Jan de Bray (c.1627–1697)
De Bray was born into a creative, cultured family in Haarlem. His father, Salomon de Bray, with whom he presumably studied, was a painter and architect who helped establish the painter’s Guild of St. Luke in Haarlem in the 1630s. Salomon de Bray was also a poet and a member of a rhetorical society in the city. Jan’s mother, Anna Westerbaen, who came from an artistic family in The Hague, and two of Jan de Bray’s brothers, Dirck and Joseph, were also painters.
Tragedy struck the family when both of his parents and four of his siblings died in a plague. De Bray suffered further losses when all three of his wives died within a short time of the marriages. The paintings in the exhibition not only emphasize De Bray's skill in portraiture, but also reveal the artist's devotion to family members, who are memorialized in his work.
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Jan de Bray and the Classical Tradition
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