|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
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