Dirck van Baburen

Prometheus Being Chained by Vulcan

1623
Oil on canvas, 202 x 184 cm.
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Prometheus Being Chained by Vulcan, Dirck van Baburen

Dirck van BABUREN
Utrecht (?) c. 1594-5-Utrecht 1624

Baburen is the least known of the three artists active in Utrecht in the 1620s who practiced a style imported from Italy which was basically derived from Caravaggio and his Italian followers. As a young man Baburen studied at Utrecht under the competent academic artist Paulus Moreelse (1571–1638), who was himself to flirt with the Caravaggesque idiom. Baburen then spent eight years (c. 1612–1620) in Rome. The pictures painted during his stay there are almost totally dependent on Caravaggio. His Deposition in the church of San Pietro in Montorio in Rome is a pastiche of Caravaggio's own prototype which was then in St Peter's (now in the Pinacoteca Vaticana). On his return to Utrecht, Baburen shared a studio with the more inventive Ter Brugghen and he developed a more individual style. This enabled him to paint a brilliantly coarse Procuress (in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts) which Vermeer depicted twice in the backgrounds to his pictures: it appears in the London "Lady Seated at a Virginal" and in The Concert in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston

from:
Christopher Wright, The Dutch Painters: 100 Seventeenth Century Masters, London, 1978