(b Utrecht, c.1615/20; bur. Utrecht, 9 Aug. 1652). Dutch painter, draughtsman, and etcher, with Nicolaes Berchem the most celebrated of the Italianate landscape painters. He probably studied in Utrecht with Bloemaert before going to Italy, where he stayed for about four years, c.1637–41. Both's output was large (in spite of his short life), but few of the more than 300 paintings attributed to him can be convincingly dated to his Italian sojourn. Nevertheless, the main influence on his work was Claude, whom he knew in Rome. His landscapes are typically peopled by peasants driving cattle or travellers gazing on Roman ruins in the light of the evening sun. Such contemporary scenes were an innovation, for the earlier Dutch painters of the Italian countryside had populated it with biblical or mythological figures.
Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)