Dutch Baroque Era Painter, 1608-ca.1648
Dutch painter. His father, Pieter, came from Flanders to Haarlem, where in 1631 works by Willem were recorded for the first time. In 1634 Willem was registered in Haarlem as a master painter, and in 1635 Pieter Casteleijn was named as his pupil. As late as 1643 Pieter Abrams Poorter and Claes Coenraets began their studies with him in Haarlem. Willem is mentioned for the last time in the archives of the Haarlem Guild of St Luke in 1645, the year he left for Wijk bij Heusden. He supposedly studied under Rembrandt, together with his fellow townsman Jacob de Wet. There is no documentation to support this assumption, but a number of de Poorter's small-scale biblical and history paintings bear such a striking likeness to Rembrandt's biblical compositions of c. 1630 that the two hands are often confused. Rembrandt's Presentation in the Temple (1631; The Hague, Mauritshuis; see REMBRANDT VAN RIJN) was copied (Dresden, Gemeldegal. Alte Meister) by de Poorter, who also painted his own version (Kassel, Schloss Wilhelmsh?he). The lighting in de Poorter's Entombment (Guernsey, D. Cevat priv..) was also apparently inspired by Rembrandt's example. Since de Poorter's paintings were first reported in Haarlem in 1631, the year that Rembrandt moved from Leiden to Amsterdam, it seems likely that de Poorter received his training in the Leiden workshop, where Gerrit Dou had also been working since 1628.