Pieter Mulier

Nicknamed The Storm or Cavalier Storm he was a Dutch painter who was born in Harlem in 1637 and who died in Milan in 1701. He was the best landscape painter in northern Italy between 1670 and 1700, representing the link between the Roman landscape painting of the seventeenth century and that of the Venetian of the following century. Famous were his paintings of marine storms (Burrasca, Roma, Galleria Doria Pamphili, Landscape in the Storm, Dresden, Gemäldegalerie.

He was apprenticed to his father; he arrived in Italy in 1656, first in Rome, where he frescoed a reception room in Palazzo Colonna, then in Genoa (1668) . He was sought for his ability to depict ships in rough sea (hence his nickname). He was imprisoned from 1676 to 1684, accused of murdering his wife. He continued to work during the years of his imprisonment, incorporating pastoral and religious themes into his painting, where the natural element plays a key role. Later he was in Milan, then in Venice ( 1687) and in the Lombardy areas of the Serenissima, finally returning to Milan where he died.

The theme portrayed: The landscape

It is a river landscape executed according to the canons of Dutch painting which were inspired by the classical landscape painting introduced and popularized by the French artists Claude Lorrain and Gaspar Dughet in Rome. The legacy of that lesson can be discerned in his canvases in which luxuriant nature dominates and predominates over human presence. Figures and animals are minor features when compared with the heroic aspect. The heroic aspect of the sky, forests, mountains, waterways, is also amplified by the size of the painting that is of a certain impressiveness. We can recognize a certain stylistic coherence not so much in the painting of nature but rather in the figures of women and animals, where the artist displays his capacity for detail rendering it life like and pictorially rich. Furthermore the Dutch artist must be recognized as having an undoubtable stylistic consistency in his dealing with a greatly successful formula,  in which he skillfully mixes the lessons of classical landscape with his personal northern taste for the effects of light both spectacular and emotional. 

Permanent exhibition