Augusta Stylianou Gallery
View of Delft
THE STANDARD GALLERIES
Author of "Dutch and Flemish Furniture, " "Great Pictures
|The Hague Gallery||1|
|The Rijks Museum||109|
|The Stedelijk Museum||193|
|The , Haarlem||211|
|The Museum, Rotterdam||217|
|Vermeer, View of Delft||Frontispiece|
|Paul Potter, Vache qui se mire||10|
|Rembrandt, Portrait of Himself as Officer||14|
|F. Bol, Admiral de Ruyter||24|
|, The Visit of Antiochus to the Augur||32|
|, Distant View of Haarlem||40|
|A. , A Dutch Roadstead||48|
|P. , The Hay Wain||50|
|P. Wouwermans, The Arrival at the Inn||52|
|Dou, The Good Housekeeper||60|
|Ostade, The Fiddler||66|
|Ter Borch, The Despatch||70|
|Metsu, The Amateur Musicians||74|
|Moreelse, The Little Princess||118|
|Mierevelt, Prince Maurits of Nassau||120|
|Van der Helst, Company of Captain R. Bicker||126|
|Hackaert, Avenue of Ash-trees||132|
|Maes, The Spinner||136|
|Cuijp, Fight between a Turkey and a Cock||140|
|Cuijp, Shepherds with their Flocks||142|
|Jan van Goyen, View of Dordrecht||144|
|W. , The Ij, or Y, at Amsterdam||150|
|F. , Dead Game and Vegetables||152|
|M. d', The Floating Feather||154|
|Asselijn, The Swan||156|
|A. de Vois, Lady and Parrot||164|
|F. van Mieris, The Grocer's Shop||172|
|P. de Hooch, The Country House||176|
|Jan Steen, The Parrot Cage||178|
|Jan Steen, The Happy Family||180|
|Jan Steen, Eve of St. Nicholas||182|
|Mauve, Sheep on the Dunes||196|
|Israëls, Fisherman's Children||198|
|Roelofs, Marshy Landscape||200|
|A. Neuhuys, By the Cradle||202|
|Mesdag, Sunrise on the Dutch Coast||204|
|Israëls, Old Jewish Peddler||206|
|J. Maris, Two Windmills||208|
|Frans Hals, Reunion of the Arquebusiers of St. Andrew.||214|
|Bisschop, Winter in Friesland||226|
|Mauve, Cows in a Shady Nook||236|
|Klinkenberg, View of the Vijver at The Hague||246|
|Jongkind, View of Overschie in Moonlight||256|
Not far from the Binnenhof, on the Vijver, where the principal historic buildings of The Hague are grouped, stands the Mauritshuis, now the home of one of the most famous collections of paintings in Europe. Originally it was the palace of Prince John Maurice of Nassau, Governor of Brazil, who, on his return to his fatherland in the year 1644, found it completed and took up his residence there.
This splendor-loving prince had had this building erected to please his own tastes by the court architect of The Hague, Pieter Post, after the plans of Jacob van Campen, the designer of the Dam Palace in Amsterdam and other buildings; and for the decoration of the interior he had sent rare and costly woods from Brazil. Everything was heavily gilded and painted; and, in particular, a very artistic staircase attracted universal admiration. Brazilian landscapes painted by Frans Post, richly carved , and exotic objects of every kind adorned the halls; but, alas! in 1704 all this magnificence was destroyed by a fire, and only the walls of the palace remain.
The Restored Building made into an Art Gallery.—The exterior of the building was restored just as it was originally; but the interior was finished in a much simpler style that does not in the least suggest the splendor of the past.[Pg 4]
It was not until the year 1820 that the Mauritshuis was devoted by royal decree to its present use,—the sheltering of the royal picture collection, which was at that time combined with the Cabinet of Rarities, now in the Rijks Museum in Amsterdam.
History of the Collection.—The collection has an interesting history as a whole; and the majority of the pictures have their own special history. The nucleus of the gallery formed the collection of the last Stadtholder of the Netherlands, William V. of Orange.
The Princes of Orange were art-collectors as early as the beginning of the sixteenth century. Although we do not know much regarding the art tastes of Prince Maurice of Orange, who died in 1625, yet we learn from a document that he employed as a court painter. On the other hand, we do know that his brother, Prince , was a collector of fine taste and a Mæcenas. He employed a great number of important artists, among whom were Rembrandt, Honthorst, Dirck Bleker, Cornelis Vroom, Christiaen Couwenberch, Cornelisz Jacobsz Delff, Thomas Willeborts, Moses van Uyttenbrouck, Jacob Backer, Gonzales Coques, Frans Pietersz de Grebber, Dirck Dalens, Gerrit van Santen, Adriaen Hanneman, de Helt , and Dirck van der Lisse. Besides works by these artists, he acquired in Antwerp pictures by Rubens, Paulus de Vos, Adriaen van Utrecht, and others. To the Jesuit Father Soghers he even gave a golden palette made in The Hague by the goldsmith Hans Coenraet Brechtel. No wonder that his widow, Princess Amalia of Solms, following the ideas of her dead husband, employed Jordaens, Van Thulden, De Grebber, Casar van Everdingen, Honthorst, , Solomon de Bray, Pieter Soutman, and Cornelis Brisé to decorate the House in the Wood.
At her death in 1675, she left a collection of two hundred and fifty pieces, which were divided among her four daughters. Some of these pictures are now in Dessau and Moscow, and others in Prussian castles.[Pg 5]
William III., who gained the English throne, had a fine picture-gallery, of which the portrait-painter, Robert Duval was the director. The greater part of this collection was sold in Amsterdam in 1713; but a few of these pictures are still in The Hague Gallery. The latter, however, owes its importance and distinction to the collection of William V.
The Collection of William V. of Orange.—This prince purchased his treasures at the best auctions of the day, such as the Lomier, De la Court, Braamcamp, and collections. A German painter, Tethardt Philip Christian Haag, was made the director of this gallery, which was established in the Buitenhof. When the French entered The Hague in 1795 these pictures were carried to Paris by the troops and placed in the Louvre. When Napoleon's lucky star set, the French had the grace to return the pictures that they had carried away as spoils from various countries; and on November 20, 1815, the one hundred and ten pictures belonging to the prince's collection were returned to The Hague amid the ringing of bells, firing of cannon, and rejoicing of the people. Although a certain number remained in France, the chief gems were restored undamaged.
Growth of The Hague Gallery.—In 1817 the gallery contained only one hundred and twenty-three pictures. Gradually others were purchased; for example, in 1829, King William I. bought Rembrandt's Anatomy for 3200 gulden. Very few purchases were made from 1831 to 1874; but during the reign of the art-loving William III. the gallery was greatly augmented by both purchase and gift. The growth of the collection is principally the result of the great generosity of the Baron Victor de Stuers, who in 1874 issued an admirable catalogue (revised ed., 1895).
The Cabinet Pieces.—The nucleus of this collection, originally a "princely cabinet," consists of the cabinet pieces. Therefore we find here pictures (that were highly valued in their day) by Poelenburgh, Dou, Van Mieris, De Vois, Schalcken, Netscher, Van der Werff, P. van Dyck, Ostade, Jan Steen, Ter Borch, and Metsu. There were also[Pg 6] four Rembrandts, two De Keijsers, three Potters, the beautiful Moro, and examples by Adriaen and Willem . The modern additions, generally speaking, do not equal in interest the original collection. The most important are two portraits by Hals; a triptych, by Jacob Cornelisz van Ootsanen, a bequest; an Aert de Gelder, a gift, unfortunately much restored and spoilt by Houbraken; a signed still life, by Jan ; a portrait by Bol; a broad and spirited Begeyn; a Dusart; a strong, dark, and somewhat sunken view of The Hague by Jacob van ; a beautiful Van Goyen; a head by Vermeer of Delft; a landscape by G. du Bois; a wonderful flower-piece by Abraham van Beyeren; several still-life pictures; and some portraits, among the latter Moreelse's portrait of himself.
Sir Joshua Reynolds's Visit to the Gallery.—Sir Joshua Reynolds left an account of his visit to the Prince of Orange's Gallery in 1781; and among the pictures that he especially admired are those that critics unite in extolling to-day. He calls attention to the , two , the portraits of Rubens's two wives, Rembrandt's Portrait of a Young Man, a Conversation by Ter Borch (The Despatch it is now called), Van Dijck's Portrait of Simons the Painter, Teniers's Kitchen, two Ostades, a landscape by Rubens, Paul Potter's Vache qui se mire, the Inside of a Delft Church, by Hoogest (Houckgeest), Fruit, by De Heem, "done with the utmost perfection"; a Woman with a Candle, by Gerard Dow; a Woman writing, looking up and speaking to Another Woman, by Metsu; a picture of Dutch Gallantry by Mieris,—"a man pinching the ear of a dog which lies on his mistress's lap"; a Boy blowing Bubbles, also by Mieris, and The Flight into Egypt, by Van der Werff,—"one of his best."
The Vijver Lake.—But while we have been talking of the past history of the Mauritshuis and its treasures, we have failed to notice the Vijver, a pretty lake bordered with trees and dotted with islands, the haunt of swans and other waterfowl—descendants, perhaps, of 's[Pg 7] and Weenix's models—that float upon its glassy surface, and cut through those quiet reflections of the long line of picturesque buildings, including the Mauritshuis. The long quay on the other side is the favorite and fashionable promenade of The Hague. We must note the Vijver, because it has been an attractive subject for Dutch painters of all periods; and the traveller will frequently see representations of it. One of the most recent is Klinkenberg's View of the Vijver at The Hague, which was presented to Museum in 1876, by the Rotterdam Society for Promoting Art. The Mauritshuis is represented on the right. And now, having looked at this building from across the Vijver, we will pass to the entrance.
Paucity of Foreign Pictures in Dutch Galleries.—The Dutch galleries differ from many other great European galleries, such as the National Gallery, the Louvre, the Hermitage, and the big German galleries, by being devoted almost exclusively to works of the Dutch and Flemish masters. Pictures of foreign schools are insignificant in number and of very slight importance. The foreign pictures in the Mauritshuis can be dismissed in a few words.
Italian Pictures in the Mauritshuis.—The Italian pictures include:
Holy Family, by Fra Bartolommeo; Holy Family, by P. Berettini; Christ Blessing, by P. Bordone; Adoration of Magi, by C. Caliari; Virgin and Child, and Birth of Virgin, by L. Cambiaso; Temptation of Adam and Eve, by C. Cignani; Virgin, Child, and Saints, by M. Fogolino; Massacre of Innocents, by L. Mazzolini; Holy Family, by F. Santafede; Madonna, by G. B. Sassoferrato; Annunciation, by F. Solimena; Holy Family, and two Portraits, by Titian; Venus, Mistress of the World, by A. Turchi; an Italian Landscape, by F. Zuccherelli; Cupid (poor copy), by Guido Reni; Venus and Cupid (copy), by Raphael; two Male Portraits, by Piero de Cosimo; Female Portrait, by G. Palma; Female Portrait, by A. Allori; Landscape, by F. Lauri; two Landscapes with Pilgrims, Monks in a Grotto and Capuchins in a Grotto, by A. Magnasco; two Ruins, by L. Carlevaris; and Prometheus and Sisyphus, by L. Giordano.
Of unknown Italian artists of the sixteenth century, the subjects are:
God the Father and Holy Spirit, Landscape with Mary Magdalen, Landscape with St. Paul and the Hermit, Death of Abel, Venus, Dalilah, St. John the Evangelist, Ecce Homo, Martyrdom of St. Sebastian, and The Musicians.
Other Foreign Pictures in the Mauritshuis.—France is represented only by a portrait by J. A. Aved, A Group of Merchants by S. Bourdon, and two ideal landscapes by C. Vernet. The Spanish school is represented by a portrait by Velasquez, a Virgin and Child by Murillo, a Magdalen by M. Cereso, and a landscape and a portrait by unknown artists. The German artists are scarcely more numerous. There are two portraits by Holbein and three others of his school, three portraits by B. Beham, an Italian landscape by J. H. Roos, three portraits by J. F. A. Tischbein, and four Biblical and one mythological pictures by H. . The subjects of these are: The Meeting of David and Abigail, St. Philip Baptizing the Eunuch, The Rest in Egypt, Christ Delivering Souls from Purgatory, and The Fall of Phaeton. The meagre list of foreign works also includes two portraits by the Danish artist, J. G. Ziesenis.
Strength and Weakness of the Gallery.—The strength of The Hague Gallery lies mainly in its portraits, either single or in groups. Of these there are considerably more than a hundred; of genre pictures there are about seventy, and of landscape more than sixty. There are nearly fifty Biblical and religious subjects, and more than thirty taken from pagan mythology. The Gallery is weak in historical pictures, of which there are only seventeen. Only seven canvases represent the great marine painters; and the pictures of birds, flowers and fruits, and still life are comparatively few.
The student naturally turns first to the great pictures that have a world-wide reputation. The two most famous[Pg 9] are undoubtedly Paul Potter's Bull and Rembrandt's Lesson in Anatomy.
Paul Potter's Bull.—The picture represents an enormous black and white bull standing on a hillock beneath two trees. Beneath the trees lie a cow, a sheep, and a lamb, and behind the trunks stand a ram and a shepherd. An immense meadow, on which cattle are grazing, stretches away to the dim horizon, where the buildings of a town are barely visible. In the broad expanse of sky a bird soars with outspread wings. The bull is proud and defiant, with silky hide and loose dewlap, and stands with firmly planted feet. His eye is savage. This picture has been the subject of much criticism: the figures of the man, the sheep, and the lamb have been condemned by most critics, while the ram's horns have been called "a splendid piece of sculpture," and the head of the cow "the gem of the whole work." The face of the cow is marvellous. The eyes, and the wet and dripping nose and mouth, rivet the spectator's gaze. He fancies he smells the grass-laden breath of the animal, and sees her jaw begin to move as she chews the cud. "No painter ever concentrated so much life and truthful expression in the face of a ruminant," remarks a critic. Strange, then, that the fawn-colored body and crumpled leg are hard and wooden.
The Bull was painted in 1647, when Paul Potter was but twenty-two years of age, and was living in Amsterdam and Haarlem. The picture was purchased in 1749 for 630 florins, and in 1795 was carried by the French to Paris and placed in the Louvre, where it was ranked as the fourth most valuable painting,—the others being Raphael's Transfiguration, Domenichino's Communion of St. Jerome, and Titian's Martyrdom of St. Peter. The Dutch government offered 60,000 florins to Napoleon for its restoration.
The Mirrored Cow.—A more beautiful picture, and greatly preferred by most critics to the Bull, is the Mirrored Cow, known generally by the French title, La Vache qui se mire. This was painted in 1648, and represents a[Pg 10] beautiful landscape on a hot summer day. The meadows are flooded with sunshine; a limpid pool on the border of a forest is shown in the foreground, where cows, goats, and sheep are lying or standing under the shade of the trees. Two cows and a sheep stand in the water and are reflected there; one cow is drinking, and the other has her back to the spectator and is idly standing in the mud. Boys and men are swimming or playing on the banks, and two have evidently finished their bath. On the right is a with some cows. One of these an old woman is milking, and a man stands by with his arm over the cow's back. In the middle distance a coach and six horses with lackeys is seen, and in the background the spires and towers of Rijswick are basking in the sunlight. The castle of Binkhorst is visible, and Delft lies on the horizon.
Criticism of these two Pictures.—Burger very wittily said that La Vache qui se mire was a chef d'œuvre, and not a hors d'œuvre, like the Bull. And Sir Joshua Reynolds noted: "Cattle finely painted by Potter, remarkable for the strong reflection of one of them in the water: dated 1648." "How bright, how sunny is this landscape!" exclaims Dr. Bredius. "How splendidly are all these animals drawn and modelled! The whole composition is beautiful and full of charm." It is painted in the small size which Potter usually preferred, and is one of his greatest creations.
Other Pictures by Potter, his Father, and Van der Helst.—The third picture by Potter, painted four years later, is also ranked among his best works. Like the two others it represents cattle in a meadow.
A portrait of Paul Potter by Van der Helst, painted shortly before his death (January 27, 1654), hangs near his masterpieces. It is the only work by which Van der Helst is represented in The Hague Gallery.
A picture by Paul Potter's father, Pieter Symonsz Potter, Shepherds with their Troops, signed and dated 1638, is owned by the Mauritshuis, but a better work is his Straw-Cutter in the Rijks.[Pg 11]
Rembrandt.—The Hague Gallery is particularly rich in works by Rembrandt (1606-69). The Rijks Museum is the place to study the great productions of his middle and last periods; but The Hague Gallery is strong in works of his first period, owning no less than five painted during the first ten years of his career.
The Anatomy Lesson.—First, let us look at the most important work of Rembrandt in this gallery, The Anatomy Lesson by Dr. Tulp (1632), which made Rembrandt the most sought-after painter of his time.
Rembrandt was barely settled in Amsterdam and had painted only a few pictures there when the famous Amsterdam surgeon, Dr. Nicholaes Tulp, gave him the order to represent him with his students at an operation for the Amsterdam Guild of Surgeons, to be hung on the walls of their dissecting room with other works of a similar nature, such as the great anatomy pictures by Aert Pietersz (1603), by Thomas de Keijser (1618), by Claes Elias (1625), two by Mierevelt (1617), and one by Vosmaer. Rembrandt's work overshadowed them all. There is a resemblance to Vosmaer's picture and also to that of De Keijser too striking to be accidental; but Rembrandt's work shows the master's genius in the style, the arrangement of the figures, and the illumination. Bode says:
"Instead of an accidental arrangement of single persons, a masterly rounded-out composition has been created, in the happiest way, and at the most important moment, when at a point in the lecture to the learned anatomists the interest is concentrated on the body. The circumstances and the way it is painted deprive the picture of all disgust. In contrast with his predecessors, Rembrandt has painted his doctors, not as if they were having their photographs taken and gazing at the spectator, but in the most natural way—some looking at the body and some at the lecturing Dr. Tulp, Tulp himself quiet, and explaining his subject with the greatest authority. The body is painted in a masterly manner and the portraits are beyond all praise."
Physicians portrayed in the Anatomy Lesson.—On a paper held by Hartman Harmansz, the names of the physicians are inscribed: his own; Matthijs Kalkoen, who is leaning forward; Jakob de Wit, almost in profile, with extended neck, looking with extreme attention, with his collar almost touching the head of the corpse; below him, Jakob Blok, with fixed glance and furrowed brow; above Blok, Frans van Loenen, the only one present not a Master of the Guild; and, finally, lower down in the foreground, Adriaan Slabbraan, with his back turned to the spectator, but his head in profile; and Jakob Koolveld, entirely in profile, the last on the left. All are , robed in black with plated ruffs, with the exception of Harmansz, who wears an old-fashioned ruff.
This work remained in the Surgeons' Hall in Amsterdam until 1828, when King William I. bought it for 32,000 florins.
Sir Joshua Reynolds saw it in Amsterdam in 1781, and thus described it:
"To avoid making it an object disagreeable to look at, the figure is but just cut at the wrist. There are seven other portraits colored like nature itself, fresh and highly finished. One of the figures behind has a paper in his hand, on which are written the names of the rest; Rembrandt has also added his own name with the date, 1672. The dead body is perfectly well drawn (a little foreshortened), and seems to have been just washed. Nothing can be more truly the color of dead flesh. The legs and feet, which are nearest the eye, are in shadow; the principal light, which is on the body, is by that means preserved of a compact form. All these figures are dressed in black.
"Above stairs is another Rembrandt of the same kind of subject; Professor  standing by a dead body, which is so much foreshortened that the hands and the feet almost touch each other; the dead man lies on his back with his feet toward[Pg 13] the spectator. There is something sublime in the character of the head, which reminds one of ; the whole is finely painted, the coloring much like Titian."
Rembrandt's first Important Work.—Critics are uncertain as to whether the Presentation in the Temple, also called Simeon in the Temple, was painted in Leyden or in Amsterdam, to which city Rembrandt removed in 1631, the date of this picture; but all agree that it is his first important work, far exceeding in certainty of composition and treatment the Simeon of 1628, Peter's Denial of 1628, and the Good Samaritan of 1631.
In the centre of a temple whose roof is supported by gigantic columns, the Virgin and St. Joseph make their offering and present the newborn child, who is in the arms of Simeon, to the Lord. They gaze tenderly at the infant. In front of the group stands the High Priest in a long violet robe, holding up his hands in ecstasy. The light is focussed on the faces of Mary, Simeon, and Jesus, and falls on the High Priest's back and hand. Behind the Virgin, who is dressed in light blue, are two rabbis; and in the background in the nave are several groups almost imperceptible in the shadows; and to the right in the chiaroscuro are a number of persons ascending and descending a flight of steps, at the top of which stands a priest. In the foreground on the right two old men are sitting on a bench, the arm of which bears the monogram "R. H.," and the date 1631. It is supposed that Rembrandt's sister was the model for Mary. Emile Michel says:
"The simple garb of the Virgin and St. Joseph and the squalor of the two beggars beside them emphasize the splendor of the High Priest and of Simeon, whose heavy cymar seems to be woven of gems and gold. The execution is a miracle of subtlety and skill. Note how supreme a colorist has been at work on the High Priest's cope! With what science is the violet carried through the lights and shadows, and with what truth are the tones observed and rendered, with what scrupulous care is the general harmony preserved in spite of the marvellous treatment of detail!"
Of this picture, so particularly remarkable for its artistic treatment and composition, Bode exclaims:
"How appropriately are the groups in the halls of the high fantastic vaults distributed! How masterly is the chief group in the middle distance! How complete in drawing and action is every single figure, though so minute! How powerfully is the light sprinkled over the chief figures before it slowly melts away into the mystic darkness of the broad nave whereby that peculiar mood of reverence—the holy calm of the place—results as the most happy effect of handling."
Lights and Coloring of the Picture.—Notwithstanding their smallness, the figures are most completely and expressively treated, so that in the half-lights the background shimmers here and there. The coloring equals that of the other pictures of this period; in the lights, greenish brown tones come to the aid of the local colors—blue, violet, and, very seldom, yellow (next to gray and brown, which are used only in a very modest way).
de Poorter made a striking copy of this picture, which hangs in the Dresden Gallery.
Susanna.—The chief beauty of Susanna, which bears the signature "R. f. 1637," lies in the brilliant, warm coloring which bestows a rich effect on the somewhat ugly form of the crouching heroine. Bode, like Burger before him, thinks that he recognizes in the little head the likeness of Rembrandt's wife, Saskia. The flesh is wonderfully painted, the figure lifts itself splendidly out from the dark but transparent background. Moreover, the modelling of the body leaves nothing to be desired.
Susanna is represented as about to step into the bath and is alarmed by the presence of the two Elders, one of whom is seen lurking in the shrubbery. Burger notes:
"Placed by the side of the School of Anatomy and the Simeon, the merits of this work are too often overlooked. Yet Susanna, strongly relieved against a dark background, is one of the most interesting female figures ever painted by Rembrandt, being remarkably faithful to nature, though not of classic beauty."
Of this picture Sir Joshua Reynolds remarks, and many will agree with him:
"It appears very extraordinary that Rembrandt should have taken so much pains and have made at last so very ugly and ill-favored a figure; but his attention was principally directed to the coloring and effect, in which it must be acknowledged he has attained the highest degree of excellence."
Portraits of Rembrandt and Others.—The portraits are of Rembrandt, aged about twenty-two, painted about 1629; one of his mother, about 1628; one of a young woman, painted about 1635, supposed to be Saskia van Ulenborgh, whom Rembrandt married in 1634; a portrait of Rembrandt as an officer, about 1635, and one of an old man's head, supposed to be that of his brother Adriaen Harmensz van Rijn (1597-8-1654), painted in 1650.
The portrait of himself is one of Rembrandt's earliest known pictures and was painted in Leyden between 1628 and 1629. It belongs to similar works that are now in Cassel, Gotha, Nuremberg, and in the possession of Count Esterhazy at Nordkirchen, etc., but is the most beautiful because of its perfect condition. Rembrandt, aged twenty-two or twenty-three, is dressed in a somewhat fanciful costume and wears a steel cuirass. The artistic way in which the light falls and the management of the chiaroscuro foretells what was destined to be Rembrandt's peculiarity of manner, which Sir Joshua Reynolds has so happily described as "of admitting but little light and giving to that little a wonderful brilliancy." Bode says: "Although the brush work is broad, the finish is strong. It stands out above all others of this period; we feel already in this youthful work the paw of the lion."
Rembrandt's Portraits of Himself.—The artist was not handsome; indeed he selected himself so often for a model only for the sake of making a study of light and shade, etc., and because he had not always any other casual model than himself at hand. As keen as the glance of his eyes is the[Pg 16] painting of this picture,—sharp, broad, but not so heavily impasto as is the case a few years later.
At this period he painted many portraits of himself. The Wallace Collection in London alone possesses two of the master's self-studies, as does also the Berlin Picture-Gallery, all of which are contemporary with this picture. The date of this portrait is about 1634, when the artist was twenty-eight. It is familiar to every one. Sir Joshua Reynolds described it as "a portrait of a young man by Rembrandt, dressed in a black cap and feathers, the upper part of the face overshadowed; for coloring and force nothing can exceed it."
Homer reciting his Poems (1663) represents an old man in yellow robe. Part of the picture has suffered by having been cut.
Van Ravesteyn (1572-1657).—J. A. van Ravesteyn was in The Hague what Rembrandt was in Amsterdam, Hals in Haarlem, Mierevelt in Delft, Moreelse in Utrecht, and Cuijp in Dordrecht. We have to thank him for the beautiful Shooting Meetings in The Hague Gemeente Museum, and we also have to thank him for a series of fine portraits full of character of officers in the Mauritshuis. Although he had a dangerous rival in Mierevelt, who was employed principally by the Court of the Prince of Orange, yet Ravesteyn was the official painter of The Hague. When the marksmen wanted to have their portraits painted, or when the magistracy wanted to be immortalized, it was Ravesteyn's brush that had to undertake the work. He was not very highly paid, in common with all other Dutch artists of that period.
Van Ravesteyn's Masterpiece.—His great masterpiece, the splendid shooting picture of 1618, the most important one that had been painted up to that time in Holland, brought him only 500 gulden; but in freeing him from all guard duties and from beer and wine taxes, the rulers of The Hague showed that they wanted to honor their artist.
Portraits by Van Ravesteyn.—The portraits of this magnificent portrait-painter are noble in conception and[Pg 17] full of life and character; and in his first period were brilliant in color. Indeed, the flesh tones of his first period are even too red in his male portraits. Yet the pictures which he painted before 1625-30 are stronger and more full of spirit than the later pictures, which are cooler and flatter in the tones and softer in the painting. There is a series of twenty-three portraits of officers who are unknown.
Pot's Schützenstück.—It was not until 1886 that the great Schützenstück, a Civic Guard picture in the Haarlem Museum, which had always been so greatly admired by critics, was discovered to be the long-lost picture painted by Pot (1585-1657) in 1630, which had been falsely attributed to Van der Helst. At the date when he painted the picture Pot was so famous that the historiographer, Ampzingh, had rhymed two years earlier, 1628, "then shall also Hendrik Pot rightfully wear his crown. We wonder what his busy hand is creating to-day." He calls the Allegory of the Death of William I., the great Prince of Orange, painted by Pot in 1620, and now unfortunately lost, "a very fine and artistically painted picture." We have no means of following his development, because his pictures are rare, and seldom dated. The Hague picture shows us a young gallant in bright green costume in the gay company of three sirens and an old woman whose calling is unmistakable. The young woman on his right is in violet; the one on the left, in pink; and the third, in yellow and blue. All this is in a strongly pronounced local color. The drawing is careful and good. This is far superior in all respects to a similar picture in the Berlin Gallery. The background of this picture is a fine gray. The details are convincingly and beautifully painted. The painting of the high lights reminds us of the Hals School. The picture was probably painted about 1630, and takes a commanding place among the contemporary pictures of this style. It was bought for 1300 gulden. A similar picture hangs in the National Gallery.[Pg 18]
Two Portraits by Frans Hals.—"The Government was happily inspired," writes Mr. Bredius, "in 1881, when it bought for The Hague Gallery two portraits by the great Frans Hals [1580-1666], who had not been represented up till that time. Yet there were and still are dissatisfied people who maintain that the authorities ought to have tried to acquire a still better example of the art of the master, these pictures of his being too trifling and not worthy of the collection," etc. But people forgot that such an opportunity does not often occur, and then that the price is often so high that the slim purse of The Hague Gallery makes a purchase not to be thought of.
"The smaller and more beautiful of the pair, the male portrait, is quite capable of giving us a good idea of the virtuosity of the portrait-painting of Hals. How fine, how self-assertive, is the attitude of this twenty-nine-year-old patrician Haarlemite! How sympathetically the costume is painted! How well are the head and hands modelled and drawn! The portraits were painted in the year 1625."
The portraits here described are of Jacob Olycan and his wife, Aletta Hanemans.
