Hendrick Cornelisz Vroom Netherlands
6-1562 Haarlem, NED – 2-4-1640 Haarlem, NEDBack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Much of what is known of Hendrick Cornelisz Vroom life comes from his biography by Karel van Mander, who devoted four pages to him in his "Schilder-boeck", which reads as an adventure story, complete with freezing his pants to a mountain top and nearly starving to death on a rock with a group that discussed cannibalism as a possible survival strategy.
Hendrick Cornelisz Vroom was born into a family of artists and began his career as a pottery painter and when his mother remarried, was no older than 19 when he rebelled against his stepfather who insisted he stick to pottery painting, by boarding a ship for Spain and from thence via Livorno and Florence to Rome. In Florence he was patronized around 1585–87 by Cardinal Ferdinando de' Medici, later Grand Duke of Tuscany. While there he became a pupil of Paulus Bril. He went back and forth to Venice, where he earned money as a majolica painter. When he returned north, he travelled via Lyon via a mountain pass where his pants froze to the summit rock.
From there he travelled to Paris, where he met a painter from Leiden, and from there he went to Rouen, where he became mortally ill but was saved by a woman who bandaged his head. There he boarded a ship homewards and was back in Haarlem in 1590, the year he married, before travelling to Danzig to visit his uncle.
During his next journey, this time to Portugal, he survived shipwreck and possibly murder as "an English pirate" by being recognized as a Catholic from his salvaged devotional paintings that convinced the monks on the beach that he and his companions were not heathen Protestants. Having been granted free passage, Hendrick Cornelisz Vroom traveled to St. Huves, where he recorded his adventures in a painting that he sold to a painter there. When he decided to return to Haarlem, he got off the ship at the last minute due to a premonition, being called a "crazy painter". The ship sank in the Øresund near Helsingor and Vroom was reported dead in Haarlem.
Hendrick Cornelisz Vroom recorded important engagements of the Dutch and English fleets in his oil paintings, giving a detailed portrayal of ships. Vroom's large and decorative battles, ceremonial scenes and beach views introduced novel compositional devices to be taken up by younger Dutch marinists. The Haarlem marine painters Hans Goderis, Cornelis Verbeeck and Cornelis Claesz van Wieringen were all directly influenced by him. He became a member of the Haarlem Guild of St. Luke and his pupils included Aert Anthonisz, Nicolaes de Kemp, Jan Porcellis, and his sons Cornelis Hendriksz Vroom and Frederik Hendricksz Vroom.
Art Movement: Baroque
Influences: Paulus Bril
Traveled: Spain, Italy, France, Poland, Portugal
Influenced: Hans Goderis, Cornelis Verbeeck, Cornelis Claesz van Wieringen, Aert Anthonisz, Nicolaes de Kemp, Jan Porcellis, Cornelis Hendriksz Vroom, Frederik Hendricksz Vroom