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Neefs, Pieter I

Antwerp, ca. 1576 - Antwerp, 1656-1661

A Flemish painter and draughtsman, he was the head of the family of painters bearing the same surname. Like his two sons, Ludovicus and Pieter the Younger, he specialised in the depiction of building interiors, particularly churches. There is limited corroborated information on Pieter the Elder. It is thought that he was born in Antwerp around 1576, where his family lived. The influence of Hendrick van Steenwijck in his work suggests that he trained with this artist, and thanks to him Neefs must have become acquainted with the studies in perspective of Vredeman de Vries, who had such a great impact on the master. Around 1609 or 1610, he entered the painters’ Guild of Saint Luke and his interest in depicting Gothic church interiors using stereotyped models became apparent from then onwards. Some of these churches could not be identified (Gemaldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden) because they are imaginary. Nevertheless, in many cases, they depict the interior of St Paul’s Church in Antwerp (Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam). The soft colour schemes and sophisticated transitions between the spaces of light and shadow are the main characteristics of his style. There is no documentary evidence of his exact date of death, but it must have been between 1656, the last year for which records of him dated, and 1661, when Cornelis de Bie mentions him in the past tense in his book Het gulden cabinet (Antwerp, 1661) (Pérez Preciado, J. J. in: E.M.N.P, 2006, tomo V, p. 1621).

Artworks (5)

Interior de una iglesia: La ofrenda
Oil on panel, Late XVI - Primera mitad del siglo XVII century
Neefs, Pieter I
Interior de una iglesia flamenca
Oil on panel, Mid-Finales del siglo XVI - XVIIcentury
Neefs, Pieter I
Church in Flanders or The Mass
Oil on panel, 1618
Neefs, Pieter I
Interior de una iglesia en Flandes
Oil on panel, Second quarter of the XVII century
Francken III, Frans; Neefs, Pieter I
El viático en el interior de una iglesia
Oil on panel, 1636
Francken II, Frans; Neefs, Pieter I

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