Bode's Opinion of Hals's Pictures.—In his celebrated study of Hals of this period, Bode says:
"About the year 1625 the master had advanced to a style of impression and way of handling that in general remained stationary for about ten years. A gay, delightful humor laughs out at us from all these pictures: from the rich, full local colors, the clear blonde tones, playful easy handling, which quickly, in a few minutes with a few scattered strokes and sweeps of the brush and palette knife blade, brings the personality of the subject upon the canvas, and soon the conception is rendered to the smallest detail in lovely, delicate completeness."
Characteristics of Thomas de Keijser's Work.—Of all important painters who flourished in Amsterdam when Rembrandt settled there at the end of 1631, Thomas de Keijser (1596-1667) was by far the greatest. His portraits, particularly those of small dimensions, take high rank among those which the Dutch school in its glory produced. His work is distinguished by a masterly technique,[Pg 19] a splendid characterization in portraiture, a powerful but brilliant selection of color, and a broad, heavy brush.
Description of a Portrait painted by him.—These qualities are found in the Portrait of a Man of Distinction, signed and dated 1631. The man, nearly life size, is seated before a table covered with a reddish Oriental carpet, and with his left hand is turning over the leaves of a book that rests upon a desk. He is not looking at the book, however, but at the spectator. His hair is gray and quite short, he wears a moustache, his eyes are full of fire, and his face is expressive. He has on a large black hat, and a white collar spreads out over his black silk doublet; his stockings are black silk, and his shoes are ornamented with rosettes. The right hand, which is superb, rests on his hip. The floor is paved with black and gray tiles and in the sober background, which serves to bring out the face, a library is indicated on the left.
Group of Four Burgomasters.—The portrait is painted on oak, as is also that of the Amsterdam Burgomasters Deliberating with Regard to the Visit of Marie de Médici to that city. This very small picture, in which the figures are only eight and a half inches high, was painted by De Keijser in 1638, when the widow of the French King Henri IV. visited Amsterdam.
"It is no small glory," says Blanc, "for De Keijser to have painted a picture which in value of execution may be placed between the Peace of Münster and the Syndics by Rembrandt."
Description of the Figures.—Here we find four burgomasters sitting around a table covered with a green cloth in an austere hall, whose gray walls are broken by niches containing statues. These four old men—Abraham Boom, Petrus Hasselaer, Albert Coenraet Burgh, and Antonie Oetgens van Waveren—are dressed in black and wear black felt hats unadorned with plumes. Their grave deliberations regarding the entertainment of the royal guest are interrupted by the entrance of the lawyer, Cornelis van Davelaer,[Pg 20] who, hat in hand, salutes them with the greatest respect, as he announces the arrival of Marie de Médici.
Blanc's Opinion of the Picture.—Blanc, who greatly admires this picture, calls attention to the fact that no useless piece of furniture or accessory of any kind disturbs the solemnity of this little scene, which, on account of the simple manner in which it is conceived, is great, notwithstanding its size. He says:
"With the exception of Rembrandt, I do not know of a single Dutch painter, not even Van der Helst (who painted such great canvases), who would not have belittled his picture, either by elegance of touch and finish, or by the richness of the costumes and arms, or by the effect of a carpet variegated with a thousand shades. I imagine that Gerard Ter Borch, in spite of his habitual dignity, would have found some pretext for introducing into his composition a beautiful sword with a baudrick, a crossbow, or a chandelier; that Metsu would certainly have found some excuse for placing a richly chiselled silver aiguière or a golden goblet on the table; and I am sure that through the door by which the lawyer, Davelaer, enters, Pieter de Hooch would have let you see the antechamber of the Council, with its high chairs covered with Utrecht velvet, or a winding stairway, or a distant door opening into a garden or street. The attention would then have been somewhat distracted by the very striking accessories, or by the optical charm of the chiaroscuro. Here we find nothing of the kind; not a single concession to conventional treatment. By the gravity of their attitude, we see that these four citizens, chosen by a free people who sit here with covered heads, express in themselves the majesty of the United Provinces, and they consider themselves of equal rank with the Queen of France, whose arrival is being announced; you feel at once that they bring a plebeian pride to their magnificent reception of that princess who was, like them, originally from a republic of merchants. All the costumes being black,—that beautiful, warm, transparent, silky black peculiar to Velasquez and Anthonis Moro,—you only notice in this picture the hands and the heads. The heads have an expression that will remain engraven in the mind forever, for the painter has accented them so deeply, and brought into contrast both physical and moral features. Notwithstanding their individuality, they all have a certain grandeur.[Pg 21] The peculiar trait of this master, however, is the neutral background, the exquisite sobriety of the tone of the wall, recalling the beautiful gray of the great Spanish painter; and from this stand out the black of the doublets and the white collars."
Blanc also calls attention to the splendid painting of the faces: the eyes sunken by age, the wrinkles of the skin, and the withered cheeks. Bredius writes:
"What character has the artist put into these heads! We feel at once that it must have been this kind of men who conducted Amsterdam to greatness and fame. What worth and dignity in the way they hold themselves! What self-confidence in the proud glance!"
Other Portraits in the Mauritshuis.—Of other notable portraits in the Mauritshuis there are three by Moreelse (one of himself); six by Honthorst, including one of a child gathering fruit, originally in the Castle of Honsholredijk; nine by Mierevelt (chiefly of various Princes of Orange); three by Ravesteyn, one a group; two by Moro, one of a goldsmith, the other supposed to be Prince William I. in his youth; three by Netscher; Ter Borch's of himself; two by Frans van Mieris; one by Cuijp, and other examples by Rubens and Van Dijck.
Ferdinand Bol's Pay for Portraits.—Of Rembrandt's numerous pupils, one of the most eminent in portraiture was Ferdinand Bol (1616-80), whose earliest signed work is dated 1642. In his earliest period he devoted himself chiefly to large pictures of Biblical subjects; but, like many other artists, he very soon found that there was a great deal more money to be made in portraiture. At that time, when photography was unknown, it was only natural that everybody who could afford it had his picture painted. From the burgomaster to the ordinary tailor or skipper—all wanted to have pictures of themselves and their families hanging on their own walls; and the purchaser could indulge himself in this natural vanity at comparatively small cost, for the demand naturally increased the[Pg 22] supply; and there were only too many painters who were glad enough to serve their patrons. As the artists became famous their prices naturally increased; and some received higher pay than others who to-day have a greater reputation. Rembrandt probably received as much as anybody else for a time; but at the end of his life there was a greater demand for portraits by others, such as Maes, who were more pliant to the changing mode. Rembrandt received 500 gulden each for his famous portraits, whilst others were content with 150, 100, and even 30 or 40 gulden. Caspar Netscher, for instance, received only from 50 to 70 gulden for his elegantly finished pictures. The usual custom was for an artist to paint portraits for a living, meanwhile working and developing himself along the lines of his special genius. Thus we find several of the Little Masters practically relinquishing portraiture as soon as they had made a big reputation in genre, or other fields.
Bol's Work in Portraiture.—Bol was a portrait-painter exclusively; he married first in 1653, and a second time in 1669. Probably both wives belonged to rich and important families, for Bol was kept busy his whole life long and became wealthy, dying in 1680 in his beautiful house with its fine grounds and stables.
With him, as with so many other successful painters, his last pictures were not his best. In his earlier portraits he represents his sitters in beautiful chiaroscuro. The painting is broad and spirited; the color strong and brilliant. He painted so much in Rembrandt's style at first that many of Bol's pictures have been taken for those of his master; and later, when Bol's reputation had faded, unscrupulous dealers did not hesitate to change his signature on the canvases for that of Rembrandt. A celebrated instance of this practice is the so-called Portrait of Flinck and his Wife in Munich, which by many connoisseurs was long admired as Rembrandt's work; but, by Hauser's skill, the false Rembrandt signature was obliterated and the real one of Bol brought to light.[Pg 23]
Bol's Portrait of De Ruyter's Son.—The Mauritshuis owns one of the best portraits by Bol, painted in his later period, that of the handsome twenty-year-old son of the great Admiral de Ruyter. This son, Engel de Ruyter, was born in 1649 and died in 1683. Bol painted him in the year 1669, as may be seen by the date on the picture. It is only quite recently that the pendant, a portrait of the great Admiral de Ruyter, has come to be regarded as a copy after Bol. The charming little marine in the picture is undoubtedly by the hand of Willem the younger, and adds greatly to the interest of the painting because it is of itself a fine picture of that great master. In many of his later portraits, Bol is somewhat dull in his color and painted them too rapidly, besides giving to his flesh too strong a red-rose tint; but that cannot be said of him in this case, where he has done his very best. In particular, he has handled the rich costume with affectionate and masterful touch.
Description of the Sitter.—The genial countenance, which displays none of the real martial type of his celebrated father, rises finely out of the red drapery. The bearing is elegant, though perhaps there is a little too much pose in it. The portrait is particularly interesting, because the sitter had a career of great promise which was cut short all too soon. Nine years after the portrait was painted, the youth had already risen to the rank of Vice-Admiral and had been created a Spanish count, having also refused the title of duke; but before he had attained thirty-four years of age, he died, not a hero's death like his father, as he had desired, but in his own luxurious dwelling in Amsterdam. However, he had already while very young fought valiantly beside his father in the Battle of Solebay.
A Picture by Salomon Koninck.—Another pupil of Rembrandt whom we shall see in the Rijks is G. van den Eeckhout. A picture formerly attributed to him, the Adoration of the Magi, is now known to be by Salomon Koninck[Pg 24] (1618-88). One of the Magi in a red cloak is kneeling before the Infant Jesus and another on the right wears a golden mantle. The color is vigorous and the work shows the knowledge of chiaroscuro for which Rembrandt's school was so famous.
Two Pictures by Nicholas Maes.—Nicholas Maes (1632-93) is represented in the Mauritshuis by only two pictures,—one of them of questionable origin, moreover; and therefore the student must go to Amsterdam for varied examples of his work. The portrait here is that of the Grand Pensionary, Jakob Cats, an original replica of which hangs in the Budapesth gallery. Diana and Her Nymphs shows some of the qualities to be expected of one who worked in Rembrandt's studio for eighteen years; but it is now sometimes attributed to Vermeer of Delft. The signature, "N. M. 1650," is said to be false.
Maes's Work as a Portrait-Painter.—Maes was a pupil of Rembrandt and became a very successful portrait-painter by copying the master's style. He soon became rich by his talents, his wit, his polished manners, and by flattering his sitters. He charged high prices for his pictures; and he deserved his great reputation. The chiaroscuro of his paintings is very vigorous. If the shadows are not heavily massed as with Rembrandt, they are at least strongly accented; and, as the half-tones are very summary, the passage from light to dark is very brusque, and by this means the painter attains a powerful effect and strong relief.
His Visit to Jordaens at Antwerp.—Having become rich, and getting tired of everlastingly painting the rich burghers of Amsterdam and their wives, Maes thought he would like to go to see the works of the great artists of Antwerp, who at that time were so much talked about throughout Europe. Having been initiated into the high freemasonry of art by Rembrandt, he was cordially received by the Antwerp painters and soon recognized by them as a brother. Among others, he went to visit Jordaens and was shown into a room filled with pictures, which[Pg 25] he examined while awaiting the appearance of the latter, who was watching his visitor through the keyhole. When he entered, Jordaens said: "I see plainly that you are a great connoisseur, or perhaps an able painter, for the best pictures in my gallery detained you longer than the others."
Maes simply replied, "I am a portrait-painter."
"In that case," replied Jordaens, "I sincerely pity you. So you also are one of those martyrs of painting who so richly deserve our commiseration!"
In fact, Maes's weariness at having to put up with the whims of human vanity probably had much to do with his turning to genre, by which he is now best known and for which he is most highly prized.
Maes's Pictures of Familiar Scenes.—The average art-lover, however, cares little for the portraiture of Maes, but prizes him as a painter of familiar scenes, like Pieter de Hooch. Although less varied and less supple, but not less robust than the latter, Maes was his equal in the power of his effects. The triviality of the subject which he often selects is relieved by the charm of an astonishingly vigorous and spirited execution. Burger says:
"On passing through a kitchen, perhaps, you see an old woman scraping carrots, having various kitchen utensils about her. If you have seen this humble interior in one of Maes's pictures, it will be impossible for you not to halt and spend some time in looking at it. The painting of Nicholas Maes is one of those that become encrusted in the memory. The light gleams in it, the canvas glows, the subject stands out, the eye runs over it, and if the figures were of natural size one would go forward to meet them, so strong is the impression, so solid is the tone, so palpable, and modelled in relief are the forms.
"In his little familiar scenes, Maes is not always insignificant or vulgar in his choice of subject. Most often, indeed, his composition is ingenious, witty, and piquant. In the first place, it is set in the most picturesque corner of the room; the painter likes to take up his position in a place whence he can see at once the house from top to bottom,—both the stairs descending to the cellar and those mounting to the first floor. Then[Pg 26] the figures he brings into the scene usually have some malicious trick to play, some secret conversation to overhear, some theft to discover, or some infidelity to discover."
Samuel van .—It is singular how few pictures are known by Rembrandt's remarkable pupil, Samuel van Hoogstraaten (1625-78), a versatile painter of landscapes, portraits, marines, architecture, fruits, flowers, and, more particularly, interiors, in which he followed Pieter de Hooch. In his Lady in a Vestibule he has demonstrated his knowledge of perspective, of which he was very proud. The chief feature of the picture, however, is the beautiful chiaroscuro, for which he has to thank Rembrandt's teaching. The lady is walking in a portico of very fine architecture, and reading. With one hand she is holding up her straw-colored dress. This figure is only two feet high, while the spaniel that accompanies her is life size!
Effects of Rembrandt's Teaching on his Pupils.—Thirty of Rembrandt's pupils made great names for themselves by copying that great master in one or other of his manners. Some made a system of what with him was merely a mood or caprice. Not being able to follow him in the expression of the human soul, they made a specialty, some of portraiture, some of costume, some of chiaroscuro, some of genre, and some of landscape.
Philip Koninck's Landscapes.—Philip Koninck (1619-88) is almost the only pupil of Rembrandt who painted landscapes almost exclusively, and he listened to the teachings of his master with great docility. His principle was to regard nature from a little distance, so as to grasp the masses, rather than to enter into details. The Mauritshuis possesses a beautiful and characteristic specimen of his genius. In composition and treatment, it reminds us of Rembrandt's Landscape of the Three Trees. Blanc says:
"Among the Dutch landscape painters perhaps there is not one, unless it is Van der Hagen, who would have dared to paint this monotonous plain, all the lines of which are horizontal, all the clumps and rows of trees of the same height, and in which the only objects in the foreground are a cottage half hidden among trees, and, a little farther on, a low sandy hill which does not rise beyond the level of the middle distance. The vast stretch of country is traversed by so many courses of water that it almost looks as if it were threatened with an inundation. The meadows are on a level with the sea; the distant villages look like flotillas at anchor, and the houses seem to be floating on the canals. The painter has placed his point of view so high that neither the sails of the windmills, nor the points of the belfries, nor the tops of the highest trees stand out against the sky. The picture is cut in half by the almost straight line of a horizon which gradually recedes until lost to view, and the towns we perceive in the distance, the rows of trees, the hamlets, and rivers all run parallel with this horizon. That is to say, that Philip Koninck (and this picture resembles all the others of his we know) is conceived entirely at variance with the ideas that are generally held regarding the picturesque."
"'The greatest enemies of the picturesque are the symmetry of the forms, the resemblance and parallelism of the lines, the polish of the surfaces, and the uniformity of the colors.'
"Very well! Here is a landscape by Koninck that fulfils all the conditions of the non-picturesque; and which, nevertheless, produces a certain impression of grandeur and sadness, solely by means of the canvas being furrowed into infinite depths, the gradations of the perspective being extremely well observed, and the uniformity of the ground being happily contrasted with a sky full of movement, a fine disorder of clouds which the breeze slowly drives before it as a shepherd does his flock."
Dutch Painters who imitated Italians.—Rembrandt, although he arose at a time when the influence of Italian art was supreme, never went to Rome; nevertheless, he owed a great deal to the studies of those artists who had been there. The Hague Gallery contains several pictures of this period; and these are sufficient to give us a very[Pg 28] good idea of the qualities of Dutch art just before Rembrandt, in 1629, set up for himself in Amsterdam at the age of twenty-one.
Goltzius.—An influential founder of a large school of painters who modelled themselves on the great Italians was Hendrik Goltzius (1558-1616). He started for Rome in 1590, and indulged to the full his intense admiration for , which led him to surpass that master in the extravagance of his designs. The works by his own hand he most valued were his eccentric imitations of the designs of Michelangelo. His portraits show exquisite finish, and are fine studies of character. The beauty and freedom of his execution make amends for his extravagance. In the Mauritshuis are three pictures painted shortly before he died—Mercury, Hercules, and Minerva.
His Academy at Haarlem.—On his return from Italy Mander, who was a great friend of Goltzius, induced him to open an academy at Haarlem, in combination with Mander and Cornelisz, and with the assistance of his old pupils, Matham, Müller, Sanraedam, and De Gheyn, as professors. As might be expected, Italian taste predominated in this academy, not solely on account of the personal preference of the founders, but because the Italian style had been popularized in the Low Countries by Lambert Lombard, and his pupils, Hubert Golz, Lambert Zutman, Dominic Lampson, William Key, and Frans Floris (1518-70). Of these the most famous was Floris, who also studied in Italy, and himself founded a large school. The Hague possesses in Venus and Adonis a charming example of his style.
The Italian Style followed by Cornelisz.—Cornelis Cornelisz (1562-1638) had never been to Italy, but his education and environment had given him Italian tendencies. We learn that even after he had attained proficiency he never dispensed with the model; nevertheless, he was neither a slavish imitator of nature, nor altogether a painter of style. He has two large pictures in The Hague Gallery that[Pg 29] were painted about the time he joined Goltzius in the Haarlem academy. These are the Massacre of the Innocents (1591) and the Marriage of Peleus and Thetis (1593). The dominating idea of the artist in the Massacre of the Innocents, which covers a canvas 8-3/4 by 8-1/4 feet, is the wish to appear a great master of drawing by curves and modeling that exaggerate the relief of the muscles. There are more than two hundred figures which are almost all entirely nude. The executioners, and the infants in particular, show an attempt at noble form which rises above nothing more than affectation. There is an obvious striving after the genius of which, in the Dutch master, is merely pretentious imitation of what would be facile and superb in the great Florentine. There is not a single attitude nor a movement that is not contrasted; for instance, if the left arm is behind, the right leg is in front. In fact, the study of nature is completely subordinated to academic conventions. The color is far more natural than the drawing. The artist has been extremely successful in rendering the flesh tints of life as well as of death, and he has varied the nuances in accordance with sex and age, giving very faithfully the tenderness and freshness of the flesh tints of infancy, and the softness of the female form, the stronger tones of the executioners in action, and even the cadaverous hue of the bloodless corpses. As for the expressions of the faces, they are vulgar though energetic.
His Love of painting the Nude.—The love of Cornelisz for compositions thronged with nude figures in the most varied attitudes wherein he could exhibit all the resources of his learning and study of the works of is again shown in the large canvas, measuring 8 by 14 feet, entitled Banquet of the Gods of Olympus, or Marriage of Peleus and Thetis.
Gilles Coignet.—Cornelisz had received his tastes and instruction principally from Gilles Coignet (1540-99), who set out for Italy with another painter named Stello in 1555 and worked principally at Terni, between Loretto and[Pg 30] Rome, for five years. He painted historical and mythological subjects of easel size, but was more successful in landscapes, and more particularly in candle-light subjects and moonlight. He took up his abode in Amsterdam in 1586. His influence on the Haarlem school was pronounced.
Elsheimer's Excellence in Chiaroscuro.—The Mauritshuis possesses two Italian Landscapes by Adam Elsheimer (Elshaimer or Elzheimer) (1574-1620), a German painter, whom the Italians call Adam Tedesco, who possessed great influence over his contemporaries, particularly the elder Teniers and Rembrandt, who followed out the same characteristics of chiaroscuro. Elsheimer delighted in the effects of moonlight and evening dusk; also in torchlight, conflagrations, and every other kind of artificial light,—all of which he represented with greater excellence than had ever been done before him. Visiting Italy, he became charmed with the country and settled in Rome, where his little pictures, usually painted on copper with microscopic and beautifully finished figures, had great success. Elsheimer was visited by all the artists of his country, including Poelemburg, who saw him in 1617. He was almost as great in chiaroscuro as Rembrandt; and his immense reputation did not diminish until after the eighteenth century.
Cornelis van Poelemburg.—A picture of Women Bathing, by Cornelis van Poelemburg (1586-1667), is a fine example of his style. He studied first under Bloemaert, but during a protracted visit to Italy he fell under the influence of Elsheimer; and on his return to his own country he became quite the rage as a painter of classic landscape. In Rome he had been fascinated by Raphael's pictures, and studied him with affectionate admiration. Poelemburg possessed a happy and tranquil nature.
His Attractive Landscapes.—"The little pictures that his imagination painted breathe a quiet happiness, and are imprinted with a suave poesy. They nearly always represent a countryside adorned with ancient ruins and frequented by demi-nude nymphs. His landscapes, enveloped in vapor which,[Pg 31] while decreasing the dryness of the outlines and crudity of the tones, would soften the aspect of the most rugged spots, serve as a background for the whiteness of the goddesses who dance with fauns or repose in the shade of some abandoned monument. Sometimes, as though the vale that they dwell in were reserved for the gods, Poelemburg's nymphs do not fear to remove their light vesture and bathe in some open pool where only the painter may see them. But, most frequently, it is in the neighborhood of a grotto, at the foot of rocks perpetually washed by a spring of fresh water, that one likes to surprise them, nude, trembling, their bodies rendered whiter by the transparent veil of the atmosphere, playing with the water they are disturbing, swimming after one another and half-hidden by the current of their chaste fountains."
Dutch Artists who migrated to Rome.—Bartholomeus Breenborch (1599-1659) was another member of that band of artists who at the beginning of the seventeenth century deserted the banks of the Meuse for those of the Tiber, and exchanged the land that was to produce Rembrandt for the country of Raphael's birth. A few Dutch artists successfully resisted the lures of the Eternal City; but the majority of painters of that period followed the example of Elsheimer, Poelemburg, Karel Dujardin, Herman Swanevelt, Andreas and Jan Both, and others, and formed a little Dutch colony among the Seven Hills.
Breenborch compared with Poelemburg.—Breenborch devoted himself to history and landscape alternately. His historical subjects were chiefly Biblical and mythological. He was fond of painting classical landscapes with ruins; and the only artist who could excel him in painting charming little figures in a landscape was . The chief characteristic of Poelemburg, with whom Breenborch is so often compared, is grace. The only picture of this artist in The Hague Gallery, Mercury appearing to the Nymph Hersé, resembles Poelemburg both in subject and treatment.
Van der Ulft's Architectural Paintings.—Van der Ulft (1627-90), another artist of this school, was originally a[Pg 32] painter on glass. Later, he turned to historical compositions of small dimensions; but his real talent lay in the representation of architectural monuments, and scenes inside city walls. It is strange that he never visited Italy, but formed himself by the study of the works of returning Roman art pilgrims and of engravings. His perspective is exact; his ancient ruins, triumphal arches, and statues are correctly placed in his pictures, and his architectural backgrounds, abounding in strong and golden grays, form an excellent frame for the little figures that animate his spirited paintings. He delighted to paint Roman processions. The Hague picture shows an army on the march in a landscape adorned with architectural remains.
Nicolas 's Best Points.—A follower of Elsheimer, who later became a disciple of Rembrandt, was Nicolas Moeyaert (1630-?), who settled in Amsterdam in 1624 and joined the Painters' Guild in 1630. In some of his pictures he imitated Rembrandt very closely. He excelled in portraits, animals, landscapes, and historical and Biblical scenes. The Hague Gallery contains three: Mercury appearing to the Nymph Hersé; Triumph of Silenus, and a Biblical scene, also called the Visit of Antiochus to the Augur.
Description of one of his Pictures.—Antiochus, about to engage in a war, is consulting the augur. In the centre stands the king dressed in a long blue robe, with a white girdle and a purple cloak lined with fur; also a furred bonnet. He is talking to an old man, the augur, who has a long white beard. He is wrapped in a yellow cloak, is barefooted, and he is writing in a book. By him are some animals, including a dog and some rabbits, and on the right of Antiochus are two goats and a sheep. On a rock on the left is a group of ten persons; and in the centre of the picture between the two high rocks stand a tower and a temple. For pupils had Berchem, Van der Does, Salomon Koninck, and J. B. Weenix.[Pg 33]
Pieters and Lastman.—Gerrit Pieters, the best pupil of C. Cornelisz, also went to Rome. He painted assemblies, genre, and small portraits; his success prevented him from devoting himself to historical painting, which he preferred. A pupil of his was Pieter Lastman (1583-1633), who also made a long sojourn in Italy under Elsheimer's influence. He groped about in different styles for a long time, devoting himself principally to Biblical subjects. He learned a good deal about light effects from Elsheimer; on his return he imparted what he knew to Rembrandt, who studied with him for a short time. Later, when his brilliant pupil grew famous, Lastman humbly followed his lead. Jan (1607-74), was another of his pupils. A picture by him, painted in 1622, when Rembrandt was still only fourteen years old, and therefore could not have influenced him, is in the Mauritshuis. It is called The Resurrection of Lazarus.
An artist who accompanied Lastman to Italy in 1605 was named Jan Pinas (f. 1608-21). He painted portraits, landscapes, and historical subjects.
Herman Swanevelt's Study of Nature.—Herman Swanevelt (Herman of Italy) (1600-55) was a pupil and imitator of Claude Lorraine in Rome, whither he went in 1624, and where his excessive application to study gained for him the name of "the Hermit" from the band of Dutch and German artists established in that city. Unlike Claude, with whom he used to walk in the environs of Rome, and who never sketched from nature, Swanevelt always had his pencil in his hand, taking note of all that he saw, studying the oaks and large plants, and copying the buildings, campaniles, and vine-wreathed arcades and ruins. He left nothing to his imagination. While Claude's landscapes speak of the Golden Age, Swanevelt's are actual reproductions of the country as he saw it. His buildings are not imaginary villas, temples, and palaces, but are the Roman ruins and the façades and cloisters that he knew. In his arrangement and composition he resembled Claude; and, like him, often[Pg 34] placed in the corner of his picture wooded mountains or large trees, and sometimes even placed them in the very centre to make a striking contrast to the very light background.
Naturally rude and savage, Swanevelt contributed some of his character to his work. He liked bold mountains clothed with dark forests, deep ravines, solitary places, and torrents bounding from the rocks; and he understood how to mingle the heroic style with rural beauty.
Two Italian landscapes, one dated 1650, the other formerly attributed to Claude Lorraine, hang in the Mauritshuis.
J. van Swanenburch.—Rembrandt spent three years in the studio of J. van Swanenburch (d. 1638), who had finished his studies at Rome, and worked in Naples for a long time, returning to Holland in 1617.
Bloemaert, Founder of the School of Utrecht.—Abraham Bloemaert (1564-1651) constitutes in many respects the link of transition with the succeeding epoch; for however his frequent mannerisms and gaudy coloring betray the tasteless period in which he was born, his later pictures show a power, taste, and broader touch. He painted a great number of religious and mythological subjects, portraits, landscapes, and animals. By reason of his talent and his long life (ninety-two years), he exercised great influence over the School of Utrecht, and may be regarded as its founder.
Some of his Pupils.—Among his principal pupils may be mentioned: J. and A. Both, the Honthorsts, J. B. Weenix, Knupfer, Cornelis van Poelemburg, and the father of Albert Cuijp. Two pictures painted in the prime of his life are in The Hague Gallery; they deserve attention if only for their size and the number of figures they contain. The subjects are: Hippomenes receiving the Prize (signed and dated 1626), and the Marriage of Peleus (signed and dated 1628). The latter was carried off by the French, but returned after 1815.[Pg 35]
Description of the Marriage of Peleus and Thetis.—"It is composed of fourteen large figures, half nude, representing the gods of Olympus celebrating the marriage of Thetis. Seated at table and distinguished by their divine attributes, the gods appear to be troubled at the sight of Discord, who descends from above, borne on a cloud, and throws down among them the golden apple destined for the most beautiful. In the foreground, with her back turned to the spectator, is shown the figure of Venus, who displays unveiled her divine shoulders, her voluptuous neck, and her incomparably beautiful body, which will carry off the prize, and which has no need of the girdle of beauty to render the goddess beloved. Elsewhere than in The Hague Gallery this mythological painting would perhaps not excite more remark than any other picture, but there, in the midst of a family, bourgeoise, and Protestant school, which avoids the nude and ignores academic conventions and style, a picture of this kind cannot fail strongly to attract attention. Abraham Bloemaert, like the famous Cornelis of Haarlem, has the air of an Italian who has gone astray in these northern regions. These noble contours and learned lines, this modelling of the flesh pursued with a certain pedanticism by the former, and with grace and facility by the latter, and finally these more or less violent foreshortenings,—those, for instance, offered by this picture in the figures of Discord and the Loves who scatter flowers or suspend from trees the curtain that decorates the place of banqueting,—all this is at variance with the jollity and naturalism of the Dutch; all this betrays the influence of a foreign style, an influence that reigned in Holland in the sixteenth century, disappeared at the arrival of Rembrandt, and did not return till the appearance of de Lairesse, more than a century later."
