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Pieter van Bloemen, called Standaart(Antwerp1657 - Antwerp1720)

Pieter van Bloemen was a Flemish painter and a member of a family of painters and draughtsmen. He was also active in Italy and France and was the brother of Jan Frans van Bloemen. While still in their native Antwerp, Pieter was the first teacher of his brother Jan Frans — who later also studied with Antoine Goubau — and probably also of his younger brother Norbert (1670-c. 1746). From 1667 Pieter had himself trained with Simon van Douw (c. 1630-c. 1677), and in 1673 he became a master in the Antwerp Guild of St Luke. The following year he travelled to Rome. He is recorded in Lyon about a decade later (c. 1684) in the company of the Dutch artists Adriaen van der Cabel and Gillis Weenix. At about the same time (c. 1684-85) Jan Frans was in Paris, until he was summoned by his brother to Lyon. The two brothers were not happy there, however, and left for Rome. They travelled via Turin, staying there for some time. From 1686-87 they were in Rome, where they were both members of the Schildersbent, the confraternity of Dutch and Flemish artists active in the city.

Pieter was given the nickname Standaart (or Stendardo), undoubtedly a reference to the banners and standards that he depicted in his scenes of soldiers; Jan Frans's proficiency in producing panoramic landscapes earned him the nickname Orizzonte (the Italian word for "horizon"), which had previously been applied to Claude Lorrain.

Pieter left Rome in 1692, after having had the Flemish painter Frans Vanier as his assistant (1689-92); he was back in Antwerp in 1694 and became dean of the Guild of St Luke there in 1699.

Pieter's production of paintings was prolific; most are landscapes with figures and animals, caravan scenes with camps and resting travellers and animals, military and genre scenes and horse markets. He was at his best painting animals, which he also provided for works by other artists. His period in Italy was the most successful of his career, and his work continued to bear traces of its influence through to the end of his life. Characteristic of van Bloemen's style are carefully grouped 'still-lifes' of animals, open, Italianate landscapes with one or two monuments to convey the 'Roman' atmosphere and the lively colouring of the figures' costumes contrasting with the more sombre greys and browns of the herds and ruins. His drawings are mainly landscapes and figure and animal studies from life.

Pieter van Bloemen is represented in the following collections: Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe; Gemäldegalerie, Dresden; Prado, Madrid; Palazzo Barberini, Rome; Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna; Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; Courtauld Institute of Art, London; Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; Crocker Art Museum, California, amongst others.