Hendrick Ter Brugghen Netherlands
1588 The Hague, NED - 11-1-1629 Utrecht, NEDBack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Hendrick Ter Brugghen earliest brief reference to the painter is in Het Gulden Cabinet (1661) of Cornelis de Bie, where he is mistakenly referred to as Verbrugghen. Another short account is found in the Teutsche Academie (1675) by Joachim von Sandrart, where he is referred to as Verbrug. Here we learn that he studied with Abraham Bloemaert, a Mannerist painter.
Cornelis de Bie, in his Spiegel vande Verdrayde Werelt (1708), and Arnold Houbraken, in his De Groote Schouburgh (1718-1721), produced biographies where they repeated Richard's claims that the painter met Rubens in Rome and also worked in Naples. There was a cadet of the same name serving in the army of Ernst Casimir of Nassau-Dietz in the spring of 1607, and for this reason, Ter Brugghen is thought to have been in Italy, but only in that year, rather than as previously believed in 1604. This would certainly mean that he never met Caravaggio in Rome; that artist had fled Rome on a murder charge in 1606. However, it is certain that he was the only Dutch painter in Rome during Caravaggio's lifetime.
Hendrick Ter Brugghen certainly studied Caravaggio's work, as well as that of his followers – the Italian Caravaggisti – such as Orazio Gentileschi. Caravaggio's work had caused quite a sensation in Italy. His paintings were characteristic for their bold chiaroscuro technique – the contrast produced by clear, bright surfaces alongside sombre, dark sections – but also for the social realism of the subjects, sometimes charming, sometimes shocking or downright vulgar. Other Italian painters who had an influence on Ter Brugghen during his stay in Italy were Annibale Carracci, Domenichino and Guido Reni.
Upon returning to Utrecht, Hendrick Ter Brugghen worked with Gerard van Honthorst, another of the Dutch Caravaggisti. Ter Brugghen's favourite subjects were half-length figures of drinkers or musicians, but he also produced larger-scale religious images and group portraits. He carried with him Caravaggio's influence, and his paintings have a strong dramatic use of light and shadow, as well as emotionally charged subjects. Even though he died young, his work was well received and had great influence on others. His treatment of religious subjects can be seen reflected in the work of Rembrandt, and elements of his style can also be found in the paintings of Frans Hals and Johannes Vermeer and Peter Paul Rubens.
Art Movement: Dutch Golden Age
Influences: Caravaggio, Abraham Bloemaert, Annibale Carracci, Domenichino, Guido Reni
Influenced: Rembrandt, Frans Hals, Johannes Vermeer, Peter Paul Rubens