Others who painted in the Italian Style.— (or Claes) Berchem (1620-83), Karel Dujardin (1622-78), and Jan (or Johannes) Both (1610-52), painted in the Italian style. Berchem was a pupil of his father, Pieter Claes, and of J. B. Weenix, , Pieter de Grebber, and probably Jan van Goyen. Karel Dujardin was a pupil of Berchem. All three travelled in Italy; and all three are represented in The Hague Gallery. Berchem[Pg 36] has an Italian Landscape and Figures; an Italian Landscape or Pastoral (dated 1648), with life-sized figures.
Berchem's Picture of a Boar-Hunt.—A Wild Boar Hunt, of the year 1659, shows that he could successfully treat an animated scene. Crowe says:
"It is a model of precision combined with elegance of execution; though at the same time that blue dark tone which, to the eye of a connoisseur, so much detracts from the value of his later works, already partially appears. This is more seen in a landscape dated 1661 in the same museum, though otherwise belonging to his more attractive works. But here also the conventional and monotonous treatment of his cattle begins to be visible.... But the most striking example of the master's deterioration is afforded us by one of his latest works, the Cavalry Engagement, in The Hague Museum, which is a very type of crude and discordant effect and hardness of detail."
His fourth picture is An Italian Quay, dated 1661.
Pictures by Dujardin, Jan Both, and Others.—Karel Dujardin, famous for his animals, portraits, and landscapes, can be well studied in a fine Italian landscape, called A Cascade in Italy, rich and warm in tone and dated 1673.
Johannes Both has two Italian landscapes, one of which glows with sunshine and is remarkable for breadth and delicacy.
Other pictures showing this Italian influence are The Ambuscade and an Italian landscape by Moucheron, with figures by J. Lingelbach; the Terrestrial Paradise by Jan Brueghel the Elder; and The Torrent, by Adam Pynacker.
Adam Pynacker and Jan Both compared.—Pynacker, though inferior to Jan Both in his Italian landscapes, surpasses him in variety. His tone is cooler than Both's, and he excels in painting early morning scenes. In addition to pastoral scenes, he loves rocky heights, mountain ranges, Italian harbors, bold bridges, and waterfalls.
Pynacker enlivened his landscapes with human figures and cattle, both of which he was able to draw and paint extremely well.[Pg 37]
Albert Cuijp's Portrait of Sieur de Roovere.—The famous Albert Cuijp (1620-91) belongs to this group, being a pupil of his father, Jacob Cuijp, who was a pupil of Abraham Bloemaert.
There is but one Cuijp in the Mauritshuis, Portrait of Sieur de Roovere directing the salmon fishery near Dordrecht, which need not detain us long, for we shall find more interesting examples of this master in the Rijks. Burger calls this A View in the Environs of Dordrecht, and says it is "a beautiful painting, but perhaps a little brusque." A gentleman wearing a black hat with red plumes and mounted on a bay horse, is seen on the left, to whom a fisherman in heavy boots is offering fish. On the right lies a spaniel. In the middle distance are some fishermen, a black horse, the other side of a canal, and a house. The two principal figures are about a foot high.
The Beginning of the School of Dutch Landscape.—Jan Hackaert (1629-99) forms a connecting link between those painters who represent Northern and those who represent Southern scenery. He travelled when young into Germany and Switzerland. The Hague has a good example of an Italian landscape with figures by Lingelbach; but better examples of his work are in the Rijks. This brings us to the beginning of the great school of Dutch landscape, when the painters began to take an interest in the scenery of their own country. Two great names are Jan van Goyen (1596-1666) and Jan Wijnants (1600-77), important not only because of their own productions, but because they were the first painters of Dutch landscape, and each had followers and pupils who attained great fame.
Jan van Goyen was a pupil of and the master of Salomon , who produced Jacob Ruisdael, who in turn produced Hobbema. Another famous pupil was Simon de Vlieger, who was also a follower of Willem van de Velde.
Jan Wijnants and his Followers.—Around Wijnants cluster Adriaen , , Lingelbach, Barent Gael, Schellinkx, and Helt .[Pg 38]
Characteristics of Van Goyen's Works.—Jan van Goyen was fortunate in being the son of an amateur of painting, who encouraged his talent. After studying with various artists of no special reputation, he travelled in France and on his return studied with . He is always simple in painting and manner. Ordinarily he selects tranquil river scenes on which merchant ships or fishing-boats are quietly sailing. You often see hamlets on piles, and, very frequently, the steeple of a church, standing out in picturesque contrast to the horizon line. Sometimes a ruined tower forms the chief motive of his composition.
His Marines and Watery Landscapes.—One of the principal characteristics of Van Goyen's marines and landscapes is their peacefulness, calmness, and slight touch of sadness. It is not the sadness inspired by 's groves, but a gentle melancholy feeling that touches the imagination and induces dreams. The sun never appears in Van Goyen's pictures. Humid clouds veil his skies, which in their light portions have the silvery tones of Teniers. His beach or shore is generally enveloped in a grayish mist, and in the moving clouds you feel the breath of wind and fancy you hear it sigh. His long flat surface, so dull and solitary, is animated only by a fishing-boat or a shallop. Holland, because of its water-ways, is a silent country and the impression of silence and peace is marvellously reproduced in Van Goyen's pictures. He never allows a brilliant tone to disturb the uniformity and harmony of his watery landscapes; but behind the clouds that float across the sky you divine the far-away sun, like a light behind a curtain. The famous View of the City of Dordrecht, by the latter, signed and dated 1634, is a splendid example of his qualities and style.
His Illustrious Pupils.—After his marriage, Van Goyen established himself in Leyden, his native town, where he opened a school, to which flocked painters who afterward became illustrious. Among them was Jan Steen, who married Van Goyen's daughter .[Pg 39]
Only one of 's (1590-1630) pictures—A Dinner in the Open Air, painted in 1614, hangs in this gallery, so that one cannot learn here how much Jan van Goyen owed to his master.
Hermann Saftleven (1606-81), a pupil of Jan van Goyen, painted, as a rule, views of the Rhine and Moselle with small boats and figures. He was a good portrait-painter and was successful with animals. His Landscape with Cattle is a charming example of his work.
To Salomon , who so greatly resembles Jan van Goyen with his pictures of canals, bordered with houses and trees, river banks, etc., we shall return when visiting the Rijks; for the Mauritshuis possesses no picture of this artist. He taught his more famous brother.
The Greatest of the Dutch Landscape-Painters.—"Jacob (1628-82) is beyond all dispute the greatest of the Dutch landscape-painters. In the works of no other do we find that feeling for the poetry of Northern nature and perfection united in the same degree. With admirable drawing he combined a knowledge of chiaroscuro in its most multifarious aspects, a coloring powerful and warm, and a mastery of the brush, which, while never too smooth in surface, ranges from the tenderest and most minute touch to the broadest, freest, and most marrowy execution. The prevailing tone of his coloring is a full, decided green. Unfortunately, however, many of his pictures have, in the course of years, acquired a heavy brown tone, and thus forfeited their highest charm. Many also were originally painted in a grayish but clear tone."
His Favorite Subjects.—"He generally presents us with the flat and homely scenery of his native country under the conditions of repose; while the usually heavy clouded sky, which tells either of a shower just past or one impending, and dark sheets of water overshadowed by trees, impart a melancholy character to his pictures. Especially does he delight in representing a wide expanse of land or water. If the former, the scene is frequently taken from some elevation in the surrounding country, commanding a view of his native city, Haarlem, which is seen breaking the line of the horizon with its spires.
"Taken altogether, his wide expanses of sky, earth, or sea,[Pg 40] with their tender gradations of aërial perspective, diversified here and there by alternations of sunshine and shadow, may be said to attract us as much by the deep pathos as well as picturesqueness of their character. On the other hand, we often find the great master taking pleasure in the representation of hilly and even mountainous districts, with foaming waterfalls, in which he has won some of his greatest triumphs; or he gives us a bare pile of rock, with a dark lake at its base; but these latter subjects, which embody the feeling of the most elevated melancholy, occur very rarely. In his drawing of men and animals he was weak, and occasionally obtained the assistance of other masters, especially of A. and Berchem."
Difference between his Earlier and Later Works.—"As he seldom dated his pictures, and early attained his full development, we find a difficulty in determining the order in which they were painted. His earlier works, however, may be identified by the extraordinary minuteness with which all objects—trees, plants, and every diversity in the soil—are represented; by a decision of form bordering on hardness, and by less freedom of handling and delicacy of aërial perspective."
Reynolds's Estimate of him as a Landscape-Painter.—Four very fine examples of Jacob van are owned by the Mauritshuis: a Cascade, a Strand, View of Haarlem, and View of the Vijver at The Hague.
After a study of these beautiful works, Sir Joshua Reynolds's estimate of the painter will not seem excessive: "The landscapes of ," he says, "have not only great force, but have a freshness which is seen in scarce any other painter."
His Character seen in his Paintings.— is considered by many critics the greatest of the Dutch landscape-painters. His execution is always masterly, and his works always express a poetic sentiment. Ruisdael delights in portraying sombre forests, rushing cascades, trees bent by the wind, gathering storm-clouds, and all the dark mysteries of the woodlands. His misfortunes probably had much to do with increasing his natural melancholy, to the great gain[Pg 41] of his artistic development. As a rule, the paintings of his mature period have greatly blackened because he loved to paint sombre backgrounds, and always used a very dark green for his foliage and other verdure. His earlier works have remained brighter in tint; for at the beginning of his career he painted the dunes and meadows, woods and roads near Haarlem, bathed in light from sunny skies half veiled with clouds.
His Picture of Haarlem.—The View of Haarlem, taken from the dunes of Overveen, shows a bird's-eye view of an immense stretch of country. In the foreground is shown a level meadow on which strips of white linen are being bleached; and on the left are the houses of the washerwomen. Beyond, a vast stretch of country almost destitute of trees or dwellings, reaches to the horizon line, where the town of Haarlem, with its bell-tower, is discerned.
"All these miles of country," exclaims Burger, "are represented on a little canvas only one foot eight inches high!"
This picture is regarded as one of the gems of The Hague Gallery.
The Cascade is noted for its warm lighting and careful execution; and the beautiful Beach at Scheveningen for its heavy gathering clouds and dim and broken light upon the water and shipping.
's Sea Pieces.—Ruisdael's sea-pieces are few; and, unlike Willem , he never represents the ocean in repose; his sea is always stormy and sometimes raging, and the sky is full of heavy, angry clouds. The waves are always fluid and full of motion.
Some of his Notable Works.—The Mauritshuis has the rare luck to possess three pictures by , which are splendidly preserved, and each of which exemplifies a separate style of the master. A fourth one, bought more recently, is also exceedingly interesting in its way, because it gives a view of the Vijverberg in The Hague; but the rest of this picture is of such dubious art, and the color so[Pg 42] sunken, that it cannot hold its own beside the others in the collection. The Strand and the View of Haarlem belong to the artist's middle period (between 1660 and 1670) as well as the Cascade. Bredius says:
"The still, heavy impasto and the clearness of the color make me think it is one of the first waterfalls that painted. We never, or hardly ever, find pictures of the painter's earliest period (covering the years 1646 to 1655) in the Dutch galleries.
"A fine, strong, cleverly painted little picture of 's, painted in 1653, was sent to the Amsterdam Gallery with the Dupper Collection. Another very clear, lovely, and beautifully worked study of the Dunes, with a Grove, similar to the picture in the Louvre, is owned by Madame van Vollenhoven in Amsterdam. A somewhat dark but strong and spirited study, the Hut in the Dunes, also of his early period, was lately acquired by the Haarlem Gallery, which hitherto had owned nothing of Ruisdael's. These early pictures, of which, for instance, the Leipzig Exhibition in the Autumn of 1889 was able to show very important examples (the figures are often supplied by Berchem), are very highly esteemed by connoisseurs."
Love of Nature seen in his Earlier Works.—"In these works we see the youthful painter turning exclusively to Nature: a clump of bushes on a dune; a glimpse of the 'Haarlemer Hout'; a grove of trees on the shore, he paints exactly as he saw them. But how he saw them! In these early pictures his color is brighter, his manner of painting thicker and stronger than in his later works. Instead of the beautiful clouds for which was so famous, we often see the sky still painted in a more antique manner, with striped clouds in the style of his uncle Salomon.
His Growth toward Composition.—"Gradually his subjects become more 'composed,' but in the best sense of the word. Only occasionally does he wander away, as, for instance, in the Dresden Jewish Cemetery, which lay in the neighborhood of Amsterdam, but which he set in a fanciful landscape unknown to himself. He had quite another intention in the picture before us: the View of Haarlem from Overveen, with its bleaching-green in the foreground. Above it a beautifully clouded sky with the floating clouds casting their shadows here and there over the broad landscape. Amsterdam owns a similar picture; the Berlin Gallery another; the Ritter de Steurs in Maestricht,[Pg 43] a fourth; and there are still others in private collections in England and Paris. Each of these pictures has a new excellence,—Nature glorified through an artistic eye and immortalized with the practised hand of an artist. What mastery there is in the representation of the broad, broad space!"
His Carefulness of Detail.—"Nevertheless does not neglect the detail of his landscapes. We need only notice in him the tree-characteristics—how carefully he handles every kind of foliage in accordance with the forms of its leaves and branches; but with him the whole is never subordinated to the details. When he paints the sea—he does not paint it often—he does it better and more artistically than any other painter. What a mighty effect his great marine in Berlin produces! The real air from the sea seems to blow upon us. Views of the by him are even rarer. The Hague picture shows us a beautiful view of a sea and sky happily illuminated without the dark, melancholy tone which so often dwells in his works, and which we would consider as a reflection of his own sad moods. Who can it be that painted the fine figures in this picture? Perhaps it was Eglon van der Neer."
Vermeer's View of Delft.—Vermeer of Delft (1632-75) was a pupil of (whom we shall meet in the Rijks), who was a pupil of Rembrandt. One of the most important and beautiful pictures in The Hague Gallery is Vermeer's View of Delft. On an appreciative eye and receptive mood it leaves a tenacious impression which will never be forgotten. Until about thirty years ago, Vermeer of Delft was hardly thought of, although in his own day his pictures were highly prized and sought after, and later his work received great praise from Sir Joshua Reynolds. It was the French critic Burger (Thoré), who rehabilitated this great artist.
"How this picture shines out from the others around it like a stream of light out of dark clouds!
"All the light which the artist saw fall upon his town, he has succeeded in concentrating at once in this picture, the broad, masterful, sure painting, the luminous colors, the clear sky which arches over the town, all excite our highest admiration."
A drawing said to be a sketch for this picture is in the Stadel Institute of Frankfort. The picture which brought 200 florins in 1698 was sold for 2,900 gulden at the Stinstra sale in 1822. (See Frontispiece.)
A Painter of Light and Sun.—The beautiful picture of Diana and her Nymphs, which was bought as a Maes in Paris in 1876 for 4,725 gulden, is now attributed by some people to this master, and by others to Vermeer of Utrecht.
"Vermeer was a painter of the light and sun school; and this was his chief study—to catch and hold fast the moment. What Frans Hals did for physiognomy, grasping the flying moment in an incomparable manner with winks, smiles, leers, gesticulations, etc., and fixing it in paint, that Vermeer, as a landscape-painter, delighted to do for the sunshine. He shows its rays streaming into a room or the play of light and shadow when the light with the moving air falls through heavy foliage against a bright house and paints it with rays of light and shade. Unlike the moment of Rembrandt and , which is fixed for all eternity, with Vermeer the moment vibrates in the light. The shadows lose their sharp outlines, and the fine brush-work suggests the living change and play of the light. Rembrandt paints light in darkness and lets it glow in the dark, or streaming into it, or in a broad flood of brilliance; but Vermeer prefers to set darkness or twilight against the light. For interiors, Vermeer has another palette and mode of painting than for the outdoor pictures. When he selects the moment for this, where the scene consists of trees, houses, water, etc., it would seem that the artist wanted to make us blink, as if we were looking at the sun."
Vermeer's Portrait of a Girl.—Vermeer did not confine himself to landscape. In 1903, The Hague Gallery acquired by bequest a remarkable portrait by this master, the portrait of a girl wearing a buff coat, a blue and cream turban, and magnificent pearl earrings, on which are "concentrated," says the enthusiastic Frank Rinder,
"those dreams of gray, which are Vermeer's. Although in this portrait, with its liquid spots of light, we at once apprehend[Pg 45] the presence of Vermeer, with his nostalgia for the interpretation of a beauty visioned inwardly rather than seen with the eye, the picture passed through the auction rooms at The Hague in 1878, fetching only 230 florins. It was bequeathed in 1903 to the Mauritshuis by M. des Tombes."
"In his laying on of paint he was distinguished," says Frank Rinder, "even among his technically well-equipped contemporaries; by virtue of his isolated vision, he is of all the Little Dutchmen the one inimitable weaver of spells."
Jan Wijnants's Love for the Dunes.—Jan Wijnants (1615-80) has two pictures in the Mauritshuis, Clearing in the Forest (1659) and Road through the Dunes (1675). Wijnants, the Haarlemite, loved his dunes, and when he lived for years in Amsterdam (probably he died there), he painted them even more frequently,—every little hill, with its sandy rises and with little stunted trees, and those roads marked with deep wagon-ruts, almost always bright and illumined with warm sunshine. How had he observed them? How did he always know how to discover the paintable spot? Frankly, his fancy sometimes made the hills somewhat higher than we really find them at Haarlem; indeed, sometimes, he created landscapes with so poetic a flight, or we might say he sometimes composed them to such an extent that in truth we might seek them in vain in Holland; as, for instance, the great pictures in the Munich museum. We are, therefore, forced to conclude that he had seen Claude Lorraine's pictures, and wanted to paint somewhat in the same spirit. In Haarlem he was painted by , and as a fine little cavalier.
His Pictures enlivened by other Artists.—When he settled down in Amsterdam in 1660, the always ready Adriaen often assisted him by enlivening his landscapes with charming little figures. He had no idea that at present a Wijnants would be so much more highly valued on account of his little figures than it would be without them. Lingelbach undertook this work later, straining[Pg 46] after Van de Velde but not reaching him. In his early pictures, Wijnants is somewhat labored; but by and by he acquires that sureness of painting which must have become ever easier to him because he almost always painted the same subjects and the same style of landscape. In his last pictures he was quite broad and decorative in style, but less convincing. One picture with fine little figures by Lingelbach bears the date 1675. In his Clearing in the Forest (1659) he has depicted his favorite subjects: the old oaks mutilated by the storm and partly stripped of their bark; the fallen trunk of a tree and large, handsome plants, whose leaves pour raindrops over the blades of grass that have pushed their way up between them. Van de Velde has added to this lovely landscape a distant farm, cattle walking along the road, and a pond crossed by a rustic bridge. "With such simple objects," exclaims Blanc, "Wijnants and his pupil have produced a masterpiece, expressing a poetry that few could perhaps explain, but which every well-organized man can feel."
Neglect of Dutch Scenery by Dutch Artists.—Wijnants, like Van Goyen, is not only an excellent painter but chief of a school. Until their time the artists of the Netherlands hunted for scenery outside of their country; for instance, Memling and Saftleven chose the borders of the Rhine; others, like Savery, liked to wander in the Tyrol; others, like Paul Bril, visited the Alps; others, like Everdingen, went to Norway to get inspiration from pine forests and foaming cascades; and Asselijn, Berghem, Jan Both, Moucheron, and Pynacker sought the sunny clime of classic Italy. Into the "Italian landscapes," which they either brought home or finished from memory when they returned, they frequently introduced among the classic ruins and sunlit verdure the cattle and peasants of their own country.
Wijnants the Leader of a new School.—Wijnants was one of the first to take pleasure in his own country. In the environs of Haarlem, his native town, he saw much that would make pictures of charm; so, while other painters[Pg 47] were roaming in foreign lands, he took walks in the neighboring meadows and followed the paths that led to the dunes, noticing everything on the way,—the tufts of grass, the shrubs, the moss-covered stones, the trees, the roads, the hillocks, the flowers, and taking note of the reflections of light on the bark of the trees, the lichens growing on the stump of a tree, the common bugloss, burdock, and thistle, and the swarming insects. Wijnants was the first to show that poetry was to be found in the lonely walk that led to the sea.
His Influence on other Artists.—Nature seems to have been his chief master; but he soon became the master of others. Adriaen , for instance, feeling his vocation for landscape, entered his studio in Haarlem. It is said that one day his wife said to him, "Wijnants, this child is your pupil to-day, but one day he will be your master." Instead of being jealous, the painter never ceased to boast of his pupil's talent, and even allowed him to contribute the figures in many of his landscapes,—for Wijnants could paint only earth, trees, and sky. A great number of the figures in Wijnants's pictures, therefore, are the work of Adriaen van de Velde, who always introduces them modestly and in such a way that they render the landscape even more attractive. Philips and Lingelbach also were employed by Wijnants to add figures to his pictures, and a few times Adriaen van Ostade aided him, also Gael, Schellinkx (who painted the dunes very well himself), Jan Wouwermans, de Helt , the painter of battles, and Wyntranck, the clever painter of farmyard animals.
Dutch Landscape-Painters who followed Wijnants.—Wijnants was, as has been said, one of the creators of the Dutch landscape, one of the first to imitate Nature in her humbler expression, finding beauty in common things. After him came such landscape-artists as Philips , Adriaen , Daniel Schellinkx, Isaac Ostade, Karel Dujardin, Paul Potter, and in some respects the great .[Pg 48]
's Favorite Subjects.—Adriaen van de Velde (1635-72) was a painter of animals, figures, interiors (rarely religious and historical subjects). He is worthily represented in The Hague Gallery by two pictures: a Dutch Roadstead and a Landscape with Cattle. Van de Velde is also responsible for the figures in the pictures of Van der Hagen (No. 47), (No. 53), and Wijnants (No. 212), in this gallery. Bode says:
Impressionism and Naturalism.—"Adriaen is one of the few artists by whom landscape and figures composed in a masterly manner are both felt and thought out harmoniously. He stands so close to our modern impression as does scarcely another of his day, being so simple in his motives and going so straight to nature, that he knows how to reveal the intimate connection between the outside world and our own feeling. A real painter of moods, he excels in awakening in us dark and gloomy feelings; his shadowy forest-glimpses on summer days, with herdsmen reclining beside their panting cattle in obvious rest. His bright mornings with the hunting-parties called together to the halloo, with the gentlemen and nobles promenading on the walks near their equipages, ring fresh and gay in the heart of the spectator; in his homelike evening-feeling with the sound of the returning cattle, he affects us with the feeling of happy departure and well-earned rest."
His Helpfulness to other Artists.—The strong feeling in the figures, and, particularly, the lifelike color of the landscape, is so individual that almost all the landscape-painters of his home—Amsterdam—made use of his assistance in peopling their landscapes,—Wijnants, , Hobbema, Hackaert, F. R. de Moucheron, Ph. de Koninck, Verboom, and, above all, Jan , have made excessive use of his services and ability. Even with these artists, who were so foreign to each other in style, the figures that he introduced are so fine that the force of the landscape in both feeling and artistic effect is strengthened in the highest degree; indeed, many of these pictures have attained a higher fame solely through these contributions by the hand of Adriaen .[Pg 49]
His Skill as a Colorist.—"The paintings of this artist have an additional attraction in their rich and harmonious coloring, the fineness of the tone, and the peculiar tender manipulation of the pigments, which have such a soothing artistic effect.
"Some pictures painted in his last years have suffered by the sinking in and change of color (notably the increase of blue in the green leafage), by which some of their effect has been lost. The Landscape with Cattle has not sunk in; but it has, nevertheless, lost some of its original color in the green of the trees. The idyllic landscape with its joyous, bright sunlight and its peaceful animal life, is a good specimen of this style of 's work. The picture is signed 'A. V. Velde, 1663.'"
His Sea Pieces.—The second picture of this artist in this gallery, A Dutch Strand (1665) with numerous figures, is more important. Two similar views of the by him are at Cassel and in the Six collection; and all these examples show that great and simple representation of the sea, in which he is also remarkable for his fine poetic feeling, equalling that in similar works by his brother Willem.
's Delight in painting Horses.—Philips Wouwermans's (1619-68) half century of life was industriously spent in producing about eight hundred pictures. Although his preference for the representation of the horse is evident in almost all his works, there is great variety in the treatment. Wouwermans is at the same time a striking landscape-painter. In many of his pictures the landscape is astonishingly often foreign and sometimes even Italian in subject, and the figures are merely lay-figures. The Country Riding-School plainly exhibits the artist's delight in horses. How beautifully painted are the grays on the right! He draws a brown horse so often that it must have been in particular favor. Some of his pictures must certainly have cost the painter a great deal of time, especially when numerous figures occur in them; as, for instance, in his horse-fairs and battle pictures.[Pg 50]
The Fruits of his Great Industry.—It would appear that was well paid, for he was able to give his daughter, who married the flower-painter, De Fromantiou, a handsome dower,—Houbraken says 20,000 gulden! He was buried with pomp in Haarlem, on May 23, 1668, having bequeathed to his widow, who was destined not to survive him two years, a very good estate; and to us such a treasury of his art that we can enjoy it all over the world, in almost every important public and private collection.
The Variety and Abundance of his Works.—Whether he shows us the horse wildly rearing in the battle or quietly watering at the river, or being trained by an expert hand, or returning home to a well-cared-for stall after a long ride, we always admire again the rich variety of the master, who, an eminent horseman of knowledge and enthusiasm, never wearies us as such. Many of his pictures are a true reproduction of the farm life, or of the warfare of his day; and, on that account, have, moreover, a historical value. Dresden alone possesses sixty-two, and St. Petersburg fifty, of his pictures. The Hague Gallery has to be content with nine. These are a Battle; the Hunt with Falcon; Arrival and Departure from an Inn; A Country House; The Hay-Wagon; the Hunters' Halt, a charming example of his earliest period; A Landscape with Horses; and a Camp. In all these the horse plays an important part.
Description of The Hay-Wagon.—The Hay-Wagon is a popular work representing a large canal and a large hay-wagon drawn by two horses, and a man on horseback with a woman behind him on a pillion; farther away are seen men loading boats with the hay. In the foreground on the right are a woman with a little boy, a chariot drawn by a horse which is led by a peasant.
The Arrival at an Inn.—The beautiful Arrival at an Inn represents an inn and a barn. On the one side a coach is arriving, and on the left a mounted lady and cavalier. Others are getting booted and spurred and saddling mettlesome steeds prefatory for departure. In the[Pg 51] left foreground, a dwarf, a charlatan, and a monkey, eating a simple meal, regardless of the bustle around them, give a touch of the life of the travelling mountebank. A handsome castle closes the view on the left.
Crowe's Appreciation of .—"Wouwermans's authentic works are distinguished by great spirit and animation, and are infinitely varied and full of incident, though dealing recurrently with cavalry battle pieces, military encampments, scenes of cavalcades, and hunting and hawking parties. He is equally excellent in his vivacious treatment of figures, in his skilful animal painting, and in his admirable and appropriate introduction of landscape backgrounds. Three different styles have been observed as characteristic of the various periods of his art. His earlier works are marked by the prevalence of a foxy brown coloring, and by a tendency to an angular form in the draughtsmanship; the productions of his middle period have greater purity and brilliancy, and his latest and greatest pictures possess more of force and breadth, and are full of a delicate silvery gray tone."
Reynolds on 's Three Different Manners.—On his visit to the Royal Collection in 1781, Sir Joshua Reynolds was greatly impressed with the pictures of this artist, and said:
"Here are many of the best works of whose pictures are well worthy the attention and close examination of a painter. One of the most remarkable of them is known by the name of The Hay-Cart; another, in which there is a coach and horses, is equally excellent. There are three pictures hanging close together in his three different manners: his middle manner is by much the best; the first and last have not that liquid softness which characterizes his best works. Besides his great skill in coloring, his horses are correctly drawn, very spirited, of a beautiful form, and always in unison with their ground. Upon the whole, he is one of the few painters whose excellence in his way is such as leaves nothing to be wished for."
Johannes Lingelbach (1623-74), a native of Frankfort-on-the-Main, settled in Amsterdam on his return from Italy.[Pg 52] He was frequently employed by Wijnants to insert figures and animals in his landscapes. He was a successful imitator of .
