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Jan Frans Van Bloemen , nicknamed l’Orizzonte (Antwerp 1662 - Rome 1749)

Jan Frans van Bloemen, younger brother of Pieter, was born in Antwerp in 1662 to a family of Flemish artists. In 1689 he moved to Rome to join Pieter, who had been living there since 1674. They were followed in 1690 by Norbert van Bloemen, the third painting brother. Jan Frans was the only one to settle permanently in Rome, as Pieter returned to Antwerp in 1694 and Norbert left for Amsterdam some time before 1724.
Van Bloemen painted a large number of commercial landscapes for buyers in Rome and elsewhere, earning him the nickname Orizzonte owing to the broad and distant scenes he depicted. His compositions recall the work of Gaspard Dughet and Claude Lorrain, according to a well-tried formula in which tiny figures, ancient monuments and distant towns were set against the wide backdrop of the landscape, often representing real places.
He was part of the circle of Northern artists living in Rome in the second half of the 17th century who formed the Schildersbent. Van Bloemen was particularly close to Gaspar van Wittel, who was godfather of his first child in 1694. Jan Frans died in Rome in 1749.

Alessandro Zuccari