Wtewael was one of the few artists who did not abandon Dutch mannerism after the late 1600s and kept incorporating stylistic elements from several schools in his work, as The Denial of St Peter
from c. 1620 demonstrates. This nocturnal scene by Wtewael distinctly shows the impact of Caravaggio on Dutch artists at that time, evident in the chiaroscuro effects achieved here by the fire at the centre of the scene, whilst featuring his fervour for refined details, rich colouring and graceful, mannered poses, beautifully demonstrated by the S-shaped contour of the central figure. Apart from being a painter, Wtewael was also an active political figure, serving on Utrecht’s city council, and ran a successful flax and linen business.5
He still managed to produce a significant oeuvre that demonstrates variety in size, support, and subject. Wtewael married and had four children, one of whom, Peter (1596-1660), was a painter who worked in his father’s style.6
Wtewael died in Utrecht in 1638.
1. Arthur K. Wheelock Jr., “Joachim Wtewael, Biography,” accessed on 8 June 2021 from, https://www.nga.gov/collection/artist-info.1944.html.
2. Neil MacLaren, The Dutch School, 1600–1800, Volume I, National Gallery Catalogues (The National Gallery: London, 1991), 501.
3. Anne W. Lowenthal, “Wtewael [Utenwael; Uytewael; Wttewael], Joachim (Anthonisz.),” Grove Art Online, modified 2003, accessed on 8 June 2021 from, https://www-oxfordartonline-com.lonlib.idm.oclc.org/groveart/view/10.1093/gao/9781884446054.001.0001/oao-9781884446054-e-7000092368?rskey=2otOE8.
4. Wheelock, “Joachim Wtewael, Biography.”
5. Lowenthal, “Wtewael [Utenwael; Uytewael; Wttewael], Joachim (Anthonisz.).”
6. Wheelock, “Joachim Wtewael, Biography.”