Utrecht Caravaggism  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Utrecht Caravaggism refers to those Baroque artists, all distinctly influenced by the art of Caravaggio, who were active mostly in the Dutch city of Utrecht during the early part of the seventeenth century.

Painters such as Dirck van Baburen, Gerrit van Honthorst and Hendrick Terbrugghen were all in Rome in the decade 1610–1620, a time when the chiaroscuro of Caravaggio's later style was very influential. Adam Elsheimer, also in Rome at the same time, was probably also an influence on them. Back in Utrecht, they painted mythological and religious history subjects and genre scenes, such as the card-players and gypsies that Caravaggio himself had abandoned in his later career. Utrecht was the most Catholic city in the United Provinces, and had previously been the main centre, after Haarlem, of Northern Mannerist painting in the Netherlands. Abraham Bloemaert, who had been a leading figure in this movement, and taught the Honthursts and many other artists, also was receptive to the influence of his pupils, and changed his style many times before his death in 1651.

The brief flourishing of Utrecht Caravaggism ended around 1630, when major artists had either died, as in the case of Baburen and Terbrugghen, or had changed style, like Honthorst's shift to portraiture and history scenes informed by the Flemish tendencies popularized by Peter Paul Rubens and his followers. They left a legacy, however, through their influence on Rembrandt's use of chiaroscuro and Gerrit Dou's "niche paintings" (a genre popularized by Honthorst).

Along with other Caravaggisti active in Italy and Woerden, they set the stage for later artists who worked in a Caravaggesque-inspired manner such as Georges de La Tour in Lorraine.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Utrecht Caravaggism" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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