Abraham Bloemaert

Abraham Bloemaert

(Gorinchem 1566 – 1651 Utrecht)

How to cite:

Bakker, Piet. "Abraham Bloemaert." In The Leiden Collection Catalogue. Edited by Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. New York, 2017.
https://www.theleidencollection.com/archive/.

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Abraham Bloemaert was born in Gorinchem on Christmas Eve 1566. His parents were Cornelis Bloemaert (ca. 1540–93), a Catholic sculptor who had fled nearby Dordrecht, and Aeltgen Willems. 1 In 1567 the family moved to ’s-Hertogenbosch, where Cornelis worked on the restoration of the interior of the St. Janskerk, which had been badly damaged during the Iconoclastic Fury of 1566. Cornelis returned to Gorinchem around 1571, but not for long; in 1576 he was appointed city architect and engineer of Utrecht. Abraham’s mother had died some time earlier and his father had taken a second wife, Marigen Goortsdr, innkeeper of het Schilt van Bourgongen.

Abraham would have attended the Latin school in Utrecht. He received his initial art education from his father drawing copies of the work of the Antwerp master Frans Floris (1519/20–70). According to Van Mander, who describes Bloemaert’s work at length in his Schilder-boek, his subsequent training was fairly erratic. 2 His first teacher was Gerrit Splinter, a “cladder,” or dauber, and a drunk. The young Bloemaert lasted barely two weeks with him. 3 His father then sent him to Joos de Beer (active 1575–91), a former pupil of Floris. According to Van Mander, however, De Beer was “not the best of painters.” 4 Bloemaert continued his training with Coenraet Strick, the bailiff of Hedel Castle, an entirely unknown painter who, as noted by Van Mander, “could but little paint.” 5 The plan to apprentice him to the famous Anthonie Blocklandt van Montfoort (1534–83), another pupil of Floris, had to be abandoned because of the artist’s sudden death. 6 His father then sent him to Paris, but here too he met with bad luck. After a six-week stay with “Jehan Bassot,” a certain “Maistre Herry” took him under his wing for eighteen months. Shortly thereafter Bloemaert joined the Paris studio of Hieronymus Francken (1540–1610), who had also studied under Floris, 7 before returning to Utrecht around 1585, bitterly disappointed with his fragmented training. 8

In Utrecht Bloemaert initially worked for his father, and when Cornelis was temporarily appointed master builder of Amsterdam, Abraham went with him. 9 Though his father soon returned to Utrecht, Abraham remained in Amsterdam. He took rooms and a studio in the former Clarissenklooster, and in October 1591 was registered as a burgher of Amsterdam. On 1 May 1592 he married Judith van Schonenburch, who came from a prominent Utrecht patrician family.

In Amsterdam Bloemaert rapidly rose to become a respected painter whose work found its way into distinguished collections. Van Mander’s friend Jacques Razet owned several pictures by him, including three “large, circular tronies of Venus, Juno, and Pallas Athena.” 10 The paintings were probably the same type as Bacchus and Ceres, painted on circular panels, which Bloemaert’s friend Aernout van Buchell (1565–1641) discovered in the possession of an Utrecht art lover in 1590. The latter two pictures have survived and were recently identified. Previously attributed to Floris, both are now considered to be Bloemaert’s earliest works. 11 Another important collection was that of the Amsterdam banker Sion Luz, who owned Bloemaert’s celebrated Death of the Children of Niobe of 1591. 12 This Mannerist painting clearly reflects the influence of Bartholomeus Spranger (1546–1611), court painter in Prague. Spranger’s work had become known in the Netherlands through Hendrick Goltzius (1558–1617), who made engravings of his drawings and designs in Haarlem as of 1585. Bloemaert’s Marriage of Peleus and Thetis from around 1593 derived directly from Spranger’s famous Marriage of Amor and Psyche, of which Goltzius had made a print in 1587. 13 When visiting friends in Haarlem and Amsterdam in 1602, Spranger may also have met Bloemaert. 14

When Bloemaert’s father died at the end of 1593, Abraham returned to Utrecht and remained there until his death. Along with Joachim Wtewael (1566–1638) and Paulus Moreelse (1571–1638), Bloemaert was to become one of the leading Utrecht painters of his generation. His prominent position is reflected by the fact that less than six months after his return he was appointed dean of the Saddlers’ Guild. 15 He received the status of burgher and moved with his family into a former priest’s house on the Nieuwe Gracht. His wife died there of the plague at the end of 1599. Bloemaert remarried within a year. His new wife, Gerarda de Roij, the daughter of a brewer, bore him fourteen children, including four sons—Hendrick, Adriaen, Frederick, and Cornelis—who all became painters.

