elder
Johann Fischer von Erlach
Jakob Prandtauer
Balthasar Neumann
Dominikus Zimmermann
Johann Michael Fischer
Georg Rafael Donner
Franz Xavier Messerschmidt
Luigi Vanvitelli
Carlo Fontana
Giacomo Serpotta
Francesco Maria Schiaffino
Jean-Baptiste Oudry

William Kent
Flemish Painting in the 17th Century

The name of Peter Paul Rubens dominates Flemish painting of the 17th century. Having trained in Antwerp, and learned much from studying other artists' works during his time in Italy (1600-08), Rubens proved himself a master of all genres of painting, including religious, mythological, and allegorical works, portraits, and landscapes. He drew designs for sculptures and tapestries, including The History of Decius Mus, (I616-I8), for the Genoese nobleman Nicolo Pallavicini, and was also interested in architecture, as well as stimulating and coordinating the activities of a wide circle of fellow artists. Many worked alongside him in his studio, collaborating with him on ambitious works commissioned by local and foreign patrons, such as those for the ceiling of the Jesuit church of St Ignatius in Antwerp (1620-25). Rubens was a rich, cultured artist, with patrician and royal patrons all over Europe. He painted the allegorical cycle of the life of Marie de Medicis for the gallery in the Palais du Luxembourg (1621-35, now in the Musee du Louvre); the painted ceiling in the banqueting hall in the Palace of Whitehall London (1629-34); and a series of paintings inspired by Ovid's Metamorphoses for the Torre della Parada, a royal hunting lodge near Madrid (1636-38).
As a young man Anthony van Dyck worked with Rubens. After his first visit to London in 1620 to the court of King James I, van Dyck went to Italy (1621-27). staying in Genoa for a considerable time and visiting Venice, Rome, and Palermo. He returned to England in 1632, after which he concentrated mainly on portrait painting, remaining there as court painter to King Charles I for the rest of his life, with the exception of a visit to his homeland in 1634. The work that he produced influenced other artists well into the 18th century. In contrast to van Dyck, Jacob Jordaens (1593-1678) achieved fame throughout Europe without leaving his native Antwerp. Many Flemish artists specialized in the production of cabinet pictures for private collectors, and during the early part of the century in Antwerp this specialization was the virtual monopoly of the Francken family. Their paintings are characterized by a minute attention to detail and a skilful handling of paint, enlivened by elegant Mannerist touches. Genre scenes were given new vigour in the work of Adriaen Brouwer (c. 1605-38), who was a pupil of Frans Hals in Haarlem, while Frans Snyders (1579—1657) was an outstanding painter who specialized in the portrayal of animals and in landscapes. Both he and his brother-in-law Paul de Vos (c. 1596-1678) worked with Rubens. Another prolific artist based in Antwerp was Jan Fyt (1611-61), who brought new refinements to the handling of paint. Abraham Brueghel (1631-97), the last of the famous dynasty of Flemish painters, moved to Italy in 1659 where he settled first in Rome and then in Naples. During his time in Italy, he produced flower paintings with a notable ease of execution and of an attractive composition and use of colour.

Paul de Vos

(b Hulst, 1591–2 or 9 Dec 1595; d Antwerp, 30 June 1678).

Painter and draughtsman, brother of Cornelis de Vos. Paul is perhaps best described as a gifted follower of his brother-in-law Snyders rather than as a truly original artist. Like Snyders, he specialized in still-lifes, animal and hunting scenes, generally on a large scale, and his works were in demand in the same aristocratic circles.

Paul de Vos
Oil on canvas
Huntarian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow, Glasgow

Paul de Vos
Caceria de Corzos

Paul de Vos
Caceria de Osos

Paul de Vos
Ciervo acosado por la jauria

Jan Fyt

(b Antwerp, bapt 15 June 1611; d Antwerp, 11 Sept 1661).

