Hendrick Jansz ter Brugghen

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Hendrick Jansz ter Brugghen

Birthdate: (41)
Birthplace: Den Haag, Zuid-Holland, Nederland
Death: November 01, 1629 (41)
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Place of Burial: Utrecht, The Netherlands
Immediate Family:

Son of Jan Egbertsz ter Brugghen and Sophia Dircx
Husband of Jacomijna Verbeeck
Father of Richard ter Brugghen; Johannes ter Brugghen; Commertgen ter Brugghen; Aert ter Brugghen; Henrickgen ter Brugghen and 3 others
Brother of Jan Jansz ter Brugghen

Occupation: Dutch painter - Caravaggisti
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Hendrick Jansz ter Brugghen

Hendrick Jansz ter Brugghen (or Terbrugghen) (1588 – 1 November 1629) was a Dutch painter, and a leading member of the Dutch followers of Caravaggio — the so-called Dutch Caravaggisti.


Little is known of the early life of ter Brugghen; he could have been born in The Hague, but his family seems to have moved to the strongly Catholic Utrecht in the early 1590s. Here he started painting at the age of thirteen, studying with Abraham Bloemaert. From Bloemaert, a Mannerist history painter, he learned the basics of the art. Around 1604, however, ter Brugghen travelled to Italy to expand his skills, a rather unusual move for Dutch painters at the time. He was in Rome in 1604, and could therefore have been in direct contact with Caravaggio (who fled the city in 1606 on a murder charge). He certainly studied his work, as well as that of his followers – the Italian Caravaggisti – such as Orazio Gentileschi. Caravaggio's work had caused quite a sensation in Italy. His paintings were characteristic for their bold chiaroscuro technique – the contrast produced by clear, bright surfaces alongside sombre, dark sections – but also for the social realism of the subjects, sometimes charming, sometimes shocking or downright vulgar. Other Italian painters who had an influence on ter Brugghen during his stay in Italy were Annibale Carracci, Domenichino and Guido Reni. ter Brugghen died in Utrecht in 1629.

Work and impact

Upon returning to Utrecht, he worked with Gerard van Honthorst, another of the Dutch Caravaggisti. Ter Brugghen's favourite subjects were half-length figures of drinkers or musicians, but he also produced larger-scale religious images and group portraits. He carried with him Caravaggio's influence, and his paintings have a strong dramatic use of light and shadow, as well as emotionally charged subjects. Even though he died young, his work was well received and had great influence on others. His treatment of religious subjects can be seen reflected in the work of Rembrandt, and elements of his style can also be found in the paintings of Frans Hals and Johannes Vermeer. Peter Paul Rubens described ter Brugghen's work as "...above that of all the other Utrecht artists."

Selected works

  • The Adoration of the Magi (1619) — Rijksmuseum, Amsterda
  • Flute Player (1621) — Gemäldegalerie, Kassel
  • The Calling of St Matthew (1621) — Central Museum, Utrecht
  • King David Playing the Harp — Warsaw National Museum, Warsaw
  • Doubting Thomas (c. 1621—1623) — Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
  • The Bagpipe Player (1624) — National Gallery of Art, Washington
  • The Singing Lute-Player (1624) — National Gallery, London
  • The Annunciation (1624) — Whitfield Fine Art, London, London
  • Granida & Daifilo (1625) — Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Saint Sebastian Tended by Irene (1625) — Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin
  • The Crucifixion with the Virgin and St John (c. 1625) — Metropolitan, New York
  • Bacchante & Ape (1626) — Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • The Concert (1626) — National Gallery, London
  • Jacob Reproaching Laban (Bible) (1627) — National Gallery, London
  • Democritus (1628) — Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
  • Heraclitus (1628) — Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
  • Duet (1628) — Louvre, Paris
  • Esau Selling His Birthright (?) — Bob Jones Museum and Gallery, Greenville, SC

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Hendrick Jansz ter Brugghen's Timeline

Den Haag, Zuid-Holland, Nederland
Age 31
January 1625
Age 37
January 1627
Age 39
October 1628
Age 40
November 1, 1629
Age 41
Utrecht, The Netherlands
November 1629
Age 41
Utrecht, The Netherlands
March 1630
Age 41