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Gerard van Honthorst was born in Utrecht in 1590. He was a pupil of Abraham Bloemaert. At the age of twenty he visited Rome and first became familiar with the original works of Raphael and Caravaggio, the latter of whom influenced him considerably in the use and qualities of concentrated light. He specialized in nocturnal scenes and candlelight effects. It is largely through him that the influence of such strongly marked chiaroscuro reached Holland.
In 1622 he returned to Utrecht where he maintained the success he had already gained in Italy. He became Master in 1622 and began to use lighter colors, painting everyday genre scenes. He was court painter at the Hague from 1637 to 1652. He painted extremely detailed portraits of the Princes of Orange. He died in Utrecht in 1656.
Written and compiled by Jean Ershler Schatz, artist and researcher from Laguna Woods, California.
Phaidon Encyclopedia of Art and Artists;
Masterpieces of Art, New York Worlds Fair Catalogue 1940