Flemish painter, draughtsman and etcher. He was apprenticed in Antwerp in 1621–2 to Hans van den Berch [Berghe] (not to be confused with Jan van den Bergh of Alkmaar) and probably completed his training with Frans Snyders. In 1629–30 Fyt became a master in the Antwerp Guild of St Luke, but he continued to work for Snyders until 1631. In 1633 and 1634 he was in Paris. According to his biographers, he then went to Italy; an Italian journey is confirmed by the fact that in 1650 he joined the Antwerp Guild of Romanists (exclusive to those who had visited Rome), of which he became the dean in 1652. He apparently worked in Rome, where he joined the Schildersbent and was given the nickname ‘Goudvink’ (Dut.: ‘goldfinch’). In Venice, according to Orlandi, Fyt worked for the Sagredo and Contarini families. He is also thought to have visited Naples, Florence and Genoa, and Orlandi stated that he also went to Spain and London. By 5 September 1641 Fyt was back in Antwerp, where, apart from a brief trip to the northern Netherlands in 1642, he apparently remained for the rest of his career. However, Jan-Erasmus Quellinus stated that he again travelled to Italy in the 1650s, a claim supported to some extent by the mention in 1671 of a Self-portrait (untraced) supposedly painted some 20 years earlier in Venice

Jan Fyt
Big Dog, Dwarf and Boy
Oil on canvas, 138 x 203,5 cm
Gemäldegalerie, Dresden

Jan Fyt
Bird Concert
Oil on canvas, 135 x 186 cm
Rockox House, Antwerp

Jan Fyt
Diana with Her Hunting Dogs beside Kill
Oil on canvas, 79 x 116 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

Jan Fyt
Still-life with Dog
Oil on panel, 77 x 112 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

Jan Fyt
Vase of Flowers
Oil on panel, 82 x 71 cm
Rockox House, Antwerp

Jan Fyt
Un milano

Abraham Brueghel

(Antwerp 1631 - Naples 1690)

Abraham Bruegel

Abrahan Bruegel
Vase de Fleurs sur un Entablement


By the age of 20, the Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) was a member of the Antwerp painters' guild. Between 1600 and 1608, he lived in Italy, studying the example of Veronese, Titian, Tintoretto, the Carracci, and Caravaggio, and on his return to Antwerp was appointed court painter to Archduke Albert and the Infanta Isabella. He also completed important commissions for Marie de Medicis, Regent of France, and for the wealthier churches and members of the bourgeoisie. A polished and thoroughly cultivated man, he served as Ambassador to the Netherlands and to Charles I of England, had many friends among scholars and artists, and made two happy marriages. Van Dyck was one of his many pupils. Rubens was a very prolific artist with an astonishing ability and great inventiveness. His daring compositions gave his paintings and drawings a tremendous vitality.

Peter Paul Rubens
The Artist and His First Wife, Isabella Brant, in the Honeysuckle Bower
Oil on canvas, 178 x 136,5 cm
Alte Pinakothek, Munich
The Netherlands in the 17th Century