Bloemaert was also a noted teacher; the names of thirty-three of his pupils are known today, but it is possible that between 1590 and 1650 dozens more aspiring artists could have found their way to his studio. 16 In 1612, together with Moreelse, he founded an “academy” where artists could receive drawing lessons. His pupils included the acclaimed Caravaggisti Hendrick ter Brugghen (1588–1629), Gerrit van Honthorst (1592–1656), and Jan van Bijlert (1597/98–1671). Cornelis van Poelenburch (1594/95–1667), Jan Both (ca. 1618–52), and Jan Baptist Weenix (1621–60/61), who became renowned painters of Italianate landscapes, also learned their trade from Bloemaert, as did his four artist sons.

With the exception of his son Hendrick (1601–72), not a single other pupil continued to work in Bloemaert’s style after training with him. Conversely, one pupil had a major influence on Bloemaert’s own work. After Van Honthorst returned from Italy in 1620, Bloemaert became briefly influenced by the dramatic Caravaggesque use of light and shade, as can be seen in his Supper at Emmaus from 1622. 17 Flute Player, painted a year earlier—a subject he and ter Brugghen had previously introduced to Utrecht and which was greatly imitated—also displays a Caravaggesque influence. 18

Although Bloemaert’s work was dominated by Mannerism for a long time, around 1610, again influenced by Goltzius, he developed his own style with distinct, classicizing features. This shift, incidentally, was already visible in earlier works such as Adoration of the Shepherds of 1604. 19 In this painting, the Sprangerian poses have already given way to more naturalistic attitudes. And yet Bloemaert’s work would always retain Mannerist traits, as can clearly be seen in the 1624 Adoration of the Magi in which the group of soldiers in the background could also pass as a separate work by Spranger. 20 More than two hundred paintings by Bloemaert are known today, the vast majority of which represent religious or mythological scenes. After 1600, however, he also painted the first of his characteristic landscapes with ruined, picturesque villages. The narrative, depicted on a small scale, played merely a supporting role in these paintings. Although Bloemaert’s style changed several times in the course of his long career, he always retained his distinct palette of rich colors, ranging from lemon yellow and bright blue to an acidic green and pink. He generally reserved light pastel tints for his landscapes.

Bloemaert’s reputation extended beyond Utrecht. In 1610, 1615 and 1622 he received painting commissions from the city of ’s-Hertogenbosch for the high altars of the Clarissenkerk, the cathedral, and the Jesuit church. Around 1624 he also painted a monumental altarpiece for the Jesuit church in Brussels. 21 Thereafter, he was regularly commissioned to make devotional works for clandestine churches in towns in the provinces of both Holland and Utrecht. 22 The stadholder’s court in The Hague also took note of his immense talent. Between 1618 and 1625 he painted a portrait of the Roman emperor Domitianus as part of a series of Twelve Roman Emperors that the court had ordered from a number of artists. 23 A joint commission in which he also participated around 1635 was the Il Pastor Fido series for Honselaarsdijk Palace. 24 He had previously painted independent works to decorate the same palace. In 1625 he had been asked to portray three episodes from the story of Theagenes and Chariclea, which he worked on until 1628. 25 During this commission, in 1626, he was visited in his Utrecht studio by Elizabeth Stuart, daughter of King James I of England and exiled Queen of Bohemia, who requested a portrait of her dog. 26 Bloemaert’s considerable reputation is also illustrated by the fact that Rubens paid a visit to his studio the following year while on a diplomatic mission to the Northern Netherlands. Rubens took the opportunity to visit several cities for his own pleasure, including Utrecht. 27 It is therefore hardly surprising that Constantijn Huygens, a great admirer of Rubens, included Bloemaert alongside Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–69) and Jan Lievens (1607–74) in his summary of the Dutch Republic’s most important painters. 28

Bloemaert continued to paint steadily throughout the last twenty years of his life. His largest project during this long period, however, was the preparation of a teaching manual. His son Frederick printed a selection of his father’s countless drawings and published these in 1650 under the title Artes Apellae liber etc29 Entitled De Teeken-const in later editions, this book immediately came to occupy an important position in drawing instruction, one it maintained until well into the nineteenth century. Bloemaert died at the age of eighty-six on 13 January 1651, and was buried in the Catharijnekerk in Utrecht next to his wife, who had died two years earlier.

-Piet Bakker

  1. The exact year of Abraham Bloemaert’s birth has not been established. It was long assumed to be 1564. Ruurs, however, convincingly argues that the correct year is 1566. See Rob Ruurs, “The Date of Abraham Bloemaert’s Birth,” Hoogsteder-Naumann Mercury 9 (1989): 4–6. Unless otherwise noted, biographical information on Abraham Bloemaert and his family is taken from M. J. Bok, “Het leven van Abraham Bloemaert,” in Liesbeth M. Helmus and Ger0 Seelig, Het Bloemaert-effect. Kleur en compositie in de Gouden Eeuw (Exh. cat. Utrecht, Centraal Museum; Schwerin, Staatliches Museum) (Petersberg, 2011–12), 18–22.

