Maerten van Heemskerck’s teacher, Jan van Scorel, was one of the first Dutch artists to journey to the south. In 1532 Van Heemskerck followed his example and went to Italy, where he saw ruins and sculptures from Antiquity and encountered the art of great Italian masters like Michelangelo. He returned to the Netherlands, full of inspiration, in 1536.
In the seventeenth century a trip to Italy, specifically to Rome, became more and more commonplace. In 1604 the painter and artists’ biographer Karel van Mander published his Schilderboeck, in which he encouraged young artists to go travelling.
As well as drawing inspiration from classical and Italian art, artists were motivated by the Italian landscape and the golden light of the south. Italianate landscapes were also painted by artists who had not made that long journey themselves. Small presentation which connects to the exhibition Wanderlust by Dutch artists since 1850, on show simultaneously in De Hallen Haarlem.