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 Michiel Sweerts  (1618 - 1664)

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Lived/Active: Flemish      Known for: painting

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from Auction House Records.
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Biography from Christie's New York, Rockefeller Center:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Michiel Sweerts was one of the most enigmatic painters of the 17th-century, and much of his life remains a mystery.  A painter and printmaker, and later a lay missionary, Sweerts was itinerant.

Born in Brussels, where he was baptized in 1618, he is next recorded in Rome in 1646, aged 28.  He may have visited France and the northern Netherlands en route to Italy, where he would have seen the works of the Le Nain and Ter Borch.  In Rome, he is recorded on the via Margutta, near Santa Maria del Popolo – where the confraternity of Dutch and Flemish artists lived – and working in the Accademia di San Luca.

By the mid-1650s he had returned to Brussels and spent time in Amsterdam before departing to Persia and India, to spread the word of his faith.  He died in 1664 in Goa in Portuguese India.  His career as a painter spans little more than fifteen years.

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