Dutch Italianate Painting
In the 17th century a trip to Italy was considered an important part of an artist’s training. Dutch painters went there to study the landscape, ancient ruins and sculptures, and the unique light. On their return to the Netherlands, many of these artists continued to paint Italianate landscapes; others adapted the lessons they had learned to suit Dutch taste for religious and secular paintings.
Hendrick ter Brugghen, known for his restrained compositions and subtle colour harmonies, recreated the dramatic contrasts of light and shade or chiaroscuro found in contemporary Italian art to heighten the emotional impact of his narratives. Pieter Lastman, the leading painter of biblical and mythological subjects in Amsterdam during the 1620s, was inspired by the sophisticated compositions of the Italian masters and filled his scenes with warm, Mediterranean light.