Gerrit van HONTHORST
Utrecht 1590–Utrecht 1656
Gerrit van Honthorst was Born in Utrecht on 4 November, 1590, Honthorst, the son of a painter
of tapestry cartoons, was first trained by Abraham Bloemaert in Utrecht and later went to Rome. Influenced strongly by the work of Caravaggio, Honthorst soon became much in demand in Rome. He was patronized by the Marchese Vincenzo Giustiniani and by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, who was later also the patron of the sculptor Bernini. On his return to Utrecht, in 1620, Honthorst came to play a leading role in the civic life of the town, being dean of the painters' guild on four occasions between 1625 and 1629. In 1628 he spent six busy and profitable months in England at the invitation of Charles I. After his return to Utrecht he remained an internationally admired figure. His later works-especially those painted for the Court of Denmark and for the Stadholder in Holland were dryly classicist. Honthorst died, still successful, in Utrecht in 1656.
The Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer, John Nash, London, 1972