BRONCHORST, Johannes van
(b. 1627, Utrecht, d. 1656, Amsterdam)

Biography

Dutch painter, part of a family of painters, son of Jan (Gerritsz.) van Bronchorst. Johannes and his younger brother Gerrit (Jansz.) van Bronchorst (c. 1636-1673), who later worked in the style of Cornelis van Poelenburgh, travelled together to Rome, where Johannes is documented between 1648 and 1650. There he developed a cool, academic style, which he combined with Caravaggesque light effects. Closest to the work of Caravaggio is his St Bartholomew (1652; Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna). The influence of his father is perhaps most obvious in Bathsheba with David's Letter (Palazzo Barberini, Rome). Its composition of figures seen from below was inspired by Jan Gerritsz.'s balcony scenes, but the darker colouring, the elegantly elongated proportions and the contemplative air of his figures distinguish the work from that of his father, as does the different style of his signature. In Rome and later in Amsterdam, he was regarded as the creator of particularly refined portraits, in which the sitters are so stylized as to be lifeless.