(Gorinchem 1566 - Utrecht 1651)
A prominent painter in the Catholic city of Utrecht, Bloemaert was also a draughtsman, writer and teacher. His work passes through various transitions both in style and subject matter. After a fragmentary training, he went to Paris in 1581/2 where he was influenced by the School of Fontainebleau. The Death of Niobe's Children (1591; Copenhagen) is a large and dramatic composition, full of stylish, twisting, and elongated figures, consciously modelled on classical and Renaissance forms. This early example of Dutch Mannerism impressed his contemporaries, attracting many pupils, such as Gerrit van Honthorst and Hendrick ter Brugghen, who were in turn to influence their master. The Adoration of the Kings (1624; Utrecht, Centraal Museum) is a bold, light-flooded composition with large, realistic figures prominently in the foreground. It owes a debt not only to the Utrecht Caravaggisti but also to Rubens, who visited Bloemaert three years later. Bloemaert turned towards pastoral scenes, probably influenced by the contemporary pastoral tradition in Dutch literature. Bloemaert's Shepherd and Shepherdess (1627; Hanover, Niedersächsische Landesgal.) is an early example of this type in Utrecht.
Bloemaert is represented in the following collections: Detroit Institute of Arts, Michigan; Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg; Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Mauritshuis Royal Picture Gallery, The Hague; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City; Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; Royal Academy of Arts Collection, London; Art Gallery of the University of Rochester, New York; Bob Jones University Museum & Gallery, Greenville, South Carolina; Centraal Museum, Utrecht, Netherlands; Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio; Courtauld Institute of Art, London; Harvard University Art Museums, Massachusetts; Kunsthalle zu Kiel, Germany; amongst others.