Hercules Segers

Dutch (1589 / 1590 - before 1638)
Hercules Segers View of Wageningen from the Northeast About 1610 - 1638

Biography

Born 1589 / 1590
Died before 1638
Nationality Dutch

Hercules Segers is best known as one of the most imaginative and innovative printmakers of all times. He was also a painter and active in the art trade. We only know some seventeen paintings by Segers, all but one landscapes. Born in Haarlem and trained by the Flemish immigrant Gillis van Coninxloo in Amsterdam, he became a member of the St Luke’s Guild (the painters’ guild) in his hometown in 1612. Segers soon moved back to Amsterdam where he married and spent most of his career, although he also worked in Leiden, Utrecht, and The Hague. Predominantly a printmaker, his paintings are now exceedingly rare. Some relate to his prints and show uninhabited rocky valleys, others depict panoramic landscapes with low horizons; occasionally the location can be identified. The prints as well as the paintings were highly esteemed by his contemporaries, not least by Rembrandt, who owned eight of Segers’s works. The artist nevertheless ended in financial difficulties. The date of Seger’s death is unknown, but he probably died in The Hague, sometime between 1633 when settling there, and 1640.