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Paul Brill

1544 - 1626

Place Born

Antwerp

Place Died

Rome

Bio

The most influential Italianate landscape painter of his time, Paul Bril was born in the southern Netherlands city of Breda in 1553 or 1554. According to the painter and writer Karel van Mander, he trained in Antwerp with the unknown Damiaen Ortelmans and, only fourteen years old, supported himself by painting landscapes on harpsichords. At the age of twenty he traveled to Lyon, where he stayed for several years. He is recorded in Rome from 17 October 1582 onwards, joining his elder brother Mathijs, who was involved in large-scale decorations in the Vatican and in Monterotondo, near Rome. After Mathijs’s premature death in 1583, Paul succeeded him on many papal commissions in the Vatican, and in various churches and villas in and around Rome. Paul Bril not only played a crucial artistic role in Rome, but he was also socially important. He was Principe of the Accademia di San Luca as well as being a member of the society called Virtuosi al Pantheon. Many northern artists who resided in Rome benefited from his position. He introduced Jan Brueghel the Elder (1568-1625), who stayed in Rome from 1591 to 1595, to the important patron Cardinal Federico Borromeo (1564-1631). Bril was best man at the marriage in 1606 of the influential German painter Adam Elsheimer (1578-1610), and housed the Amsterdam painter Bartolomeus Breenbergh (1598-1657) for many years. Bril died in 1626, leaving a large oeuvre of wall decorations, etchings, drawings and paintings. L.P.

Art Works Sold

A View of Bracciano

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Historical Period: 1600-1720 Baroque
A View of Bracciano
A View of Bracciano

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Historical Period: 1600-1720 Baroque
A View of Bracciano
Landscape with Huntsmen Pursuing a Hare

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Historical Period: 1600-1720 Baroque
Landscape with Huntsmen Pursuing a Hare