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Jacob Grimmer

Circa 1526 – Antwerp – 1589

Jacob Grimmer was the contemporary of Pieter Brueghel the Elder. He did his apprenticeship as of 1539 in Antwerp, first as the pupil of Gabriel Bauwens and Matthijs Coeck and the Cerstian van der Queckborn. He was accepted as a Master in 1547. Grimmer married in 1548 and had four children. He most probably travelled to Italy as was the norm for young painters.

His work represents a major turning-point in the development of XVI century Flemish landscape. His interpretation of the sites, inspired by views of the surrounds of Antwerp, and the rural scenes that are introduced into them, denote a new conception of outstanding maturity. The plain, unified landscape which made its appearance toward the middle of the century is largely his invention. Fantastic panoramas, such as those still practiced by Lucas Gassel, are set aside to the benefit of a simplicity never achieved until then. Colour is also more genuine, with a permanent concern for rendering all the values of an atmosphere. He takes pleasure in filling out his landscapes with characters and small anecdotal scenes with a like spontaneity and naturalistic vision. He had great influence, inspiring many other painters such as his son Abel, as well as Gillis van Coninxloo, Jan Brueghel the Younger and Jan Wildens.