Crowe's Estimate of Lingelbach's Powers.—"Lingelbach's coloring, as was almost always the case with Wijnants's, and also with 's in his latest manner, is characterized by a cool and often delicate silvery tone, which with him sometimes degenerates into coldness and want of harmony. In his flesh, especially, a cold red tone often prevails, added to which, neither in clearness nor impasto, does he equal the above-named masters. He ranks, however, high for skill in composition, good drawing, careful execution, to which is sometimes added a happy vein of humor. He may be studied under all his different aspects in the galleries of the Louvre, The Hague, and Amsterdam. Of the four pictures by him in the gallery of The Hague, the Italian Seaport, dated 1670, is remarkable for a power and warmth quite unusual in this painter."
Examples showing the Variety of Lingelbach's Style.—The variety of his style is well exhibited in The Hague Gallery by four pictures of different dates. These are the Italian Seaport, with large figures, signed and dated 1670; the Departure of Charles II. from Scheveningen for England in 1660, a very rich, luminous, and fine work; a small Cavalry March, in which the little figures are beautifully executed and are thoroughly original; and a Landscape with a Hay-Wagon, much in the manner of Philips .
Weakness of the Mauritshuis in Marines.—The Mauritshuis is weak in marines: two by Willem ; three by Backhuysen, two by Abraham Storck, a view of the Amstel at Amsterdam by Torenburg (1737-86), a few Italian Seaports, and a few Beaches at Scheveningen painted by the landscape artists are all that the gallery owns.
Excellence of W. 's Marines.—Willem van de Velde (1633-1707) stands very high in the ranks of the marine painters of the seventeenth century. In the[Pg 53] last years of that century we have artists like Simon de Vlieger, Jan van de Capelle, Hendrik Dubbels, and Abraham van Beyerex (in his rare marines); but Van de Velde is a master in his sphere, especially when he represents the calm sea under bright sunlight.
In his View on the Y we obtain enjoyment from the fine aërial perspective, the correct drawing of the ships, and the numerous little figures. The accuracy of the detail does not detract from the wonderful composition, the play of the sunlight on sail and water, and the beautiful sky, lightly flecked with clouds. Probably, the gaily decorated ship on the left is the yacht of the Princes of Orange; the boat which is being rowed away from it is bringing important visitors to shore, while the trumpeter on the ship loudly announces their departure.
Although not of the very first rank, this picture belongs to the best work of the master's middle period.
The other picture, of exactly the same size, is also identical in subject and treatment. Both are small. The other picture owned in the Mauritshuis is the Capture of the Royal Prince (June 18, 1666).
His Greatness as a Marine Painter.—"There is no question that Willem the younger is the greatest marine painter of the whole Dutch school. His untiring study of nature of which his numerous sepia drawings are the best evidence, his perfect knowledge of lineal and aërial perspective and the incomparable technical process which he inherited from his school,—all these qualifications enabled him to represent the great element under every form, whether that of the raging storm, the gentlest crisping wind, or of the profoundest calm, with the utmost truth of form and color. Nor are his skies, with their transparent ether and light and airy clouds, less entitled to admiration than his seas; the surface of which he diversified, with the purest feeling for the picturesque, by various vessels, near and distant, which are drawn with a knowledge that extends to every rope. Finally his various lightnings create the most charming effect of light and shade. With this combination of qualities, so calculated to please a[Pg 54] seafaring nation, it is no wonder that he should have become the most popular painter with the Dutch and English."
The Fulness of his Knowledge of the Sea and Ships.—Both England and Holland, the two greatest sea nations, agree that Willem was the greatest marine painter up to his time. In fact, no one had so well observed the motion of the waters, their breaking, or their repose; and no one knew so well the habits of sailors, the rigging of boats, their behavior and their variety. He knew how to make them picturesque, whether isolated between the sky and the water in the most beautiful lines, or in cleverly foreshortening them while they gently rock on the waves singly, or in picturesque groups. Nobody has better understood the profound calm of the ocean, or better expressed the emotion produced by an infinite horizon.
The Family.—The family was talented. Willem the Elder, born at Leyden in 1611, was a magnificent draughtsman, and taught his sons, Willem and Adriaen, drawing. Willem, however, became a pupil of Simon de Vlieger, and the pictures that he sent to his father, then in the service of the English king, astonished the Court. James II. sent for the young man and offered him a pension. In England he frequently colored his father's drawings; and on the Thames from Greenwich to London he had a great opportunity for the study of shipping.
The Simplicity of W. 's Pictures.—With very simple details, Willem van de Velde produces marvellous effects. He paints the ocean from the shore to the distant horizon; and this straight line is in beautiful contrast to the rounded clouds, while the severity of the tall masts is relieved by the curves of the puffing sails. Sometimes a group of fishermen on the beach or the end of a wharf of piles is seen in the foreground; but he more frequently begins his picture in the middle distance and gives[Pg 55] the foreground up to waves slightly agitated or with a buoy tossing in the rising tide, in such a way as to suggest that the picture was painted not from the shore but from a vessel at anchor.
W. compared with other Painters.—Sir Joshua Reynolds said: "Another Raphael might be born; but there could never be a second Willem van de Velde"; and Havard calls him "not only the greatest marine painter of the Dutch school, but also one of the greatest in the whole world." Blanc draws the following distinction between Van de Velde and Backhuysen: "Backhuysen makes us fear the sea, whilst Van de Velde makes us love it."
Backhuysen, a Painter of Ships and Shipping.—Backhuysen (1631-1708) probably owed his darker moods to his master van Everdingen, who was a pupil of Pieter Molijn (1600-54), whose works are now so rare, and who was also one of the founders of Dutch landscape-painting. Backhuysen was a painter of ships and shipping, as well as of the sea, and had a practical knowledge of nautical matters.
Examples showing his Style.—Three pictures in The Hague Gallery afford good examples for study of his style. One, Entrance to a Dutch Port, dated 1693, shows an agitated sea, very remarkable for the happy distribution of sunlight and shadows of clouds upon the water, and broad yet delicate treatment; another is a View of the Wharf Belonging to the Dutch East India Company, and is dated 1696; and the third has for its subject The Landing of William III. of England in the Oranje Polder in 1692.
Imitators of Backhuysen.—Pictures by Jan van de Capelle and Jan Dubbels often pass for Backhuysen's; and another imitator is Abraham Storck, who is greatly inferior in elegance of touch. Good examples of Storck's style—a Marine and a Shore—hang in The Hague Gallery. Storck was much influenced by Lingelbach. The latter[Pg 56] was also quite successful with his harbors and quays, with their shipping and human figures.
Simon de Vlieger as a Painter of the Ocean.—A greater painter, however, is Simon de Vlieger (1601-59), who is supposed to have studied under Jan van Goyen, and painted landscapes in the style of that master; he is famous for his marines. He frequently painted sea pieces which included the coast. He was the first to represent the ocean in its varying moods. His execution is free and soft, and his aërial perspective very fine. Like the majority of the Dutch painters he loved to paint Scheveningen. His Beach at Scheveningen, signed and dated 1643, is a fine example of his work.
The Diversity of his Subjects.—"De Vlieger often paints birds of the farmyard, which, both in truth and delicacy, are equal to anything produced either by or Flamen. His horses, hares, and sheep may certainly pair with those of Van der Hecke, Jouckeer, or Jean Leducq; his pigs are observed differently from those of Karel Dujardin, but perhaps they are more true to nature because he has not put any malice or irony into his representation of them. The diversity of his subjects, the talent he displays in grouping figures and animals in an extensive landscape, or in a boat passing along a canal, or on the beach of Scheveningen where, in The Hague picture, we see them huddling together as if the ocean had just cast them ashore with its shells and fishes; the art of lighting them so as to delight the eyes without too greatly distracting the mind from the spectacle of vast nature and the infinite ocean—all that makes Simon de Vlieger one of the most remarkable Dutch masters."
De Vlieger was as eminent in interiors, ruins, and processions as in marines and landscapes. He loved to frame familiar and rustic scenes in beautiful landscapes; and he had no need to call upon others, such as Barent Gael, Schellinkx or , for his figures, as so many of his contemporaries did.[Pg 57]
Painters of Architectural Pictures: De Vries.—Pictures in which architecture forms the chief interest had their beginning with Jan Vriedeman de Vries, who devoted himself to the study of Vitruvius and Serlio. His works were very successful, though in the mannered taste of his time.
Hendrik van Steenwyck and his Son.—A scholar of his, Hendrik van Steenwyck (1550-1604), who became a master in Antwerp in 1577, painted chiefly interiors of Gothic churches of fine perspective, both lineal and aërial, and was the first to represent the light of torches and tapers on architectural forms. One of the very numerous Francken family usually added the human figures. His son Hendrik van Steenwyck was his pupil and follower, though he painted in a cooler tone and was inferior in all respects.
Pieter Neeffs and his Son.—Pieter Neeffs (1620-75), however, was the elder Steenwyck's best pupil. He followed him in style but excelled him in warmth of tone, power, and truthfulness in expressing torchlight effects. Many of his pictures contain figures by Frans Francken the younger, Jan Breughel, and David Teniers the elder. In the Mauritshuis we find a good example of Pieter Neeffs,—The Interior of a Church, with figures by Frans Francken III.
His son of the same name was his pupil and follower, but produced pictures of inferior merit. To this group belongs van Bassen, who painted interiors of the Renaissance churches and halls.
's Architectural Paintings.—Jan van der Heyden (1637-1712) is "the Gerrit Dou of architectural painters." His subjects chiefly are well-known buildings, palaces, churches, etc., in Holland and Belgium, canals in Dutch towns with houses on their banks, fine perspective, the views selected with great taste. The trees are rather minute in foliage. The figures in many of his works were supplied by A. , and after his death by Eglon van der Neer and Lingelbach. A View of the[Pg 58] Church of the Jesuits at Düsseldorf, signed and dated 1667, is a valuable work. The figures are by A. van de Velde. "The warm, clear chiaroscuro in which the whole foreground is kept is admirable, while the sunlight falling on the middle distance has a peculiar charm." He is also represented in The Hague Gallery by a still life.
Other Architectural Painters.—Other architectural painters are Gerrit Berckheyde, who painted exteriors of buildings in his own country, and occasionally interiors of churches; Jacob van der Ulft (1627-90), whose large picture in the Mauritshuis of troops marching has already been mentioned; Pieter Saenredam, whose works form a transition from the earliest architectural painters like Pieter Neeffs to the maturest expression of this class; Dirck van Deelen, a pupil of Frans Hals, who has a view of the Binnenhof with the last great Meeting of the States General; Emanuel de Witte, who, strange to say, was a pupil of Evert van Aelst, the painter of dead game and still life; Hendrik van Vliet, pupil of his father, Willem, who has an interior of part of the Old Church at Delft in the Mauritshuis, of peculiar warmth, brilliancy of effect, and delicate treatment of reflected lights; and last of all, Gerard Houckgeest (?-1655), who is represented by the Interior of the New Church at Delft and Tomb of William I. in the New Church at Delft.
The Excellence of Houckgeest's two Paintings.—"This almost unknown artist is a new proof of the astonishing efflorescence of excellent painters in Holland about the middle of the seventeenth century. Two views of the Interior of the New Church at Delft, in The Hague Museum, are on a level with the highest development of the school. It would be difficult to render the brilliancy and transparency of full sunlight more completely than in the one which contains the monuments of the Princes of the House of Orange. The other picture also, inscribed with the master's monogram, and 1631, is in every respect, and especially in the soft and full treatment, of the utmost excellence."
Dou, Founder of the Leyden School.—The founder of the Leyden school of painters, Gerrit Dou (1613-75), is represented in the Mauritshuis by a masterpiece of the first rank, which is considered one of the gems of the gallery. It is known as The Good Housekeeper, The Household, and The Young Mother.
Description of The Good Housekeeper.—In a large room that serves as hall, dining-room, and sitting-room, as well as kitchen, is seated a lady, handsomely dressed in a morning costume. She has evidently just returned from market; for there is a plucked fowl in a basket on the window seat and an unplucked bird on the table, where a cabbage also lies. A hare hangs on the wall above, and below the table one notes a fish on a platter, and near a pot a bunch of carrots. A lantern has fallen on the floor in the foreground. The lady is sewing, with a basket beside her and a sewing-pillow on her knee; while a little servant watches the baby in its basket cradle. The pillar that supports the roof is carved, the brass chandelier is of splendid design, the draperies are heavy, and a coat-of-arms is painted on the windows. Everything betokens wealth and comfort.
The young mother looks at us in a very friendly way with her attractive little face. Our attention is first attracted to the group in the ; but gradually we admire the complete representation of all the little things around; the wonderful, finely expressed chiaroscuro, the beautiful stream of light, and the boldness of the shadowed yet plainly visible group in the background. The picture belongs to the artist's middle period and is dated 1658; and although it has darkened, it is still full of rich color.
The Good Housekeeper presented to Charles II.—When Charles II. left Holland for his Restoration in England, the directors of the East India Company could think of no finer present to offer him than a picture by Gerrit Dou, which they bought for 4,000 florins from M. de Bie. It was this very picture of The Good Housekeeper, which[Pg 60] was afterwards brought back to Holland by William III. and hung in his castle at Loo.
Dou's Style imitated by his Pupils.—It is by such pictures that we test the numerous works of his pupils, which are now, and have been from the end of the seventeenth century, offered for sale as Dou's. Very early in life Dou made use of magnifying glasses, and with great care he ground his own colors. Sandart relates that he once went with Pieter de Laer to pay a visit to Dou, who was painting a broomstick "which was slightly longer than a finger-nail." When Sandart praised his great industry, he answered that he "had to work about three days longer on it."
His Devotedness to his Work.—When the weather was not fine, he stopped his work. He devoted his whole life to work. His palette, colors, and brushes he carefully protected from dust, which gave him much trouble; he put them away with the utmost care, and when he sat down to paint he would wait a long time until the dust had entirely settled. His studio was a large one with high lights, facing the north and looking out on the still waters of the canal.
His Fondness for Domestic Subjects.—He almost always depicts a view of the interior of a burgher's dwelling. He is the painter of nice, quiet domesticity, and his people almost invariably look gay and happy. When he attempts to portray strong emotions, his people do not look as if they felt them; even his Dropsical Woman in the Louvre is dying peacefully and with resignation. Dou was an excellent observer of all surroundings, and the slightest objects in his pictures are represented with the utmost completeness. Dou could readily please, and form a school, in a Northern and Protestant country, where people lead an indoor life, a silent, concentrated family life, where man is attached to his dwelling, adorns it with care, and closes it in, with the feeling of a sanctuary. In fact, Dou painted only familiar subjects on canvases or panels of small size, such as are suited to the small cabinet of a curieux, and he was one of the first to set in honor the most recherché style of painting in Holland,—that[Pg 61] of little pictures executed in that precious manner which the French of the eighteenth century called the beau fini.
Dou and Rembrandt contrasted.—Dou differed greatly from his master, Rembrandt. The one had the fire of genius; the other had patience. Even when Rembrandt highly finished his pictures, he knew when to neglect some accessory, to sacrifice some detail to the expression of the essential parts, and thus to give full value to everything in the picture that could appeal to the heart or interest the mind. Dou, on the contrary, applying himself to what he considered the last word of painting, tried to give equal importance to everything that entered into his composition, without admitting any of those negligences that are often such happy artifices, and taking as much care in the finish of a pewter pot as in expressing the feeling in a woman's features, or the thought in a man's physiognomy. Therefore, Dou's natural tendency, instead of being modified by Rembrandt, became only more pronounced. As his master broadened, his manner grew more smooth and polished.
The Fruit of Dou's Precautions.—His care in making his own brushes, colors, and varnishes, and his precautions to keep his wet canvases free from dust (he chose a studio overlooking stagnant water) have been rewarded by the present condition of admirable preservation of his pictures. His minuteness wearied his sitters and he soon failed as a portrait-painter. It is related that he made a distinguished Dutch lady, Madame Spiering, pose five days for her hand alone.
He forsakes Portraits for Scenes in Common Life.—As his sitters left him one after another, Dou devoted himself entirely to represent the scenes of common life without giving himself any trouble in selection, being sure that in them he would find opportunities to display his veritable genius, that of detail. He was content to take what first offered as a subject, and the circle of his invention did not go beyond that. He simply observed life in the neighboring shops: the pepper-seller, when she is dangling the scales[Pg 62] with the tips of her fingers; the marketwoman verifying the transparence of her eggs by the light of a candle, and the mysterious interior of the barber-surgeon. If he sees in the street a servant coming home from market loaded with vegetables, counting what she has spent and what she is going to steal from the change, there is a picture already made. In the public square he stops to study the faces of the simple dupes gathered around a charlatan vaunting his elixir, teaching the practice of love-philtres, and drawing teeth painlessly. His artist's eye finds motives readily at hand; sometimes in the room of the embroiderer, absorbed in her needlework; sometimes in the juvenile schoolroom, where the martinet overawes his frolicsome pupils. He also delights in representing the joys of the domestic hearth, that ever simple and ever charming picture of the mater familias busy with household cares, while the children are rolling about on the floor at their grandmother's feet. Finally, he sometimes goes so far as to be malicious and to complicate the picturesque accidents of a winding staircase which a woman descends softly to surprise her husband in the kitchen with the servant.
The simplicity of trivialities Dou made the subject of the finest and most precious pictures in the world. The Herring Seller is as finely and minutely painted as The Philosopher in Meditation.
He preferred Interiors to Open-Air Scenes.—Dou seldom painted open-air pictures. Interior light suited him better; and moreover he had learned chiaroscuro from Rembrandt. However, one of his most famous pictures, The Charlatan (in the Old Pinakothek, Munich), is an exception.
"Upon the whole, the single figure of the Woman Holding a Hare, in Mr. Hope's collection, is worth more than this large picture, in which perhaps there is ten times the quantity of work."
His Foreground in Many Cases bordered by a Window.—His small pictures of one or two figures were usually framed by a window. He has often painted his own portrait thus, sometimes holding a trumpet, and sometimes playing a violin. Having once found this natural border, the painter framed all his models with it. To-day we see the girl with beautiful blond hair blowing soap bubbles and smilingly watching the prismatic globes rise in the air; to-morrow, the pretty girl who is not sorry to have on her window-sill more than one pretext for showing herself,—the canary-cage, hanging outside; a letter to read; a pot of geraniums to water, and what not. And this fresh face, which has for a background the transparent shadow of a room wherein a group of people are conversing, comes forward to be gracefully framed by the vine that runs along the sash, and with its contours relieves the cold regularity of the architecture.
It is certain that this patient imitator of nature must have been very industrious, if we may judge from the number of his pictures and the time he devoted to each. His pupil, Karel de Moor, says so. The pronounced liking of his countrymen for his pictures left him no repose.
The Best Example of his Candle-light Scenes.—He frequently painted by the aid of a concave mirror, and to obtain exactness, looked at his subject through a frame crossed with squares of silk thread. The Evening School, in the Amsterdam Gallery, is the best example of the candle-light scenes in which he excelled. President van Spiering of The Hague paid him 1,000 florins a year simply for the right of preëmption.
Godfried Schalcken, Pupil and Imitator of Dou.—The other picture credited to Dou, A Young Woman Holding a Lamp in her Hand, and which was so greatly admired by Sir Joshua Reynolds, is thought to be by Godfried Schalcken (1643-1706). Those who are curious on this question may turn to a picture by Schalcken called a Lady at her Toilette, by candle-light, an effect which he was so fond of painting.[Pg 64]
His Device for securing Candle-light Effects.—Schalcken was a pupil of Dou, under whom he acquired delicacy of finish and skill in the treatment of light and shade. He gained a reputation for his small domestic scenes, chiefly with candle-light effects; and, to treat these accurately, he is said to have placed the object he intended to paint in a dark room with a lighted candle and peeping through a small hole painted by daylight the effects he saw. A pupil of Samuel van and Gerrit Dou (who were pupils of Rembrandt), he became an imitator of the latter, following him in his depth of tone, extreme finish, and preference for night scenes.
Schalcken's Weakness in Drawing.—Blanc says he was aware of his weakness in drawing, particularly the extremities of the human body, and this was one reason he liked partly to conceal his subjects in shadows and half-lights. His master, Dou, had made a sensation with his Evening School (in the Rijks) in which the effect of candle-light is treated with such skill; but what was a caprice with Dou, Schalcken made a habit. His pictures are a series of fantastic scenes and illusions. This painter saw the night only; his pictures whether mythological, historical, religious, or commonplace scenes, are always nocturnal ones. Blanc says: "His brush was a permanent candle."
His Great Popularity.—Schalcken, however, attained an enormous vogue, and many of the wealthy Dutch had their portraits painted by him, pleased with the mysterious or piquant light he threw upon them. He went to London, where he painted William III. with a candle in his hand. This is now in the Rijks. Schalcken found Kneller too strong a rival, and returned to Holland, having, however, acquired a good deal of money. The Mauritshuis also contains four others of his pictures: a Portrait of William III., King of England; La morale inutile; A Visit to the Doctor; and a Venus.
The Best Examples of Ostade's Work.—Among the best recognized examples of Ostade's work are: The Fiddler[Pg 65] and his Audience (1673) and Peasants in an Inn (1662), in The Hague; The Village School (1662), in the Louvre; the Tavern Courtyard (1670), at Cassel; and The Sportsman's Rest (1671), at Amsterdam.
Description of The Fiddler.—One of the gems of The Hague Gallery is The Fiddler by Adriaen van Ostade (1610-85). The old dilapidated inn with its broken casement window is picturesque because of the graceful festoons of vine-leaves that grow above the roof and penthouse. A wandering fiddler is playing to the innkeeper and his wife, who lean over the door, while five children and a dog are variously grouped. A young man with a large tankard in his hand also enjoys the music in his lazy position.
Description of Peasants in an Inn.—"Peasants in an Inn was painted in 1662; but it exhibits all the qualities of Ostade's best work. The figures are drawn true to life. Very charming is the poodle gazing with great interest at the child, who is eating his bread and butter. By allowing the full daylight to fall from the left through the door while the background is lighted by a high window, Ostade gives himself every opportunity to express his chiaroscuro as beautifully as he desires. The little pot on the tree-trunk and all the other still life of this picture forcibly remind us that Ostade was an unusually great master in this field. His small pictures of still life, principally representing pots and other kitchen stuff, are pearls of the first water; but they are somewhat rare. The coloring of this picture is warm, but it melts into cool tones, which we find still more strongly in The Organ Grinder of the same gallery, which was painted eleven years later."
The Demand in Marriage, painted between 1650 and 1655, also hangs in the Mauritshuis. This picture is owned by Dr. A. Bredius.
Ostade's Pictures Generally taken from Low Life.—The number of Ostade's pictures as given by Smith is 385; but it is thought that he painted even more. About 220 pictures have been traced in public and private collections.[Pg 66]
Adriaen Ostade was the contemporary of David Teniers and Adriaen Brouwer, and, like them, chiefly devoted himself to painting rustic and village life, tavern and gambling scenes, brawls and open-air games. Smokers, drinkers, , quacks, strolling musicians, itinerant players, wood-cutters, children at play, alehouse-keepers and their wives, all find sympathetic treatment. Like Brouwer, Ostade wandered about the towns and country, finding his models in the taverns and cottages.
Increase in the Value of his Pictures.—He painted with equal vigor at all times; and so highly appreciated is he that pictures worth little in his day now bring large sums. For instance, in 1876 Earl Dudley paid £4,120 for a cottage interior. According to Houbraken, Ostade was a pupil of Frans Hals, while he was also teaching Brouwer.
Crowe's Opinion of Ostade's Style.—"There is less of the style of Hals in Adriaen Ostade than in Brouwer, but a great likeness to Brouwer in Ostade's early works. During the first years of his career, Ostade displayed the same tendency to exaggeration and frolic as his comrade. He had humor and boisterous spirits, but he is to be distinguished from his rival by a more general use of the principles of light and shade, and especially by a greater concentration of light on a small surface in contrast with a broad expanse of gloom. The key of his harmonies remains for a time in the scale of grays. But his treatment is dry and careful, and in this style he shuns no difficulties of detail, representing cottages inside and out, with the vine leaves covering the poorness of the outer side, and nothing inside to deck the patch-work of rafters and thatch, or tumble-down chimneys and ladder staircases, that make up the sordid interior of the Dutch rustic of those days. His men and women, attuned to these needy surroundings, are invariably dressed in the poorest clothes. The hard life and privations of the race are impressed on their shapes and faces, their shoes and hats, worn at heel and battered to softness, as if they had descended from generation to generation, so that the boy of ten seems to wear the cast-off things of his sire and grandsire. It was not easy to get poetry out of such materials. But the greatness of Ostade lies in the fact that he often caught the poetic side of the life of the peasant class, in spite of its ugliness[Pg 67] and stunted form and misshapen features. He did so by giving their vulgar sports, their quarrels, even their quieter moods of enjoyment, the magic light of the sungleam, and by clothing the wreck of cottages with gay vegetation."
Ostade the Greatest Dutch Painter of Peasant Life in his Day.—Adriaen van Ostade is rightly regarded as the greatest of the Dutch painters of the seventeenth century who represented the peasant life of that day. In song and dance, weddings and kermesses, at bowling, love-making, and drinking, Ostade always was an observer of country folk, although he himself was a townsman, and held a rather exalted position in the world. His second wife seems to have raised him into a very high social class of Amsterdam families, as numerous records of executions of wills, which the painter must have signed in Amsterdam, inform us. To some extent, his peasants involuntarily progress parallel with the force of his own life. In his earliest pictures, when Ostade was still a modest artist, his peasants are also still quite peasant-like; in his tavern-scenes things are still very lively. Later, when the painter became closely related to refined and well-to-do patricians, his peasants also became more prosperous and polite; in a word, more decorous. Unfortunately, his painting also became somewhat more polished and smooth, so that the early pictures, and particularly those of the middle period, more strongly delight the heart of an artist than the cool, smooth works of the later period. Ostade is eminent in his coloring, chiaroscuro, and composition: he knows how to arrange his groups in the most spontaneous and natural manner; and truly artistic is his method of illumination, for which, knowingly or unknowingly, he has to thank Rembrandt. In his earliest pictures, which have a somewhat cold tone grading into gray, reminding us of his teacher Hals (from 1631 to 1640), there still remains some local color. The subjects, mostly peasants in poor homes or in the tavern, are energetically conceived. Bode rightly says:[Pg 68]
"Instead of the pleasant humor and the poetry of the prosperous middle class which are common to the later pictures, these earlier works display an effort for characterizing according to life and movement; a keen humor in the spirit of Hals and Brouwer; and, particularly, a characteristic inquiry into the separate individualities, such as the lifelike representation of an expressive scene, the feasting, round dances, and fighting of his jovial peasant folk."
Bredius on the increasing Brightness of his Pictures.—"He died in 1685. Before 1640 his chiaroscuro was already finer, and between 1640 and 1655 (his flowering-time) many of his pictures show no traces of Rembrandt's influence. The tone of his works was quite different and approaches a warm brown; the chiaroscuro, as, for instance, in his well-known Painter's Studio in Amsterdam; and later, very closely repeated (Dresden, 1663), attains the highest degree of freedom; then his pictures become somewhat slowly cooler, the tone gets constantly grayer, but the drawing always remains strikingly correct, the grouping natural, and the pictures become brighter, smoother, and more polished. In the meantime Ostade had become a finer, more respectable gentleman. Well on in years, he could leave this life without worry, and was buried at Haarlem by his admirers and pupils on May 2, 1685."
Ter Borch's Freedom from Grossness.—Ter Borch (1617-81) is excellent as a portrait-painter, but still greater as a painter of genre subjects. He depicts with admirable truth the life of the wealthy and cultured classes of his time, and his work is free from any touch of the grossness which finds so large a place in Dutch art. His figures are well drawn and expressive in attitude; his coloring is clear and rich, but his best skill lies in his unequalled rendering of textiles in draperies.
The Elegance of his Sitters.—Ter Borch was not only an excellent painter of Conversations, he was, indeed, the creator of his genre. With a little less wit and a little less taste, perhaps, than Metsu, he charms you with his family concerts, his tête-à-tête lovers, his light afternoon repasts, and in selecting for heroes the most elegant cavaliers of the world in which he lived. His pretty pages with great puffed[Pg 69] sleeves striped with velvet, and those blond ladies with transparent complexions, plump hands, and round waists, constitute a type that no artist has so well represented as Ter Borch. Before depicting these delightful and familiar scenes, he first learned to imitate all that could add to the charm of these pictures of private life,—silken draperies, Turkish rugs, leather, ermine, velvet, and satin,—more particularly satin, and white satin above all else. The most striking example we shall see at the Rijks, in the picture called Paternal Advice, known also as the Robe de Satin.
Resemblance between his Paintings and those of Metsu.—There is so much resemblance between Gerard Ter Borch (or Terburg) and Metsu that at first it is hard to distinguish them. Their subjects are much the same; for instead of painting scenes of low life—inns with carousing peasants, etc.—both turn with sympathy to high life; sujets de mode is the name given to their works in which satins, velvets, silks, and lace, rich robes and mantles, elegant hangings, and table-carpets figure so largely.