  2. Karel van Mander, Het Schilder-Boeck (Haarlem, 1604), fols. 297r–98r. The amount of factual details in this account and the reliable impression they give suggest that Bloemaert and Van Mander probably knew each other well.

  3. Karel van Mander, Het Schilder-Boeck (Haarlem, 1604), fol. 297r. For Gerrit Splinter, see Karel van Mander, The Lives of the Illustrious Netherlandish and German Painters, from the First Edition of the “Schilder-Boeck” (1603–1604), ed. Hessel Miedema, 6 vols. (Doornspijk, 1994–99), 6:87.

  4. “Niet den besten Schilder.” Karel van Mander, Het Schilder-Boeck (Haarlem, 1604), fol. 297r. For Joos de Beer, see Karel van Mander, The Lives of the Illustrious Netherlandish and German Painters, from the First Edition of the “Schilder-Boeck” (1603–1604), ed. Hessel Miedema, 6 vols. (Doornspijk, 1994–99), 6:88. See also Carl van de Velde, Frans Floris: Leven en werken, 2ols. (Brussels, 1975), 1:115.

  5. “[E]en weynigh schilderen con.” Karel van Mander, Het Schilder-Boeck (Haarlem, 1604), fol. 297v.

  6. For Blocklandt’s apprenticeship with Floris, see Carl van de Velde, Frans Floris: Leven en werken, 2ls. (Brussels, 1975), 1:110.

  7. Carl van de Velde, Frans Floris: Leven en werken, 2ls. (Brussels, 1975), 1:113–14. The frequent mention of Frans Floris in Bloemaert’s biography raises the question of whether the two families were related. Bloemaert’s focus on Floris, however, probably says more about Utrecht painting in general during the second half of the sixteenth century. Utrecht was strongly oriented toward Antwerp, where Floris was the head of a large and flourishing studio up until his death in 1570. In his day, Floris, like Rubens after him, was the undisputed leader of the local painters. Carl van de Velde, Frans Floris: Leven en werken, 2ols. (Brussels, 1975), 1:21.

  8. According to Van Mander, Bloemaert regularly sighed to his pupils: “Ick wouw dat ick eens binnen mijnen leven had moghen een goet meester sien schilderen, of de verwen ghebruycken, op dat ick hun wijse oft manier hadde siende moghen afleeren” (I wish that I, once in my life, had been able to see a good master paint, or use paint, in order that I might have been able to learn his way or manner through observation). Karel van Mander, Het Schilder-Boeck (Haarlem, 1604), fol. 297r.

  9. Marten J. Bok, “Het leven van Abraham Bloemaert,” in Liesbeth M. Helmus and Gero Seelig, Het Bloemaert-effect. Kleur en compositie in de Gouden Eeuw (Exh. cat. Utrecht, Centraal Museum; Schwerin, Staatliches Museum) (Petersberg, 2011–12), 18–19.

  10. “[G]roote Tronien in ronden wesende Venus, Iuno en Pallas.” Karel van Mander, Het Schilder-Boeck (Haarlem, 1604), fol. 297r. Razet was a friend of Van Mander, and Van Mander and Bloemaert may well have met each other through him. For Jaques Razet, see Marten J. Bok, “Art-Lovers and Their Paintings: Van Mander’s Schilder-boeck as a Source for the History of the Art Market in the Northern Netherlands,” in G. Luijten et al., Dawn of the Golden Age: Northern Netherlandish Art, 1580–1620 (Exh. cat. Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum) (Amsterdam, 1993), 159;  see also Marcel Roethlisberger and Marten J. Bok, Abraham Bloemaert and His Sons: Paintings and Prints, 2 vols. (Doornspijk, 1993), 1:58, no. 5.

  11. Bacchus, circular panel, 70 cm, and Ceres, circular panel, 70 cm, The Faringdon Collection Trust, Buscot Park, Oxfordshire. See Marcel Roethlisberger, “Early Abraham Bloemaert,” Tableau 17, no. 3 (December 1994): 44–51. See also Marcel Roethlisberger and Marten J. Bok, Abraham Bloemaert and His Sons: Paintings and Prints, 2 vols. (Doornspijk, 1993), 1:58, no. 4.

