Heemskerck 1634 - 1704 Haarlem
Maerten van Heemskerck was inspired to travel
south by his older painter-colleague Jan van Scorel,
who in 1524 had returned to Haarlem from his own
visit to Italy. During his stay in Italy, from 1532 to
1537, Heemskerck made an intensive study of the
work of Michelangelo, Raphael, and Giulio Romano,
whose influence he later ensured in the Netherlands.
His own rather grandiose style of painting,
with its emphasis on human anatomy, testifies also
to his interest in the sculpture of Roman Antiquity.
Heemskerck made numerous drawn records of the
newly excavated ruins of Ancient Rome. These later
served as the starting point for fantastical painted
compositions. In addition to altarpieces, portraits,
and history paintings on religious and mythological
themes, he produced a large number of drawings
for the print trade. By means of this form of reproduction,
Heemskerck’s compositions served to disseminate
a Mannerist style in northern Europe.