Jan van Bijlert
Utrecht 1597/98 – 1671 Utrecht
A lute player
Oil on canvas : 106,1 X 82,6 cm
Frame : 128,8 X 106,8 cm
Published by Paul Huys Janssen, Jan van Bijlert, 1998, P. 139, Nr. 105, Pl. 46, circa 1625-1635
Jan van Bijlert was one of the four important Dutch Caravaggisti from Utrecht (the others were ter Brugghen, van Honthorst and van Baburen). All four had at the start of their career travelled to Italy, to Rome, to study the revolutionary art of Caravaggio. At their return they continued painting in this Caravaggesque way for some years (except for van Baburen who died shortly after his return), before evolving towards a more gallant, pollished Classicist style in the early 1630s.
Musicians rank amongst the most popular subjects of Caravaggist painting, especially in Utrecht. According to Paul Huys Jansen, the author of the monograph about van Bijlert of 1998, our lute player dates from the first decade after our painter’s return to Utrecht, 1625/1635.