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Dirck Helmbreker - Dutch Artist From Art History

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Historical Artist - Dirck Helmbreker (1633 - 1696)

Dirk Helmbreker studied painting with Pieter de Grebber before joining Haarlem’s Guild of Saint Luke in 1652. He later traveled throughout Germany, Switzerland, and Italy before settling in Rome in 1659. He joined the Northern European art group called the Bentvueghels, meaning ‘birds of a feather.” In 1678, he worked in Paris with Frederick Moucheron and returned to Italy three years later to work in Turin, Florence, and Rome. Helmbreker’s paintings were popular and sold for large amounts of money. He painted light-hearted themes, religious scenes, and landscapes that often incorporated ancient ruins. His paintings belong to the group of artists known as the Bamboccianti, and, like other northern artists working in this style, he specialised in small-scale genre scenes in the manner of Pieter van Laer. His genre scenes, which were among the last generation of the Bamboccianti, tended to be more classical in inspiration than many their earlier low-life scenes. Ultimately, these works found great success with Italian collectors. In 1695 he was commissioned to paint the the main altar piece of the Church of St. Julian of the Flemings in Rome.

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