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Dionysius Calvaert

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An eminent painter, usually known as "The Fleming" and called Denis, a native of Antwerp and a student at Bologna, born about the year 1640; died 1619. The Antwerp "Record of Artists" or "Liggeren" (1556-57), gives his name as Caluwaert. He first studied under Christiaen van Queecborne, but early left his olden country for Bologna, becoming a pupil first with Prospero Fontana, in 1570, and afterwards with Lorenzo Sabbatini, whom he accompanied to Rome in 1572 and remained there for two years assisting his master in his paintings in the Vatican. On his return to Bologna he settled there permanently, establishing a celebrated school from which sprang among other notable artists, Albani, Guido, and Domenichino. The rival school in Bologna was that of the Carracci, but Calvaert was so respected in the city that on his decease Ludovico Carracci attended his funeral in the Servite church and brought with him all his pupils.

Calvaert was a profound student of architecture, anatomy, and history, exceedingly accurate in perspective and graceful in design. His colouring is full and rich, his execution suave and accurate and, although there is something of an awkward stillness in the movements of his figures and an academic mannerism in his grouping, yet in composition he was far ahead of his rivals and in colouring undoubtedly their superior. As an instructor few excelled him. His principal works are to be seen at Bologna, Florence, St. Petersburg, Parma, and Caen, and many of his pictures have been engraved. His life was one of great devotion to his art and his faith, and he was greatly respected in Bologna.


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