The Difference between Ter Borch and Metsu.—The difference between Ter Borch and Metsu is defined by Blanc, who says it is the difference between bonhomie and finesse; the one is naive and gracious, the other ingenious and piquant. Both, however, are charming in the way they introduce us into a house and show us some little comedy that is being played by the unconscious lovers, family group, or party of friends. Like Metsu, Ter Borch is particularly fond of making music a motive of his pictures. A timid love often expresses itself to the notes of a mandolin or lute; sometimes we surprise a musical party singing and playing instruments; a lady composing music or trying a new piece for the first time, while her gallant and richly dressed lover stands by her side. Sometimes we see a young lady quite alone in jacket of puce-colored velvet plucking her lute, which rests on her satin skirt. Sometimes again the conversation takes place in front of a clavecin, where the lady's hands are painted in correct position, though she pauses to[Pg 70] hear what her lover has to say, while her spaniel sleeps on the foot-warmer.
Ter Borch's Conversations characterized.—"Pretty little dramas," Blanc calls these Conversations of Ter Borch, "dramas without action or noise, which excite the thought only, and whose intrigue consists only in a clasp of the hand, the lowering of an eyelid, or the exchange of a glance and a smile." He also calls attention to the type of woman represented by Ter Borch, Van Mieris, and Metsu, all of whom have high foreheads on which a few little curls wander, like those made fashionable at this period by Ninon de Lenclos, and known as "boucles à la Ninon."
The Women of Ter Borch's Pictures.—The women of Ter Borch's pictures are like Rousseau's pen-portrait of Madame de Warens, who
"had an air caressing and tender, a very gentle glance, ash-colored hair of uncommon beauty, which she arranged in a very négligé style that produced a piquant effect. She was small and a little thick in the waist; but it would be impossible to find a more beautiful head or a lovelier bust, hands, and arms."
Dr. Bredius, who calls attention to Ter Borch's position in the hall of fame as singular in the fact that he has never been assailed by critics, nor, on the other hand, sufficiently appreciated, says:
"Without striking originality, without any commanding dramatic quality, without humor, and without any startling light effects, Ter Borch is yet entitled to the name of the first genre painter of Holland,—indeed, of all schools,—merely by his perfect talent and fulfilment as an artist. Rightly is Ter Borch called the most eminent painter of the Dutch school. Not only does he paint high society almost exclusively, but he does it in a distinguished style. The pose of his figures, the composition of his picture, the fine color, the admirable drawing, all breathe an elegance which is not met with elsewhere in the Dutch school. Thereby, he is the one and only master of his subject. What he paints is always completed to the highest degree. We never find in him a trace of effort. What he does must be so and not otherwise. We look for humor in him in vain; but nobility[Pg 71] we always find, and not least in his likenesses, which, notwithstanding their small dimensions, are 'the last word of a portrait.'"
Description of The Despatch.—The Despatch, dated 1655, belongs to his second period. On a low chair beside a table on which stand a decanter and beaker, an officer is sitting with his wife or sweetheart. She is sitting on the floor reclining against his knee. Both are young. He holds the despatch in his hand and she looks somewhat distressed. In front of them stands the trumpeter, who, it appears, has brought the message. The officer is fully dressed, and on the table beside him lie his weapons.
His own Likeness, painted by Himself.—The other picture of Ter Borch's in this gallery is his own likeness, painted by himself about 1660. He is dressed entirely in black and stands out strongly against a gray background. He wears a large wig, the curls of which shade his rather melancholy face, distinguished by a long nose and grayish moustache. It was probably painted while Ter Borch was a burgomaster of Deventer.
Caspar Netscher's Family Group.—Much in the same style as Ter Borch's Conversations is Netscher's Family Group. Caspar Netscher (1639-84) was a pupil of Ter Borch, and this is one of the best works of his best period. The painter, in a red slashed jacket, is accompanying on his lute his daughter, who is singing, and whose timidity is well expressed. She wears a dress of white satin and has feathers in her hair. On the other side of the table covered with a Persian carpet, and in the half light, sits Netscher's wife. On the back of the arm-chair in which Netscher is sitting is his signature and the date 1665. Netscher is also represented by two portraits—Mr. and Mrs. Van Waalwijk.
Few Examples of Metsu.—Metsu, like many other Dutch masters, is poorly represented in the great public galleries of his own country. While The Hague Gallery has but three and the Rijks only four, the Louvre, for example, has eight and Dresden six.[Pg 72]
Those who have seen pictures by Metsu (1630-67), Ter Borch, or Caspar Netscher, will have a better knowledge of the customs and costumes of the upper classes at the period of the Stadtholders, their faces, their polished manners, their interiors, and even their thoughts, than if they had read many books of travel, whole volumes of geography, description, and history.
The Rich Dutchman as painted by Metsu.—As he appears in the pictures of Gabriel Metsu, the rich Dutchman is domesticated, methodical, and well regulated in his life. His house is the universe for him. In this cherished and well-arranged abode, he concentrates as many joys as the ancient kings of Asia assembled in the palaces of Susa or Ecbatana. His country's and his own ships have "ploughed the sea from end to end, penetrating to Japan for porcelain and amber, and bringing back from Goa pepper and ginger." From the ends of the earth have come to him all things that could charm his family life and distract the melancholy that the sad nature of the North and its long winters inspire. Asia has sent to him her muslins, spices, and diamonds; the polar ice has furnished him with the furs that edge the velvet robes which his wife and his eldest daughter wear indoors. The birds, insects, shells, and mineral specimens of the most distant climes fill his cabinet, carefully arranged under glass. In his gardens flourish rare plants, the choicest flowers and bulbs cultivated by himself or under his own eyes. His furniture, of exquisite taste and workmanship, carefully looked after and incessantly cleaned, does not suffer by the changes of fashion; it is transmitted from father to son, and lasts for generations. His alcove bed is supported by ebony columns and closed in with green damask curtains. Hanging from the ceiling, a candelabrum of gilt bronze spreads its branches twisted into elegant volutes. The floors are waxed till they are a pleasure to the eye, the windows are polished, the door-knob is shining, the furniture gleams like a mirror, and yet the daylight falling through lightly tinted taffeta curtains sheds over[Pg 73] all these objects only a soft, moderate, and harmonious radiance.
How Metsu depicts the Manners of the Dutch.—"The manners of Holland, as well as its material physiognomy in civil life, its interiors, its furniture, the decoration and luxury of its apartments, are all written down in Metsu's pictures with charming clearness, which is all the more pleasing since this merit seems to be involuntary in the painter. After two hundred years, his work may serve for the complete reconstitution of a well-to-do interior as it was composed in the seventeenth century by the climate of the country, the character of its inhabitants, and the historic circumstances in the midst of which the Dutch merchants, the masters of the commerce of the world, then lived.
"By Metsu's favor we are able to penetrate into those interiors which are so jealously closed to strangers. Most often it is by a window that serves as a frame for his picture that Metsu gives us access to the boudoirs of fashionable ladies, and makes us take them by surprise, sometimes in velvet déshabille writing their secrets; sometimes finishing their toilette in view of a hoped-for visit; and sometimes breathing over the keys of their clavecin the sighs of their hearts and the thoughts they do not express."
His Carefulness in selecting Details.—"Metsu rarely paints an interior without introducing the pet spaniel of the period, which often contributes much to our comprehension of the scene by the character of its attitude.
"There are some Dutch masters who unintelligently accumulate innumerable details everywhere. They make a picture of manners the pretext for a ridiculous display of furniture, crystal, lustres, chinoisarie and curiosities of every kind; their interiors resemble bazaars. Metsu puts beside his subjects only those details necessary to make the intrigue clear, and to explain the conversation.
His Treatment of Still Life.—"However great may have been his talent for painting still life, he never allowed himself to be carried away, like so many others, by that vulgar pleasure; but, on the other hand, what finish! what a precious touch! And then how he loves to give full value to the beauties of local color, or to shade a Turkey carpet, or to grade down the lights on gold and silver vases. What pleasure he takes in the Bohemian glasses and the transparent liquors that half fill[Pg 74] them! The glasses in his pictures have great importance, for the life of a retired Dutchman is spent in continual smoking and drinking; but in Metsu we no longer see the Pantagruelesque glasses of several stages that Van Ostade's peasants always have in their hands; these are fine and more discrete glasses, of elegant form, tall and oblong glasses in which the Haarlem beer froths; glasses cut and fashioned in twenty different ways, octagon glasses each facet of which ends with a curve and which cut the light with their sharp edges, or glasses the calyx of which forms a reversed cone on a heron's claw, or elongates into a swan's neck, and finishes like a trumpet; lastly, the glasses of the grandparents, sometimes of an imperishable thickness and solidity, sometimes as delicate, light, and thin as an onion skin."
Favorite Subjects.—Metsu is fond of representing the patricians of his day and their womankind either in pleasant entertainment, or, more frequently, in individual figures engaged in quiet work. A picture of this class is The Amateur Musicians. The lady on the left is very quietly playing her instrument with the same sense of repose that is expressed by the lady who seems to be writing down the notes. Only on the face of the elegant gentleman standing behind her chair is painted a merry, almost roguish, smile.
The Elegance of Metsu's Figures.—The figures are drawn with certainty; the artistic handling of the subject is remarkable; and a fine feeling for color is shown in the selection of the tones. In Metsu's figures we notice an elegance and a nobility which are not found elsewhere except in Ter Borch.
The Influence of other Artists on Metsu.—It is strange that the earliest works of Metsu, which are the most broadly painted ones, show little of Dou's influence, which is always so unmistakable in his pupils, so that Bode believes he finds in them the working of Hals's influence; and, in fact, the large pictures of Metsu's early period are painted with a broad brush in Hals's gray tones. When Metsu removed to Amsterdam, he fell more under Rembrandt's influence,[Pg 75] and the beautiful chiaroscuro of his later works incontestably proves this.
His Miscellaneous Works.—Metsu's Biblical and allegorial pictures are the least important of his works. Besides The Amateur Musicians, signed by Metsu, the Mauritshuis possesses a fine Portrait of a Huntsman dated 1661, and a great academical, constrained allegory of Justice Protecting the Widow and Orphan, a picture that was found in the vestibule of a house in Leyden in 1667. It was painted in 1655.
Crowe, who does not believe that this "rough and frosty composition" is the work of Metsu, says:
"What Metsu undertook and carried out from the first with surprising success was the low life of the market and tavern, contrasted with wonderful versatility by incidents of high life and the drawing-room. In each of these spheres he combined humor with expression, a keen appreciation of nature, with feeling and breadth, with delicacy of touch, unsurpassed by any of his contemporaries. In no single instance do the artistic lessons of Rembrandt appear to have been lost on him. The same principles of light and shade which had marked his school work in The Woman Taken in Adultery were applied to subjects of quite a different kind. A group in a drawing-room, a series of groups in the market-place, a single figure in the gloom of a tavern or parlor, was treated with the utmost felicity by fit concentration and gradation of light; a warm flush of tone pervaded every part, and, with that, the study of texture in stuffs was carried as far as it had been by Terburg, or Dou, if not with the finish or the brio of De Hooch. Metsu's pictures are all in such admirable keeping and so warm and harmonious in his middle, or so cool and harmonious in his closing time, that they always make a pleasing impression. They are more subtle in modulation than Dou's, more spirited and forcible in touch than Terburg's; and, if Terburg may of right claim to have first painted the true satin robe, he never painted it more softly or with more judgment as to color than Metsu."
One of the best pictures of Metsu's middle period is The Market Place of Amsterdam, in the Louvre.[Pg 76]
Two Fine Portraits by F. van Mieris.—Frans van Mieris (1635-81) reached the highest rung of art in his portraits, of which The Hague Gallery possesses two fine examples. One is of Florentius Schuyl, Professor of Medicine and Botany in the University of Leyden, painted in 1666, and a still more important picture of the painter himself and his wife. He has made a charming genre picture of it, which Sir Joshua Reynolds admired, not knowing who the characters were. The artist shows himself standing and pulling the ear of the beautiful little dog which his wife holds in her lap, while, to protect her pet, she gently wards off her smiling husband with her right hand. The little dog's mother is trying to spring into the lady's lap in order to take care of her offspring. Both the drawing and modelling here are masterly, and endow the scene with such charm that this work must be pronounced one of the best by his brush. The and the lute lying upon it are beautifully painted.
Description of Soap Bubbles.—Sir Joshua also noticed the picture of Soap Bubbles dated 1663, representing a boy at an open and vine-framed window, blowing bubbles that are exquisitely painted and show beautiful reflections and prismatic colors. His red hat with white plumes is lying on the window-sill, near a bottle containing a sprig of heliotrope, and above hangs a cage. Behind the child in the half-light stands a young woman with a dog in her arms. On the window-frame is written the date in Roman numerals. Willem van Mieris often imitated this composition of his father's, who frequently repeated it himself.
Pictures by Van Mieris Full of Refinement.—Van Mieris takes us into an elegant world, although he himself was fond of low life, a heavy drinker and the companion of Jan Steen. He was the son of a goldsmith and diamond-setter of Leyden, who wanted him to follow his business. He was naturally influenced by his earliest surroundings, and in his father's shop became familiar with the dress and[Pg 77] manners of people of distinction. His eye was also fascinated by the sheen of jewelry and stained glass. Houbraken writes:
"Seeing his talent for painting his father placed him with Abraham Torenvliet, a famous glass painter and a good draughtsman. From him he passed to the school of Gerrit Dou, where in a short time he eclipsed every one and gained the affection of the master, who loved to call him 'the prince of his pupils.' At the end of a few years, his father sent him to the historical painter Abraham van Tempel; but he did not remain long with him, for his natural taste would allow him to follow no other manner than that of Gerrit Dou,—a manner extremely finished, demanding attention and excessive care."
His Love of Elegant Accessories.—Houbraken calls Metsu a painter of sujets de mode. This term applies also to Frans van Mieris; for certainly with him costumes, materials, and accessories play an important part. If his people were less attractive one might imagine that they were only a pretext for showing off the velvet jackets, satin skirts, and rich furs. Very often Van Mieris shows us a spacious and magnificently decorated hall, in the background of which a richly dressed lady and her lover are walking; again he allows us to peep into a charmingly furnished room where a lady in white satin is playing the lute to entertain her guest, a handsome cavalier in black velvet; or we surprise a lady as she is about to drink a glass of wine which a page offers her on a silver salver. At other times we find a group of ladies and gentlemen about to enjoy a light repast; or see a table invitingly spread with luscious fruit in rich silver dishes; or watch a lady feed her parrot. Sometimes the pet monkey is discerned behind the looped-back curtains of taffetas. Frans van Mieris seldom chose panels above 12 by 15 inches in size. He never ventured to design life-sized figures.
The Kind of Subjects he treated Best.—"Characteristic of his art in its minute proportions is a shiny brightness and metallic polish. The subjects which he treated best are those[Pg 78] in which he illustrated the habits or actions of the wealthier classes; but he sometimes succeeded in homely incidents and in portraits, and not unfrequently he ventured on allegory. He repeatedly painted the satin skirt which Terburg brought into fashion, and he often rivalled him in the faithful rendering of rich and highly colored woven tissues. But he remained below Terburg and Metsu, because he had not their delicate perception of harmony, or their charming mellowness of touch and tint; and he fell below Gerard Dou, because he was hard and had not his feeling for effect by concentrated light and shade. In the form of his composition, which sometimes represents the framework of a window enlivened with greenery, and adorned with bas-reliefs, within which figures are seen to the waist, his model is certainly Gerard Dou."
His Lack of Humor.—"It has been said that he possessed some of the humor of Jan Steen, who was his friend, but the only approach to humor in any of his works is the quaint attitude and look of a tinker in a picture at Dresden, who glances knowingly at a worn copper kettle which a maid asks him to mend.... If there be a difference between his earlier and later work, it is that the former was clearer and more delicate in flesh, whilst the latter was often darker and more livid in the shadows."
"Among so many Dutch painters who copy nature it is very pleasant to find one who deigns to select his models, and who, preferring grace to ugliness, would rather paint beautifully women elegantly dressed than magots. Strange, indeed! He loved distinction, yet lived in a tavern; he loved luxury, and was soon ruined; and, in spite of a life devoid of dignity, Van Mieris always kept a love of beauty and elegance, as is shown in his delicate faces, fine complexions, beautiful hands, grace of attitude, taste in costume and furniture, and choice of splendid materials."
Willem van Mieris.—The Grocer's Shop, by his son and pupil, Willem van Mieris (1662-1747), signed and dated 1717, also hangs in The Hague Gallery. In extreme finish and minuteness of painting, this picture would not disgrace Mieris the Elder or Gerrit Dou.[Pg 79]
Its Wealth of Still Life.—You see only two figures, a young boy who is buying and a young woman who is selling; but these figures are of no more importance than the foods of all kinds exposed in the shop, on the sill of the window, and outside. The lower part of the window is decorated with a bas-relief, representing Cupids playing with a bird. This bas-relief is half hidden by a superb piece of tapestry, on which the painter has placed a basket of dried fruits. Great bags of grain, peas, and beans, and everything that is sold by the bushel are exposed on the pavement of the street, with a bucket and some tubs filled with olives, sardines, and anchovies. On the wall hang a basket and a bird-cage, and a magnificent damask curtain with large flowers falls in graceful folds from an outside ring. Among the innumerable details of the shop you note a little rat gnawing at the grains which have fallen through a hole in one of the sacks.
The pendant to this picture hangs in the Louvre, where it is called Marchande de Volailles.
W. van Mieris influenced by his Father and by G. de Lairesse.—Willem van Mieris was a pupil of his father, and at first had no other ambition than to imitate his style and produce those charming Conversations in which rich furniture, shining chandeliers of brass or copper, Japanese porcelains, silken curtains, Turkish table-carpets, flowers, and elegantly dressed people make a somewhat restricted, although delightful, world. Willem, falling under the influence of de Lairesse, who was much in vogue in Holland, selected such subjects as a young lady playing on the clavecin, or making lace, or walking in the country in a lilac satin robe with large sleeves that reveal through their slashes a beautiful arm, and a straw hat ornamented with a sweeping plume. Becoming a shepherdess this attractive lady next sits in his pictures with bare feet, in the shade of an oak, and beside her Corydon talks of love.
His Success with Mythical and Biblical Subjects.—Next he turned his attention to subjects from fable,[Pg 80] romance, and mythology; and Diana, Armida, Cleopatra, Bacchus, Jupiter, Tarquin, the Sabines, etc., fill his panels or copper plates, which were hardly larger than your hand. Biblical and religious subjects occupied him for a time and then he again turned pagan. His success grew greater every day, and his Dutch patrons who loved scenes of familiar life demanded from Van Mieris pictures in the style of his famous father—those charming genre pictures still being produced by , Van Tol, and other imitators of Gerrit Dou.
A Window-frame his Favorite Setting.—Like Gerrit Dou, Willem van Mieris selects a window-frame of stone, which he often decorates with graceful creepers or a bouquet of tulips or jonquils placed on the sill, or throws over it a bright piece of tapestry. From it a blond lady leans to flirt with the unseen passer, a child blows bubbles, a portly dame waters her flowers; or the artist himself sits calmly by. When tired of this, Willem van Mieris takes us to his favorite shop.
Arie de Vois.—Among the portraits one must not fail to notice the picture of A Huntsman Holding a Partridge by Arie de Vois (1630-80). This was originally in the collection of William V. and was bought for 1,210 florins. His pictures are so rare that we are not surprised that the Mauritshuis contains but one example. The Rijks is more fortunate in owning four by this delightful painter.
Abraham de Pape's Style.—Abraham de Pape (1625-66), supposed to have been a pupil of Gerrit Dou, is represented by An Old Woman Plucking a Cock, with a little boy kneeling beside her. It is a very good example of this master; and at the Gerrit Muller sale brought no less than 490 florins. Crowe says:
"This almost unknown artist is decidedly one of the best genre painters of this time. He is true and speaking in action, animated in his heads, harmonious, and even in some of his pictures warm in coloring, and very careful and soft in execution."
A. van der Werff's Biblical and Mythological Pictures.—Adriaan van der Werff (1659-1722) occupied a peculiar position among Dutch painters. While his contemporaries were devoting themselves to the study of nature and becoming realistic, he adhered to the pursuit of the ideal and produced pictures inspired by Biblical or mythological subjects,—pictures noted for their beauty and elegance, and moreover finished with wonderful smoothness of touch, which he had learned from his master Eglon van der Neer. His figures as a rule are small, and the flesh-tints are of an ivory tone. Van der Werff was so popular that it was impossible for him to execute all the commissions sent him. His greatest patron was the Elector Palatine John William; the pictures that Van der Werff painted for him are now in Munich, where this master may best be studied.
Description of The Flight into Egypt.—He is fairly well represented in the Rijks; but The Hague has only two of his works,—a Portrait of a Man, dated 1689, and The Flight into Egypt, dated 1710. This is only one foot six inches high and one foot two inches wide. The Virgin is in profile in a Prussian-blue mantle, accompanied by St. Joseph, who is leading an ass. The road runs by the side of a brook, and the landscape is diversified with trees, ruins, and a portico. This picture was given by the artist to his daughter, who sold it to Mr. Schuijlenberg for 4,000 florins. At the Schuijlenberg sale at The Hague in 1765 it brought 6,500 florins.
Reynolds on Van der Werff's Manner.—This picture was much admired by Sir Joshua Reynolds, who saw it in the King's collection. In describing Van der Werff's manner he said:
"He has also the defect which is often found in Rembrandt,—that of making his light only a single spot. However, to do him justice his figures and heads are generally well drawn and his drapery is excellent; perhaps there are in his pictures as perfect examples of drapery as are to be found in any other painter's work whatever."
Philip van Dijk and his pupil, Louis de Moni.—To this group belongs Philip van Dijk (1680-1753), a pupil of Arnold Boonen, and an imitator of Van der Werff. Judith with the Head of Holofernes is a good example of his historical work; and two good genre pictures, A Lady Playing the Guitar, and A Lady at her Toilet, show this artist in a happier mood, where he gives free play to his more delicate touch. His Bookkeeper also hangs in this gallery. His pupil, Louis de Moni, shows the decline of the school. An Old Woman and a Boy, in a window, the boy blowing soap bubbles, is dated 1742.
Ochtervelt a follower of Metsu and of Pieter de Hooch.—Jacob van Ochtervelt (?-1700), who occupies a first place among the second-rate painters of his day, was a follower of Metsu and also of Pieter de Hooch. The Fish Vender, representing a woman in a room where a man is offering her fish, in conception and careful finish recalls Metsu, while in lighting and combination of color it reminds one of Pieter de Hooch. The general tone is warmer than most of Ochtervelt's pictures.
Jan Steen's Favorite Subjects.—One of the greatest of all the Dutch genre painters is Jan Steen (1626-79), "the jolly landlord of Leyden." As a draughtsman and colorist he takes high rank, and as a student of human nature he has been compared to Hogarth and Molière. His pictures are studies of life and character, and are full of humor. He paints feasts and , weddings, quacks, tavern-brawls, dentists, invalids, children at play, family parties, etc., with sympathy and joyousness.
His Character-painting.—As a character-painter, he is unapproachable. Nobody so well as he has understood all human passions, all emotions—hilarious joy, deep-seated satisfaction, fear, grief, and Weltschmerz with such mastery, and known how to represent them in the smallest possible space.
His Method of showing Background to Advantage.—With regard to Jan Steen's interiors it is interesting to note[Pg 83] that, like Ostade's, they are painted from an elevation, so that the figures in the background are not hidden by those in the foreground. Ordinarily he opens a window in the background to illuminate the distant figures and thus is formed an echo of the principal light. The number of utensils is less than with most painters of this class, for Jan Steen had too much sense to multiply them uselessly. Like Metsu, he often painted little pictures on the walls of his interiors, and it is singular that these depict heroic landscapes, battle scenes, mythological subjects, etc., and never tavern or genre scenes such as he himself painted.
Refinement and Culture in his Pictures.—Another thing to notice is that whether in houses of affluence or in common taverns his people do not drink grossly and from jugs, as in the taverns of Adriaen Brouwer. Each one takes his place gracefully and naturally at the table or in the room; and the details of the furniture accord with the politeness of the people or the players. On the mantelpiece, for instance, stands a bronze figure of Love; a guitar hangs from one of the panels; and here hangs a fine landscape in an ebony frame. The collation consists of delicious fruits that rejoice the eyes; perhaps also open oysters, which glisten in the light like pearls; ripe grapes and beautiful peaches, whose furry skins are blushing like the cheeks of a young girl, and finally some lemons half peeled, the skin falling in a golden spiral. All this shows the influence of Van Mieris, who was a friend of Steen and who spent many hours in his tavern at Leyden.
Reynolds's Appreciation of Jan Steen.—Sir Joshua Reynolds, who was so delighted with the Steens he saw in Holland, wrote the following appreciative criticism of the artist:
"Jan Steen has a strong manly style of painting, which might become even the design of Raffaelle, and he has shown the greatest skill in composition and management of light and shadow as well as great truth in the expression and character of his figures."
Jan Steen's Fondness for painting his own Family.—Jan Steen was very fond of painting his own family; his wives, his aged parents, and his children provided him with varied models of assorted ages and sizes. He had six children by his wife van Goyen, daughter of the painter; and when she died, he married a widow, named Mariette Herkulens, who had two. He has characterized the pleasures of all ages in his picture called The Family of Jan Steen, bearing the legend "Soo de ouden songen pypen de jongen." (As the old ones sing so will the young ones pipe.) This is particularly interesting, because the artist has painted himself between his wife Marguerite van Goyen and Mariette Herkulens, who was destined to be his second wife. They were both quite handsome, especially Marguerite. Mariette Herkulens was a meat vender.
How he ridiculed the Physicians.—Physicians were always butt for Steen's caustic wit. It was a common practice in the seventeenth century to turn them into ridicule; and as Molière brought them on the French stage, Jan Steen painted them with all their charlatanism and gravity and that severity of costume so studied for effect.
Description of The Young Lady who is Ill.—The Hague Gallery contains two of these,—one known as The Young Lady who is Ill (sometimes called The Doctor Feeling the Pulse of a Young Woman). In this picture a doctor dressed in black, with a pointed hat like that worn by Sagnarelle in the Médecin malgré lui, is seated at the bedside of a young and pretty girl with round arms and clear, pale complexion, who looks with interest at the potion that is being prepared according to the doctor's instructions. The latter pretends to be looking at the medicine which an elegant woman is bringing, but he is really looking at the beautiful throat of the blond and well-dressed Dutch lady, who lowers her eyes, charmed to let him gaze at her brilliant white neck, her little retroussé nose, and her hair arranged à la Ninon, which is half covered with a sort of black cap. "If it were not for a little touch of malice and[Pg 85] certain inconsistencies in the somewhat careless execution," Blanc says, "this picture might pass for a Van Mieris or a Metsu."
Description of The Doctor's Visit.—In The Doctor's Visit, a physician dressed in black, with pointed hat and holding his gloves in one hand, with the other is feeling the pulse of a young lady who is sitting near her bed in a négligé costume. With a very knowing and solicitous manner the doctor seems to interrogate the throbs of the pulse; but while he seeks for the secret of the illness, the chamber-maid has found it out, as her glance indicates; and, that you may not be left in doubt, the painter has placed on the corner of the chimney a little statue of Love the Conqueror. In some of his pictures of this class Steen adds the legend "Wat baet hier medecyn—het is der minne pijn" (Of what use is medicine here? Love is the trouble).
Other Pictures by Jan Steen, in the Mauritshuis.—In addition to those already mentioned, the Mauritshuis owns A Village Feast, a picture of his first period; the Dentist, who is extracting the tooth of a peasant; A Menagerie; and an Interior known as The Oyster Feast and Jan Steen's Tap-room.
Description of Jan Steen's Tap-room.—The latter is not an inn of the common or rustic type such as is seen in Ostade's or Brouwer's pictures, for the room is furnished in the best style of the period. In it we see about twenty figures in several groups. On the left, an old man is playing with a little child; near him a young girl is kneeling as she cooks the oysters; and in the centre an old man offers an oyster to a seated woman. Children are amusing themselves everywhere: here one is making a cat dance; another is holding a dog; another is carrying a jug and a basket of fruit. At the table on the right and a little back Jan Steen sits playing a lute, a young woman is listening to him, a fat companion with a glass of liquor in his hand is laughing; and in the background are groups of players and smokers. Above and in the foreground a large violet[Pg 86] curtain is looped and casts its shadow over a part of the interior. This fine picture is only 2 feet 3 inches by 2 feet 8 inches.