This period saw a great flowering of Dutch art. and especially of cabinet and small-scale pictures of all types: portraits, landscapes, marine paintings, domestic interiors, architectural vistas, and still lifes. Official commissions were often for group portraits of civic worthies, such as city guilds and military companies in the United Provinces (now The Netherlands). During the 1620s, the established Utrecht master Abraham Bloemaert (1564-1651) was a late convert to Caravaggism, influenced by one of his pupils, Gerrit van Honthorst (1590-1656). Like Dirck van Baburen (1595-1624) and Hendrick Terbrugghen, van Honthorst had spent time in Rome. The evocative, atmospheric candlelight in many of his paintings earned him the name ''Gerard of the Night Scenes". But the last flicker of Dutch Caravaggism died away with Terbrugghen's death in 1629; van Honthorst abandoned his earlier style in favour of classicism, and went on to work at the English, Danish, and Dutch courts.
Born in Antwerp, the great portraitist Frans Hals (1581/85 -1666) spent most of his life in Haarlem. He left Mannerist convention behind, restoring truth, vigour, and spontaneity of pose and expression to his subjects, and made the most of his skill at capturing a likeness with swift, sure brushstrokes, as can be seen in his "character" portraits painted during the 1630s. Far in advance of contemporary European artists, Rembrandt van Rijn was not only a painter of exceptional originality but also a superb draughtsman and etcher. In about 1625, he set up a workshop in his home town of Leiden and concentrated on examining how light delineates shapes within evocative atmospheres, while also exploring the inner psychology of his subjects. Over the years, his expressive power grew in subtlety and insight, partly as a result of his experience in painting penetrating portraits. Some 80 self-portraits recorded the phases of his life rather like an autobiography, and later they gradually became more introspective. Immediately after moving to Amsterdam in 1631, he became the most sought-after painter of the day for portraits of the city's haute bourgeoisie. His Anatomy Lesson of Dr Tulp dates from this period. With his famous The Night Watch (also known as The Militia Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq and Lieutenant Willem van Ruytenhurch), painted in 1642, Rembrandt created a fresh and unusual interpretation of the group portrait by dividing the figures into several smaller groups, and portraying them moving, instead of in static poses, emphasized by his handling of the complex lighting effects. Rembrandt had many pupils in Leiden and Amsterdam, including Gerrit Dou, Govaert Flinck, Samuel van Hoogstraten, Carel Fabritius, and Nicolaes Maes. In 1650, Fabritius (1622-54) moved to Delft and, inspired by his adopted city, gained a reputation for his vibrant, colourful paintings and his exploration of perspective, demonstrated by his View of Delft (1652). Delft was also home to the painter Emanuel de Witte (c.1617-92), famous for his massive and dramatic church interiors, and Jan Vermeer (1632-75), whose later paintings were generally domestic interiors, peopled by calm figures who are usually occupied in leisure or work activities, and which convey feelings of serenity through their purity of colour and an exquisite, sensuous light.


Dirck van Baburen

(b Wijk bij Duurstede, nr Utrecht, c. 1594–5; d Utrecht, 21 Feb 1624).

Dutch painter. His father, Jasper van Baburen (d ?1599), had been in the service of Geertruijd van Bronckhorst van Battenburg, Baroness (vrijvrouw) of Vianen, Viscountess (burggravin) of Utrecht, and thus Dirck must have received a better than average education, a fact at least partially confirmed by the innovative and often literary nature of his subject-matter. In 1611 he is recorded as a pupil of the portrait and history painter Paulus Moreelse in Utrecht. It is likely that this was the last year of his apprenticeship. Van Baburen probably left for Italy shortly after 1611, for a document rediscovered in the late 1980s records a signed and dated altarpiece of the Martyrdom of St Sebastian (1615; untraced), executed for a church in Parma. His most important pictures made in Italy were painted in collaboration with David de Haen (d 1622) for the Pietà Chapel of S Pietro in Montorio, Rome, which was decorated between 1615 and 1620. Van Baburen’s paintings for the chapel were mentioned by Giulio Mancini in his manuscript notes, Considerazioni sulla pittura (c. 1619–20); there Mancini claims the artist was 22 or 23 years old when he carried out the commission. One of his best-known works, the Entombment (formerly dated 1617), is still in situ on the altar of the chapel. This much-copied composition reveals van Baburen’s close study of Caravaggio’s famous Entombment (Rome, Pin. Vaticana). In 1619 and the spring of 1620 van Baburen and de Haen were recorded as living in the same house in the Roman parish of S Andrea delle Fratte. Caravaggio’s close follower and presumed student, Bartolomeo Manfredi, was living in the same parish in 1619. Van Baburen must have known the works of Manfredi—if not the artist himself—for both versions of his Christ Crowned with Thorns (c. 1621–2; Utrecht, Catharijneconvent, and Kansas City, MO, Nelson–Atkins Mus. A.) are deeply indebted to Manfredi’s interpretation of Caravaggio’s style and subject-matter. In Rome van Baburen attracted the patronage of Vincenzo Giustiniani, for whom he executed a large Christ Washing the Feet of the Apostles (Berlin, Gemäldegal.), and Cardinal Scipione Borghese, for whom he painted an Arrest of Christ (Rome, Gal. Borghese).

