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Flemish, c. 1570 - 1618/1619
Abel Grimmer, born in Antwerp c. 1570, studied the art of painting with his father, the painter Jacob Grimmer (c. 1525-1590). He married Catharina Lescornet in 1591 and the following year became a master in Saint Luke's Guild in Antwerp. He specialized in small landscapes, often roundels that are dotted with figures passing through villages or open countryside. Many of these scenes also contain biblical themes. Grimmer often created his paintings in series, usually the seasons or months of the year.
Grimmer was largely a derivative artist who based many of his works on prints after compositions by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c. 1525-1569) and Hans Bol (1534-1593). Two of the printmakers he favored for his compositions were Adriaen Collaert (1560-1618) and Pieter van der Heyden (c. 1530-1572). Grimmer painted in a relatively simple and schematic fashion, but he had a keen sense of color that gives his works visual appeal. He was interested in architectural forms and painted church interiors that reflect his knowledge of perspective. Some of his depictions of interiors are based on compositional designs by Hans Vredeman de Vries (1527-c. 1606). He died in Antwerp between 1618 and 1619. [This is the artist's biography published in the NGA Systematic Catalogue]