Thursday, November 6, 2014

Govert Flinck

Isaac blessing Jacob
oil on canvas
117 x 141 cm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Govert Teuniszoon Flinck (1615-1660) was a Dutch painter of the Dutch Golden Age. He was born at Kleve, capital of the Duchy of Cleves, which was occupied at the time by the United Provinces. He painted portraits, genre, and narrative subjects. He was a pupil of Rembrandt in Amsterdam, where he remained for the rest of his life.

His style was at first extremely close to that of Rembrandt. His early works are so similar that collectors once bought them as Rembrandts. With aspirations as a history painter, however, he looked to the swelling forms and grand action of Peter Paul Rubens, which led to many commissions for official and diplomatic painting. He achieved great contemporary success, being awarded major commissions for public buildings. For Amsterdam’s new town hall, Flinck was commissioned to paint on the theme of the Batavian revolt against the Romans. Unfortunately, he died before completing the series.