The Wallace Collection

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Michael Sweerts (1618 - 1664)
  • Place of Birth: Brussels, Belgium
  • Place of Death: Goa, India
Biography
Works of Art

Baptised in Brussels on 19 September 1618, nothing is known of his training. In 1646 he is recorded in Rome, where he stayed until after 1652. The portraits and genre scenes he painted there reflect the influences of Caravaggio and P. van Laer. By 1656 he was hack in Brussels where he joined the guild in 1659.

In 1660 he is recorded as a member of a Catholic missionary group, the Société des Missions Etrangères. In 1661, when he was described as a fanatical Catholic, he joined a mission to the East as a lay brother; in 1662, in Tabriz in Persia, he was asked to leave the party (on grounds of incompatibility), and his final years were spent obscurely in the East. He died in Goa in 1664.