Gerrit Van Honthorst Biography | Oil Painting Reproductions
11-4-1592 Utrecht, NED – 4-27-1656 Utrecht, NEDBack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Gerrit van Honthorst trained first by his father, and then by Abraham Bloemaert and having completed his education, Honthorst went to Italy in 1616. In Rome, he lived in the palace of Vincenzo Giustiniani and painted Christ Before the High Priest. Giustiniani had an important art collection including works by the contemporary artists, Caravaggio, Bartolomeo Manfredi and the Annibale Carracci, and Honthorst having easy access to these works studied them and was influenced by them. He became especially noted for his depiction of candle-lit scenes, receiving the nickname "Gherardo Della Notti" (Gerard of the night).
Gerrit van Honthorst returned to Utrecht in 1620, and using what he had learned in Italy, he gained a big reputation for his style of oil painting both at home and abroad. He was so in demand that Sir Dudley Carleton, the English envoy at The Hague, recommended his works to Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia, then in exile in the Netherlands, and the sister of Charles I of England, she commissioned Honthorst as a painter and as a drawing teacher for her children. She was so impressed with his works that she recommended him to Charles I, he invited him to come to England in 1628. In London, he painted several portraits and a vast allegory of paintings.
After his return to Utrecht, Honthorst retained the patronage of the English ruler. Because of these contacts, his popularity in the Netherlands was such that he opened a second art studio in the Hague, where he painted portraits of members of the court.
Gerrit van Honthorst was a prolific artist and his most attractive paintings are those in which he uses Caravaggio' style of light and dark, often tavern scenes with musicians, gamblers, and people eating. A majority of his portraits of ordinary people painted playing music or in a tavern scenes have an infectious smile to warm up any one's day. He had great skill at chiaroscuro, often painting scenes illuminated by a single candle. Gerrit van Honthorst's oil painting The Concert painted in 1623 was bought by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., in 2013. His brother Willem van Honthorst was also a portrait painter. Many of Willem's paintings were thought to be Gerrit's due to their similar signatures on their canvases.
Art Movement: Baroque Art, Dutch Golden Age
Artists Influencing Gerrit van Honthorst: Abraham Bloemaert, Caravaggio, Bartolomeo Manfredi
He Traveled To Italy, England