(b. 1566, Gorinchem, d. 1651, Utrecht)

Adoration of the Magi

Oil on canvas, 420 x 290 cm
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Grenoble

The Catholic painter Abraham, resident in predominantly Catholic Utrecht, painted spectacular altarpieces in the style reminiscent of sixteenth-century Italian painting. He painted this altarpiece, one of his largest, for the church of the Catholic order of the Jesuits in Brussels, in the Southern Netherlands. Such commissions were extremely rare in the Dutch Republic. Bloemaert's jubilant colour and festive pageantry befitted the theme and answered the Jesuit's need for a lively backdrop to their main altar.