"Cologne" and "Dieppe", two exceptional Turners, are on view in the National Gallery London. An exhibition with only 2 painting, how great is that! On loan from the Frick, NY. Until 19 Feb 2023.
Gerard ter Borch (1617 – 1681), “The Letter” (c.1663), 82x68cm, oil on canvas, Royal Collection Trust, London. Gerard ter Borch, 1617 – 1681, was a highly skilled Dutch Golden Age painter, who influenced his fellow Dutch colleagues Metsu, Dou and certainly also Vermeer. Ter Borch painted men and women, mistress and servant, soldiers and civilians, in the sanctum … Continue reading Gerard ter Borch (1617 – 1681) and writing letters.
Thomas de Keyser (c. 1596–1667) was a Dutch painter, stone merchant and architect. His father was the famous Amsterdam architect and sculptor, Hendrick de Keyser (1565 - 1621). Thomas was buried on this day June 7th, 1667, in the family vault in the Zuiderkerk (Southern Church) in Amsterdam. Thomas de Keyser excelled as a portrait painter and was the preeminent portraitist of … Continue reading Thomas de Keyser (c.1596 – 1667)
It’s winter. But the real winters are far behind us. When will we skate again on frozen rivers? Let’s have a look at the Dutch 17th century winter-wonderland paintings by Hendrick Avercamp. And let’s speak about those harsh winters and about the Dutch as the inventors of playing golf. Hendrick Avercamp (1585 - 1634), “A Scene … Continue reading Hendrick Avercamp (1585 – 1634) and playing golf on ice
Willem Claesz. Heda (1594 – 1680), “Still Life with a Roemer and Watch” (1629), 46x69cm, Oil on Panel, Mauritshuis, The Hague. Let’s have Sunday brunch 17th Century style! And that’s best done with Willem Claesz. Heda, Dutch Golden Age painter from Haarlem, The Netherlands. He specialized in the genre of “banketjes” and “ontbijtjes” (banquets and … Continue reading Willem Claesz. Heda (1594 – 1680)
Hans Memling from Bruges, Belgium, died on this day August 11 in 1494. Besides producing the standard devotional paintings, he also became one of the most sought-after Netherlandish portrait painters. He invented an unique and totally new style of portrait, with a landscape in the background, as if the sitter is portrayed outside or in … Continue reading Hans Memling (1430 – 1494)
It’s summer; fruits and veggies galore! So, let’s speak about Giuseppe Arcimboldo, an Italian painter who spent his whole career at the Habsburg court, in Vienna for Emperor Maximilian II and later in Prague for Rudolph II. Arcimboldo was highly successful during his lifetime, but soon forgotten after his death. Only in the 1930s Arcimboldo … Continue reading Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1527 – 1593)
July 16th, 1723, birth of Joshua Reynolds. English painter and the most fashionable portraitist of the 18th Century elegant society of England. As a young painter he made his grand European tour and studied all the Italian Old Masters. This influenced his style of painting, which we now know as the Grand Style. His clients … Continue reading Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723 – 1792)
It’s summer; fruits and vegetables galore! And that’s what Adriaen Coorte painted. Mini still lifes, the size of a postcard, often painted just on paper. Around 60 of these fragile works of beauty still exist and were mostly collected by the 17th Century elite in the province of Zeeland in the south-western part of The … Continue reading Adriaen Coorte (active 1683 – 1707)
On June 24th, 1616, birth of Ferdinand Bol, celebrity-portrait painter of the Dutch Golden Age. Bol married himself into the Amsterdam high society of merchants and the Dutch Admiralty with their naval heroes. Always being compared to Rembrandt, Bol went his own way and became very successful and famous. His style of painting is less … Continue reading Ferdinand Bol (1616 – 1680)
Han Huang (韓滉) was a Chinese painter from the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907). But he was also a high ranking court official under a range of Chinese Tang Emperors. Han painted “Five Oxen (五牛圖)” and it is said that in this painting he shows to the Emperor his loyalty and hardworking dedication, like the … Continue reading Han Huang 韓滉 (723 – 787)
This is the story of a rich merchant family from 17th Century Haarlem in The Netherlands. Or it’s actually the story of a portrait of that family. Gijsbrecht and Maria van Campen celebrated in 1624 their 20th wedding anniversary, by ordering a family portrait from the famous Dutch painter Frans Hals. They wanted to be … Continue reading Frans Hals (1582 – 1666), a family (portrait) reunited!
