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(Dutch: ‘Band of Painters’).

A fraternal organization, dedicated to social fellowship and mutual assistance, founded in about 1620 by a number of Dutch and Flemish artists living in Rome. Its members called themselves Bentvueghels (‘birds of a flock’) and they had individual Bentnames that presumably related to their character or appearance. For example, Pieter van Laer, one of the early leaders, was called Bamboccio (‘little clumsy one’ or ‘rag doll’) and Breenbergh was known as Het Fret (‘the ferret’). In 1720 Pope Clement XI banned the Schildersbent's drunken initiation rituals, which parodied the ceremony of baptism, and the organization was disbanded.

Subjects: Art.

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