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Michael
Swerts

Italia 
1618−1664
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In 1645-1656 worked in Rome. Developed the genre of bamboccio, whose ancestor was Peter van Lahr. Attended the Academy of St. Luke, though not a member of the Guild. In 1659 he returned to Brussels. Under the assumptions of the, ill mental illness. Joined the Jesuits, went on a missionary journey, where he died.

Flemish painter who worked in Italy, Syria and India. Nothing is known of his training or early career. He arrived in Rome in the mid 1640s (about 1646), probably under circumstances similar to depicted in his painting "the Landing" (Paris, Louvre). In 1646 he was registered to stay on the via Margutta in the district of Santa Maria del Popolo, and the documents indicate that he lived there until 1651, together with other Flemish Catholics. In 1647, he attended the Academy of St. Luke, not as an academic, as a colleague-partner. In Rome, Swarts met with the artist Bamboccianti, who briefly collaborated. He painted genre scenes, but his work was not a success because of quiet, sad dignity of the figures and exquisite silvery tonality. The following year it was visited by Dutch poet Matheus van de Merwede (1625-? 1677), who later recalled that he had received from the artist extremely poor reception. 1 Jun 1651, Swerts was commissioned by the Antwerp merchant Jan Detta. The relationship of Swerts Datca with the family was always close: he painted portraits of Hieronymous Detca (Amsterdam) and Balthazar Decca series "the Seven laws of Mercy" for this family. Sorts was in Rome, at least until 1652, talking about a signed picture of "the Game" (1652, Amsterdam) and "artist's Studio" (1652, Detroit). In 1656 Swarts returned to his native Brussels, where in 1659 he became a member of the Guild of painters. In 1661 he was in Amsterdam, where he joined the missionary group, and the following year floated through Marseille to the East, probably in Syria. He died at Goa, in India. Towards the end of his career Swerts worked mainly as a portraitist. Like his genre scenes, his portraits are distinguished by subtle color harmony and great sensitivity of expression. They are often compared with the pattern of Vermeer, and the "portrait of a girl" Swerts (Art Gallery, Leicester) even attributed to Vermeer.

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