Philip Wouwerman

Philip Wouwerman, his first name also given as Philips and his last name as Wouwermans (May, 1619 - May, 1668), was a Dutch painter of battle and hunting scenes, born in Haarlem.

He was first taught by his father, Paul Joosten Wouwerman, an historical painter of moderate ability. He then studied with the landscape painter Jan Wynants (1620-1679). Returning to Haarlem, he became a member of its guild of painters in 1642, and he died there in May 1668.

About 800 pictures were listed in John Smith's Catalogue raisonné (1840) as the work of Philip Wouwerman. In Hofstede de Groot's enlarged Catalogue, vol. ii. (1909), the number exceeds 1200; but many of these were probably painted by his brothers, Pieter (1623-1682) and Jan (1629-1666), and by many other imitators.

Wouwerman's authentic works, spirited and polished, are of great variety, though dealing recurrently with cavalry battles, military encampments, cavalcades, and hunting or hawking parties. He also excels in his vivacious treatment of figures, skillful animal painting, and appropriate landscape backgrounds.

Three different styles have been observed as characteristic of the periods of his art. His earlier works are marked by a foxy-brown colouring and by a tendency to angular draughtsmanship; the productions of his middle period have greater purity and brilliance; his last and best pictures have more force and breadth, and are full of a delicate silvery-grey tone.