Carel Fabritius

Carel Fabritius

Style: Baroque

Lived: 1622 - 1654 (17th century)

Nationality: Netherlands

Carel Fabritius was born in the year 1622 in Middenbeemster, The Netherlands. He is thought to have spent a while working as a carpenter. In the early 1640s he studied at Rembrandt's studio in Amsterdam, along with his brother Barent Fabritius. Of all Rembrandt's pupils, Fabritius was the only one to develop his own style. A typical Rembrandt portrait would have the subject defined by spotlighting on a plain dark background. In contrast, Fabritius' portraits have light-coloured, textured backgrounds and delicately lit subjects. Fabritius became interested in the technical aspects of painting, moving away from the Renaissance focus on iconography.

In the early 1650s he moved to Delft and joined the Delft painters' guild in 1652. Fabritius was interested in perspectival effects, as can be seen in the exaggerated perspective of 'A View in Delft'. He showed excellent control of a heavily loaded brush, as shown in 'The Goldfinch'. All these qualities also appear in the work of Delft's most famous painters, Vermeer and de Hooch. It is likely that Fabritius was a strong influence on them.

Carel Fabritius only managed to paint about 15 paintings in his very short career. He died young, caught in the explosion of the Delft gunpowder factory on October 12, 1654. A quarter of the city was destroyed, along with his studio and many of his paintings. Only a dozen paintings have survived.

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