(1 October 1620 - 18 February 1683) was a highly esteemed and prolific Dutch Golden Age painter of pastoral landscapes, populated with mythological or biblical figures, but also of a number of allegories and genre pieces.
Born in Haarlem, he received instruction from his father Pieter Claesz, and from the painters Jan van Goyen, Pieter de Grebber, Jan Baptist Weenix, Jan Wils and Claes Cornelisz. Moeyaert.According to Houbraken, Carel de Moor told him that Berchem got his name from two words "Berg hem" for "Save him!", an expression used by his fellows in Van Goyen's workshop whenever his father chased him there with the intent to beat him. No trip or Grand Tour by Berchem was documented by Houbraken though he mentioned another story about the "Berg hem!" nickname which came from Berchem's conscription as a sailor; the man in charge of impressment knew him and sent him ashore with the words "Save him!".Today his name is assumed to come from his father's hometown of Berchem, Antwerp. According to the RKD he traveled to Italy with Jan Baptist Weenix, whom he called his cousin, in 1642-5. Works by him are signed both as "CBerghem" and "Berchem".
A Southern Harbour Scene
between 1657(1657) and 1659(1659)
Medium Oil on canvas