• NameGerard Seghers
  • Sexmale
  • Nationality/DatesFlemish, born 1591, dead 1651
BiographyIn 1603 the 12-year-old Gerard Seghers was registered
as an apprentice in the Guild of St. Luke in
Antwerp. Early sources indicate that he studied with
Hendrick van Balen and Abraham Janssens. Seghers
became a master in 1608. It is possible that he worked
with Peter Paul Rubens for a period after 1608. In
January 1611 Seghers became a member of the Jesuit
Confraternity of Bachelors in Antwerp. He seems to
have travelled to Italy shortly afterwards. Joachim von
Sandrart notes that in Rome Seghers studied the
works of Bartolomeo Manfredi, a follower of Caravaggio.
Seghers adapted Manfredi’s style of painting
with its half-length figures and strong contrasts
between light and shadow. He also chose Caravaggesque
subjects such as card-playing soldiers and
groups of musicians. Seghers travelled to Spain shortly
before 1620, where he was active at the court of
King Philip III. Seghers returned to Antwerp in the
autumn of 1620 and assisted Rubens in the decoration
of the Jesuit church there. During the 1620s
Seghers gradually adopted a painting style influenced
by Rubens. His association with the master continued
until the middle of the 1630s when he was one of
those involved in the decorations for the Triumphal
Entry of the Cardinal Infante Ferdinand into
Antwerp in 1635. In 1637 he was made court painter
to Ferdinand. Seghers was very active socially becoming
a dean of the Romanists Association in the city in
1637 and of the Painters’ Guild in 1645. He was also
active as an art dealer.