Dirck van Baburen
The Procuress
Oil on canvas
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Dirck van Baburen
San Sebastian atendido por Santa Irene y su criada

Dirck van Baburen
Christ Washing the Apostles' Feet

Dirck van Baburen

Dirck van Baburen
Prometheus Being Chained by Vulcan
Oil on canvas, 202 x 184 cm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Samuel van Hoogstraten

(b Dordrecht, 2 Aug 1627; d Dordrecht, 19 Nov 1678).

Dutch painter, draughtsman, engraver and writer. His multi-faceted art and career testify amply to the unflagging ambition attributed to him as early as 1718 by his pupil and first biographer, Arnold Houbraken. During his lifetime van Hoogstraten was recognized as a painter, poet, man of letters, sometime courtier and prominent citizen of his native city of Dordrecht, where he served for several years as an official of the Mint of Holland. Today he is remembered not only as a pupil and early critic of Rembrandt, but also as a versatile artist in his own right. His diverse oeuvre consists of paintings, drawings and prints whose subjects range from conventional portraits, histories and genre pictures to illusionistic experiments with trompe-l’oeil still-lifes, architectural perspectives and perspective boxes. He also wrote the major Dutch painting treatise of the late 17th century, the Inleyding tot de hooge schoole der schilderkonst, anders de zichtbaere werelt (‘Introduction to the academy of painting, or the visible world’; Rotterdam, 1678).

Samuel van Hoogstraten
View of a Corridor
Oil on canvas, 260 x 140 cm
National Trust, Dyrham Park

Samuel van Hoogstraten

Samuel van Hoogstraten
Oil on canvas, 63 x 79 cm
Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe

Samuel van Hoogstraten
Oil on canvas
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Samuel van Hoogstraten
Tobias' Farewell to His Parents
oil on canvas
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Samuel van Hoogstraten
The Virgin of the Immaculate Conception
oil on canvas
Private Collection, New York



Carel Fabritius

(bapt Midden-Beemster, nr Hoorn, 27 Feb 1622; d Delft, 12 Oct 1654).

Painter. His oeuvre consists of a scant dozen paintings, since research has rigorously discounted many previously attributed works. These few paintings, however, document the painter’s unique development within his brief 12-year career. He is often mentioned as being the link between Rembrandt and the Delft school, particularly Pieter de Hooch and Jan Vermeer, whose depiction of light owes much to Fabritius’s late works in which his use of cool silvery colours to define forms in space marks a radical departure from Rembrandt’s use of chiaroscuro.

Carel Fabritius
Oil on panel, 62 x 51 cm
Alte Pinakothek, Munich

Carel Fabritius
c. 1645
Oil on panel, 65 x 49 cm
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

Carel Fabritius
View of the City of Delft
Oil on canvas, 15,4 x 31,6 cm
National Gallery, London

The unusual composition of this painting has a collection of objects and a figure in the left foreground,
and a view of the church surrounded by a low boundary.

Carel Fabritius
The Beheading of St. John the Baptist
c. 1640
Oil on canvas, 149 x 121 cm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam


The development of landscape painting in the Netherlands was stimulated by a desire to emulate the Flemish masters. Haarlem was an important centre for this new approach and it was here that Esaias van de Velde (c. 1591-1630), who supported a more "realistic" approach to landscape painting, was working. By the 1620s, he had found a like-minded contemporary in Hercules Pietersz Seghcrs (1589/90-1633/38), a talented artist whose paintings and etchings depicted views taken directly from nature as well as imaginary landscapes — some incorporating erotic elements of a type that later appealed to Rembrandt. Jacob van Ruisdael (c.1628-82), one of the most outstanding Dutch landscape painters, was much admired by 18th-century and Romantic artists.

