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Showing posts from July, 2013

Master of the Week:
Honthorst

Childhood of Christ, ca 1620

Born on 4 November, 1592 Gerard van Honthorst, sometimes written as Gerrit, was a prolific Dutch Baroque painter from Utrecht who typified the chiaroscuro of tenebrism in the Netherlands. Having spent four years in Italy absorbing the styles of Caravaggio, Manfredi and others he developed his own brand of powerful realism that earned him the nickname "Gherardo Delle Notti", or Gerard of the Nights. Interestingly, he did paint a few scenes and portraits that were not at night and with deep chiaroscuro—many of them quite amusing—but as he was known for painting in his usual dark manner they were not immediately recognizable as his own.


Honthorst was unique from his tenebrist contemporaries in that he not only painted religious scenes but genre painting, with characters from everyday life, especially musicians. Compared to his French contemporary Georges de La Tour, whose style was much darker, painting common people in similar scenes to Honthorst y…