  12. Oil on canvas, 204 x 249 cm, signed and dated 1591, Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen; Marcel Roethlisberger and Marten J. Bok, Abraham Bloemaert and His Sons: Paintings and Prints, 2 vols. (Doornspijk, 1993), 1:65–67, no. 14. See also Ger Luijten et al., Dawn of the Golden Age: Northern Netherlandish Art, 1580–1620 (Exh. cat. Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum) (Amsterdam, 1993), 373–74, no. 31. For Sion Luz, see Marten J. Bok, “Art-Lovers and Their Paintings: Van Mander’s Schilder-boeck as a Source for the History of the Art Market in the Northern Netherlands,”  in Ger Luijten et al., Dawn of the Golden Age: Northern Netherlandish Art, 1580–1620 (Exh. cat. Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum) (Amsterdam, 1993), 157. According to Van Mander, a painting of the same subject by Bloemaert also hung in Prague, “doch met een andere ordonnantie” (but with a different ordonnance). This was “een groot heerlyck en uytnemende stuck daer zijn Majesteyt en alle Const-verstandighe groot behaghen in hebben” (a large, majestic, and excellent piece in which his Majesty and all art connoisseurs delight). Karel van Mander, Het Schilder-Boeck (Haarlem, 1604), fol. 297v.

  13. The Marriage of Peleus and Thetis, oil on canvas, 101 x 146.5 cm, Alte Pinakothek, Munich; Marcel Roethlisberger and Marten J. Bok, Abraham Bloemaert and His Sons: Paintings and Prints, 2 vols. (Doornspijk, 1993), 1:62, no. 12; Liesbeth M. Helmus and Gero Seelig, Het Bloemaert-effect. Kleur en compositie in de Gouden Eeuw (Exh. cat. Utrecht, Centraal Museum; Schwerin, Staatliches Museum) (Petersberg, 2011–12), 126–27, no. 43.

  14. This refers to a drawing of the figure of Fame in Spranger’s Marriage of Amor and Psyche, which Bloemaert used for his own Marriage of Peleus and Thetis and on the back of which he wrote: “d’heer Bart. Spranger van de Schilde.” Gods, Saints, and Heroes: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt (Exh. cat. Washington D.C., National Gallery of Art; Detroit, Institute of Art; Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum) (Washington, 1981), 88, no. 5; see also Liesbeth M. Helmus and Gero Seelig, Het Bloemaert-effect. Kleur en compositie in de Gouden Eeuw (Exh. cat. Utrecht, Centraal Museum; Schwerin, Staatliches Museum) (Petersberg, 2011–12), 126–27, no. 43.

  15. Until 1611, the year the Guild of Saint Luke was founded, painters belonged to the Saddlers’ Guild.

  16. For a list of pupils’ names, see Munich; Marcel Roethlisberger and Marten J. Bok, Abraham Bloemaert and His Sons: Paintings and Prints, 2 vols. (Doornspijk, 1993), 1:645–51.

  17. Oil on panel, 145 x 215.5 cm, signed and dated 1622, Koninklijk Museum der Schone Kunsten, Brussels; Munich; Marcel Roethlisberger and Marten J. Bok, Abraham Bloemaert and His Sons: Paintings and Prints, 2 vols. (Doornspijk, 1993), 1:220–21, no. 284.

  18. Oil on canvas, 69 x 57.9 cm. signed and dated 1621, Centraal Museum, Utrecht; M. Roethlisberger and M. J. Bok, Abraham Bloemaert and His Sons: Paintings and Prints, 2 vols. (Doornspijk, 1993), 1:222–23, no. 285; Liesbeth M. Helmus and Gero Seelig, Het Bloemaert-effect. Kleur en compositie in de Gouden Eeuw (Exh. cat. Utrecht, Centraal Museum; Schwerin, Staatliches Museum) (Petersberg, 2011–12), 152–53, no. 58.

  19. Oil on canvas, 70.5 x 96 cm, signed and dated 160(4), Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie; Marcel Roethlisberger and Marten J. Bok, Abraham Bloemaert and His Sons: Paintings and Prints, 2 vols. (Doornspijk, 1993), 1:112–13, no. 66.

  20. Oil on canvas, 168.8 x 193.7 cm, signed and dated 1624, Centraal Museum, Utrecht; Marcel Roethlisberger and Marten J. Bok, Abraham Bloemaert and His Sons: Paintings and Prints, 2 vols. (Doornspijk, 1993), 1:255, no. 387; Liesbeth M. Helmus and Gero Seelig, Het Bloemaert-effect. Kleur en compositie in de Gouden Eeuw (Exh. cat. Utrecht, Centraal Museum; Schwerin, Staatliches Museum) (Petersberg, 2011–12), 112–13, no. 33. See also Albert Blankert, “Classicism in Dutch History Painting,” in Dutch Classicism in Seventeenth-Century Painting (Exh. cat. Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen; Frankfurt am Main, Städelsches Kunstinstitut) (Zwolle, 2000), 18.