Description of A Menagerie.—A Menagerie is nearly four feet square, and represents the courtyard of a country house—that of William III. at Honsholredijk, which is seen in the distance. Near the stone terrace, beneath the steps of which is a pool, a peacock sits on a branch of an old tree; ducks are swimming in the pool, and hens, turkeys, and pigeons are picking up grains in the courtyard. A little girl in a pale straw-colored dress and a white apron is sitting on the steps and giving a lamb milk out of a cup. A man, carrying a basket of eggs and a green pot, is laughing and talking with her. Another old farm-servant is also laughing as he regards his young mistress; another person, who carries a hen under his left arm and her brood of chickens in a basket, is one of those dumpy and deformed creatures that Jan Steen likes to paint. Burger considers the head of the man with the basket of eggs is one of the most wonderful heads that were ever painted by Jan Steen or any of the Dutch Little Masters.
Troost, the Dutch Watteau or Hogarth.—Cornelis Troost (1697-1750) was born at the close of the great period of Dutch art. The great painters were all dead. Dutch painting had lost its originality and native vigor. Under these circumstances Troost made himself the painter of his period and of his country. Impelled by a witty and caustic humor, he thought to bring back in the eighteenth century what Jan Steen had illustrated in the seventeenth. But, inferior in every way to that master, he saw contemporary society only on the stage or in books; and, instead of painting manners, customs, and absurdities of the middle classes by observing them in nature, he painted them as they were represented on the stage. Almost all his heroes were characters of the comedy or the novel. Troost has been called the Dutch Watteau and the Dutch Hogarth. His pictures may be classified as follows: Conversations,[Pg 87] Comic subjects, Portraits, and Military subjects. The first follow the style of Watteau; the second, Hogarth; and the last are reminiscent of Frans Hals.
His Excellence in Drawing and Color.—Excellence of drawing and richness of color distinguish all his works, which are also valuable for their accurate portrayal of the manners and customs, costume and furniture of his day. Troost worked in oil, pastel, and gouache with equal facility; and produced many excellent mezzotints and etchings.
Blanc on Troost's Style.—"What we admire in him to-day is the talent of the painter properly so-called, the art of enlightening and grouping his figures and placing them on the stage, the brush-work, the selection and quality of the tones,—in other words, order, chiaroscuro, color, and touch. A man of wit, he shines in composition; although adroitly calculated, his own humor always appears spontaneous and natural. Troost never introduces useless personages nor superfluous ornaments into his pictures. He clearly sets forth what he wants to show; and, contrary to the habits of the other masters of his nation who take pleasure in the accumulation of accessories, he only puts into his interiors necessary furniture and significant utensils; and in his open-air Conversations the surroundings are not overloaded with detail, but simple and agreeable, being calculated to achieve the idea of the picture, so admirably are they connected with the action of the figures. Troost and Terburg, of all the Dutch masters of genre, are the ones who best understood the concentration of the interest of a picture, and what is called the repose of the composition."
A Picture Illustrative of the Concentration of its Interest.—"On looking over his pictures in the little room devoted to his work in the Mauritshuis, we find more than one example of this intelligent sobriety. Take for instance L'Amour mal assorté. Here we have an old man declaring his love to a young widow. He has thrown on the floor his cane, hat, and gloves; and, in his senile ardor, he clasps the facilely chaste Susanna. What a pretty interior! A , a Gerard Dou, or a Mieris would have multiplied here the details of domestic comfort; here there is not a detail, not a single piece of furniture too much; but yet there is nothing lacking that should be there,—neither the clock, the canary in its cage, the[Pg 88] portrait of the deceased husband whose place the guest desires to fill, nor the flower-vase with its full-blown rose, like the charmer whom the admirer wants to gather."
Pictures of Love and Intrigue.—"Again we have The Deceived Tutor, a scene anticipated from 'The Barber of Seville.' Here we see coming down the street a maiden led prisoner by her tutor, a jealous bear clothed all in black. While she occupies his attention with a sweet smile, her little hand receives the kiss of a lover whom chance has led that way. Other scenes of similar intrigue treated in this light vein are The Lover in Disguise and The Lover Artist. The scenes are taken from the comedies and vaudevilles of Langendijk, Lingelbach, Asselijn, Van der Hoeven, Van Paffenrode, and D. Buysero."
The Dispute of the Astronomers.—"A picture that does not deal with love and intrigue, but is full of a different kind of humor is The Dispute of the Astronomers, from a comedy by P. Langendijk, in which two astronomers in the heat of their discussion on the systems of Copernicus and Ptolemy make use of the plates and bottles on the supper table to illustrate the sun and the planets. Another interesting pastel is one depicting the old Dutch custom of a band of men and children singing hymns before the doors of the village on Twelfth Night, carrying a huge paper star, lighted within."
, Painter of Living Birds.—The great Melchior d'Hondecoeter (1636-95) began his career with marines; but it was not long before he acquired celebrity as a painter of birds only, which he represented not exclusively like Fyt, after a day's shooting, or as stock in a poulterer's shop, but as living beings with passions of joy and fear and anger. Though without Fyt's brilliant tone and high finish, his birds are always full of action. William III. employed him to paint his menagerie at Loo, and this picture shows that he could overcome the difficulty of painting India's cattle, elephants, and gazelles. Hondecoeter's best pictures have remained in Holland, and The Hague and Amsterdam galleries possess his most interesting canvases. The four at the Mauritshuis are: Geese and Ducks, Hens and Ducks, The Menagerie of William III. at Loo, and The Jackdaw Stripped of his Borrowed[Pg 89] Feathers. All these are worthy of study, although Hondecoeter's most celebrated picture, The Floating Feather, hangs in the Rijks.
"In one of these the artist has amused himself with making his usual heroes play a scene of human comedy; and, as a professional fabulist would have imagined it, he has shown a jackdaw stripped of the borrowed plumes with which he had adorned himself in his vanity. This is a very fine picture, although it has somewhat blackened in certain parts. seems to us to have been happier in another canvas in which he has grouped various birds. It seems as if on this occasion he wanted to prove what prodigies he was capable of in the touch of divers plumages; and the effect he has obtained is, in truth, astonishing. We could not find the equivalent of this lightness of touch and of this coloring either in Gryff or in the two Weenixes, or in any of the masters who have tried to paint birds, with the possible exception of Giacomo Victor."
His Preparation for Bird-painting.—"It is true that before having succeeded so well in the representation of the bird, made a long study, not only of its external form, but of its habits, customs, and manner of life. His studio had been turned into a menagerie, or, rather, a game preserve. He had paid particular attention to the education of a handsome cock, which seemed to comprehend every word and gesture of his master; and who, at the slightest sign, came near the easel and posed, often in very fatiguing attitudes, for hours."
's Skill in painting Farmyard Scenes.—"In painting, Melchior d'Hondecoeter was a very able man without leaving the poultry yard, and was satisfied with painting on the spot either the bloody dramas or the peaceful scenes of the farmyard—the hen teaching her chickens to scratch for grubs, the duck giving her little ones their first swimming lesson, the superb cock keeping watch over his seraglio, the peacock[Pg 90] spreading his magnificent tail, and those memorable combats in which for a fine-plumaged Helen, two rivals spur one another while awaiting the hawk's talons. He painted 'the crested gentry' and knew how to interest us in them by means of picturesque truth, rustic grace, color, and spirit.
"Melchior, after the death of his father, found an excellent guide in his uncle, J. B. Weenix, and followed his manner till his death in 1660 without servility."
His Pictures of Bird Families.—"No one has painted better than he cocks and hens, ducks and drakes, and particularly little chicks and ducklings. He has understood such families as the Italians have the mystical Holy Family; he has expressed the motherhood of the hen as Raphael has the motherhood of the Madonna. In fact, the subject is more naturally treated because it has less sublimity. gives us here a mother-hen, who could face the Madonna of the Chair. She bends over with solicitude, with outspread wings, beneath which peep the excited heads of the little chickens; while on her back is perched the privileged bambino: she does not dare move, the good mother!"
A picture of Cock and Hens by his father, Gijsbert d' (1604-53), was acquired in 1876. He was the teacher of his more talented son, who also studied with his uncle, Jan Baptist Weenix (1621-60), no pictures of whom are owned by the Mauritshuis.
Jan Weenix's Tasteful Compositions.—Two pictures of Jan Weenix (1640-1719) hang in this gallery and are good examples. One is The Dead Swan, the other is Game. Though Weenix painted portraits, landscapes, and even seaports, his chief works represent dead animals, the size of life. Peacocks, pheasants, partridges, geese, and most frequently swans, figure in his pictures. Sometimes, too, he introduces a living dog and paints it in the most spirited manner. Weenix had great taste in composition and arranged his models (more often dead than living) around the base of a handsome vase or urn in a beautiful park.[Pg 91]
Reynolds and Blanc on Jan Weenix's Paintings.—"What excellence in coloring and handling is to be found in the dead game of Weenix!" exclaimed Sir Joshua Reynolds, who declared that he saw no less than twenty dead swans by this painter during his walks through the Holland galleries. "In his works of small dimensions," says Blanc, "his execution is delicate and caressing; but it is broad and accentuated in his decorative paintings. At his best he was the equal of his father, which is no small praise."
Jan David de Heem, the Greatest of the Group of Fruit and Flower Painters.—First in this group comes Jan David de Heem (1606-03 or 04), the pupil of his father, David de Heem, and not only the first to develop the art of fruit-painting, but the greatest master of the class that the school produced. In the beautiful arrangement of his subjects he has been compared to Giovanni da Udine. He is also a great colorist; some of his early works approach Rembrandt in their golden tone.
Although his two most important works are in the galleries of Vienna and Berlin, and splendid examples hang in the Louvre, Dresden, and Cassel, the Mauritshuis owns two very fine examples. One is a Table with Fruits, very tasteful in arrangement and soft in treatment; the other is a Garland of Flowers and Fruits, enlivened with insects.
When Sir Joshua Reynolds visited the Prince of Orange's collection, he saw these pictures and noted: "Fruits by De Heem, done with the utmost perfection."
His Greatness as a Painter of Fruits, Flowers, and Insects.—De Heem was one of the greatest painters of still life in Holland; no artist of his class combined form and color more successfully. His drawing is correct, and his colors are brilliant and combined harmoniously. He is familiar with every object of stone and silver, every flower, whether humble or gorgeous, every fruit of Europe or the tropics, every twig and leaf and blossom. Burger has said of Heda, but it is true of De Heem, that "he glorified insects, butterflies, and all the minute beings that swarm[Pg 92] in vegetation, and made the moths drink in cups of chased gold."
His Pictures that point a Moral.—De Heem was also famous for his pictures that point a moral or illustrate a motto—those canvases known as Vanitas. Here the snake lies coiled under the grass; there a skull rests on blooming plants. "Gold and silver tankards or cups suggest the vanity of earthly possessions; salvation is allegorized in a chalice amid blossoms; death, as a crucifix inside a wreath." Sometimes De Heem painted alone, or with men of his school, Madonnas or portraits surrounded by festoons of fruits and flowers. He was so fond of the festoon that he sometimes painted it alone. Sometimes, too, a nosegay is figured alone.
Cornelis de Heem's Subjects like those of his Father.—The Hague Gallery also owns Fruits by his son Cornelis (1631-95). The latter painted precisely the same subjects as his father and with scarcely less success. Still life, flowers, fruits, oysters, and lemons on a plate; cold hams, boiled lobsters, flowers, knives, forks, glasses, watches, clocks, etc., are all treated by him with the utmost cleverness. Crowe says:
"He is not inferior to his father in drawing and warmth of color, and with an equally solid impasto, almost surpasses him in melting softness of touch. He is, however, in rare instances, somewhat gaudier. Under these circumstances it is easy to understand that his works are often mistaken for those of his father."
Abraham Mignon, Pupil and Imitator of De Heem.—Another pupil was Abraham Mignon (1640-79), who is represented in the Mauritshuis by Flowers and Fruits, and two canvases called Summer Flowers, which show the influence of his master. Mignon's fruits and flowers have all the bloom of nature; his butterflies and other insects seem to live and feed on the leaves, buds, and blossoms; and the dewdrops on the leaves and petals have all the transparency[Pg 93] of real water. He was very popular in his day and was overwhelmed with commissions.
Jacob Walscapelle.—Jacob Walscapelle is also supposed to have been a pupil of De Heem, and many of his pictures have been attributed to one of the De Heems.
Maria van Oosterwyck, an Excellent Painter of Flowers.—Another pupil was Maria van Oosterwyck (1630-93), who usually painted flowers in vases or glasses, and occasionally fruits. In 1882 the Mauritshuis acquired a picture of Flowers, by this artist, who, perhaps, because of the rarity of her pictures, is not so widely known as she deserves to be. Although her flowers are not always arranged with taste and the colors are often gaudy, yet Crowe thinks she represents them with the
"utmost truth of drawing, and with a depth, brilliancy, and juiciness of local coloring unattained by any other flower-painter. At the same time, her execution, in spite of great finish, is broad and free, and the impasto excellent."
She was much admired in her day and received commissions from Louis XIV., William III. of England, Augustus I. of Poland, and the Emperor Leopold.
Jan , the Correggio of Flowers and Fruits.—"If De Heem, by the harmony of his warm golden color, be called the Titian of flowers and fruits, Jan van Huysum's bright and sunny treatment entitles him to the name of the Correggio of the same branch of art. In masterly drawing and truth of single objects, both masters may be classed on the same level, only that De Heem's principal subjects were fruit; Van Huysum's were flowers, in which he entered into greater detail; for instance, in the gloss of the tulip, the pollen of the auricula, and the dewdrop on the petal. It is to these merits, fitted as they are to the capacity of the greater number of admirers of art, that Van Huysum owed the eager demand for, and high payment of his pictures by princes and wealthy amateurs, even in his own day, and also that of all painters of his class he still commands the highest prices."
's Pictures in The Hague.—Jan van Huysum (1682-1749) is not so well represented in his own country as in the Louvre (which contains eleven fine examples), Berlin, St. Petersburg, Munich, Hanover, and Dresden. The Rijks owns but six, and The Hague only three,—an Italian Landscape, Fruits, and Flowers. The two latter are such beautiful examples of Van Huysum's art that they deserve study. In the one are found that marvellous blush and downy bloom for which he was so famous, while the other reveals his delicate treatment of petals and his graceful arrangement. In Fruits, a peach, two plums, a small bunch of grapes and some gooseberries are beautifully grouped, as to form and color, on a marble table. Its pendant, Flowers, is an exquisite picture of a full-blown rose and a rosebud, a pink and a convolvulus, placed on a marble console. A butterfly of the admiral variety has alighted on the rosebud.
His Earliest Works.—In his earliest period he painted landscapes representing views of imaginary lakes and harbors, woods with tall, lifeless trees, and classic buildings and ruins—finished in a glossy and smooth style—which are now of little value in comparison with his fruit and flower pieces. The Italian Landscape, which the Mauritshuis acquired in 1816, is a very good example of this style.
Fruits and Flowers his Forte.—It is doubtful if any artist ever surpassed in the representation of fruits and flowers, to which he finally devoted himself with the greatest success. He set himself the task of surpassing De Heem and Abraham Mignon; and he studied the most exquisite fruits and flowers known. His taste in the arrangement of his groups in elegant vases, of which the ornaments and bas-reliefs were finished in the most polished and beautiful manner, and in graceful baskets on marble tables, is generally considered to be superior to that of any other flower-painter. He also shows great art in relieving flowers of various colors against each other, and[Pg 95] often they stand out from a light transparent background. His fame rose to the highest pitch, and the first florists of Holland were ambitious of supplying him with their choicest flowers for subjects. Naturally, therefore, we find on his canvases beautiful groups and bunches of hyacinths, roses, pinks, primroses, and other garden buds and blossoms.
His Skill in depicting Dewdrops and Insects.—With marvellous skill he frequently introduces dewdrops of incomparable transparency that trickle down the leaves or sprinkle the fresh delicate petals. Butterflies and other insects are also depicted with a truthfulness and precision that give a perfect illusion, and often a bird's nest with eggs is introduced.
His Exquisite Taste.—Jan 's pictures are so bright that they have even been accused of being gaudy; but no critic has yet found fault with his exquisite taste and faultless velvet-like finish that seems to rival nature. His fruit pieces are inferior to his flowers, though they are worthy of great admiration. Those painted on a clear or yellow background are the most esteemed, and are distinguished from his early works, which are usually on a dark one, by a superior style of pencilling and a more harmonious color.
Rachel Ruijsch.—Another charming flower and fruit painter,—noted especially for her flowers,—Rachel Ruijsch (1664-1750), is represented in The Hague Gallery by two Bouquets. In 1693 she was married, but she always signed her maiden name, and in several ways,—Ruijsch, Ruysch, and Ruisch. She took great pains with her pictures, and the amount of time spent on them limited their number. She is said to have given seven years to two pictures, Flowers and Fruits, which she gave to one of her daughters for a wedding present.
Blanc has most sympathetically described her qualities. He says:
Her Truthfulness to Nature.—"Whether she is painting the flowers of the gardens or those of the field, which she[Pg 96] groups so beautifully on marble tables and calls around them fluttering butterflies and droning bees, or beautiful ripe fruits that refresh the eyes and mind, Rachel is always truthful, graceful, and clever. A colorist, she frankly selects the brightest tones and combines them marvellously; a draughtsman, she reproduces splendidly the most complicated forms, while preserving to each plant its individual elegance, its aspect, its way of holding itself, and foreshortening."
Her Love of Nature.—"In all justice, therefore, the Dutch rank Rachel Ruijsch among their most excellent painters. She retained her love of nature in all its freshness; it even seems as if she had a weakness for rustic beauty, and that she found the same pleasure in wandering about the country that others have in gardens and greenhouses. Sometimes she even mingles thistles with her field flowers, which she carelessly throws on a table; sometimes she chooses an old tree-trunk overgrown with moss, upon which she places her bunch of spring blossoms, while the insects hum around them, and the wings of a beetle gleam through the shadow. Sometimes she brings a green frog from some pool in the neighboring meadow and gives him a place in her picture. In the infinite little world of great nature Rachel finds no creature unworthy of her brush—not even the snail that crawls on the leaf and is hunted away by the gardener, nor the little worm who moves his variegated rings and spins his thread, destined to clothe magnificent ladies, as he elevates himself into the air. Those insects that we deem vile she honors in her paintings: she lets them lie on her marble tables, crawl on the stem of the glass in which her peonies and pinks are arranged; and she even allows them to devour the plums and grapes of her picturesque collations. Nothing, however, is more charming than her birds' nests, lined with lightest down and tiny blades of grass, moss, and straw, expressed with the art and industry of a wren or a tomtit."
The larger picture in The Hague Gallery is a charming group of roses and tulips, with butterflies and insects.
Rachel Ruijsch was a pupil of Willem van Aelst (1626-83?), whose Flowers (dated 1663) and Still Life (dated 1671) hang in The Hague Gallery.
Description of One of Willem van Aelst's Pictures.—M. de Burtin has described a picture by Willem van Aelst which gives an idea of all the works of this master:[Pg 97]
"A table covered with a crimson velvet carpet bordered with golden fringe, on which stands a drinking-vessel of antique shape half filled with Rhine wine. The sides of this glass cup reflect several times and in different views the street with the most magical and astounding way, and in the very centre you see the reflection of the painter himself, holding his palette. On one side of the cup are placed, on a glass dish, four superb peaches and some roasted chestnuts; on the other side are bunches of red and white grapes. Butterflies and other insects add to the illusion, and the vine and peach leaves are artistically used to decorate the beautiful pyramidal group that stands out from a looped-back curtain of brownish yellow."
Resemblance of his Work to that of .—Although his name is less celebrated than that of Van Huysum, Willem Aelst is not very far removed from him in his beautiful productions; and certainly he surpasses Evert van Aelst (1602-58) who was his uncle and master. Without carrying finish to excess and preserving a certain freedom of touch, he knows how to express marvellously the delicate wings of a butterfly, the down of a peach, the dewdrops on a bunch of grapes, the feathers of a dead bird, and the wrinkles of a game-pouch.
In Favor with Princes and Cardinals.—Many of his works are in France, where he spent four years, and in Italy, where he lived seven years filling orders for princes and cardinals. He was only thirty years old when he returned to his native town, Delft; but he removed to Amsterdam, where his works brought high prices.
His Favorite Subjects.—The pictures by him representing dead birds are, as respects picturesque arrangement, finely balanced harmony of cool but transparent color, perfect nature in every detail, and delicate, soft treatment, admirable types of the perfection of the Dutch School. Specimens of this class are a picture in the Munich Gallery of two dead partridges and instruments of the chase, and another in the Berlin Museum signed "W. v. Aelst, 1653," representing a marble table with two woodcocks and other small birds, and two French partridges suspended[Pg 98] above. His favorite subjects, however, were fruit and other eatables, herrings, oysters, bread, etc., with glasses and gorgeous vessels in gold and silver. Although Willem van Aelst owed much to his uncle Evert van Aelst, so famous for his dead birds and instruments of the chase, perhaps he owed still more to his other teacher, van Schrieck (1613-73), who acquired celebrity, excelling in a singular branch of art. He painted the humblest creatures,—frogs, snails, lizards, worms, serpents, and curious plants. The name of his master is unknown; but he painted entirely from nature and is said to have kept a kind of museum of serpents, vipers, insects and other curiosities. These he studied with great attention, and drew them with extraordinary fidelity and care, reproducing also their glowing and metallic hues.
Two Pictures by Beijeren, and Two by Seghers.—Another famous Flowers is that by Abraham van Beijeren (1620 or 1621-75), which was acquired at the Van Pappelendam sale in Amsterdam in 1889. A fine Fish and Lobster by the same painter should also be studied. The visitor will perhaps notice as he passes two pictures by Daniel Seghers (1590-1661), one a garland of flowers around a statuette of the Virgin; the other, a garland of flowers around the bust of William III. The bust was a later addition.
Other Painters belonging to the Same Group.—An interesting and curious work is Shells, by Balthasar van der Ast (?-1656). There is also a still life (1644) by Pieter Claez. To this group should be added Pieter Roestraeten (1627-1700), famous for his great vases of gold and silver, bas-reliefs, musical instruments, etc., which he designed with precision. He spent most of his time in London, where he was injured in the Great Fire (1666). Belonging to the same group are Pieter de Ring and Willem Kalf, whom we shall see in the Rijks, and the strange Christoffel Pierson, whose specialty was still life (particularly the attributes of the chase) and portraits. His works are very rare; but a peculiar combination of portraiture and still life hangs[Pg 99] in The Hague Gallery, representing the pastor of the Protestant Church at Hoorn, Joris Goethals, and noticeable for the number of hunting implements and objects hanging on the wall. Though sombre and monotonous in tone, his touch and drawing are masterly. He thoroughly understood composition and distributed lights and shadows with skill. Pierson was turned aside from painting historical subjects and portraits by the success of Leemens, a painter of dead game, guns, etc., and speedily surpassed his model.
Jan van Os, Georgius Jacobus Johannes van Os, and Marie Margrita van Os we shall see in the Rijks.
Portrait of Rubens's Second Wife.—Although Holland is not the land where we can study Rubens (1577-1640) in all his greatness, yet the Amsterdam Gallery and more particularly The Hague Gallery possess some splendid pictures by his hand. In the latter hang the portraits of his two wives. That of his second wife, the buxom Helena, whom he married on December 6, 1630, and who bore him five children, is a masterpiece of the first rank; certainly an entirely individual work of the artist's later period.
Much of Rubens's Work done by his Pupils.—Thus we immediately come to the question: What has the master himself and what have his pupils done on it? No master has left behind him a larger amount of painted surface of canvas and wood; but how unequal is the artistic value of all this material! We know how that happened. Overwhelmed with pressing orders and surrounded by a large throng of sometimes very able pupils, he often only made a sketch, leaving the chief work to his best pupils, and finally adding a few corrections; perhaps here or there a head or a figure that particularly interested him. Rubens made no secret of this fact; he often openly acknowledged what he and what his scholars had done on a work.
Dr. Sperling's Visit to Rubens's Studio.—An eye-witness, the Danish physician, Otto Sperling, who visited Rubens's studio in 1621, describes the master as walking up and down in his vast hall among his many pupils, making[Pg 100] remarks and going over a picture here and there finally with a few brush-strokes. The Doctor jocularly adds: "It is supposed that everything is the work of Rubens, by which this man has amassed enormous wealth, and has been rewarded by kings and princes with great gifts and many jewels."
His Pupils not very often allowed to assist him in Portraits.—One should remember that this assistance of his pupils was generally confined to his greater historical pictures and church pieces; but the portraits that Rubens painted are not always entirely the work of his hand. Sometimes an order for a portrait was repeated, and his students made the replica of a well-known personality. Rubens painted portraits of small dimensions and then left them to be enlarged by able pupils; but he himself added the final touches.
Dr. Bredius on the Portraits of Rubens's Two Wives.—"Even in the case of the portrait of one of his wives, we are not quite sure whether the work is exclusively his own. There exist such a marvellous number of these portraits, and, moreover, of such varied artistic value, that we must at last conclude that the family and friends of these ladies, who belonged to the best families in Antwerp, all ordered portraits from Rubens, who painted some of them entirely and others only in part.
"While, for example, the present portrait of Rubens's first wife, Isabella Brandt, whom he married in 1609, betrays the master's own hand in the head and in part of the costume, the hands look to me to be so extraordinarily like Van Dijck's work that I ask myself whether the latter (about 1618) might not have had some part in this portrait. On the other hand, the portrait of , whom he married in 1630 (Isabella Brandt died in 1626) is handled with such a gush, although very rapidly and with such geniality that hardly anybody would say that this spirited portrait is not all his own.
"What flesh! what brilliance! what glow of color! what virtuosity in the painting of the details and the material! What life streams from this warm, youthful, proud wife upon her husband!"
Sir Joshua Reynolds describes these portraits thus: "Two portraits, Kitcat size, by Rubens, of his two wives, both fine[Pg 101] portraits, but is by far the most beautiful and the best colored."
Description of Helena's Portrait.—This is one of the most beautiful of all Rubens's portraits of his second wife. Her face and figure are not only wonderfully modelled and painted, but her red mouth has a sweet, half-smiling expression, and dimples are ready to break out at any moment and render the brilliant face even more brilliant. The eyes are lustrous and handsome, beneath finely arched brows. The light silky hair is roped with pearls, and a long plume falls gracefully from the coquettish toque of velvet adjusted at an angle that suits the face exactly. A pearl necklace and earrings adorn the ears and snowy neck, a magnificent jewel with three pear-shaped pearls for pendants clasps the front of the dress, jewels ornament the sleeves, and a great rope of goldsmith's work passes from shoulder to shoulder. She wears a light blue satin dress the sleeves of which are slashed with white, and a black velvet cloak with gold buttons and a fur collar. The sleeves end with delicate filmy frills at the wrist, and she gracefully holds in her hand a couple of beautiful pink roses. The background is gray and the curtain is red. This picture was painted in 1634, four years after Rubens's marriage to the daughter of Daniel Fourment.
After Rubens's death the beautiful Helena was married to Jan B. Broekhoven, Baron of Bergeijck. She died in 1673.
Burger's Admiration for the Portrait of the First Wife.—Not far away from her portrait hangs that of Isabella Brandt, painted in 1620. Burger admired it more than that of Helena, and went into ecstasies over the "beautiful hands" crossed over her girdle. Isabella is dressed in black, with a square and low-cut bodice and a gauze fichu. Her hair is adorned with pearls.
Portrait of Father Ophovius.—The Mauritshuis possesses also a famous portrait by Rubens of quite another character; this is that of a friend whom he had sufficient influence to have made Bishop of Bois-le-Duc, the Rev.[Pg 102] Father Michael Ophovius, a Dominican monk. He is seen full face in the costume of his order. He has an energetic head and is in robust health. It is a broad and vigorous painting, and formerly adorned the Dominican monastery at Antwerp.
Two Pictures painted Partly by Rubens.—Two other pictures by Rubens should be studied. Adam and Eve in Paradise, in which, however, only the figures are by Rubens (Dr. Bredius thinks the horse also); while the landscape and other animals are by Jan Brueghel, also called Velvet Brueghel. The latter also painted the landscape in the Naiads Filling the Horn of Plenty, a picture that was once attributed to Van Bolen, but now to Rubens. It is interesting to compare the landscape of the Terrestrial Paradise by Jan Brueghel (Velvet) with the landscapes in the above-mentioned pictures.
Copies of six pictures by Rubens are also owned by this gallery.
Portraits by Van Dijck in The Hague.—There are only three portraits by Van Dijck (1599-1641) in The Hague Gallery: Portrait of Sir —— Sheffield, painted in 1627; a Portrait of Anna Wake, his Wife, painted in 1628; and a Portrait of the painter, Quintijn Simons. Of the latter, Sir Joshua Reynolds said:
"A portrait by Van Dyck of Simon the painter. This is one of the very few pictures that can be seen of Van Dyck which is in perfect preservation; and on examining it closely it appeared to me a perfect pattern of portrait-painting: every part is distinctly marked, but with the lightest hand and without destroying the breadth of light; the coloring is perfectly true to nature, though it has not the brilliant effect of sunshine, such as is seen in Rubens's wife; it is nature seen by common daylight."
