Painter, history painter, portrait painter, etcher, commercial artist, draughtsman and poet
Gerbrand van den Eeckhout was born in Amsterdam on 19 August 1621 to the goldsmith Jan Pietersz. van den Eeckhout and Grietje Claesdr., the daughter of a shoemaker. In the second half of the 1630s he was a pupil of Rembrandt in Amsterdam, and according to Houbraken he numbered among that artist's friends as well. His earliest dated work, 'Scholar in His Study' (Budapest, Museum of Fine Arts), was painted in 1641. Until his death he remained unmarried and lived in Amsterdam, where he was buried on 29 September 1674. Van den Eeckhout was a versatile history painter who sometimes dealt with subjects from ancient and biblical history and mythology that were rarely depicted. In the 1650s he developed a second means of support with genre paintings of elegant parties and scenes with soldiers. In addition, he occasionally painted portraits, most of them with historicising costumes and accoutrements, and landscapes. As a draughtsman he provided designs for graphics and even produced engravings himself. His stylistic versatility and high culture in the tradition of Dutch late Mannerism distinguish him as one of Rembrandt's most successful pupils.