LASTMAN, Pieter Pietersz.
(b. 1583, Amsterdam, d. 1633, Amsterdam)

The Triumph of Mordecai

Oil on panel
Museum het Rembrandthuis, Amsterdam

Lastman is known in the modern literature as the leading member of the group of artists called the pre-Rembrandtist. The group was mainly active in Amsterdam. What they have in common is their dedication to history painting, often employing biblical and mythological subjects that hitherto was rarely depicted by Dutch painters. Their style is derived from sources that Lastman used and all of them borrowed from Lastman, the most influential member of the group. (The group included, besides Lastman Jan Pynas, Jacob Pynas, Jan Tengnagel, Cornelisz Moeyart, and François Venant.) About 1624 Rembrandt spent six months with Lastman, who may have inspired Holland's greatest artist to become a history painter. He certainly influenced his early narrative style and choice of subjects.