ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES 

 

  Adriaen  Brouwer 

Birth Year : 1605
Death Year : 1638
Country : 

Adriaen Brouwer, a leading Flemish-Dutch genre painter, was born in Oudenaerde, Holland. We know that he went to Antwerp in about 1620, spent some time in Amsterdam in 1625, and remained in Haarlem from 1626 to 1631, where he seems to have been influenced by Frans Hals, with whom he may have studied. Brouwer returned to Antwerp in 1632 and remained there until his death. His earliest works, produced before 1626, are bright, colorful peasant scenes that show the influence of Brueghel. After his contact with Hals, however, his style became more atmospheric, very free in brushwork, and expressively lively. His subject matter-peasant life, drinking bouts, tavern fights-may very well have come from his own experience, for he is said to have led a lusty life, and heavy drinking eventually caused his early death.

Brouwer's short career is marked by constant artistic growth. His peasants, although marked by the seamy side of life, are robust, dramatic, exceedingly real, and picturesque. Brouwer is not kind to his subjects, but sees them clearly and without sentimentality. After his return to Antwerp his style changed again. He began to use figures that were larger in relation to the space they occupied; he emphasized facial expression more, often rendering it almost in caricature; and he adopted a fluid, supple movement, with more delicacy of feature and detail. Toward the very end of his life, he began to paint dreamy, poetic landscapes of twilight scenes that are as indicative of his ability to observe nature as his genre scenes are of his feeling for the life around him.
 
 

 
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