On June 11th, 1776, birth of John Constable, English landscape painter. Now considered one of the greatest English painters, but during his life more successful outside England than at home. From Suffolk, England, Constable spent almost his whole life painting the local landscape, with clouds full of rain. His paintings show the England we know … Continue reading John Constable (1776 – 1837)
Jan Lievens (1606 - 1674), "Samson and Delilah" (c. 1632), 131x111cm, Oil on Canvas, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. On the 4th of June 1674, death of Jan Lievens, Dutch Golden Age painter and friend, colleague and rival of Rembrandt. Only a year younger than Rembrandt, they grew up together in Leiden and shared a studio in Amsterdam. … Continue reading Jan Lievens (1607 – 1674)
On the 30th of May, 1640, death of Peter Paul Rubens, the most important Baroque painter from the Flemish Netherlands. Rubens was not only a well-educated scholar and painter, but also businessman and diplomat. He made religious altarpieces, portraits of royalty, mythological paintings and hunting landscapes. All his paintings are impressive big pieces with lots … Continue reading Peter Paul Rubens (1577 – 1640)
Pontormo (1494 – 1557), “Visitation of the Virgin and Saint Elizabeth” (1528), Oil on Board”, 202x156cm, Church of San Michele e San Francesco, Carmignano, Italy. On the 24th of May, 1494, birth of Jacopo Carucci da Pontormo, simply known as Pontormo. He is famous for his Mannerist way of painting, with figures in a floating, almost … Continue reading Pontormo (1494 – 1557)
Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528), “Saint Jerome” (1521), Oil on Panel, 60x48cm, Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Lissabon. On the 21st of May, 1471, birth of Albrecht Dürer, painter, drawer and printmaker, and one of the key artists of the Northern Renaissance. Dürer’s printmaking has been of immense influence on generations of painters, all of whom had printmakers copy … Continue reading Albrecht Dürer (1471 – 1528)
Jacob Jordaens (1593 – 1678), “Susanna and the Elders” (1653), Oil on Canvas, 203x154cm, National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen. On the 19th of May, 1593, birth of Jacob Jordaens, one of the top Flemish Baroque painters. Here is his "Susanna and the Elders". The painting learns us that the concept of female beauty is changing … Continue reading Jacob Jordaens (1593 – 1678)
Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519), Mona Lisa or La Gioconda or Portrait of Lisa Gherardini, Oil on Panel, 77x53cm, The Louvre Museum, Paris. Today 500 years ago, on May 2, 1519, Leonardo da Vinci dies in Amboise in France. He spent his last years in the service of his good friend Francis I, King of France. Already during … Continue reading Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519)
Jules Breton, born on the 1st of May, 1827, was a 19th-century French Romantic-Realist painter. His paintings are influenced by the French countryside and rural peasant life. Breton transmits the hardship of rural existence into romantic and idyllic beauty. Here is his painting “The Song Of The Lark”, from 1884. The poor farmer girl has a … Continue reading Jules Breton (1827 – 1906)
On February 27, 1863, birth of Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida, Spanish impressionist painter. Famous for painting people and landscapes under the bright Spanish sunlight and with sunlit water. Here is Sorolla’s “Paseo a Orillas del Mar” (Walk on the Beach), painted on the beach of Valencia and depicting his wife Clotilde and daughter Maria. The … Continue reading Joaquín Sorolla (1863 – 1923)
On April 20, 1840, birth of Odilon Redon. French symbolist painter who combined the macabre with beauty and light. Redon’s paintings are a synthesis of nightmares and dreams, as in “Ophelia among the Flowers” from 1905. Ophelia is a character from Shakespeare's Hamlet. Towards the end of the the play she drowns in a pond, … Continue reading Odilon Redon (1840 – 1916)
Jacob van Hulsdonck, born April 26, 1582, Flemish painter of still-lives and flowers. Here are his Roses in a Glass Vase. It’s white and red roses, plus an eglantine-rose (Dutch: “egelantier”) in the top left of the picture. Executed with great precision throughout, from the water droplets on the petals to the maybeetle in the […]