Caravaggisti

1600 - 1650

Group of painters from Utrecht who travelled to Rome at the beginning of the 17th century and were profoundly influenced by the work of Caravaggio. On their return to the northern Netherlands, they developed these new artistic ideas into a style known as Utrecht Caravaggism. This trend had a short-lived but intense development that lasted from 1620 to 1630. The first generation and initiators were Hendrick ter Brugghen, Gerrit van Honthorst and Dirck van Baburen, who introduced Caravaggism into Utrecht painting c. 1620 with immediate success. Such older painters as Abraham Bloemaert, Paulus Moreelse and even the Mannerist Joachim Wtewael were affected. The Utrecht Caravaggisti painted predominantly history scenes and genre pieces. These are life-size paintings with economical and powerful compositions; the impact of the scene is heightened by contrasting areas of light and dark, and a small number of figures who are abruptly cropped so that they seem to be portrayed in close-up.
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© Grove Art / OUP

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