MOSES VAN UYTTENBROECK
(The Hague(?) circa 1585 – 1647/8 The Hague)
Alpheus and Arethusa
monogrammed bottom right, V WB
oil on panel, 13 x 15 ¾ inches (33 x 40 cm.)
Private collection, France.
Very little is known of the life of Uyttenbroeck. In 1620 he became a member of the Guild of Saint Luke in that city. In December 1624 he is documented as married to Cornelia van Wijcke, and in 1627 he was appointed deken of the local Guild. Since all archival documents relating to the artist come from The Hague, it seems likely that he lived there most of his life.
It has often been assumed that the artist made an early voyage to Italy, because of the supposed stylistic dependence on Elsheimer and the pronounced Roman elements in almost all of his paintings. However, there is no documentary evidence for such a trip. Moreover, his landscapes as well as his style reveal a much stronger affinity with the art of Pieter Lastman and Jacob Pynas. Uyttenbroeck mainly painted imaginary Italianate landscapes, in which the figures often play an important role. His subjects are taken primarily from the Old Testament and classical mythology. He also painted a few portraits and took part in decorating the palace of Honselaersdijk for Stadtholder Prince Frederick Hendrik of Orange-Nassau. His oeuvre is relatively small; only about seventy paintings are known.