Hendrick Ter Brugghen's concert

Hendrick Ter Brugghen's concert
Hendrick Ter Brugghen's concert

Ter Brugghen (1588 – 1629) decided to undertake a trip to Rome that would be decisive in his pictorial career and that somehow it changed his style and his subsequent production in his Dutch city, Utrecht.

During his stay in the Italian capital he not only got to knowancient artbut also the incredible legacy ofRenaissance painting. However, what struck him most was the Baroque painting of the time he had made Caravaggio and his court of followers who tried to imitate his inimitable and masterful chiaroscuro as in the famous David with the head of Goliath, to give just one example.


Hendrick Ter Brugghen's concert

And of course, Hendrick Ter Brugghen on his return to Holland in 1614 also came back influenced by that kind of lighting, and applied it to his numerous paintings of musicians and drinkers that he made throughout his career. Themes of a costumbrista style widely treated in the art of northern Europe since the time of Brueghel.

A good example of this theme is this work of El Concierto made around 1626. A painting where he resorts once again to lighting the scene based on candles and lamps, something very common in Caravaggio painting.

This painting is very curious, since its concert title can be misleading. PlusIt seems like an intimate, familiar scene where the children of the house have begun to play their instruments and have even dressed for the occasion, since it even seems that they have put on exotic clothes.

The composition based on the circle, but also on the triangle, is very interesting. In the background there is a child singing, just pay attention to his book with the sheet music or the lyrics of the song. While in the foreground there are two other children, a girl and a boy who play the lute and the flute respectively. They both turn their backs on us, but they turn a little, in an almost symmetrical posture, to look at the viewer and, incidentally, make us part of the moment and that lighting.

It's definitely a fantasy painting. Halfway between homey evenings and tavern parties. Although beyond the theme, what is really extraordinary about this canvas is the realism and attention to detail that the author has been able to imprint on the faces, clothing or instruments. And on the other hand, it is a delight to notice the thoroughness that he knew how to recreate in the different lighting effects. For example, the shadow of the flute on the cheek of the boy who is playing it on the right of the scene, or the waste of detail in the play of light and shadow in the folds of the turban worn by the girl in disguise on the left..

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