BIJLERT, Jan van
(b. 1597/98, Utrecht, d. 1671, Utrecht)

Virgin and Child

c. 1635
Oil on canvas, 113 x 92 cm
Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum, Braunschweig

The refined manner of painting, the pale flesh tones and the powerful colour contrasts make the work a paradigm of classicist painting. It is therefore not surprising that it was attributed to the French artist Simon Vouet from the early 1700s until well into the 20th century. Van Bijlert had lived in Rome from 1621 to 1624, and would certainly have met the celebrated Simon Vouet there. The composition and colours of Van Bijlert's Virgin and Child seem to be strongly influenced by Vouet.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 6 minutes):
Franz Schubert: Ave Maria (Hail, Mary), Franz Liszt's transcription