Pieter Neefs, the Younger was born on this day in Antwerp, Belgium, in 1620. Today is the 393rd anniversary of his birth.
Pieter was one of five children born to Pieter Neefs the Elder and Maria Lauterbeens Neef. Along with his brother, Ludovicus, he learned to paint from his father, an established architectural painter. By 1640, when Pieter the Younger was 20 years old, he was working with his father and brother full-time, although he’d never gone through formal training or been registered at the guild hall.
The subject of most of the Neefs paintings was the interiors of the great churches of Antwerp. The grand interiors of a church allowed the Neefs to explore both perspective and light in their detailed paintings.
Their most frequent subject was the interior of Antwerp Cathedral; the details of sculpture, altars and paintings vary in accuracy, and sometimes the subject seems to be very freely interpreted. The Neefs also liked to depict the effects of artificial illumination in crypt-like spaces (in the manner of Hendrick van Steenwijck the younger). [Sphinx Fine Art . com]
The artist worked together, often on the same subject, so it is sometimes difficult to tell where one Pieter’s work ends and the next Pieter’s work begins.
But Pieter Neefs the Younger’s work makes …
a more reserved impression; their colouring is smoother, and they are not as dark in the shadows, while their drawing is sharper. Solely working as architectural painters, they had the figures added to the finished works by colleagues. [Dorotheum.com]
He died some time after 1675.
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