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Nationality/school
North Netherlandish
Born
Haarlem 1621/1622
Van Thiel-Stroman states that Berchem was born in 1621 or 1622, since his age was mentioned in a document of June 9, 1661 as 39 (Van Thiel-Stroman 1999, pp. 236, 242, note 2; Van Thiel-Stroman 2006, p. 124-125, note 3). In the wedding registry of 1646 Haarlem is mentioned as his place of birth (Van Thiel-Stroman 1999, p. 242, note 2); also see RKDimages 109135: portrait of Berchem with the inscription '[...] 1650./ Æ: 27'; if this is correct than Berchem was born in 1622 or 1623; earlier it was assumed that he was baptised on October 1, 1620 (Van der Willigen 1870), but this concerns a different person.
Deceased
Amsterdam 1683-02-18
died on February 18, 1683 in his house on the Lauriersgracht, buried on February 23, 1683 in the Westerkerk. His collection of paintings was auctioned on May 4, 1683 in the house of his widow and his collection of drawings and prints was auctioned on December 7, 1683 (Kramm; Van Thiel-Stroman 2006, p. 104)
Family relationschips
this field records any family relationship to one or more other artist(s).
son of the still life painter Pieter Claesz. (1597/98-1660/61), father of Nicolaes Berchem the Younger (1649-1672) and son-in-law of Jan Wils (c. 1600-1666), actually stepson, since Wils was the stepfather of his wife; uncle of Govert and Pieter van der Leeuw
See also
In this field, you will find references to names of groups or to the artists that made/make up groups. You may also come across references to other artists if there was/is question of collaboration without a joint name. This is the case, for instance, with artists who rendered parts of works by other artists (such as with P.P Rubens and J. Brueghel I).
Berchem painted the staffage in landscapes by J. van Ruisdael, Hobbema, Schellinks, Hackaert and others. He also painted together with Gerard Dou, Jan Wils and Jan Baptist Weenix (Sutton et al. 1987-1988, p. 262)
This artist in other databases
Biographical information
Period of activity
1642 - 1683
Active in
  • Haarlem 1634
    probably a student of his father Pieter Claesz.
  • Amsterdam 1639 - 1641
    until c. 1640 a student of Nicolaes Moeyaert in Amsterdam
  • 1642 - 1645
    It is unclear if he really made this journey. According to Hoogewerff 1950 Berchem was in Rome from 1642 to 1646; also see Blankert 1978 for a thorough argumentation regarding a possible stay in Italy. Biesboer 2006, p. 21-23 arguments why Berchem could not have been in Rome during this period.
  • Haarlem 1642 - 1649
    registered at the guild in 1642 as Claes Pietersen; became a member of the reformed church on January 13, 1645; married Catrijne Claesdr. de Groot on October 2, 1646 (prenuptial agreement on September 30, 1646), which whom he made up a testament on March 22, 1649. She was the stepdaughter of the landscape painter Jan Wils; their first son called Nicolaes was born in 1647, but he probably died shortly after because on April 13, 1649 a second son named Nicolaes was baptised (Van Thiel-Stroman 1999 and 2006)
  • Bad Bentheim 1650
    a drawing of the castle of Bentheim in chalk dated 1650 is known (RKD images 208842), possibly in the company of Jacob Isaacsz. van Ruisdael
  • Italië 1651 - 1655
    see Blankert 1978 p. 147, note 12; Jansen 1985; Van Thiel-Stroman 1999, p. 242, 243, note 21, 24 and 25. Whether this trip really took place is unknown. According to Biesboer 2006 it is not obvious that Berchem traveled to Italy in this period, since no documentation is known that supports this hypothesis. His opinion is shared by Jansen 2007 and Blankert 2013.
  • Haarlem 1656 - 1658
    on March 19, 1656 he bought a garden and country house close to the Kleine Houtpoort (Van Thiel-Stroman, p. 242); he lived in the Koningstraat in 1656; at the Oude Gracht in 1670, in 1656-1657 he was finder and in 1657-1658 dean of the guild.
  • Amsterdam 1661 - 1670
    a notarial deed from June 9, 1661 mentions him as a resident of Amsterdam (Van Thiel-Stroman, p. 242), he returned to Haarlem in the spring of 1670 (Van Thiel-Stroman, p. 242)
  • Haarlem 1670 - 1674
    on July 11, 1670 Berchem and his wife were registered as members of the church; on September 16, 1670 he became finder of the guild again, in 1672 and 1674 he was nominated but not chosen (Van Thiel-Stroman, p. 242)
  • Amsterdam 1677 - 1683
    he moved to Amsterdam in 1677, where he lived on the Lauriersgracht; he died there on February 18, 1683 (Thieme/Becker 1909).
born in
active in
died in
Subjects
This field specifies the various subject categories or genres that constitute the oeuvre of the artist in question. The contents of this field are generally based more on the documentation available at the RKD than on the literature.
animal painting (genre), genre, harbor view, italianate, hunting scene, mythology, Christian religious scene, allegory, river landscape, landscape (as genre), winter landscape, portrait, architecture (genre), still life
a signed still life of plants is known in a private collection in Rome (Van der Willigen/Meijer 2003). See also a landscape with forest still life in the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp, inv. no. 827 (M. de Kinkelder)
Medium/technique
oil paint
Member of
  • Sint-Lucasgilde (Haarlem)
    He became a member of the Haarlem guild of St. Luke on May 6, 1642; entrance fee in the minutes of the guild of June 3, 1642 mentioned as paid; in August and September of 1642 he paid the fee for teaching Willem Romeyn, Guillaem le Febre and Claes Symonsz. Schout (Van Thiel-Stroman 1999, p. 236).
Entered on: 1991-11-21; Modification on: 2018-03-20

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