LAER, Pieter van
(b. 1592/95, Haarlem, d. 1642, Haarlem)

Bentvueghels in a Roman Tavern

c. 1625
Pen in brown wash over a drawing in black chalk, 203 x 258 mm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

In 1623, Dutch painters living in Rome (Pieter van Laer, Cornelis van Poelenburgh, Bartholomeus Breenbergh and others) formed a sort of brotherhood, the members of which were known as Bentvueghels (literally: bids of the flock). Every newcomer from the north could join the club, but first had to undergo a farcical induction ritual. The Bentvueghels took great pride in their parties as shown by the large number of drawings and even paintings made of them.