Born in a family of craftsman. From childhood the future artist helped his father in the workshop, drawing intricate patterns of the future carpets. It is assumed that in 1621, he left Belgium, and in 1626 documentary sources confirms the stay Brouwer in Haarlem. In 1631-1632, the artist moved to Antwerp. In 1628, while in the Netherlands, Brouwer took lessons from Frans Hals, in 1630 he was admitted to the Antwerp Guild of St. Luke. In 1633 the Brouwer arrested by Spanish authorities. The exact reason for his arrest is not known, maybe he was arrested for participating in the Ghent revolt of 1631. From 1634 until his death from the plague in January 1638
After leaving the house of a wealthy parents, the young men went to Holland, worked in the Haarlem Studio of Franz Hals (C. 1623-1624) and in Amsterdam. At the end of 1631 he returned to Antwerp, a member of the painters ' Guild of St. Luke. His short life was associated with the world of the lumpen and Bohemia. Recent years he lived in the house known engraver P. Pontius, who collaborated with Rubens, who financially supported Brouwer, forever in need of money, bought his paintings. The great master felt in the works of the young painter much more than a challenge accepted.
In the Netherlands, Brouwer learned the practice of creating small paintings from life of the lower classes of society, as well as tonal color and transmission of light and air. He surpassed Dutch painters not only brilliantly beautiful craftsmanship, but the boldness of the images, not knowing edification and lean seemliness. Genre paintings imitate him of the Dutchman A. Ostade seem naively simple and brightly colored.
In the small paintings of Brouwer is usually depicted simple scenes in a dark squalid pubs, where the peasants, the poor, vagrants wine, playing cards and dice, plotting a violent fight. His characters are crushed by poverty, impoverished, angry people with stupid faces. Unusual art Adriaen Brouwer was not a historical accident in the painting of Flanders XVII century. It reflects the real shadow sides of life of the Flemish society ascended to the national Dutch tradition, to the grotesque images of Bruegel the Elder. That asserted itself in painting Flanders-era heyday, found how to reverse the response dramatically changed, dramatically argued in his works. Jubilant fullness of life turned into a daring recklessness, fun gave way to bitterness and apathy, the sublime beauty turned into ugliness. Images of Flemish painting seemed to rise above the everyday, images of Feet down to the bottom of life. So unlike the fellow artist remained Fleming.
The work of Brouwer is a rare example of a combination of the grotesque and lyricism, hard truths of subjects and scenic beauty. These features revealed themselves immediately. In the early picture of the School (Berlin, State. museums), where the image looks like a dump homophobic freaks, dominates outright cartoon. In many works preserved the uniformity of the image and straightness characteristics. Placing in the foreground a group of figures are typically located around the table or benches, the artist binds them in common action, shows the changeable postures, turns, gestures, and facial expressions moving entities (a Quarrel over a game of cards, 1627, Munich, Alte Pinakothek; the Fight of the peasants in a game of cards, the Dresden Art gallery; a Quarrel over a game of cards, the Scene in the pub, 1632, all Saint Petersburg, GOS. The Hermitage; Fighting the peasants, Moscow, GOS. Museum of fine arts. A. S. Pushkin, a Feast of pig slaughter, Schwerin, Art Museum).
Prohibited in Flanders XVII. tobacco Smoking, of course, strongly violated, smokers gathered in secret dens. In the paintings of Brouwer on this subject emphasized a kind of bravado. The main character of one of the paintings (Smokers, approx. 1637, new York, Metropolitan Museum) was placed in the center of a young smoker, perhaps a beginner. Rounding the eyes and blowing the smoke out of the widely opened mouth, he plays a state of amazement and delight, which was mockingly watching his companions.
Accented by facial expressions of persons particularly attracted the artist in the images close up. Face distorted in a grimace of pain, as in the scene of a brutal home of healing, which becomes a test of endurance of the patient (Surgery on the shoulder, 1630), a grimace of revulsion is a Bitter medicine (1636-1637; both Frankfurt am main, Städel art Institute).
Simultaneously, the Brouwer creates paintings, which seemed to subside baser passions, intensify contemplative character, humor, lyrical color images. Company drinkers and smokers talking quietly, playing balls, singing songs. In the Peasant Quartet (Munich, Alte Pinakothek) four men enthusiastically singing, funny mouths open, a stout peasant woman with a child sitting by the hearth. The picture impresses with the warmth of humanity, truth of life.
With a simple, often brutal prose of the stories contrasts with the colorful decision. In the scenes that take place in cramped pubs or in the street near dirty fences and shacks, a single light-air environment connects shapes, near and distant plans. The subtle transitions of light and shadow soften the shape. The long-range plan, which is everyday life, written for easy and transparent grey and yellowish tones. The clothing of the figures in the foreground form zharmonizowana colorful spots faded gentle blue, cream, pink shades. Painting technique Brouwer is surprising in its artistry.
Over the years, his work amplifies the theme of loneliness. Written in the last years of his life a self-Portrait (the Hague, Mauritshuis) is unusual for its time: fallen, indifferent to external appearances the man is full of complex inner life.
Late landscape works of Brouwer are full of lyricism. Some of them are imbued with a special sense of intimacy, peace and tranquility of nature. Other dramatic and emotional. Most often it is night landscapes lit by the uneven light of the moon, glancing at the torn clouds and the rustling wind in the trees (Dune landscape with rising moon, the Berlin State. museums); disturbing lone figure tramps, restless swift stroke. The landscapes, standing lonely in the Flemish art, in strength of expression in common with the landscapes of Rembrandt.
The work of Brouwer, which have been described in the XVII century only a few.