Heemskerck, Maerten van

(1498-1574)
   Dutch master born in Heemskerck who worked with Jan van Scorel in Haarlem and Utrecht and who, like his master, traveled to Rome (1532) where he spent several years studying the works of the Italians. There, van Heemskerck created a number of drawings of antiquities and contemporary art that are invaluable as they record lost monuments, as well as the construction of New St. Peter's, which took place during his stay. In 1537, van Heemskerck settled in Haarlem where three years later he was appointed dean of the local guild. He remained there for the rest of his life, save for a stay in Amsterdam from 1572 to 1573 when the Spaniards seized Haarlem. His Family Portrait (c. 1530; Kassel, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen) he painted before his departure to Rome and denotes the influence of van Scorel, so much so that at one time it was attributed to the latter. His St. Luke Painting the Virgin (1532; Haarlem, Frans Halsmuseum), also created before his departure to Italy, presents classicized figures, though it was not until van Heemskerck was exposed to Italian art firsthand that he truly mastered this vocabulary. His Entombment Triptych (1559-1560; Brussels, Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts) demonstrates his assimilation of the Italian Mannerist style, in particular that of Agnolo Bronzino.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

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