Fabritius, Carel(kär`əl fäbrēt`sēo͝os), 1622–54, Dutch painter; pupil and outstanding follower of Rembrandt. His early death in the explosion of a powder magazine at Delft cut short a career of great promise. Among his few remarkable works are Portrait of a Man (Rotterdam); The Goldfinch (The Hague); and View of Delft (National Gall., London). He is thought to have had a strong influence on Vermeer. His brother Barent Fabritius (bär`ənt), 1624–73, worked in a similar though less accomplished manner, influenced by Maes as well as Rembrandt. Barent's portrait of the Van der Helm family (1655) is in the Rijksmuseum.
Baptized Feb. 27, 1622, in Middenbeemster, North Holland; died Oct. 12, 1654, in Delft. Dutch painter.
Fabritius studied under Rembrandt in Amsterdam from 1641 to 1643. He worked in Middenbeemster from 1643 and in Delft from 1650, becoming a master in 1652. While coming closer to Rembrandt’s art of expressing psychological depth than any of Rembrandt’s other pupils, Fabritius developed a highly distinctive style. In the 1640’s he painted in a style similar to that of Rembrandt, but later employed a bright, cold palette and a characteristic manner of contrasting dark figures against a light background.
The few works of Fabritius that have survived (approximately ten) are mainly portraits distinguished by subtle characterization; a notable example is his Portrait of a Man in a Helmet (Municipal Museum, Groningen). The painting A View in Delft, With a MusicalInstrument Seller’s Stall (1652; National Gallery, London) is linked with his architectural perspectives, none of which have survived. Another of Fabritius’ compositions, The Sentinel (1654, Museum of Schwerin), is noted for its poetic and skillful use of light and shade.