Govaert Flinck

1615 (Kleef) - 1660 (Amsterdam)

by Jan Melkert

There is very little known from the early years of Flinck. It is known that he received lessons in painting in Leeuwarden. The master painter in Leeuwarden was Lambert Jacobsz, painter and merchant in art. In 1632/1633 Flinck came to in service as an apprentice with Hendrik Uylenburgh in Amsterdam. Uylenburgh had relations with Lambert Jacobsz. In Amsterdam Flinck met Rembrandt, whose apprentice Flinck became. In 1636 Flinck settled as a independent master painter. He developed himself as painter of portraits with a growing popularity. He also painted history pieces. Of course we can see the influence of Rembrandt in his early works as well in his portraits as in his history pieces. As a prove of the influence of Rembrandt on Dou as to the portraits, there is the case of one portrait, which was attributed to Rembrandt, but after restoration the sign of Dou became visible. After 1640 the style of Flinck is changing. His brush strokes become smoother, faster, with more elegance. His paintings become more clear. He also receives orders for group portraits (schuttersstukken) and he receives the honourable order to make a considerable part of the decorations of the new built city hall of Amsterdam. The reason why Rembrandt did not receive this order, had all to do with the way of painting Rembrandt had followed in these years. The style in which Flinck (and Dou and others) painted was more popular in those days.. His untimely death in 1660 did not enable him to finish his work on the decorations of the Amsterdam city hall.

Source: | Click on the picture to go to its source.


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