WOUWERMAN, Philips
(b. 1619, Haarlem, d. 1668, Haarlem)

Biography

The most celebrated member of a family of Dutch painters from Haarlem, where he worked virtually all his life. He became a member of the painters' guild in 1640 and is said by a contemporary source to have been a pupil of Frans Hals. The only thing he has in common with Hals, however, is his nimble brushwork, for he specialized in landscapes of hilly country with horses - cavalry skirmishes, camps, hunts, travellers halting outside an inn, and so on. In this genre he was immensely prolific and also immensely successful.

He had many imitators, including his brother Pieter, and his great popularity continued throughout the 18th century. Subsequently he has perhaps been underrated, for although his work generally follows a successful formula, he maintained a high quality; his draughtsmanship is elegant, his composition sure, his colouring delicate, and his touch lively.