Abel Grimmer Netherlands

1570 Antwerp, BEL – 4-1-1620 Antwerp, BEL

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Abel Grimmer learned to paint from his father, the landscape painter Jacob Grimmer. His father Jacob Grimmer had established a name for himself by imitating the work of Pieter Bruegel the Elder on small panel pictures and selling these on the market at low prices.

He became a master of the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke in 1592. He took over his father's workshop. He worked his whole career in Antwerp.

His work has been dismissed because of this simplification and its reliance on the work of others. However, it is this combination that enabled him to survive in the Antwerp marketplace. He managed to be so prolific because he had streamlined his technique. This stylization and codification of established landscape formulas allowed him to make these works almost as inexpensive and widely available as prints.

Abel Grimmer interest in perspective and the use of a golden light anticipate the work of the Dutch painter of church interiors Pieter Saenredam. His paintings of interior views, such as A Ball and Jesus in the House of Martha and Mary show Abel's interest in portraying interior space.

A favorite theme of Abel Grimmer was the Tower of Babel of which he produced several versions, clearly inspired by Pieter Bruegel the Elder's treatment of the same subject. His works were important in the development towards more naturalism in Flemish landscape painting.

Movement: Renaissance
Influences: Jacob Grimmer, Hans Bol
Influenced: Pieter Saenredam
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