van de Velde

Dutch family of artists. Esaias van de Velde was the second son of Cathalyne van Schorle and the painter and art dealer Hans van den Velde (1552–1609), a Protestant who fled religious persecution in Antwerp and settled in Amsterdam in 1585. On his father’s death, Esaias, a painter, draughtsman and etcher, moved to Haarlem with his mother, and the same year he married Katelyna Maertens, with whom he had four children: Jan (b 1614), Esaias the younger (b 1615), Anthonie the younger (1617–72) and a daughter, Jacquemijntgen (b 1621). Both Esaias the younger and Anthonie the younger became artists, the latter a still-life painter named after his uncle, the Antwerp painter Anthonie van den Velde the elder (b c. 1557). Esaias’s older brother, Jan van de Velde I (1568–1623), was a famous calligrapher, who moved from Antwerp to Rotterdam after his marriage in 1592. His eldest son, (2) Jan van de Velde II, was a painter, draughtsman and printmaker, like his uncle. He had a son, Jan van de Velde III (1619/20–62), who became a still-life painter. Both Esaias and Jan played an important role in the development of naturalistic Dutch landscapes in the 17th century.


Esaias van de Velde

(b Amsterdam, bapt 17 May 1591; d The Hague, bur 18 Nov 1630).

Painter, draughtsman and etcher. He probably received his earliest training from his father. It is also possible that he studied with the Antwerp painter Gillis van Coninxloo, who moved to Amsterdam in 1595 (ten years after Esaias’s father). He may also have trained with David Vinckboons, whose work shows similarities with that of Esaias. Esaias became a member of the Haarlem Guild of St Luke in 1612, the same year as Willem Buytewech and the landscape painter Hercules Segers. During this Haarlem period Esaias had two pupils, Jan van Goyen and Pieter de Neijn (1597–1639), but by 1618 he had moved with his family to The Hague, where he joined the Guild of St Luke in October of that year.

Esaias van de Velde
Oil on oak panel, 28 x 34 cm
Private collection

Esaias van de Velde
The Joy of Ice on the Wallgraben
Wood, 28,8 x 50,4 cm
Alte Pinakothek, Munich

Esaias van de Velde
Ferry Boat
Oil on panel, 76 x 113 cm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Esaias van de Velde
Wiew of the Zierikzee

Esaias van de Velde
Merry Company Banqueting on a Terrace

Esaias van de Velde
Winter Landscape
Oil on wood, 25,9 x 30,4 cm
National Gallery, London


By 1610, Roelant Savery had introduced flower painting to Utrecht. It proved to be a popular genre, and Ambrosius Bosschaert (1573-1621), an outstanding still-life painter, had considerable success with his flower paintings. The vanitas theme, usually involving a penitent and sorrowing figure surrounded by symbols of the transitory nature of earthly life such as a skull, candle, or rose, was a favourite of Leiden artists, and also of David Bailly (c.1584-1657). Willem Claesz. Heda (C.1594-C.1682) and Pieter Claesz (1597/98-1661), who both worked in Haarlem, dealt with the fleeting nature of human life, painting in subdued colours; they influenced Jan III van de Velde (c. 1620-62). In contrast, the splendid still lifes painted in the second half of the century by Willem Kalf (1619-93) and Abraham van Beyeren (1620/21-90) are full of rich colour and light effects, skilfully depicting various materials. The Dutch love of nature and exploration meant that painters were keen to depict a variety of subjects, especially botanical.

Roelant Savery

David Bailly

(b Leiden, 1584; d Leiden, Oct 1657).

