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Permanent Collection

Pieter Mulier - 1600–1700

(called il Cavalier Tempesta), (Haarlem, 1637 – Milan, 1701)

Pieter Mulier (Moyn) the Younger, who became known under the name of Pietro Tempesta or Cavalier Tempesta, was born in 1637 in Haarlem. He died in 1701 in Milan. He was first trained by his father, Pieter Mulier the Elder, who specialised in seascapes. After a sojourn in Antwerp (1655 or 1656) Pieter the Younger went to Rome, where he lived continuously until 1668; later he was also active in Genoa, in Milan (1685–1701) and in a number of other cities in Emilia, the Veneto and in Lombardy. Pieter Mulier the Younger was called “Tempesta” because of the motifs of his seascapes, all of which show storms at sea, ships in danger and shipwrecks, but he also painted landscapes, which are sometimes above all backgrounds for human figures and animals. The style of Tempesta’s seascapes owed much to the style of his father, Pieter Mulier the Elder, and that of the Dutch and Flemish marine painters, like Jan Blanckerhoff, Ludolf Backhuysen and Mathieu van Plattenberg. In his landscapes Tempesta copied and adapted motifs which had been popularised in Rome by Gaspard Dughet, Salvatore Rosa and Pietro Testa.

Lit.: Marcel Röthlisberger-Bianco, Cavalier Pietro Tempesta and His Time, Delaware-Haarlem 1970; Seicento, Vol. III, Milano 1989 (biogr. Maria Christina Rodeschini Galati).
From Mannerism to Baroque
Although imported early-Baroque works prevailed in this period and those by itinerant artists, the 17th century paved the way for the future. The political circumstances in the region were relatively stabilized in spite of the Thirty Year War and the patronage gradually grew stronger. The arrival of the Jesuits in Ljubljana, the activity of the polymath Johann Weichard Valvasor, particularly his graphic workshop at Bogenšperk/Wagensperg Castle, and the foundation of the Academia operosorum at the end of the century were the key events of the time. 

Characteristic of sculptural production on the Slovenian territory in the 17th century were the so-called “golden altars”. As a rule, these were gilded and polychrome carved wooden retables with rich ornamentation, first with crustaceous patterns which turned into vine and grapes that covered architectural framework until the achantus foliage took over and obliterated architectural structure completely. The making of golden altars included several branches of fine arts: prints, carving, gilding, painting. Religious painting of the first half of the century still contains Mannerist elements; in the second half also secular motifs became more numerous, particularly genre scenes and aristocratic portraits. The artworks mainly echo northern early-Baroque influences. 

Noteworthy among the newcomers who settled in Carniola with their workshops were the painter and gilder Hans Georg Geiger von Geigerfeld in the mid-century, who had moved to Carniola from the region of the Central Alps, and the Fleming Almanach in the third quarter of the 17th century, known only by his nickname, who worked here only for a few years. The extraordinary productivity and skills of the latter are evidenced by his rare surviving works, mentions in Valvasor’s books, and aristocratic probate inventories.