A Picture by Frans .—Anthonie van Dijck is said to have painted the huntsman in the picture of still life and game by which Frans Snijders is represented here. Fuller knowledge of Snijders, however, is to be gained in the Rijks.[Pg 103]
A Picture by Several Artists.—One of the most curious and interesting pictures in the entire gallery is The Interior of a Picture Gallery, painted by a number of Antwerp artists, but which is catalogued under the name of Gonzales Coques (1618-84). This artist and his family are represented in the centre of a picture gallery, and are by the hand of Coques himself. The pictures on the walls were painted by pupils of Rubens, Van Dijck, Rembrandt, and others, and represent still life, landscapes, mythological and allegorical scenes. Many of them possess great charm. On the left are: the Meeting of Christ and a Centurion, by Pieter Yykens (1648-95); The Earth, an allegory, by Erasmus Quellinus (1607-78); an Italian Landscape, by Antoni Goubau (1616-98); The Metamorphosis of Ascalaphus, by Carel Emanuel Biset (1633-after 1691); A Boar Hunt, by Peter Boel (1622-89); a Moonlight and Landscape, signed J. v. K.; a Landscape, by Pieter van Bredael (1629-1719), signed P. v. B.; a Marine (unknown); The Nymphs Spied On, by Jan de Duyts (1629-76); and a Marine, by Jan Peeters (1624-77). Above the door in the centre are two pictures: The Judgment of Paris, by Theodoor Boeyermans (1620-78), and Leda, by the same artist. On the left: The Triumph of Silenus, by Jan Cossiers (1600-71); Water, an allegory, by Theodoor Boeyermans; the Four Seasons, by the same artist; a Landscape (unknown); Still Life (unknown); The Descent from the Cross and View of a City, both by Johan van den Hecke (1620-84); Landscape (unknown); a Village Festival, by Peter Spierinckx (1635-1711); a Landscape, by Johan van den Hecke (1620-84), and Bathers, by the same artist; Still Life, by Peter Gysels (1621-90); and a Venus and Adonis, by Casper Jacob van Opstal (1654-1717). The architecture of the room was painted in 1674 by Willem van Ehrenberg (1637-about 76). The picture is 5-3/4 feet high by 7 feet broad, and was offered in 1683 by the Brotherhood of Painters in Antwerp to Jan van Bavegom, Procureur of the Court of Brussels, as a reward for the services[Pg 104] he had rendered to the Brotherhood in the lawsuit against the armies of the Six Guilds. It finally became the property of William V.
"The Little Van Dijck."—Gonzales Coques was a pupil of Pieter Brueghel III. and David Ryckaert, whose daughter he married. He was fond of painting portraits of his family walking in a park or engaged in various occupations and pleasures indoors; and very frequently he was assisted by other artists, as in the case of the picture just described. Coques was a man of letters, and presided over the Chamber of Rhetoric in his native city, Antwerp. His elegance, taste, and delicacy have procured for him the name of "The Little Van Dijck." In his own day he enjoyed great renown, and was honored with orders for pictures and presents from many sovereigns, including Charles I. of England, the Prince of Orange, and the Archdukes of Austria.
Francken, Painter of Allegories and Festive Scenes.—A historical picture of interest is that of A Ball at the Court of Albert and Isabella in 1611, by Frans Francken the Younger (1581-1642). He was famous for his scenes from the Bible, allegories, landscapes, mythological pictures, and particularly for his balls, masquerades, and other scenes of festivity in which he introduced figures of small size. Frequently, too, he painted figures in the pictures of the elder Neeffs, the younger De Momper, and van Bassen.
Description of the Picture of a Historical Ball.—This ball scene, which belonged to William V. at Het Loo, was painted between 1611 and 1616. The couple who are dancing in the centre are Philip William of Nassau, Prince of Orange, and his wife, Eleonore de Bourbon, Princess of Condé. Albert and his wife, Isabelle Claire Eugénie, and five other portraits are by the hand of Frans Pourbus the Younger.
Pictures by Vinck Boons and Droochsloot.—Pictures of peasants enjoying the kermesse, by David Vinck Boons[Pg 105] (1578-1629), (1622), a landscape and genre painter, whose figures are often of repulsive ugliness, and by J. C. Droochsloot (1586-1666), also represented by a Dutch Village (1652), bring us to a more brilliant painter of such scenes.
David Teniers the Younger a Conspicuous Painter of Still Life.—David Teniers the Younger (1610-90) is one of those Flemish painters who were known and sought after in Holland during their lifetime. This may have arisen from the fact that he was closely allied with the Dutch school and with Brouwer, who lived and worked for a long time in Holland and was very highly prized there. Teniers painted in particular little cabinet pictures, soldier scenes, alchemists and cooks, and in them often showed a conspicuous love of still life, so greatly liked in Holland. Another circumstance which must be taken into consideration is that his brothers Hendrik and Julius, both painters, lived for some time in Holland and occupied themselves—the former in Middelburg and the latter in Amsterdam—with the sale of the pictures of their famous brother.
The Resemblance of his Pictures to those of his Master.—The younger Teniers developed himself principally in the school of Adriaen Brouwer. Some of his early pictures, painted between 1630 and 1640, stand so closely sometimes beside those of Brouwer that they have been attributed to the latter. In his first period, Teniers, quite trickily copied Brouwer's real types, and many of his mannerisms, such as the famous red cap which he so often put on his figures. The spirited painting, the clear bright light with the finely expressed chiaroscuro, and the beautiful harmony of tone he followed in the happiest way. He became Brouwer's successor; and he is greatest when he is still under the inspiration of his great prototype. Splendid pictures of this style are possessed by the Museums of Madrid, the Louvre, Berlin, Dresden, St. Petersburg, and many of the great private collections.
A Gradual Change in the Tone of Teniers's Pictures.—About 1650 the warm golden tone of the master falls more[Pg 106] and more into a cooler silver tone. Bright and clear in the highest degree are the treasured works of this period. At the end of his life, however, he grades more and more into a brown, dull tone far removed from the vigor and transparency of his youth. Still in his old age he maintained a careful drawing, a great completeness in the painting, only the very last pictures show that the hand of the old man at length had begun to tremble.
Description of The Good Kitchen.—The Hague possesses two fine examples of this artist. In The Good Kitchen, a splendid work of his middle period, painted in 1644, he delights us especially with masterly representation of assembled details. Magnificently painted are the fish and fowl, pots and kitchen stuff; only, perhaps, is the background keyed up a little too high. The figures, as unfortunately so frequently happens with Teniers, are somewhat uninteresting; only the little boy who is holding the dish for his mother (evidently the portrait of a child) looks out at us in a lifelike and endearing manner.
A famous kitchen it is, in fact; and it is evident that a feast of some consequence is in preparation. Fowl, game, fish, vegetables, fruits, all are there on the tables and the floor. In the background, before a big fire, a cook is roasting joints, and a man and woman are very busy close beside him. In front, in the middle, and in the bright light, is seated the young mistress of the house, also aiding in the preparations. For the moment she is peeling a lemon, and the little boy is standing beside her holding a plate. She wears a blood-colored skirt, and on her sky-blue bodice expands a broad collar of a whiteness that Metsu would envy. The whole is very ably and broadly painted with that just and free touch and those spirited accents which characterize the technique of Teniers. It is painted at the beginning of his best period when his silvery period begins: he was then thirty-four years old.
Burger cleverly says: "Like certain of those fishes that he has painted so well, Teniers is excellent between the[Pg 107] head and tail." The Good Kitchen is painted on copper and is only two feet and a half broad. A small picture on wood shows an alchemist with a gray beard seated beside a table holding a book. His assistant is kneeling beside a furnace.
Sir Joshua Reynolds said:
"The works of David Teniers, Jun., are worthy the closest attention of a painter who desires to excel in the mechanical knowledge of his art. His manner of touching, or what we call handling, has perhaps never been equalled: there is in his pictures that exact mixture of softness and sharpness which is difficult to execute."
's Picture of A Dinner.—We must not neglect now to look at the one picture by Tilborgh, A Dinner, particularly interesting on account of the personages represented.
(1625-78), supposed to have been a pupil of Teniers, certainly follows him in choice of subject—interiors of taverns, peasants , kermesses, village feasts, etc. He was popular in his day,—even more so, it is said, than Teniers himself. The dinner is taking place in the home of Adriaen van Ostade, who is seated in the middle, with his wife on his right, beyond whom are a man and a woman. On the left is Paul Potter, with long hair and a large hat, dressed in a pearl-gray doublet and red stockings. His general appearance is very gay, and quite a contrast to the melancholy portrait by B. van der Helst, which also hangs in this gallery. Near Potter stands his silly little wife, dressed in light blue,—a not specially graceful figure. Two other painters are standing on the left, talking together. Burger thinks they may be Tilborgh himself and Isaak van Ostade.
On taking the tramway at the Dam, the traveller will find the short trip to the Rijks Museum a very pleasant one. The car glides rapidly through a busy part of Amsterdam, crossing canal after canal,—the Singel, Heeren, Keizers, and Prinsen grachts,—bordered with leafy trees and houses that present a picturesque appearance. Alighting at Willems Park, on the canal long known as the Buiten Singel, or outer girdle, separating the old from the new town, we walk a short distance along the Stadhouders-Kade to the imposing red brick building with granite bands, arches, tympans, entablatures, etc., in the transition style between the Gothic and the Dutch Renaissance, which covers nearly three acres of ground. The principal façade, turned toward the Buiten Singel, presents a somewhat majestic appearance, with its two fine towers and central gable surmounted by a statue of Victory, by Vermeylen.
History of this Collection.—Before entering, we may note that this splendid Museum was opened in the name of the King of Holland in 1885. Perhaps we may pause also to recall the history and development of this great collection, which was formed of the remnant of the pictures and curiosities left by the last Stadtholder, William V.
In 1798 the Government decreed the formation of a National Museum, and this was installed in the Huis ten Bosch (House in the Wood), near The Hague, and opened to the public in 1800. From time to time the collection was increased by purchases, and in 1805 it received the[Pg 112] name of Cabinet National. When the King of Holland removed his residence, however, from Utrecht to Amsterdam, in 1808, he ordered that a Royal Museum for the preservation of pictures, drawings, prints, sculpture, carvings, engraven gems, antiquities, and curiosities of all kinds should be formed.
Opening of the Royal Museum in 1808.—This Museum was opened in the Palace on the Dam in December, 1808. Here were gathered ninety-six pictures from the National Museum of 1798 (one hundred and fifty-four remaining pictures being sent to The Hague); fifty-seven pictures bought in 1808 at the sale of G. van der Pot van Groeneveld in Rotterdam; eight old pictures given by The Hague in 1808; seven old pictures lent by the city of Amsterdam (among them The Night Watch and Syndics and The Banquet of the Civil Guard); six pictures and a marble statuette by J. B. Xavery, given by Baron van Spaen de Biljoen; a few modern pictures bought at the exposition of 1808; one hundred and thirty-seven pictures forming the Van Heteren Collection, bought in 1809 for 100,000 florins; and seven pictures bought in the same year at the Bicker sale; several casts of antique statues from the Musée Napoléon of Paris; and some antiquities found chiefly in Drenthe.
Removal to the Trippenhuis.—In 1810 the name was changed from the "Royal Museum" to the "Dutch Museum," and in 1814 the collections were transferred to the Trippenhuis, where they remained until 1885.
Numerous Additions from 1825 to 1885.—In 1825 some pictures were exchanged with the Royal Museum at The Hague (Mauritshuis); and in 1828 some duplicates were sold for 23,701 florins, with which sum other pictures were purchased. In 1828 William I. made a present of some pictures he had acquired at the Brentano and Muller sales to the State Museum, as it was now called.
In 1838 many of the modern pictures were transferred to the Paviljoen Welgelegen, which became, therefore, a gallery of the works of living painters of the Netherlands;[Pg 113] and this collection was gradually enriched by gifts and purchases. In 1885 the one hundred and eighty-four pictures of this collection were sent to the Rijks.
Bequests.—The principal bequests have been as follows: Madame la Ve Balguerie Van Rijswijck, twenty-two family portraits (1823); M. L. Dupper, Wz., sixty-four superb pictures (1870); Mlle. J. E. Liotard, an enamel of great value, and fifteen pastels by the Genevese painter, J. E. Liotard, to which Mme. Liotard sent six other pastels by the same artist in 1885 (1873); Jhr. Me. J. de Witte van Citters some objects of art, curios, prints, and thirty-five family portraits (1875); Mme. J. J. van Winter Bicker, forty-four portraits of the Bicker family (1879); Jhr. J. S. H. van de Poll, fifty-two pictures of great value (1880); and a gift of Jhr. J. S. R. van de Poll, comprising thirty-five family portraits.
Two Important Collections added.—Two important collections have yet to be mentioned: the famous Van der Hoop Collection and The Collection of Contemporary Art. The former was gathered by M. Adriaan van der Hoop, head of the house of Hope & Co., and knight of several orders, who made a magnificent collection of about two hundred and twenty-four ancient and modern pictures. These he left to the city of Amsterdam in 1854. It was lodged in the Académie des Beaux Arts until removed to the Rijks in 1885. In 1880 Mme. Van der Hoop left twenty-four more pictures, which had adorned her house, to complete the gift. The Collection of Contemporary Art is the work of an association of Amsterdam art-lovers founded in 1875.
The Staircase and the Rembrandt Room.—Before ascending the stairs guarded by two lions couchant, we may stop to notice a picture by Pieter Cornelisz van Rijck (1568-16—), representing an old Dutch kitchen with all sorts of eatables, and in the background a feast representing the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus. This staircase leads to the Entrance Hall, from which we go to the Grand[Pg 114] Gallery, which leads directly into the famous Rembrandt Room, in which The Night Watch holds the place of honor. The Grand Gallery is bordered on each side by four compartments, or cabinets, hung with pictures of the seventeenth century.
A Tour through the Rooms.—To the left of the Rembrandt Room is the Carlovingian Room; and from this we pass into International Hall, where pictures of foreign masters are gathered. In the next room are assembled the oldest pictures of the Dutch School. The next room contains masters of the sixteenth century, and next to it comes Dupper Hall, devoted to the glorious period of Dutch art, the seventeenth century. Here are sixty-four paintings, many of which are masterpieces. Next comes Van der Poll Hall with fifty-two pictures, then the Hall of Anatomy Pictures, and next Portrait Hall. From this we visit the five cabinets, containing such pictures of the Old Dutch School as from their small dimensions and minute finish are best seen in small rooms. On the opposite side of the vestibule are five similar cabinets with similar pictures. Beyond these is Pavilion Hall, containing portraits, many of which are painters' portraits of themselves. Then come the Van der Hoop and two galleries of modern pictures, one of which is called Waterloo Hall, because of The Battle of Waterloo, by J. W. Pieneman, hanging there. From this we enter the Old Dutch Governors' Room, representing a typical room of the seventeenth century with allegorical ceiling, tapestries, and old furniture. From this we pass into the adjoining Gold Leather Room, where there is a picture representing a marriage party, and a collection of drinking vessels of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in one of the cupboards. The Dutch Governors' Room leads into the Rembrandt Room, which again leads us into the Grand Gallery, our starting point.
Rembrandt's Work in his Middle and Last Periods.—We have seen in The Hague the great works of Rembrandt's early period; in the Rijks we find the full flowering of his[Pg 115] genius in his middle and last periods. The Night Watch was painted in 1642; the Portrait of Elizabeth Bas, about 1645; the fragment of the Anatomy picture, representing Dr. , in 1656; The Syndics, in 1661; and The Jewish Bride, or Ruth and Boaz, about 1663. The Rijks owns two other pictures: a mythological composition and the head of his father, painted in Leyden in 1630.
Description of The Night Watch.—Let us look carefully at The Night Watch, Rembrandt's most famous picture and also his largest (11 feet by 14). It was painted in 1642, ten years after the Lesson in Anatomy, for the Kloveniers Doele (Arquebusiers Shooting Company).
The great Sortie of the Banning Cock Company, which is the more correct name for The Night Watch, represents twenty-nine life-sized civic guards issuing from their guardhouse in a great state of bustle and confusion, while the drums beat and the dog barks. The dominant color is the citron-yellow uniform of the lieutenant, wearing a blue sash, while a Titian-like red dress of a musketeer, the black velvet dress of the captain, and the varied green of the girl and the drummer, all produce a rich and harmonious effect. The background has become dark and heavy by accident or neglect, and the scutcheon on which the names are painted is scarcely to be seen.
In the middle, in front, marches the captain in a dark brown, almost black, costume, at his side Lieutenant Willem van Ruitenberg, in a yellow buffalo jerkin, both figures in the full sunlight, so that the shadow of the captain's hand is distinctly traceable on the jerkin. On the right hand of the captain are an arquebusier loading his weapon, and two children, of whom the one in front, a girl, has a dead cock hanging from her girdle (perhaps one of the prizes). On a step behind them is the flag-bearer, Jan Visser Cornelissen. The other side of the picture is pervaded with similar life and spirit, from the lieutenant to the drummer, Jan van Kamboort, at the extreme corner, who energetically beats[Pg 116] his drum. In an oval frame on a column in the background are inscribed the names of the members of the guild.
The Night Watch a Misnomer.—The remarkable chiaroscuro of the whole picture (seen to greatest advantage in the afternoon) has led to the belief that Rembrandt intended to depict a nocturnal scene; but the event represented really takes place in daylight, the lofty vaulted hall of the guild being lighted only by windows above, to the left, not visible to the spectator, and being therefore properly obscured in partial twilight. The peculiar light and the spirited action of the picture elevate this group of portraits into a most effective dramatic scene, which ever since its creation has been enthusiastically admired by all connoisseurs of art. Each guild member represented paid 100 florins for his portrait, so that, as there were originally sixteen in the group, the painter received 1,600 florins for his work. The painting was successfully cleaned by Hopman in 1889.
The picture is so deeply enveloped in shadow that it is some time before the spectator can see figures emerge, although they always retain something of a supernatural quality, derived partly from the phosphorescent gleams that here and there illuminate faces, figures, drum, , flag-pole, and lances.
The Mutilation of the Picture.—When The Night Watch was removed from the Kloveniers Doele to the small military council chamber of the on the Dam, in 1715, portions of it were cut off on the right and left and at the bottom, which has greatly interfered with its appearance. A photograph of an old drawing hangs near the picture, which shows the (supposed) original form of the composition.
The Syndics.—Some critics consider The Syndics Rembrandt's greatest achievement; and all are agreed that it is one of the finest groups of portraits ever painted. This work, finished in 1662—twenty years after The Night[Pg 117] Watch—was ordered by the Guild of Clothmakers, who wished to have a portrait group of their Syndics to hang in their chamber at the Staalhof (sample hall) in the Staalstraat in Amsterdam.
Rembrandt's Special Traits exhibited in this Picture.—Here Rembrandt's special traits are exhibited: his wonderful treatment of light, his grouping of figures, and his study of character. The five , all dressed alike in black with flat white collars and broad-brimmed-high-crowned hats, are grouped around a table verifying their accounts. The yellow oak wainscot behind them and the scarlet contribute the only color to the sombre group.
Six canvases of portraits of Syndics formerly hung in the Staalhof, the oldest of which was painted in 1559. Only two now remain: the one by Rembrandt, and another, also in the Rijks, by Aert Pietersen, painted in 1599. Upon the frame of the latter is a Dutch inscription, which, translated, reads:
Rembrandt's five Dutch gentlemen look as if they had closely followed this excellent moral advice.
Description of The Jewish Bride.—The Jewish Bride depicts two life-size figures, standing and seen to the knees, one a young woman dressed in a red gown with white sleeves and white cape. Her complexion is rosy, and she has an abundance of brown hair. She is simply covered with jewels,—a comb, earrings, collar, large chain, bracelets, rings of pearls, and sparkling gems. Her face is tranquil and radiant. Her gallant companion is about to embrace her, his face full of tenderness. He wears a long wig with[Pg 118] curls falling over his shoulders and has no beard; this was the fashion after 1660. He has a large black cap on his head, and his pourpoint, mantle, and wide and embroidered sleeves are yellow. The head of the man is very highly finished, slightly recalling in manner those in The Syndics; but his clothing is somewhat hastily done. The picture is unfinished, but in the dark fantastic background some architecture with foliage and a vase of flowers suggesting a park may be discerned to the left; also the vague form of a dog. On the right, there are some shrubs and a wall. Burger thinks this was painted in 1669, the last year of Rembrandt's life. The canvas is about five feet long and four feet high.
The Celebrated Portrait of Elizabeth Bas.—The portrait of Elizabeth Bas, the widow of Lieutenant Admiral Joachim Swartenhout, painted in 1642, is considered one of Rembrandt's most celebrated portraits. Seated in an easy chair and wearing a rich dress profusely ornamented with buttons, the stern, commanding face of the old lady looks directly at the spectator. Her marvellously painted hands are folded over a handkerchief, and she wears a cap and a fluted ruff.
Two other portraits by Rembrandt can be seen here: one, of a lady; and the other, of his father (a copy).
Multiplicity of Portraits in the Rijks.—In the Rijks Gallery portraits, either single or groups, outnumber all other branches of art. Some of these have a world-wide reputation, while others are interesting only to the special student. No less famous than Rembrandt's Elizabeth Bas is that of another old lady, Maria Voogt, Madame van der Meer, painted by Frans Hals in 1639, which hangs in the Van der Hoop Room.
"An old woman is seated in an arm-chair almost full face and of natural size. She is dressed in black velvet, with a white ruff. Her right hand holds a book with a silver clasp, the left hand rests on the arm of the chair. The tone is neutral. A superb portrait of the first order. You read above the coat-of-arms Ætatis suæ 64. Ao 1639."
Hals's Portrait of Himself and his Wife.—Hals's portrait of himself and his wife, Lysbeth Reyniers, represents the couple as life-size and seated in a rather uncomfortable position on a bank under the trees, in a garden ornamented with statues and fountains. In the distance a peacock struts; and the scene is so cheerful that the smiling faces of Hals and his wife are quite explicable. The latter's ruff is of enormous size and marvellously painted.
Hals's The Jester.—Hals always loved to render the face in action, to fix forever a rapid fleeting expression; and one of his most notable achievements is the famous Jester owned by Baron Rothschild in Paris. As few art lovers can ever have the chance of seeing this masterpiece, the admirable copy that hangs in the Rijks, said to have been made by Dirck Hals, should be carefully examined. The canvas is variously known as The Jester, The Fool, The Mandolin Player, and The Lute Player; and is said to be a portrait of the artist's pupil, Adriaen Brouwer; but whoever he is, he is a rascally, impudent fellow with a mocking, cynical smile, and belongs to the same class as Touchstone, Dogberry, Launcelot Gobbo, and other of our prized and disreputable Shakespearian acquaintances. Hals's Jester is a creation. Look at the vagabond well, first because he will soon twang the chords of his lute, break out into a song of the day, then doff his cap and beg for money. Look at the pose of his left hand and the strong, flexible thumb. He can play. Next look at the artist's work and note the broad sweeps of the brush that so simply but surely create the features and expression.
A Jolly Man is another of Hals's pictures that may be classed as portraits, a splendid piece of work. Go closely up to the picture and notice how the broad brush strokes are made.
Moreelse's The Little Princess.—A very charming portrait is that of The Little Princess by Moreelse. The child looks somewhat demurely at the spectator, with large brown eyes. Her face is round, her forehead high, and her light[Pg 120] brown hair, brushed severely from her face, is ornamented with a pink rose held in place by a jewelled band. Her large earrings are coral and pearl. A necklace and bracelets of three rows of handsome pearls adorn her neck and wrists, and a brooch containing a miniature set with jewels fastens the rosette at the point of her collar. Her dress is of dark green velvet embroidered with gold and fastened by rich girdles and chains. Marvellously indeed has the artist executed the lace and transparent lawn of which the "butterfly" ruff and dainty cuffs are made. The little right hand rests lovingly on the head of a King Charles spaniel, whose neck is adorned with bells. An old rose curtain gives a charming note of color to the background.
Moreelse's Great Success as a Portrait-painter.—Paulus Moreelse (1571-1638), a native of Utrecht and a pupil and follower of Mierevelt in Delft, became so successful as a portrait-painter that all the great ladies desired to sit to him. He visited Rome in 1604, and on his return painted for a time historical and architectural subjects. He was also a capable engraver and architect.
Other Portraits by Moreelse.—In addition to The Little Princess, we may see in this gallery a very fine portrait of Maria van Utrecht, wife of Joan van Oldenbarnevelt, at the age of sixty-three (1615); also a Portrait of Himself; one of A Woman; another of Frederick V., King of Bohemia; another of Colonel Wtenhoghe; and The Beautiful Shepherdess, dated 1630, with flowers and a veil on her head, yellow draperies, and a rake in her hand. This picture was purchased for 2,150 florins in 1817. In all probability it is a portrait.
Mierevelt, a Popular Portrait-painter.—Michael Mierevelt (1567-1641), the son of a goldsmith and pupil of Anthony van Montfoort at Utrecht, attained notoriety by his portraits of some of the princes of the House of Nassau. From that time he was never without orders; and he is supposed to have painted a greater number of portraits than any other artist of his country. Mierevelt spent most[Pg 121] of his life in Delft. The Rijks contains a great number of his works, among which are: portraits of Jacob Cats; Johan v. Oldenbarnevelt; F. Hendrik; Philips Willem, Prince of Orange; Prince Maurits; Johannes Uitenbogaert; Frederick V., Elector of the Palatinate; Lubbert Gerritz; Paulus van Beresteyn; Volckera Nicolai; Henrick Hooft, and of Aegje Hasselaer, wife of Henrick Hooft.
by Honthorst.—The student of history and lover of portraits will be attracted by the following Honthorsts: Frederick Wilhelm, Elector of Brandenburg, and his wife, Louise Henriette of Orange; William II., Prince of Orange; William II. with his wife, Princess Maria Stuart of England; ; Amalia v. Solms; and the Princes of Orange, William I., Maurits, Frederik Hendrik, William II., and William III.
Portraits by Van der Helst.—By Van der Helst there are portraits of Maria Stuart, Princess Royal of England, widow of William II., Prince of Orange; Portrait of a Warrior; and Portraits of Andries Bicker, Burgomaster of Amsterdam (1586-1652); and Gerard A. Bicker (1623-66).
Rubens's Portrait of .—Rubens's portrait of Helena Fourment shows his second wife, in a different mood and costume from the one in the Mauritshuis. Here she is represented full face, with hair curled in tufts, a satin bodice, high fan-shaped ruff spreading behind the head, throat half bare, with necklace and many jewels. He has also a portrait of Anna Maria, wife of Louis XIII. of France.
Portraits by Van Dijck.—Van Dijck is represented by a Portrait of William II., Prince of Orange, and his Betrothed, Mary Stuart, painted in 1641; a Portrait of a Man; and one of Johannes Baptist Franck, a young man of twenty-eight, with light hair, pointed beard, and moustache, and wearing a black cloak draped in graceful folds. This was once in Lucien Bonaparte's collection.
Portraits by T. de Keijser.—A few examples of Theodor[Pg 122] de Keijser, though of small dimensions, rank among the best specimens of this painter.
Change of Fashion in Portrait-painting exemplified by Maes.—Maes, more familiar by his genre, has no less than eight portraits here, besides a large corporation picture representing the Chiefs of the Corporation of Surgeons of Amsterdam, 1680-81. The great difference in style and quality between the early and late portraits of this master has led many to believe that they are the work of more than one master. The change is attributed to his visit to Antwerp; but it has been pointed out that the fashion was changing everywhere, including Amsterdam, where even Rembrandt during the closing years of his life was despised and neglected by the fashionable public. Maes, on the other hand, made concessions to the vulgar taste; and, for a quarter of a century, produced an enormous quantity of secondary or mediocre portraits, in which all trace of his master's qualities was lost.
Artists' Portraits of Themselves.—Though not so great in the line of painters' portraits of themselves as the Uffizi, the Rijks possesses a good number of men who thought they saw themselves as others saw them, or at any rate, as they wished posterity to know them. Among these are Jan Steen, Gerrit Dou, Ferdinand Bol, Honthorst, Ter Borch, and L. Bakhuysen.
A fine portrait by Bol of the famous sculptor Artus Quellin; a Male Portrait by Dou; one of Amalia v. Solms by Flinck; and the Portrait of an Architect with his Wife and Child, by Bernhart Fabritius, deserve notice.
Van der Helst, a Great Portrait-painter.—Bartholomew van der Helst (1613-70) was considered the greatest portrait-painter of his time, and received more money for his portraits than any other Dutch painter; yet, notwithstanding his industry and the money that he received, he died poor. He is thought to have been a pupil of Pickenoy at Amsterdam, where he fell under the influence of Rembrandt.[Pg 123]
Description of The Civic Guard Banquet.—Bartholomew van der Helst's great work, The Schuttersmaaltijd (Civic Guard Banquet), held June 18, 1648, in the upper hall of the Cross-bow, or St. George Company House, at the Singel, in celebration of the Peace of Münster, always fascinates.