Dutch painter and draughtsman. The son of a Flemish immigrant who was a calligrapher and fencing-master, Bailly was apprenticed to a local surgeon-painter and then to Cornelius van der Voort (1576–1624), a portrait painter in Amsterdam. In the winter of 1608 he started out as a journeyman, spending a year in Hamburg and then travelling through several German cities to Venice and Rome. On the return voyage he visited several courts in Germany, working for local princes, including the Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel. While no works survive from the immediate period following his return to the Netherlands in 1613, descriptions in old sale catalogues suggest that he may have produced history paintings in the manner of his contemporaries Pieter Lastman and the Pynas brothers.

David Bailly
Self-Portrait with Vanitas Symbols
Oil on wood, 65 x 97,5 cm
Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden

David Bailly
Vanitas Still Life with Portrait
ca. 1650


Abraham van Beyeren

(b The Hague, 1620–21; d Overschie, 1690).

Dutch painter. He painted seascapes as well as fruit, flower, fish, game and banquet still-lifes. He almost always signed these works with his monogram AVB, but he dated only a few. This, together with the fact that he painted diverse subjects simultaneously and his style changed little, makes it difficult to establish a chronology. He became a master in The Hague in 1640 and was related by marriage to the fish painter Pieter de Putter (before 1600–59). Van Beyeren lived in Delft from 1657 to 1661 and was again in The Hague between 1663 and 1669. He was then recorded in Amsterdam, Alkmaar and Gouda before settling in Overschie in 1678.

Abraham van Beyeren
Large Still-life with Lobster
Oil on canvas, 125,5 x 105,1 cm
Alte Pinakothek, Munich

Abraham van Beyeren
Banquet Still-Life with a Mouse
Oil on canvas
County Museum of Art, Los Angeles

Abraham van Beyeren
Oil on canvas, 87 x 107 cm
Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp

Abraham van Beyeren
Banquet Still-Life
Oil on canvas, 99,5 x 120,5 cm
Mauritshuis, The Hague

Abraham van Beyeren
Still-life with Fishes
Oil on canvas, 125 x 153 cm
Gemaldegalerie, Dresden

The 17th century in Spain

The 17th century was the golden age of Spanish painting, thanks to a tremendous surge of artistic activity throughout Andalusia and especially in Seville, the economic, cultural, and spiritual centre of Spain. Gradually, however, many artists gravitated to Madrid, attracted by the presence of the royal court, although church patronage continued to play a very important role throughout the kingdom. During the first 20 years of the century, the dominant artistic trend was naturalism, further stimulated by the spread of Caravaggism and by works of art that reached Spain from Italy. An accurate depiction of reality and the orchestration of the interplay of light and shade were evident in the early works of the first generation of great 17th-century artists in Seville: Francisco Zurbaran (1598-1664), Diego Velazquez, and Alonso Cano (1601-67). Velazquez' youthful works, such as Old Woman Cooking Eggs (1618), already showed a powerful artistic language, used to convey the everyday life of ordinary people. His treatment of religious subjects shows an equally-realistic portrayal of form and chiaroscuro, an interest shared with contemporary Sevillian sculptors. In 1623, Velazquez first came into contact with Philip IV, from whom he was to receive many portrait commissions. He studied Titian's paintings in the royal collection in Madrid and met Rubens (who was in Madrid in from 1628 to 1629), but reached the height of his powers after his travels in Italy between 1629 and 1631, which made a profound impression upon him. His work is distinguished by a free and agile technique, using touches of vibrant and softly shaded colour and swift, looser brushwork to achieve a rare interplay between reality and illusion. The painter and sculptor Alonso Cano developed from an early lively naturalism towards the pursuit of a Renaissance-inspired ideal beauty, while Francisco Zurbaran's paintings convey an austere Iberian spirituality. In his figurative paintings, the sculptural figures stand out against dark backgrounds, epitomized in his Vision of St Peter Nolasco (1629), while his still lifes are intense and vibrant. Towards the middle of the centuiy Bartolome Esteban Murillo (1618-82) became extremely successful, having learned much from the previous generation of Sevillian painters such as Francisco Ribalta (1565-1628), whose style remained vigorously Caravaggesque, and the melancholy, strange Luis de Morales (1520-86) whose religious paintings, particularly his many Madonnas enjoyed considerable popularity. Murillo's devotional pictures are above all pleasing to the senses, emphasizing the consolatory aspects of religion with a sweetness that sometimes borders on the cloying. His tenderness of vision, which met with prolonged popularity, can be seen even in his genre scenes. The paintings of Juan Valdes Leal (1622-90) by contrast, were full of energy and drama. It was at this time that Flemish influence, ranging from Rubens to van Dyck , again played a decisive role in Spanish art, and Baroque taste prevailed in the development of large-scale fresco ciecoration in the grand manner. The greatest exponents of this style were Francisco Rizi (1614-85) and the court painters Juan Carreno de Miranda (1614-85) and Claudio Coello (1642-93).

