Gerard Seghers

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Gerard Segers in Het Gulden Cabinet p. 97

Gerard Seghers (Antwerp, 1591–Antwerp, 18 March 1651), also Zegers, was a Flemish Baroque painter and one of the leading Caravaggisti in the Southern Netherlands.


Saint Cosmas and Saint Damian. Oil on canvas. Private collection, United States.

He was the son of an innkeeper but not related to the jesuit and painter Daniel Seghers. He was possibly a student of either Abraham Janssens or Hendrick van Balen, and he showed great talent, because in 1608 aged only 17 he is listed as a master in the Guild of St. Luke. It was during his trip to Italy around 1613 that he came under the influence of Caravaggio's followers. Bartolomeo Manfredi, in particular, was influential. Many other Dutch and Flemish painters were working in the style there, such as Gerard Honthorst, which is strongly characterized half-length figures illuminated by strong lighting and dramatic chiaroscuro. One work from this period is his Judith with the Head of Holofernes in the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome. Caravaggism, both in history and monumental genre paintings, continued to mark Seghers's works when he returned to Antwerp around 1620.

The Patient Job, National Gallery, Prague.

He married on his return to Antwerp (ca.1621) with Catharina Wouters (d.1656), with whom he had eleven children. His son Jan-Baptist Seghers (1624-1670) also became a painter.[1] After 1630, his palette lightens up considerably and the influence of Peter Paul Rubens is noticeable in paintings like the Adoration of the Magi (1630) in the Church of Our Lady, Bruges.

Segher's special provence was to paint on the theme of The Denial of Saint Peter, of which at least ten paintings by him are known.[2]

The Denial of Saint Peter (1620's), oil on canvas, 123 x 161 cm, Hermitage Museum


  1. ^ Gerard Seghers entry on RKD
  2. ^ Nicolson, Benedict (June 1971). "Gerard Seghers and the 'Denial of St Peter'". The Burlington Magazine 113 (819): 302, 304–309. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 

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