Fabritius was Rembrandt’s most outstanding
pupil: he was a brilliant experimental artist whose exceptional reputation
rests on a handful of surviving paintings. Carel was born to the family
of a village schoolmaster and amateur artist, who himself gave his son
the first lessons in drawing and painting. Between 1641 and 1643 Carel
worked in Rembrandt’s workshop in Amsterdam. His earliest known painting
Raising of Lazarus reveals his careful study of his master’s
Night Watch. Approximately to this period belongs the proto-romantic
In 1650, Fabritius moved to Delft, where he entered the Lucas Guild two
years later. His short life ended tragically: he died in the explosion
of a municipal powder store, which devastated almost a quarter of Delft,
and with him perished the greater part of his work. Those that survived,
about a dozen, however, show his original gift and early artistic independence.
In particular, he opened up new ways of handling space and perspective.
He also differed from Rembrandt in the treatment of light background. Fabricius
did not specialize, as so many others did, in any field, but covered the
wide range of portraiture, genre pictures and still life. During the few
years he worked in Delft he had a great influence on the local school of
painters, especially on de Hooch
and Vermeer. The latter was
his pupil and continued to develop his particular conception of how light
should be used.
Painting of Western Europe. XVII century. by E. Rotenberg. Moscow.
Painting of Europe. XIII-XX centuries. Encyclopedic Dictionary. Moscow.