  21. The Adoration of the Magi, oil on canvas, 424 x 290 cm, signed, Musée de Grenoble; Marcel Roethlisberger and Marten J. Bok, Abraham Bloemaert and His Sons: Paintings and Prints, 2 vols. (Doornspijk, 1993), 1:252–54, no. 386; Liesbeth M. Helmus and Gero Seelig, Het Bloemaert-effect. Kleur en compositie in de Gouden Eeuw (Exh. cat. Utrecht, Centraal Museum; Schwerin, Staatliches Museum) (Petersberg, 2011–12), 64–66, no. 6.

  22. Xander van Eck, Clandestine Splendor: Paintings for the Catholic Church in the Dutch Republic (Zwolle, 2007), 19–49.

  23. Oil on canvas, 68.4 x 52.3 cm, Stiftung Preussische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg, Berlin. Marcel Roethlisberger and Marten J. Bok, Abraham Bloemaert and His Sons: Paintings and Prints, 2 vols. (Doornspijk, 1993), 1:295–96, no. 454. See also Elizabeth Nogrady, “Het schilderen van series: een Utrechtse specialiteit,” in Liesbeth M. Helmus and Gero Seelig, Het Bloemaert-effect. Kleur en compositie in de Gouden Eeuw (Exh. cat. Utrecht, Centraal Museum; Schwerin, Staatliches Museum) (Petersberg, 2011–12), 46–54.

  24. Painted around 1635, this four-part series was shared among four Utrecht painters. Bloemaert’s section consisted of Amaryllis and Mirtillo, oil on canvas, 115.3 x 140.4 cm, Stiftung Preussische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg, Berlin; Marcel Roethlisberger and Marten J. Bok, Abraham Bloemaert and His Sons: Paintings and Prints, 2 vols. (Doornspijk, 1993), 1:327–28, no. 513; Liesbeth M. Helmus and Gero Seelig, Het Bloemaert-effect. Kleur en compositie in de Gouden Eeuw (Exh. cat. Utrecht, Centraal Museum; Schwerin, Staatliches Museum) (Petersberg, 2011–12), 142–43, no. 52.

  25. Only two of these three paintings have survived. See Marcel Roethlisberger and Marten J. Bok, Abraham Bloemaert and His Sons: Paintings and Prints, 2 vols. (Doornspijk, 1993), 1:278–80, nos. 425 and 426; L. M. Helmus and G. Seelig, Het Bloemaert-effect. Kleur en compositie in de Gouden Eeuw (Exh. cat. Utrecht, Centraal Museum; Schwerin, Staatliches Museum) (Petersberg, 2011–12), 136–39, no. 50.

  26. Marcel Roethlisberger and Marten J. Bok, Abraham Bloemaert and His Sons: Paintings and Prints, 2 vols. (Doornspijk, 1993), 1:582–83.

  27. Marcel Roethlisberger and Marten J. Bok, Abraham Bloemaert and His Sons: Paintings and Prints, 2 vols. (Doornspijk, 1993), 1:583; Arthur R. Peltzer, Joachim von Sandrarts Academie der Bau-, Bild-, und Mahlerey-Künste von 1675 (Munich, 1925), 157. For Rubens’s visit to Utrecht, see the biography of Hendrick ter Brugghen in this catalogue.

  28. Albert H. Kan, De jeugd van Constantijn Huygens door hemzelf beschreven (Rotterdam, 1994), 73.

  29. Liesbeth M. Helmus and Gero Seelig, Het Bloemaert-effect. Kleur en compositie in de Gouden Eeuw (Exh. cat. Utrecht, Centraal Museum; Schwerin, Staatliches Museum) (Petersberg, 2011–12), 58, no. 2.

  • Van Mander, Karel.  Het Schilder-Boeck.  Haarlem, 1604, fols.  297v–98v.
  • Houbraken, Arnold.  De groote schouburgh der Nederlantsche konstschilders en schilderessen.  3 vols.  Amsterdam, 1718–21; rev. ed., The Hague, 1753; reprint, Amsterdam, 1980, 43–44.
  • Peltzer, Arthur R.  Joachim von Sandrarts Academie der Bau-, Bild-, und Mahlerey-Künste von 1675.  Munich, 1925, 164–65.
  • Bok, Marten J.  “Abraham Bloemaert.”  In Nieuw licht op de Gouden Eeuw: Hendrick ter Brugghen en tijdgenoten.  Exh. cat. Utrecht, Centraal Museum; Braunschweig, Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum.  Publisher City?, 1986–87, 208–12.
  • Ruurs, Rob.  “The Date of Abraham Bloemaert’s Birth.”  Hoogsteder-Naumann Mercury 9 (1989): 4–6.
  • Roethlisberger, Marcel and Bok, Martem J.  Abraham Bloemaert and His Sons: Paintings and Prints.  2 vols.  Doornspijk, 1993.
  • Van Mander, Karel.  The Lives of the Illustrious Netherlandish and German Painters, from the First Edition of the “Schilder-Boeck” (1603–1604).  6 vols.  Edited by Hessel Miedema.  Doornspijk, 1994–99, 1:446–50; 6:84–101.
  • Helmus, Liesbeth M. and Seelig, Gero.  Het Bloemaert-effect. Kleur en compositie in de Gouden Eeuw.  Exh. cat. Utrecht, Centraal Museum; Schwerin, Staatliches Museum.  Petersberg, 2011–12.

