He was trained by his father, a painter known as Dooven Barent, or deaf Barent, and in 1555, at the age of twenty-one, Barendsz travelled to Italy. During his seven-year stay there, Karel van Mander tells us that he was "nursed at the great Titian's bosem."
He was a great friend of Philip Van Marnix, whom he met in Rome, and Dominicus Lampsonius, with whom he corresponded in Latin. He was a good musician and his most notable work, among various other pieces Van Mander describes that he painted in Amsterdam, was a Judith. Among pieces worthy of mention in Leiden that Van Mander liked was a Venus that at the time he was writing in 1604 was in the possession of Sybrandt Buyck (son of the last Catholic mayor of Amsterdam, Joost Sijbrantsz Buyck). Van Mander further lists a Table and a Christmas piece in the possession of the Franciscans in Gouda, and a copy of a tronie by Titian, in the possession of Pieter Isaacsz (1569–1625), an Amsterdam painter and art dealer.
His chapel piece voor the Amsterdam militia, called a Fall of Lucifer by Mander, was destroyed in the beeldenstorm, but his militia portrait for the same group that hung in their meeting hall survived. He died in Amsterdam.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dirck Barendsz..|
The Last Judgment, Benedictine Abbey, Fara in Sabina
Portrait of Joost Buyck (1505-1588) by Jacobus Houbraken, after a copy of a painting by Dirck Barentsz (since lost)
- (in Dutch) Dirck Barentsen biography in Karel van Mander's Schilderboeck, 1604, courtesy of the Digital library for Dutch literature
- "Dirck Barentsen, die Schilder geboren wesende, noch daerenboven des grooten Titiaens boesem heeft ghenoten". Dbnl.org. Retrieved 2012-04-22. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Marcel Roethlisberger, Review of Dirck Barendsz. 1534-1592 by J. Richard Judson and Jan Asselijn by Anne Charlotte Steland-Stief, The Art Bulletin, vol. 54 (Dec., 1972), pp. 553-555.
- Rose, Hugh James (1857). "Barentsen or Barents, Thierry". A New General Biographical Dictionary. 3 BAH–BEE. London: B. Fellowes et al. p. 173.