Gerard Seghers

In the early years of his career, the Antwerp painter Gerard Seghers was primarily known for his large canvases in the style of Caravaggio (1573-1610). From 1630 onwards, however, Seghers was greatly influenced by Rubens's style.

The Virgin Mary is seated, with a sleeping infant on her lap. As Joseph appears behind her, the infant St John the Baptist approaches, piqued with curiosity. He has brought along a lamb, with a rope around its neck. The background consists of a sweeping landscape, in the gentle glow of the setting sun.

 

Influenced by Rubens

In the early years of his career, the Antwerp painter Gerard Seghers was primarily known for his large canvases in the style of Caravaggio (1573-1610), in which powerful contrasts between light and dark (chiaroscuro) played a role. A good example of this effect - The Denial of Peter - is on display elsewhere in the museum. From 1630 onwards, Seghers was greatly influenced by Rubens's style, however, with whom he collaborated on several occasions. Rubens's influence is mainly apparent in the beautiful, warm landscape at the right back, which is painted in a flurry of quick brushstrokes.

 

Specifications

  • Gerard Seghers (1591-1651)
  • The Holy Family with the infant St John the Baptist
  • Oil on canvas, c. 1638-1642
  • Long-term loan, Bernard Descheemaeker - Works of Art, Antwerp