BLOEMEN, Flemish family of painters

This Flemish family of painters and draughtsmen was active also in Italy and France. While still in their native Antwerp, Pieter van Bloemen was the first teacher of his brother Jan Frans van Bloemen and probably also of his younger brother Norbert van Bloemen. In 1673 Pieter became a master in the Antwerp Guild of St Luke. The following year he travelled to Rome. He is recorded in Lyon about a decade later (c. 1684). At about the same time (c. 1684–85) Jan Frans was in Paris, until he was summoned by his brother to Lyon. The two brothers were not happy in Lyon, however, and went to Rome. Jan Frans did not leave Rome again, apart from an eight-month journey to Naples, Sicily and Malta, from which he returned with a large number of drawings. Pieter left in 1692; he was back in Antwerp in 1694 and became dean of the Guild of St Luke there in 1699. Norbert also apparently joined his brothers in Rome. After failing to succeed as an artist in Italy, however, Norbert returned to Antwerp. His fortunes were no better there, and he set off again, eventually settling in Amsterdam, where he painted history subjects, interior genre scenes and portraits.

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