Laer or Laar, Pieter van (both: pēˈtər vän lär) [key], c.1592–1642, Dutch landscape and genre painter and etcher. In 1625 he went to Rome, where he stayed until 1639. He was nicknamed Il Bamboccio [puppet] because his body was deformed. The influence of Caravaggio is apparent in the genre scenes of peasant life that Laer and his followers created. The paintings themselves came to be called Bamboccianti by hostile critics. The name survived, but it lost its derogative sense as aesthetic tastes changed. Laer's The Halt (Metropolitan Mus.) and Water Carrier (National Gall., Rome) are characteristic paintings of this type. He produced 18 notable etchings of landscapes and animals.
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