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Barent Fabritius

Painter and draughtsman

1624 in Middenbeemster
1673 in Amsterdam

2 Works by Barent Fabritius

Works displaying Barent Fabritius


Baptised on 16 November 1624 in Beemster, Barent Fabritius was a son of Pieter Carelsz., a schoolmaster who painted on the side. His brother was Carel Fabritius (1622-1654). In 1641 the brothers were received into the Reformed Church of Midden-Beemster. In the related document they are both identified as carpenters, from which designation their surname Fabritius (from the Latin 'faber', meaning craftsman) may have derived. In 1643 Barent was still a member of the church congregation in Midden-Beemster. He is presumed to have then joined Rembrandt's workshop in Amsterdam, where his brother had already been trained. His earliest dated painting is the Frankfurt 'Self-Portrait' from 1650. On 18 August 1652 in Beemster he married Catharina Mussers, who, like his brother, lived in Delft. He himself lived in Amsterdam at the time. Two sons were baptised in Beemster in 1653 and 1655. Around 1656 the artist settled in Leiden, where he painted a portrait of the family of a city architect. He rented a house in Leiden in 1657, joined the painters' guild in 1658, and executed five Bible parables for the Lutheran Church in 1660/61. In 1665/66 he was once again in Beemster, and later back in Amsterdam, where on 20 October 1673 he was buried in the Leidsche Kerkhof, a burial ground for the poor. He left behind six children. His wife was still living in 1701. His oeuvre of roughly fifty surviving paintings consists primarily of histories depicting biblical and mythological subjects. In addition there are allegories, portraits and figural and genre pictures. A number of pen drawings are attributed to Fabritius, most of them washed. In style he was influenced by Rembrandt and perhaps even more by the Luminarism and perspective art of his brother Carel. Over the course of the 1660s he developed a mannered figural style. In all his changes of style, Fabritius always exhibited an earthy palette as his unmistakable signature.

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