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Philips Wouwerman was one of the most versatile and prolific artists of the Dutch Golden Age. Embedded in the artistic environment and tradition of his home town of Haarlem, Wouwerman made an important and highly influential contribution to the canon of seventeenth-century Dutch painting. His pictures were in demand during his lifetime, and even more sought after in the 18th century. Throughout Europe, formerly princely art collections like in Dresden and St. Petersburg still bear witness to this widespread admiration of Wouwermans art.
Born in Haarlem in 1619, the son of a now altogether obscure painter named Pouwels Joostsz. Wouwerman, little is known about the artistic schooling of Wouwerman. According to Cornelis de Bie, he studied with Frans Hals (1581/85–1666), but the particular style of Hals didnt leave a footmark on his oeuvre. Apart from a short stay in Hamburg at the end of the 1630s, Wouwerman seemed to have lived in Haarlem during his whole artistic career and died as a prosperous member of the community at the age of 48. He joined the Haarlem Guild of St. Luke in 1640 and here took on several official posts in the years to come. Wouwerman also worked as an estate agent in his home town, as many documents in Haarlem archives mentioned the artist in this context.


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