BATTEM, Gerrit van
(b. ca. 1636, Rotterdam, d. 1684, Rotterdam)

Biography

Dutch draughtsman, etcher and painter. He is usually judged by his many signed - and often highly coloured - gouache drawings of landscape views and genre scenes. However, several gouache drawings of religious subjects, for example the Crucifixion (Cleveland, OH, Museum of Art), have been suggested as early works. Between 1648 and 1654 he was very likely a pupil in Rotterdam of Abraham Furnerius, a relative (on his mother's side).

In 1668 van Battem was in Utrecht, where he married Margaretha Scheffer, sister of the local painter Anton Scheffer. The same year he was commissioned by Philips Koninck, the brother-in-law of Abraham Furnerius (d. 1654), to arrange for the auction of the prints, drawings and art books belonging to the estate of Abraham's father, Dr Johannes Furnerius (d. 1668), a Rotterdam surgeon and collector. Van Battem must have seen the colourful landscapes of Herman Saftleven II while in Utrecht, where he lived until 1669, when he returned to Rotterdam. In 1678 he was paid by the municipal authorities of Rotterdam to restore a painting in the stock exchange.

In the 1670s he worked with van Ruisdael, painting some of the figures in his famous landscapes. In his personal work, van Battem preferred to paint Dutch countrysides and towns, winter scenes, canals, and woodlands.