Peter and Pieter Lastman studied with the painter Gerrit Peters. Upon graduation he went to Italy and lived in Rome and Venice. There he became acquainted with the work of Caravaggio. In Rome he joined the circle of artists grouped around Adam Elsheimer. In 1607 he returned to Amsterdam. His first works are dated 1606, Pieter Lastman painted pictures on biblical and mythological subjects on a background of beautiful landscapes, such as the flight into Egypt, Odysseus and Nausicaa, Midas and the resurrection of Lazarus.
Pieter Lastman quickly gained fame of the artist, the writer on historical themes, he was rich workshop, the paintings were sold at good prices. In 1618 Pieter Lastman was recognized as the foremost artist of his native city of Amsterdam. In 1619 he took on Jan Lievens training. In 1625 within six months of Pieter Lastman studied composition and picturesque historical narrative Rembrandt.
The pupil of the Mannerist Sweelinck, Pieter Lastman sent to Italy, where arrives in 1603 and settled in Rome, as evidenced by his direct memories of Caravaggio and Elsheimer; these contacts played a decisive role in the formation of his style. On his return to Holland, not before 1605, he became one of the most typical Amsterdam artists in his Studio in 1619-1621 studied Livens, and in 1624-1625 Rembrandt, who, having been here only six months, for life will retain its admiration for the art of Pieter Lastman. Merit Lastman was that after Elsheimer and Mannerist Utrecht and Haarlem, he created a truly new paintings on historical and biblical themes, narrative, realistic, and psychological stressed. According to some archive documents the artist until his death remained in Amsterdam.
The earliest known works of Pieter Lastman created only in 1603 (two dated picture, Amsterdam, GOS. the Museum, probably made in Italy, but also in the Mannerist style). In Rome Pieter Lastman was especially fascinated by Alzheimera. After the sweet, but still very imitative of paintings ("the Flight into Egypt", 1608, Rotterdam, Museum Bellmansalen Beuningen; "Rest of the Holy family", göttingen University Museum), he wrote original works such as "Odysseus and Nausicaa" (1609, Braunschweig, Museum of Duke Anton Ulrich), which bears the imprint of the rhetoric with refined gestures, embossed fabrics, chords opposite colors that serve as a source of new expression. Located mainly under the influence of Elsheimer, Pieter Lastman, thus creating his first historical picture, very dramatic, with an almost "barbaric" rude, but typical of the North. In addition to the heritage of Alzheimera, the artist uses the lessons of the Haarlem Mannerists and caravaggists, as evidenced by the impressive "descent from the cross" (1612, Lille, musée des Beaux-arts). This is extremely narrative and psychological work, is manifested the element of the grotesque, which will be the great innovation of Rembrandt. In the same period was created ispisannye, well-constructed painting, full of characters and is written in a light color scheme ("Orestes and Pylades", 1614, Amsterdam, GOS. Museum; "the Sacrifice of Abraham", 1616, Paris, Louvre; the "Jacob and Laban", 1612, Boulogne-sur-Mer Museum; "the massacre of the innocents", Braunschweig, Museum of Duke Anton Ulrich; "Christ and the Canaanite woman", 1617, Amsterdam. State. Museum). However, after 1620 the art of Pieter Lastman in decline, as if the artist seeks to mitigate the initial harshness ("Abraham and the three angels", 1621, St. Petersburg, State. The Hermitage; "the Prophet Elisha and the Shunammite woman", CA. 1620-1621, Moscow, Museum of fine arts. A. S. Pushkin).
Pieter Lastman and Rembrandt. The influence of Lastman by Rembrandt to be seen in a number of striking examples - "the Donkey of Balaam," Lastman (1622, Clayton Roared, meeting Palmer) and its variant written by Rembrandt in 1626 (Paris, musée Cognac-the Same); "Coriolanus" Lastman (1622, Dublin, Trinity College) and a mysterious painting by Rembrandt depicting a Roman Consul and the German Legionnaires (1626, Leiden Museum): grafizm hatching and dotted, sometimes parallel lines, the frequent use of charcoal and sanguine drawing - all this is characteristic Lastman, and for the young Rembrandt. In his expressive drawing is guessed splendor that Pieter Lastman managed to convey to Rembrandt, which had two albums of paintings of his first teacher. Even in the "100 Gulden", created by Rembrandt in the Mature period of his work (C. 1649), still hear the echo of the art of Pieter Lastman. It is also noteworthy that borrowing from Lastman manifested in the school of Rembrandt, for example in the work of Barent Fabricius ("the Expulsion of Hagar", San Francisco Museum of young, and a painting by Pieter Lastman on the same plot, 1612, Hamburg, Kunsthalle). All this proves once again that, for Rembrandt and Pieter Lastman was a teacher par excellence.