The exact year of Abraham Bloemaert’s birth has not been established. It was long assumed to be 1564. Ruurs, however, convincingly argues that the correct year is 1566. See Rob Ruurs, “The Date of Abraham Bloemaert’s Birth,” Hoogsteder-Naumann Mercury 9 (1989): 4–6. Unless otherwise noted, biographical information on Abraham Bloemaert and his family is taken from M. J. Bok, “Het leven van Abraham Bloemaert,” in Liesbeth M. Helmus and Ger0 Seelig, Het Bloemaert-effect. Kleur en compositie in de Gouden Eeuw (Exh. cat. Utrecht, Centraal Museum; Schwerin, Staatliches Museum) (Petersberg, 2011–12), 18–22.

Karel van Mander, Het Schilder-Boeck (Haarlem, 1604), fols. 297r–98r. The amount of factual details in this account and the reliable impression they give suggest that Bloemaert and Van Mander probably knew each other well.

Karel van Mander, Het Schilder-Boeck (Haarlem, 1604), fol. 297r. For Gerrit Splinter, see Karel van Mander, The Lives of the Illustrious Netherlandish and German Painters, from the First Edition of the “Schilder-Boeck” (1603–1604), ed. Hessel Miedema, 6 vols. (Doornspijk, 1994–99), 6:87.

“Niet den besten Schilder.” Karel van Mander, Het Schilder-Boeck (Haarlem, 1604), fol. 297r. For Joos de Beer, see Karel van Mander, The Lives of the Illustrious Netherlandish and German Painters, from the First Edition of the “Schilder-Boeck” (1603–1604), ed. Hessel Miedema, 6 vols. (Doornspijk, 1994–99), 6:88. See also Carl van de Velde, Frans Floris: Leven en werken, 2ols. (Brussels, 1975), 1:115.

“[E]en weynigh schilderen con.” Karel van Mander, Het Schilder-Boeck (Haarlem, 1604), fol. 297v.

For Blocklandt’s apprenticeship with Floris, see Carl van de Velde, Frans Floris: Leven en werken, 2ls. (Brussels, 1975), 1:110.

Carl van de Velde, Frans Floris: Leven en werken, 2ls. (Brussels, 1975), 1:113–14. The frequent mention of Frans Floris in Bloemaert’s biography raises the question of whether the two families were related. Bloemaert’s focus on Floris, however, probably says more about Utrecht painting in general during the second half of the sixteenth century. Utrecht was strongly oriented toward Antwerp, where Floris was the head of a large and flourishing studio up until his death in 1570. In his day, Floris, like Rubens after him, was the undisputed leader of the local painters. Carl van de Velde, Frans Floris: Leven en werken, 2ols. (Brussels, 1975), 1:21.

According to Van Mander, Bloemaert regularly sighed to his pupils: “Ick wouw dat ick eens binnen mijnen leven had moghen een goet meester sien schilderen, of de verwen ghebruycken, op dat ick hun wijse oft manier hadde siende moghen afleeren” (I wish that I, once in my life, had been able to see a good master paint, or use paint, in order that I might have been able to learn his way or manner through observation). Karel van Mander, Het Schilder-Boeck (Haarlem, 1604), fol. 297r.

Marten J. Bok, “Het leven van Abraham Bloemaert,” in Liesbeth M. Helmus and Gero Seelig, Het Bloemaert-effect. Kleur en compositie in de Gouden Eeuw (Exh. cat. Utrecht, Centraal Museum; Schwerin, Staatliches Museum) (Petersberg, 2011–12), 18–19.

