The sixteenth century in Europe was a time of unprecedented change. It was the beginning of the modern era, and it saw a revolution in almost every aspect of life. The century opened with the discovery of a new continent


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Rubens and Brueghel collaborated on a series of paintings, known collectively as Allegory of the Senses or The Five Senses (1617) which are set in an imaginary 'cabinet of wonder', as the collections were sometimes known; one of them even depicts another of their joint works prominently in the foreground. This series (today in the Prado in Madrid), is perhaps the most significant of their many collaborations, and comprises five allegorical paintings, one devoted to each of the senses.











Ter Brugghen was one of the leading representatives of Caravaggesque painting in the Netherlands. His sensitive and poetic style combines chiaroscuro lighting and simple, monumental forms with subtle painterly effects. Though clearly influenced by Italian painting, his work also carries echoes of Northern Renaissance traditions. Ter Brugghen painted mostly religious subjects and genre scenes (musicians and drinkers), as well as a few mythological and literary subjects.

  • Ter Brugghen was one of the leading representatives of Caravaggesque painting in the Netherlands. His sensitive and poetic style combines chiaroscuro lighting and simple, monumental forms with subtle painterly effects. Though clearly influenced by Italian painting, his work also carries echoes of Northern Renaissance traditions. Ter Brugghen painted mostly religious subjects and genre scenes (musicians and drinkers), as well as a few mythological and literary subjects.





In the 1620s-30s, Hals fulfilled many portraits of Dutch society in large single or double portraits. Flemish elements and the influence of Rubens become evident, with the background showing views and scenic staffage.

  • In the 1620s-30s, Hals fulfilled many portraits of Dutch society in large single or double portraits. Flemish elements and the influence of Rubens become evident, with the background showing views and scenic staffage.

  • After 1626 he became much interested in genre pictures, these still remained portraits, which took most of his time.

  • The artist died in 1666 in Haarlem. Hals’ pupils included the Ostade brothers, and the imitator of his style, Judith Leyster; he also greatly influenced Steen and Terborch.







She was one of the very few women to be accepted as a member to the Haarlem Lukas Guild of Painters. Although she was highly esteemed by her contemporaries, she remained unknown for a long time and her works were either believed lost, or were attributed to Frans Hals.  Judith is believed to be Hals’ pupil, she worked in his studio in Haarlem in about 1630; at that period she tried to follow his style. She was definitely a friend of Hals’ family, because in 1631 she became godmother to Hals’ daughter Maria. In 1636, Judith married the genre painter Jan Miense Molenaer.

  • She was one of the very few women to be accepted as a member to the Haarlem Lukas Guild of Painters. Although she was highly esteemed by her contemporaries, she remained unknown for a long time and her works were either believed lost, or were attributed to Frans Hals.  Judith is believed to be Hals’ pupil, she worked in his studio in Haarlem in about 1630; at that period she tried to follow his style. She was definitely a friend of Hals’ family, because in 1631 she became godmother to Hals’ daughter Maria. In 1636, Judith married the genre painter Jan Miense Molenaer.

  • In her early works, the young Leyster, like Hals, followed the style of the Utrecht Caravagisti. However, her later portraits and genre scenes were strongly influenced by the painting of Terbrugghen and Honthorst.





Rembrandt never visited Italy but by the time he left his native Leyden to settle in Amsterdam in 1631, he had already been exposed to the latest developments in Baroque painting.

  • Rembrandt never visited Italy but by the time he left his native Leyden to settle in Amsterdam in 1631, he had already been exposed to the latest developments in Baroque painting.

  • Of all the Baroque masters, it was Rembrandt who evolved the most revolutionary technique and who seemed to grow into the Italians' spiritual heir. By the middle of the 1630s he had long since abandoned conventional Dutch smoothness and his surfaces were already caked with more paint than was strictly necessary to present an illusion.

  • He worked in complex layers, building up a picture from the back to the front with delicate glazes that allowed light actually to permeate his backgrounds and reflect off the white underpainting, and generously applied bodycolors which mimicked the effect of solid bodies in space. Never before had a painter taken such a purely sensuous interest and delight in the physical qualities of his medium, nor granted it a greater measure of independence from the image.



Rembrandt married Saskia van Uylenburgh in 1634. She belonged to a patrician family and brought with her a substantial fortune.

  • Rembrandt married Saskia van Uylenburgh in 1634. She belonged to a patrician family and brought with her a substantial fortune.

  • He and Saskia purchased a large house in a good neighborhood in 1639. In 1641 Saskia gave birth to their son Titus. (He was their only child to survive; three others had died in infancy.) A year later Saskia died.



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