• NameBonaventura Peters d.ä.
  • Sexmale
  • Nationality/DatesFlemish, born 1614, dead 1652
BiographyMarine- and landscape painter, draughtsman
and etcher. The leading member of an extended family
of marine and landscape painters, Bonaventura
Peeters I was the younger brother of the landscape
painter Gillis Peeters I, with whom he seems to have
shared a studio at Antwerp. His teacher is unknown,
but Andries van Eertvelt, whose paintings of stormy
seas appear to have influenced Bonaventura’s treatment
of the subject, may have been his teacher.
Bonaventura joined the Antwerp Guild of St.Luke in
1634/1635. Towards the end of his life he moved to
nearby Hoboken, where he spent his last years with
his sister, Catharina, and brother, Jan I, both of whom
were his pupils and worked in a similar style. His
nephew, Bonaventura II, continued the family tradition
of marine painting, though he developed little
stylistic individuality.
Besides a variety of marine paintings depicting
tempests, shipwrecks and naval battles, Bonaventura
executed landscapes, small-scale figure paintings and
etchings. His early work, dating from the 1630s, consists
partly of violent storms and disasters at sea, partly
influenced by the Flemish Mannerist seascapes of
Hans Savery I and others. Early in his career he may
have visited the Northern Netherlands: his naturalistic
river scenes, such as the River Scene of 1636 in
Brunswick (Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum) and the
Sailing Ships near a Pier of 1637 in Budapest (The
Museum of Fine Arts), are stylistically related to the
work of Salomon van Ruysdael, Jan van Goyen,
Simon de Vlieger and other Dutch marine painters.
He seems also to have followed the Dutch artists
Hendrick C. Vroom and Adam Willaerts in painting
views of coastal towns full of realistic detail. With the
migration of innovative Flemish-born artists like
Willaerts and Jan Porcellis to and from the United
Provinces, however, the genre of marine painting
developed more or less in parallel in the North and
the South. Works by Peeters, featuring ships on the
open sea under a lofty sky filled with drifting clouds,
were clearly inspired by Porcellis’ tonal seascapes.
Peeters shows great sensitivity to atmosphere, so that
he tends towards a more monochrome tonality, related
to similar works by Porcellis. In his later years
Peeters also painted exotic ports with imaginary
Mediterranean or Levantine architecture.
Oriental Harbour
River Landscape
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