“[G]roote Tronien in ronden wesende Venus, Iuno en Pallas.” Karel van Mander, Het Schilder-Boeck (Haarlem, 1604), fol. 297r. Razet was a friend of Van Mander, and Van Mander and Bloemaert may well have met each other through him. For Jaques Razet, see Marten J. Bok, “Art-Lovers and Their Paintings: Van Mander’s Schilder-boeck as a Source for the History of the Art Market in the Northern Netherlands,” in G. Luijten et al., Dawn of the Golden Age: Northern Netherlandish Art, 1580–1620 (Exh. cat. Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum) (Amsterdam, 1993), 159;  see also Marcel Roethlisberger and Marten J. Bok, Abraham Bloemaert and His Sons: Paintings and Prints, 2 vols. (Doornspijk, 1993), 1:58, no. 5.

Bacchus, circular panel, 70 cm, and Ceres, circular panel, 70 cm, The Faringdon Collection Trust, Buscot Park, Oxfordshire. See Marcel Roethlisberger, “Early Abraham Bloemaert,” Tableau 17, no. 3 (December 1994): 44–51. See also Marcel Roethlisberger and Marten J. Bok, Abraham Bloemaert and His Sons: Paintings and Prints, 2 vols. (Doornspijk, 1993), 1:58, no. 4.

Oil on canvas, 204 x 249 cm, signed and dated 1591, Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen; Marcel Roethlisberger and Marten J. Bok, Abraham Bloemaert and His Sons: Paintings and Prints, 2 vols. (Doornspijk, 1993), 1:65–67, no. 14. See also Ger Luijten et al., Dawn of the Golden Age: Northern Netherlandish Art, 1580–1620 (Exh. cat. Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum) (Amsterdam, 1993), 373–74, no. 31. For Sion Luz, see Marten J. Bok, “Art-Lovers and Their Paintings: Van Mander’s Schilder-boeck as a Source for the History of the Art Market in the Northern Netherlands,”  in Ger Luijten et al., Dawn of the Golden Age: Northern Netherlandish Art, 1580–1620 (Exh. cat. Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum) (Amsterdam, 1993), 157. According to Van Mander, a painting of the same subject by Bloemaert also hung in Prague, “doch met een andere ordonnantie” (but with a different ordonnance). This was “een groot heerlyck en uytnemende stuck daer zijn Majesteyt en alle Const-verstandighe groot behaghen in hebben” (a large, majestic, and excellent piece in which his Majesty and all art connoisseurs delight). Karel van Mander, Het Schilder-Boeck (Haarlem, 1604), fol. 297v.

The Marriage of Peleus and Thetis, oil on canvas, 101 x 146.5 cm, Alte Pinakothek, Munich; Marcel Roethlisberger and Marten J. Bok, Abraham Bloemaert and His Sons: Paintings and Prints, 2 vols. (Doornspijk, 1993), 1:62, no. 12; Liesbeth M. Helmus and Gero Seelig, Het Bloemaert-effect. Kleur en compositie in de Gouden Eeuw (Exh. cat. Utrecht, Centraal Museum; Schwerin, Staatliches Museum) (Petersberg, 2011–12), 126–27, no. 43.

This refers to a drawing of the figure of Fame in Spranger’s Marriage of Amor and Psyche, which Bloemaert used for his own Marriage of Peleus and Thetis and on the back of which he wrote: “d’heer Bart. Spranger van de Schilde.” Gods, Saints, and Heroes: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt (Exh. cat. Washington D.C., National Gallery of Art; Detroit, Institute of Art; Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum) (Washington, 1981), 88, no. 5; see also Liesbeth M. Helmus and Gero Seelig, Het Bloemaert-effect. Kleur en compositie in de Gouden Eeuw (Exh. cat. Utrecht, Centraal Museum; Schwerin, Staatliches Museum) (Petersberg, 2011–12), 126–27, no. 43.

Until 1611, the year the Guild of Saint Luke was founded, painters belonged to the Saddlers’ Guild.

For a list of pupils’ names, see Munich; Marcel Roethlisberger and Marten J. Bok, Abraham Bloemaert and His Sons: Paintings and Prints, 2 vols. (Doornspijk, 1993), 1:645–51.

Oil on panel, 145 x 215.5 cm, signed and dated 1622, Koninklijk Museum der Schone Kunsten, Brussels; Munich; Marcel Roethlisberger and Marten J. Bok, Abraham Bloemaert and His Sons: Paintings and Prints, 2 vols. (Doornspijk, 1993), 1:220–21, no. 284.

Oil on canvas, 69 x 57.9 cm. signed and dated 1621, Centraal Museum, Utrecht; M. Roethlisberger and M. J. Bok, Abraham Bloemaert and His Sons: Paintings and Prints, 2 vols. (Doornspijk, 1993), 1:222–23, no. 285; Liesbeth M. Helmus and Gero Seelig, Het Bloemaert-effect. Kleur en compositie in de Gouden Eeuw (Exh. cat. Utrecht, Centraal Museum; Schwerin, Staatliches Museum) (Petersberg, 2011–12), 152–53, no. 58.

