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The Cover
September 10, 2003

The Gamblers

Author Affiliations

The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate, MD, Senior Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2003;290(10):1281. doi:10.1001/jama.290.10.1281

Hendrick Ter Brugghen (1588-1629), the 17th-century Utrecht master, moved easily between religious and historical themes and genre scenes. The Gamblers (cover ), for example, was painted during the same year, 1623, that he painted David Praised by the Israelite Women (JAMA cover, May 14, 2003). Ter Brugghen had by then returned to Utrecht after an extended stay in Italy. (This was generally thought to have been about ten years, from about 1605 to 1615 or thereabouts. He had certainly returned by 1616, for there is documentation that he joined the Guild of St Luke in Utrecht that year; there is also documentation that he married Jacomijna Verbeeck, the stepdaughter of his brother, the same year.) During his stay in Italy, which covered the formative years of his youth and young manhood, Ter Brugghen would have had ample time to study the Italian masters, old and new, and, of the latter, especially Caravaggio. It is also believed that he met Rubens in Rome. The senior Rubens, for his part, had apparently been impressed enough by the youngster to pay a visit to Utrecht in 1627. He acknowledged Ter Brugghen as the finest of the Utrecht painters.