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Joachim Wtewael

1566 - 1638

Wtewael was one of the main exponents of the Mannerist style in Holland in the early 17th century. He remained largely unaffected by the new naturalism of Caravaggio and his followers, introduced to the north by artists like Ter Brugghen; Wtewael's work did, however, include a number of portraits.

Wtewael was born in Utrecht and trained there by Joos de Beer. He then spent four years in Italy and France, returning to Utrecht in about 1590. He remained active there until his death, becoming a wealthy flax merchant as well as a famous painter. He was first introduced to the Mannerist style at the court of Fontainebleau in France, and, like other Haarlem artists, was influenced by Bartolomeus Spranger, a native of Antwerp who had become court painter to Emperor Rudolf II at Prague.