Artus Wolffort

Esther's Toilet in the Harem of Ahasuerus

Artus Wolffort (also Wolffordt and Wolffaert) (1581–1641) was a Flemish painter of history paintings, landscapes and portraits.[1]


He was born in Antwerp and moved with his parents to Dordrecht in the year of his birth. He trained as a painter in Dordrecht where he joined the local Guild of Saint Luke in 1603. He returned to Antwerp around 1615 where he worked as an assistant in the studio of Otto van Veen, one of the teachers of Peter Paul Rubens.[2] He became a member of the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke in 1617.[3]

He married Maria Wandelaer on 8 September 1619. Their son Johannes Artusz (better known as Jan Baptist Wolfaerts) was born in November 1625 and later became a painter.[1] Artus Wolffort likely operated a workshop in Antwerp, which produced various copies of his works.[2]

His pupils included his son Jan Baptist Wolfaerts, Pieter van Lint, Pieter van Mol and Lucas Smout the Elder. He died in Antwerp.[1]


Christ at the Pool of Bethesda

Wolffort and his work were not well known until the late 1970s and some of his paintings were even classified as early works by Rubens. His oeuvre was reconstructed from a fully signed work (Esther's Toilet in the Harem of Ahasuerus, original untraced, 10 copies of which one fully signed in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London) and various paintings bearing a monogram.[2]

In the beginning of his career he completed a number of commissioned altarpieces for churches in Antwerp such as the Ascension of the Virgin and the Assumption of the Virgin (St. Paul's Church, Antwerp, 1617). He worked, however, mainly for private patrons for whom he painted mainly religious and, to a lesser extent, mythological subjects. He made a series of representations of the Twelve Apostles, the Four Evangelists and the Church Fathers, in half life-size.[2]

His early work were in the classizing style of Otto van Veen. A more dynamic Baroque style influenced by Rubens arose after 1630.[2]


St Andrew
  1. ^ a b c Artus Wolffort at the Netherlands Institute for Art History (Dutch)
  2. ^ a b c d e Hans Vlieghe. "Wolffort, Artus." Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 2 August 2014
  3. ^ Artus Wolffort at the Prado Museum site (Spanish)

Further reading

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