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Jan van Bijlert

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Jan van Bijlert was born either in 1597 or 1598 in Utrecht, Netherlands. In his early life, he was the apprentice of Abraham Bloemaert. From 1614 till 1616 he visited Paris, France and he met Jan Gerritsz van Bronckhorst and Cornelis van Poelenburgh. The three artists continued to work and exhibit together. Bijlert was influenced by Italian painters Caravaggio, Guido Reni, and Orazio Gentileschi when he visited Rome from 1620 to 1624. In 1623, he co-founded the group called the Schildersbent, a society of Caravaggesque painters. Jan van Bijlert returned to Utrecht in 1625 and became one of the city’s most prominent artists. He painted in a variety of genres, including portrait, historical, and genre. Still, he always included the technique of chiaroscuro, a strong contrast between light and dark. After returning to Utrecht, he enlisted in the city’s militia which caused him to produce fewer paintings until 1630, when he retired. When he became a member of the Reformed Church, he began focusing on painting religious and mythological subjects. For the rest of his career, Bijlert continued to paint a Renaissance style and made charcoal portraits. He died in 1671. Meta description: Jan van Bijlert made portrait, historical, and genre paintings. When he joined the Reformed Church he made religious and mythological art.

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