Gabriel Metsu (1629-1667) Baroque Era painter


Gabriel Metsu, Metsu also spelled Metzu, (born January 1629, Leiden, Netherlands - buried October 24, 1667, Amsterdam), Dutch painter🎨 of scenes of everyday life who was best known for his use of the window format to frame his subjects.
Metsu was the son of a painter and tapestry designer who died before Metsu was born.
He was raised in Leiden by his mother, a midwife, and later also by a stepfather.
It is not known precisely when Metsu began his artistic training. It is thought that he was a painter’s apprentice, possibly for Claes Pietersz. de Grebber, by about 1644, when Metsu was a teenager.



He became a founding member of the painters’ Guild of St. Luke in Leiden in 1648.
The only painting that exists from that early period is Ecce Homo (late 1640s), an oil on panel.
Metsu remained in Leiden until about 1650, at which time he relocated temporarily to Utrecht and likely studied with the German-born history painter Nicolaus Knüpfer, who is believed to have also taught Jan Steen.
Upon Metsu’s return to Leiden about 1652, he painted interiors composed by using linear perspective and depicting natural light.
Metsu left Leiden probably about 1654 and settled in Amsterdam. There he began painting on a smaller scale and increasing the contrast between light and dark.
Metsu painted outdoor markets and interiors, or genre scenes.


He also created many paintings of young women engaged in domestic activities, much like his contemporaries Gerrit Dou🎨 and Gerard Terborch, who also favoured that subject.
Metsu often used his wife as a model, as in his painting Saint Cecilia (1663). 
Among his better-known works are The Vegetable Market in Amsterdam (1657-61), A Visit to the Nursery (1661), The Sick Child (c. 1664-66), and A Woman Writing a Letter (c. 1664-66). | © Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.










Gabriel Metsu (Leida, 1629 - Amsterdam, 24 ottobre 1667) è stato un pittore Olandese🎨, figlio del pittore fiammingo Jacques Metsu (v. 1588-1629).
Fu famoso per scene storiche e di genere, soprattutto di interni.
Nato a Leida, nelle sue prime opere rappresentò soprattutto temi biblici e di storia classica, influenzato in particolare da pittori come Nicolaus Knüpfer di Utrecht e dal suo discepolo di Leida Jan Steen.
A metà degli anni cinquanta del Seicento si trasferì ad Amsterdam, dove restò fino alla morte.
Con il cambio di residenza iniziò a specializzarsi in scene di genere, che divennero il suo campo di attività più noto e apprezzato, grazie anche all'apporto di nuovi stimoli da parte di colleghi come Gerard Dou🎨, Gerard ter Borch🎨, Pieter de Hooch🎨 e Jan Vermeer🎨 di Delft.


Il suo stile si caratterizzò così per la preferenza accordata ai personaggi umani, sempre fulcro delle sue opere, calati però in ambientazioni ricche di dettagli ornamentali.
Se nelle sue prime opere prevalsero i toni scuri alternati a parti drammaticamente luminose dei caravaggisti di Utrecht, nella produzione matura furono invece i colori chiari, influenzati dalla scuola di Delft, ad imporsi.
Sebbene la sua produzione sia di livello qualitativo altalenante, in alcune delle sue migliori opere rivela una sensibilità coloristica che si può paragonare a quella di Vermeer🎨.
La produzione tarda mostra un'esecuzione più morbida, con reminiscenze di Gerrit Dou🎨 e dei pittori di Leida.


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