Francisco Rizi

(b Madrid, 1614; d Madrid, 2 Aug 1685).

Painter and stage designer. He may well have received his early training from his father, but most sources indicate that he was also a pupil of Vicente Carducho, who refers to him as such in his will of 1638, in which he bequeathed him the sketchbook of his choice among those in his studio. Rizi’s contact with the court was probably due to Carducho, and by 1639 he was working with Alonso Cano and other artists of his generation in Madrid (Antonio Arias Fernandez, Jusepe Leonardo, Felix Castelo, Diego Polo and others) on the decoration (destr.) of the Salon Dorado (or Salon Grande) of the Alcázar. The decorative scheme, which had been designed by Carducho, consisted of portraits of the kings of Castile. Many works by Rizi are recorded in the 1640s, and in 1649, on the occasion of the state entry of Mariana of Austria, the second wife of Philip IV, into Madrid, he was responsible for organizing the street decorations and the temporary architectural structures. At the same time he was working in the royal theatre of the Palacio del Buen Retiro, Madrid, where he was engaged for many years, succeeding the Italians Baccio del Bianco and Cosimo Lotti as a specialist in theatre decoration.

Francisco Rizi
Virgin and Child with Sts Philip and Francis
Oil on canvas
Capuchinos, El Pardo

Francisco Rizi
Oil on canvas
Parish church, Fuente el Saz

Francisco Rizi
Auto-da-fe on Plaza Mayor, Madrid
Oil on canvas, 277 x 438 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

James Thornhill

(b ?Woolland, Dorset, 25 July 1675; d Stalbridge, Dorset, 13 May 1734).

English painter. The great English exponent of Baroque decorative painting, he was the only one to compete successfully with foreigners for the relatively few large-scale decorative commissions available in England during the first quarter of the 18th century. His skill in this field was remarkable, since his training was irregular and his trips abroad (the Low Countries in 1711 and Paris in 1717) came only after he had reached maturity as an artist.

James Thornhill
Sir Isaac Newton
Oil on canvas
Woolsthorpe Manor, Lincolnshire

James Thornhill
The Apotheosis of Romulus

James Thornhill
Allegorical group representing London, Justice, Prudence, Temperance and Fortitude



Queen Christina of Sweden (1632-54) was one of the greatest royal collectors of the 17th century, and, before her conversion to Catholicism and subsequent decision to live in Rome, she filled Stockholm Castle with sculptures, paintings, coins, and gold- and silverware. Many of the works had been looted from Prague when the troops of Gustavus Adolphus ransacked the Imperial Palace there during the Thirty Years' War. Among the many artists at her court were portraitists such as the Dutchman David Beck and the French painter, Sebastien Bourdon (1616-71). The German David Klocker Ehrenstrahl (1628-98) was one of the most prolific artists during the following reign of Charles XI. His formative years were spent in Amsterdam, but he had also visited France. Italy, and England. A skilled portraitist and landscape painter, he brought Italian and French Baroque taste to Sweden. In the monumental allegorical works commissioned from him by the Dowager Queen Edvige Eleonora, he introduced the high Baroque style of Pietro da Cortona and Charles Le Bain to a northern audience.