Willem Pieterszoon Buytewech
Willem Pieterszoon Buytewech (1591/1592 — September 23, 1624) was a
Dutch painter, draughtsman and etcher of the Golden Age. He is often
considered the "inventor" of Dutch genre painting. For his
preference of irony, his contemporaries named him “Gheestige Willem”
(Jolly or spiritual William).
Buytewech was born and died in
Rotterdam. He was the son of Pieter Jacobsz, a cobbler and
candlemaker. He learned his trade in Haarlem, where he became a
member of the artists' guild (Haarlem Guild of St. Luke) in 1612,
together with Hercules Segers and Esaias van de Velde. Frans Hals,
who was a member of this guild since 1610, had much influence on
Buytenwech's work, as shown by the many drawings that the latter
made after Hals's paintings. After his marriage on November 10, 1613
with Aeltje van Amerongen, of a patrician family, he returned to
Rotterdam. There Hendrik Martenszoon Sorgh was one of his pupils.
Buytewech was primarily a graphic
artist, mostly of landscapes and genre pieces, but occasionally also
of biblical and allegorical themes. Of his paintings only eight have
survived to this date, all genre pieces, most depicting merry
He died at the age of only 32 or 33 of unrecorded causes. His son
Willem Willemsz Buytewech (1625–1670), born after his death, would
become a painter as well. It is suggested that Herman van Swanevelt
could have been his pupil.