Oil on canvas, 70.5 x 96 cm, signed and dated 160(4), Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie; Marcel Roethlisberger and Marten J. Bok, Abraham Bloemaert and His Sons: Paintings and Prints, 2 vols. (Doornspijk, 1993), 1:112–13, no. 66.

Oil on canvas, 168.8 x 193.7 cm, signed and dated 1624, Centraal Museum, Utrecht; Marcel Roethlisberger and Marten J. Bok, Abraham Bloemaert and His Sons: Paintings and Prints, 2 vols. (Doornspijk, 1993), 1:255, no. 387; Liesbeth M. Helmus and Gero Seelig, Het Bloemaert-effect. Kleur en compositie in de Gouden Eeuw (Exh. cat. Utrecht, Centraal Museum; Schwerin, Staatliches Museum) (Petersberg, 2011–12), 112–13, no. 33. See also Albert Blankert, “Classicism in Dutch History Painting,” in Dutch Classicism in Seventeenth-Century Painting (Exh. cat. Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen; Frankfurt am Main, Städelsches Kunstinstitut) (Zwolle, 2000), 18.

The Adoration of the Magi, oil on canvas, 424 x 290 cm, signed, Musée de Grenoble; Marcel Roethlisberger and Marten J. Bok, Abraham Bloemaert and His Sons: Paintings and Prints, 2 vols. (Doornspijk, 1993), 1:252–54, no. 386; Liesbeth M. Helmus and Gero Seelig, Het Bloemaert-effect. Kleur en compositie in de Gouden Eeuw (Exh. cat. Utrecht, Centraal Museum; Schwerin, Staatliches Museum) (Petersberg, 2011–12), 64–66, no. 6.

Xander van Eck, Clandestine Splendor: Paintings for the Catholic Church in the Dutch Republic (Zwolle, 2007), 19–49.

Oil on canvas, 68.4 x 52.3 cm, Stiftung Preussische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg, Berlin. Marcel Roethlisberger and Marten J. Bok, Abraham Bloemaert and His Sons: Paintings and Prints, 2 vols. (Doornspijk, 1993), 1:295–96, no. 454. See also Elizabeth Nogrady, “Het schilderen van series: een Utrechtse specialiteit,” in Liesbeth M. Helmus and Gero Seelig, Het Bloemaert-effect. Kleur en compositie in de Gouden Eeuw (Exh. cat. Utrecht, Centraal Museum; Schwerin, Staatliches Museum) (Petersberg, 2011–12), 46–54.

Painted around 1635, this four-part series was shared among four Utrecht painters. Bloemaert’s section consisted of Amaryllis and Mirtillo, oil on canvas, 115.3 x 140.4 cm, Stiftung Preussische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg, Berlin; Marcel Roethlisberger and Marten J. Bok, Abraham Bloemaert and His Sons: Paintings and Prints, 2 vols. (Doornspijk, 1993), 1:327–28, no. 513; Liesbeth M. Helmus and Gero Seelig, Het Bloemaert-effect. Kleur en compositie in de Gouden Eeuw (Exh. cat. Utrecht, Centraal Museum; Schwerin, Staatliches Museum) (Petersberg, 2011–12), 142–43, no. 52.

Only two of these three paintings have survived. See Marcel Roethlisberger and Marten J. Bok, Abraham Bloemaert and His Sons: Paintings and Prints, 2 vols. (Doornspijk, 1993), 1:278–80, nos. 425 and 426; L. M. Helmus and G. Seelig, Het Bloemaert-effect. Kleur en compositie in de Gouden Eeuw (Exh. cat. Utrecht, Centraal Museum; Schwerin, Staatliches Museum) (Petersberg, 2011–12), 136–39, no. 50.

Marcel Roethlisberger and Marten J. Bok, Abraham Bloemaert and His Sons: Paintings and Prints, 2 vols. (Doornspijk, 1993), 1:582–83.

Marcel Roethlisberger and Marten J. Bok, Abraham Bloemaert and His Sons: Paintings and Prints, 2 vols. (Doornspijk, 1993), 1:583; Arthur R. Peltzer, Joachim von Sandrarts Academie der Bau-, Bild-, und Mahlerey-Künste von 1675 (Munich, 1925), 157. For Rubens’s visit to Utrecht, see the biography of Hendrick ter Brugghen in this catalogue.

Albert H. Kan, De jeugd van Constantijn Huygens door hemzelf beschreven (Rotterdam, 1994), 73.

Liesbeth M. Helmus and Gero Seelig, Het Bloemaert-effect. Kleur en compositie in de Gouden Eeuw (Exh. cat. Utrecht, Centraal Museum; Schwerin, Staatliches Museum) (Petersberg, 2011–12), 58, no. 2.