The twenty-five figures are all portraits. At the head of the table Captain Wits is seated in a chair of black oak with a velvet cushion. He is dressed in black velvet, his breast covered with a cuirass, and on his head is a broad-brimmed black hat with white plumes. His left hand, supported on his knee, holds a magnificent silver drinking-horn ornamented with a St. George and the Dragon,—which valuable piece of silver, by the way, is on permanent exhibition with other beakers and drinking-horns of the old guilds in the Rijks. The good-humored Captain is cordially grasping the hand of Lieutenant Van Waveren, who wears a handsome pearl-gray doublet richly brocaded with gold, and lace collar and cuffs. His feet are crossed, and he wears boots of yellow leather with large tops and gold spurs. His hat is black, with dark brown plumes. Behind him, in the centre of the picture, is the standard-bearer, Jacob Banning, in easy, martial attitude, hat in hand, his right hand on his chair, his right leg on his left knee. He holds the flag of blue silk, on which the Virgin is embroidered. The banner covers his shoulder, and he looks out toward the spectator frankly and complacently. The man behind him is probably a sergeant. He wears a cuirass, yellow gloves, gray stockings, and boots with large tops and kneecaps of cloth. On his knee is a napkin, and in his hands a piece of ham, a slice of bread, and a knife. The old man behind him is thought to be William the Drummer. In one hand he holds his hat, and in the other a gold-footed wineglass filled with the most marvellously painted white wine. He wears a black satin doublet slashed with yellow silk, and a red sash. Behind him are two matchlock men seated at the end of a table. One, with a napkin on his knee, is[Pg 124] eating with his knife; the other holds a long glass of white wine, also a marvel of the painter's skill. Four musketeers, with differently shaped hats, stand behind; one holds a glass, the others have their guns on their shoulders. Between the standard-bearer and the Captain several guests are placed: one is carving a fowl; another, with his hat off and hand uplifted, is talking to his neighbor; a third is filling a cup from a silver flagon; and a fourth holds a silver plate. Behind the Captain are two other figures, one of whom is peeling an orange. Two others with are standing, and one holds a plumed hat. Between Banning and the Captain there are three others, one of whom holds a pewter pot, engraved with the name Pocock, the landlord of the Hotel Doele. At the back a maidservant is bringing in a pasty on which rests a turkey. The façades of two houses are seen through the panes of the window in the background. In the left-hand corner stands a very handsome wine-cooler.
Reynolds's Opinion of this Picture.—"The best picture in this house is painted by Van der Helst. It represents a company of trained bands, about thirty figures, whole-length, among which the Spanish Ambassador is introduced shaking hands with one of the principal figures. This is perhaps the first picture of portraits in the world, comprehending more of those qualities which make a perfect portrait than any other I have ever seen: they are correctly drawn, both head and figures, and well colored; and have great variety of action, characters, and countenances, and those so lively and truly expressing what they are about, that the spectator has nothing to wish for. Of this picture I had before heard great commendations; but it far exceeded my expectations." ...
A Portrait Group by Rembrandt, and another by Van der Helst.—"A Frieze over one of the doors in chiaroscuro by De Witt, is not only one of the best deceptions I have seen, but the boys are well drawn; the ceiling and side of the room are likewise by him, but a poor performance. The academy of painting is a part of this immense building: in it are two admirable pictures, composed entirely of portraits,—one by Rembrandt, and the other by Bartholomew van der Helst. That of Rembrandt contains six men dressed in black; one of[Pg 125] them, who has a book before him, appears to have been reading a lecture; the top of the table not seen. The heads are finely painted, but not superior to those of his neighbor. The subject of Van der Helst is the Society of Archers bestowing a premium: they appear to be investing some person with an order. The date on this is 1657; on the Rembrandt 1661."
Van der Helst's Masterpiece.—Captain Roelof Bicker's Company, painted in 1639, has been termed Van der Helst's masterpiece. It is the largest picture of its class in the gallery and contains thirty-two figures. Captain Bicker and Lieutenant Jan Blaeu have brought their men from their headquarters, and are welcoming a new ensign before the Brewery de Haen (the Cock) on the corner of the Lastaadje (Geldersche Kade and Bloomsloot), in 1639. The picture is remarkable for its wonderful display of color and the vitality that every figure possesses.
Regent, Doelen, and Corporation Pictures.—In every gallery in Holland the traveller will come across the life-size groups known as "Regent," "Doelen," and "Corporation" pictures. These are always portraits of members of shooting, charitable, and medical civic societies and guilds of merchants, and were painted at the order of these various companies to hang in their guild halls, shooting galleries (doelen), and hospitals. Rembrandt, Frans Hals, and Bartholomew van der Helst brought these pictures to their highest expression and made of them artistic compositions. Hals's great works of this class are in Haarlem; but the Rijks owns, as we have seen, the celebrated Night Watch and The Syndics, and B. Van der Helst's masterpieces, Schuttersmaaltijd and Company of Captain Roelof Bicker.
Similar Pictures by Govert Flinck.—Next in importance are the works of Govert Flinck (1615-60), a pupil and close imitator of Rembrandt, who devoted his energies to portraits and historical and religious subjects. Three "Corporation" or "Doelen" pictures by his hand hang in this gallery; also Isaac Blessing Jacob, dated 1638; and three portraits, including one of J. van den Vondel, who[Pg 126] thought so highly of Flinck that he compared him to the Greek Apelles.
His Greatest Work.—His most important "Corporation" picture depicts the same scene as Van der Helst's. This, called Arquebusiers of Amsterdam at a Banquet Celebrating the Signing of the Peace of Münster in 1648, is considered this artist's greatest work; it is particularly interesting from the fact that it contains a portrait of the painter himself standing in the doorway. This picture is in two groups: on the left, nine men are coming from the St. Jorisdoele, led by Captain Jan Huidecoper van Maarseveen, dressed in black velvet, with a blue sash; and the other group, consisting of eleven figures, is led by Lieutenant Frans van Waveren, also dressed in black velvet with a blue sash, who is congratulating the Captain.
The two other "Regent" pictures are: Four Chief Masters of the Arquebusiers' Shooting Company and The Company of Captain Bas and Lieutenant Conyn.
Bol's Pictures of this Class.—Burger, however, when looking at Ferdinand Bol's pictures of this class in the Rijks, especially The Regents of the Leprozenhuis in Amsterdam, and its companion The Lady Patronesses of the Leprozenhuis, placed the artist second to none but Rembrandt, and even the superior of B. van der Helst.
Description of the First of These.—The first picture (8 by 6 feet) represents the Regents of the establishment, among whom are the Burgomaster Hofdt and the Receiver of Amsterdam, Pieter van Uitenbogaard, Rembrandt's friend. All are dressed in black, with large hats, and are seated around a table covered with a Persian carpet. The custos is bringing before them a little leper. The figures are life-size, and "have the distinction of Van Dijck's personages," writes Burger, "and the solidity and depth of Rembrandt's."
Dujardin's Regents of the House of Correction.—Karel Dujardin's Regents of the House of Correction in Amsterdam, painted in 1669, is another remarkable work and very[Pg 127] unusual in style for this artist. The canvas is no less than 12 feet 8 inches by 7 feet 8 inches, and represents the five Regents. Of natural size, these are grouped around a table with a violet velvet cover. (Violet, it may be noted, was Karel Dujardin's favorite color.) One of the Regents, his body turned to the left and his head three-quarters, is seated in front, with his right hand on the table; he holds a paper with a coat-of-arms dated February, 1669, and signed "Medelman"; his left hand rests on his hip. Another holds out his hand to a servant, who is bringing him a paper. One only is standing. All are dressed in black, with large black hats and white neckbands. Some white marble columns in the style of G. de Lairesse are seen in the background, where a servant with her hands crossed over her waist is entering the open door and turning her head to listen to a young man. Heads, hands, faces, and costumes are all remarkably depicted.
Other Pictures of the Same Class.—Before dismissing the Corporation pictures we may mention J. van Sandrart's Captain van Swieten's Company Preparing to Escort Queen Dowager Marie de Médici, painted in 1638, and considered the artist's chief work; P. Moreelse's Amsterdam Arquebusiers; N. Elias's Banquet of Captain J. Backer's Company; B. van der Helst's Presidents of the Voetboog-doelen and Presidents of the Handboog-doelen.
One of the earliest pictures of this class is Cornelis Teunissen's Banquet of the Civic Guards of the Cross-bow Company, painted in Amsterdam in 1533. Another by the same artist, Guards of the Cloveniers-doelen, was painted in 1557. A still earlier one, Dirck Jacobsz's Civic Guards of the Cloveniers-doelen, was painted in 1529. This artist is also represented by Civic Guards of the Arquebusiers, which hangs near Dirck Barentsz's Civic Guards and Civic Guards of the Cross-bow Company. A number of Regent pictures also hang in the Hall of Anatomy Pictures, including Lessons in Anatomy, by Thomas de Keijser, , Dr. J. , and Rembrandt[Pg 128] (the latter a fragment). It is unlikely, however, that the visitor will care to linger in this lugubrious hall.
The Portrait Hall.—We now pass into the Portrait Hall, which contains two portrait collections, consisting of portraits bequeathed by the Bicker family of Amsterdam, and twenty-six pictures purchased in 1895 from the descendants of the great Admiral de Ruyter. Here we again find a number of Corporation and Regent pictures, chief among which is Rembrandt's Syndics of the Guild of Clothmakers, which has been described.
Abundance of Dutch Landscapes in the Rijks.—The Rijks is rich in landscapes of every period of Dutch art. is particularly well represented. His pictures are The Torrent, Château de Bentheim, Winter, The Forest, View of Haarlem, Landscape, Wooded Landscape, Landscape in Norway, and View of the Rhine near Wijk bij Duurstede.
Description of 's View of the Rhine near Duurstede.—Burger thought that the picture of the banks of the Rhine taken from Wijk near Duurstede deserved to be placed by the side of the superb Tempest in the Louvre; for it has "the same original grandeur of execution and the same depth of sentiment." This is almost a marine. The water occupies almost all the left foreground, where you note a sail-boat. A large boat, the masts of which you see only, has taken refuge in the little bay in the centre. On the right, upon a tongue of land that juts out and is bordered by piles, stands a windmill; behind this is a house, and on the horizon a steeple. A little to the left of the mill and far distant is a castle with turrets. On the road that leads to the mill come three peasant women in white aprons. One wears a white head-dress; the two others have yellow ones. You can also distinguish some other tiny figures by the little bay where the boat lies. The incomparable sky is gray, and the clouds are of the same hue.[Pg 129]
Burger on the Same Picture.—"Earth, water, sky, all are so beautifully combined in a harmony so strong and dominating, so simple and magnificent, that you are impressed with that strange—almost terrible—effect produced, and you can't tell why. Indeed, there is only a large mill with a round, tower-like base in the ordinary fashion of the country, and three women who are returning to the village. There is nothing to excite the imagination. Yet, notwithstanding, you are filled with an irresistible melancholy. The character and nature of the people are so strongly marked that you are taken out of yourself and transported by the force of the artist's heart and creation."
Another picture represents a mill with its wheel in the water; and on the right some wood-cutters at work. This is a strong picture, but a little sombre.
Burger on The Cascade.—"The Cascade [6 feet long by 4 feet high] seems to have been composed with various elements of Nature herself. The water bounds and foams in the foreground and over the entire canvas. Above this great torrent on the right are tall trees, beneath which are four little figures; and on the left, a clump of shrubs, in the shadows of which a flock of sheep is passing by the brook. In the background, behind the meadows, a belfry is seen on the horizon. It is very rich, very vigorous, very beautiful."
Influence of Everdingen.—The Norwegian Landscape (about five feet long) is also a large picture. Here the cascade tumbles over little rocks, and on the right are rocks, trees, a house, and one tall, isolated tree. This is cleverly painted, but the composition is not happy. The true accents of nature are lacking; for it is certain that never was in Norway, and that he devoted himself to cascades and rocks on account of his intimacy with Van Everdingen, whose bold landscapes, so different from Holland, surprised and delighted the Dutch. Everdingen had suffered shipwreck in Norway, and had been greatly taken with its bold, savage scenery. His favorite subject was a waterfall in a glen with sombre fringes of pines mingled with birch, and log huts at the base of rocks and craggy[Pg 130] slopes. The prevalence of falling water in his pictures, when others could paint only the monotonous Dutch lowlands, gained for him the name "Inventor of Cascades."
Salomon (?-1670) has two fine landscapes, The Halt, dated 1660, and The Village Inn, dated 1655.
Description of Hobbema's .—Hobbema is represented by two Water Mills and a Landscape. The picture in the Van der Hoop Collection shows a wooden mill with red-tiled roof in the centre of the picture; and behind it a background of tall trees. Hollowed-out-tree-trunks supported by boards carry the water to the mill wheel, over which it falls. The foreground is occupied with water in which ducks are swimming. In the shadows of the door of the house, a tiny figure of a man appears; and a small figure of a woman in bright red bodice, upon which the sunlight falls, is busy washing clothes in a copper. On the right, an old peasant in brown is holding by the hand a little boy who wears a red cap. The Landscape is diversified with trees and thickets. The sky is full of clouds, between which the rays of sunlight issue to gild the verdure. Delicate tones of olive and gray distinguish this beautiful picture.
Description of Hobbema's Landscape.—In the Landscape, which by some is thought superior to the , a house and barn are seen on the right; two small figures are in front of the house, a man in black, standing, and a woman in red, bending over; and there are a group of trees, a large elm, and a hedge. All this is beautifully reflected in a sheet of water in the foreground,—a reflection that seems to tremble. This picture is only one foot five inches long by one foot high.
Hobbema and his most Frequent Scenes.—Meyndert Hobbema (1638-1709), supposed to have been a pupil of Jacob , or of Jacob's brother Salomon, was long neglected, and died in penury. He is now regarded second to none but Ruisdael and his works are worth their weight in gold. His most frequent scenes are villages[Pg 131] surrounded by trees, such as are frequently met with in Guelderland, with winding pathways leading from house to house. A occasionally forms a prominent feature,—so prominent, indeed, as to give its name to the picture. Again, he paints a slightly uneven country diversified by trees in groups or rows, wheat fields, meadows, and small pools; occasionally a view of a town with gates, or canals with sluices and quays; and more rarely the ruins of an old castle or a stately residence in the far distance.
Hobbema, a Master of the Still Life of Woods and Waters.—"It is doubtful whether any one ever mastered so completely as he did the still life of woods and hedges, or mills and pools. Nor can we believe that he obtained this mastery otherwise than by constantly dwelling in the same neighborhood, say in Guelders or on the Dutch Westphalian border, where day after day he might study the branching and foliage of trees and underwood embowering cottages and mills, under every variety of light, in every shade of transparency, in all changes produced by the season. Though his landscapes are severely and moderately toned, generally in an olive key, and often attuned to a puritanical gray or russet, they surprise us, not only by the variety of their leafage, but by the finish of their detail as well as the boldness of their touch. With astonishing subtlety light is shown penetrating cloud, and illuminating—sometimes transiently, sometimes steadily—different portions of the ground, shining through leaves upon other leaves, and multiplying in an endless way the transparency of the picture. If the chance be given him he mirrors all these things in the still pool near a cottage, the reaches of a sluggish river, or the swirl of a stream that feeds a busy mill. The same spot will furnish him with several pictures. One mill gives him repeated opportunity of charming our eye. And this wonderful artist, who is only second to because he had not Ruisdael's versatility and did not extend his study equally to downs and rocky eminences or torrents and estuaries,—this is the man who lived penuriously, died poor, and left no trace in the artistic annals of his country. It has been said that Hobbema did not paint his own figures, but transferred that duty to Adriaen , Lingelbach, Barent Gael, and Abraham Storck. As to this, much is conjecture."
Hackaert's Pictures.—Jan Hackaert is perfect when he is simple and inspired by the character and style of his own country. The Rijks owns his beautiful Avenue of Ash-trees; a Clearing in the Forest; a Landscape with Cattle; and a Landscape, which is full of light and delicacy, and recalls the manner of Wijnants, although the arrangement follows the pseudo-Italians.
Hackaert's Avenue of Ash-trees.—The Avenue of Ash-trees is a charming picture, representing a park from which a hunting-party is about to set forth in the early morning. The light shines on the trunks of the trees that border the park, to the right of which is a large sheet of water. Huntsmen accompanied by dogs, one of which is barking at two swans in the pool, ladies and gentlemen on horseback, servants, and dogs, all issue forth with good wishes from the master of the château at the gate. All of these elegantly painted little figures are the work of A. .
Joos van Winghen.—Joos van Winghen (1544-1603) travelled to Rome, where he lived for four years; and, on his return, was appointed Court Painter to the Prince of Parma. He painted portraits, interiors, and Biblical subjects. A Banquet and Masquerade at Night is one of his best-known pictures.
Pieter Aertsen.—This artist has a picture called The Egg Dance, which claims attention by its life and spirit.
Jan Lijs.—Jan Lijs (d. 1629) was a pupil of Goltzius; and then visited France and Italy, where he executed large works under Caravaggio's influence. His Music Party is signed and dated 1625; and therefore belongs to his last and not his first period, as the catalogue informs us.
Pieter van Rijck.—Pieter Cornelisz van Rijck (1568-1628) painted interiors, especially kitchens, and landscape. He was a pupil of H. Jacobs Grimani, whom he accompanied to Italy; he remained there fifteen years. The big picture in the Rijks representing a kitchen interior was described in enthusiastic terms by Van Mander.[Pg 133]
Willem Duyster.—Willem Cornelisz Duyster (1599-1635) was a pupil of Pieter Codde. His picture of Backgammon Players is matched by a similar subject in St. Petersburg, and another in Dresden. Another picture in the Rijks, variously attributed to J. v. Bijlert, Jan Lijs, P. Codde, Jan Miense Molenaer and others, has by recent discoveries been finally recognized as the work of Duyster. The subject is The Marriage of Adriaen Ploos van Amstel, Lord of Oudegein and Tienhoven, to Agnes van Bijler, widow Broekhuysen. A contemporary of whom little is known, Abraham van der Hecken (fl. 1650), has a Butcher's Shop, painted with much truth and spirit.
Pieter de Bloot.—Pieter de Bloot (1600-52) was a pupil of Jordaens; he painted, however, more closely after Teniers, with fine grasp of chiaroscuro and perspective, with a soft and agreeable coloring. He copied nature so faithfully as to reproduce his subjects in all their ignobleness. Kermesses and interiors chiefly occupied his brush. The Lawyer's Office is signed and dated 1628; it is a fine specimen of the work of this artist in his prime.
Van Gaesbeeck and Van der Kuyl.—Adriaen van Gaesbeeck (?-1650), of the same period, was probably one of G. Dou's pupils. He painted genre pictures of small dimensions. His Young Man in a Study is full of the feeling found in his master's work. Another painter of genre, who is represented here by two charming pictures, is Gysbert van der Kuyl (?-1673). He was a pupil of the famous Wouter Crabeth the Younger, and like his early master, spent many years in France and Italy. Later in life he modelled himself on Honthorst and Abraham Bloemaert. His Ruse Surpasses Force and The Music Party are worth more than a passing glance.
Nicolas .—Nicolas Cornelisz Moeyaert was a forerunner of Rembrandt in his treatment of light and shade. His powers of portraiture are exemplified here in a group of Regents; and another side of his art is charmingly displayed in the Choice of a Lover.[Pg 134]
Jan van Bijlert.—Jan van Bijlert (1603-71) was a painter of genre, mythological, and historical subjects. Almost all his known pictures were ordered by foreign rulers. The Guitar Player is a small example of his work, for he usually painted his figures life-size. His style so much resembles that of G. Honthorst that his pictures have frequently been confounded with those of the latter.
Adriaen Brouwer.—Adriaen Brouwer studied with Adriaen van Ostade and under Hals; and afterwards adopted the Flemish style when he returned to Antwerp in 1631. However, he remained true to one ideal,—the striving after true action and physiognomy, and the feeling for character and expression. No finer examples of his powers in this field exist than The Village Orgy and The Peasant Combat. These both belong to the days when he was under the influence of Hals.
Cornelis Saftleven.—Cornelis Saftleven (1606-81) also took Brouwer as his model, for his usual types and favorite motives are borrowed from that master. Like Brouwer, he painted tavern interiors with men sitting at table before a pot of beer and a game of cards. Sometimes he mixes with his jovial companions a peasant who seems to have escaped from one of Teniers's kermesses; and sometimes he makes an excursion into the simple representation of rustic scenes. He is full of spirit, and groups his little characters with fine art. His compositions are full of life and movement, but his color is tame and lacks brilliance. His three pictures here are Peasants at an Inn (1642); Landscape with Peasants and Cattle (1652); and Peasants Praying: an Approaching Storm.
Jan Olis.—Jan Olis (1610-70) was a painter of genre and landscape. An interesting picture of a kitchen here is signed and dated 1645. Until recently, however, this picture was attributed to Sorgh.
Van der Oudenrogge.—Johannes van Oudenrogge (1622-53) also was a painter of this class. His picture of Peasants in a Weaving Factory is dated 1652.[Pg 135]
Egbert van der Poel.—Egbert van der Poel (1621-64) was a prolific and versatile painter of the school of Isaac and A. van der Neer. He painted pictures of all kinds,—portraits, still life, figures, landscapes, perspective, kitchen interiors, moonlit landscapes, and more particularly devoted his talents to conflagrations at night, in which he was very successful. Nothing could be more natural and animated than the large number of tiny figures he shows occupied in extinguishing the flames. His color is clear and strong. In his Ruins in the Town of Delft after the Explosion of the Powder Magazine, October 12, 1654, we have a good example of his style. He has also another picture of the Interior of a Farm, dated 1646.
Pieter J. Quast.—Pieter Jansz Quast (1606-47) was a follower in the steps of Adriaen Brouwer. His selection of subjects often verges on caricature. His characterization is well displayed in The Card Players. The figure of the young woman in this picture, however, has been entirely repainted by another hand.
Thomas 's Versatility.—Thomas Wijck (1616-77) was another artist who visited Italy and painted its landscapes, especially coast scenery, after having been taught, or at least influenced, by P. de Laer. Besides marines, he painted interiors, fairs, etc. He had the talent to depict sea-gates full of movement, figures and merchandise, in the taste of J. B. Weenix, markets, outlandish charlatans, public squares, hunts, ruins, tavern scenes, and everything that the Italians call capricci.
Chemical Laboratories his Forte.—But the subject that he treated with the greatest care and taste, and with which he was most happily successful, was that of chemical laboratories. These he arranges, illuminates, and paints in a style entirely his own. Without endowing them with the magic of A. van Ostade, or enveloping them in that master's full and warm atmosphere, gave much charm to his alchemistic interiors, and the objects he multiplied therein are full of the right kind of feeling.[Pg 136]
His Picture of The Alchemist.—Moreover, he has a sound comprehension of chiaroscuro, as may be seen here in his picture The Alchemist. He casts a shadow over the skeleton fish and stuffed crocodiles and other monstrous animals hanging from the ceiling. The principal light usually falls full upon a medley of phials, retorts, furnaces, bellows, and alembics—a whole apparatus of strange utensils that in a subject of this kind could not be regarded as mere accessories, and which are touched with spirit but also with sobriety. A second window at the end of the apartment admits a softer light that forms an echo to the principal one, and faintly illumines other objects that are toned down by the intervening atmosphere. Placed in the centre of his laboratory, wearing a red cap, 's alchemist is quite individual in not being old, bald, bent, or grizzled; on the contrary, here is a man in the prime of life and full of health, with a bright eye and an open countenance that has no such melancholy in it as is generally affected by alchemists. It is therefore reasonable to conclude that Wijck has represented himself in the person of this seeker after gold.
The Rustic Interior depicts a woman spinning, with a child and a dog near her.
Karel Slabbaert.—Karel Slabbaert (1619-54), whose Grace before Meat is in this gallery, is supposed to have been one of G. Dou's pupils. His pictures are scarce. This one shows a woman cutting bread, while two children are saying grace. He paints in warm tones; his composition is good and full of feeling.
Jan Wolfert.—Jan Baptist Wolfert (1625-87) also travelled in Italy, and was famous for his classical landscapes with animals and human figures; he also painted genre. He was very learned; and his works show fine spirit and imagination. The Bagpipe Player is dated 1646, and is therefore an early work of this artist before he was subjected to foreign influence.
Caspar Netscher.—Besides three portraits of brilliant[Pg 137] quality, Caspar Netscher has a beautiful little interior called Maternal Care, in which the influence of his master, Ter Borch, is noticeable. This picture of a mother arranging her child's hair is generally considered this artist's masterpiece. There is some story told with each of his portraits. He marvellously rendered the texture of stuffs; and his drawing is always full of grace and truth. Inferior to Ter Borch in harmony and chiaroscuro and to Metsu in touch, and to both in feeling for color, he equals them in the tasteful composition and the elegance of his figures, and surpasses them in beauty of form.
Esaias Bourse.—Esaias Bourse (1630-?) was a follower of Rembrandt. He had a roving career, making many voyages to the East Indies during sixteen years as an officer, and then working as a painter in Italy. His color is usually brownish in tone. His pictures have sometimes been confused with those of another of Rembrandt's pupils—Pieter de Hooch. An Interior with a Woman Spinning enables us to compare the merits of the two artists.
Daniel Boone.—Daniel Boone (1631-98) painted mythological subjects and familiar scenes of peasant life. In the latter, his chief aim was to provoke laughter by the representation of grotesque situations and grimaces. In this he was generally successful. Peasants Playing Cards is painted in this vein.
Pictures by Maes.—Nicholas Maes is represented in the Dupper Collection by The Spinner. The old woman is seated before her wheel in a simply furnished room, which is dimly lighted from a window on the left. Through this the fading daylight falls, illuminating the rich red of her costume and the dull colors of the . There is something inexpressibly still, solemn, and charming about the figure, the room, and the light.
Another Spinner, in the Van der Hoop Collection, is seated by her wheel. She wears a black cap, and the sleeves of her dress are red. She stands out boldly from the brightly lighted wall. The lights and the figure are[Pg 138] heavily impasted. The forehead of the old woman is in sunlight, the rest of the face is in shadow.
A very pleasing picture of his earlier period is The Dreamer, sometimes called Musing, representing a young woman who is looking out of a window. From her glance we gather that she has spied her lover, who is looking up to her casement, so gracefully decorated with apricots and peaches.
L. de Moni, an Imitator of Dou.—Louis de Moni (1698-1771) was a pupil of F. van Kessel and K. E. Biset at Breda, and later (1721-25) of Philip van Dijk at The Hague. Blanc says that this mediocre painter endeavored to resuscitate the long-extinct style of G. Dou and the elder Mieris, and to constitute himself their posthumous disciple. In this he only partially succeeded, but at least he exhibited, along with a certain delicacy of touch, great care and patience. More than once he borrowed a subject from Dou—familiar scenes, and small pictures of one or two figures. He is good in detail but poor in color. The Rijks has a small and pleasing picture of his called The Gardener.
J. .—Julius Quinckhard (1736-76) was a pupil of his father, Jan Maurits, but soon abandoned art for commerce. He was an able painter of portraits and genre nevertheless, as his Amateurs of Music (dated 1755) and Amateurs of Art (1757) attest. The figures in the latter are portraits of the painter and his friend, M. J. C. Ploos van Amstel.
Eight Pictures by Paul Potter in the Rijks.—Although there is nothing of Paul Potter's in the Rijks to compare in reputation with The Bull, or in beauty with La Vache qui se mire, there are no less than eight of his pictures there. Horses in a Meadow (1649) and Cows in a Meadow (1651), the latter having a dark sky that proclaims approaching rain, were acquired with the Van der Hoop Collection. The Shepherd's Hut, painted in 1645, is only ten inches long and six high, but is as brilliant in color as a Cuijp. The[Pg 139] composition is simple: a shepherd guarding his cows and sheep is seated near his lowly dwelling. A Little Dog is dated 1653, as is also a Landscape with Cattle.
Description of The Bear Hunt.—An extraordinary picture is The Bear Hunt, eleven feet square. No one would ever imagine who the painter was if his signature were not in enormous letters on the trunk of a tree. This gigantic work was painted two years after The Bull and represents a gentleman on horseback and one on foot, six dogs, and two bears. The bloody contest is taking place in the foreground. This work was repainted during the first half of the nineteenth century, and only two dogs remain of the original painting.
Crowe's Opinion of Orpheus Charming Animals.—The celebrated Orpheus Charming Animals, painted in 1650, is much smaller (3 by 2 feet), and is much admired by critics. Crowe says:
"For power and fulness of warm tones this is one of his most beautiful works. The left is occupied with little hills crowned with trees; the right shows a forest, and a glimpse of the sky. In the foreground is a meadow, where we see a camel, a boar, a cow, a buffalo, an ass, a ram, a goat, a sheep, and a hare. In the middle distance, at the foot of a hill, sits Orpheus playing his lyre; behind him is a dog, and in front of him a crouching lion, an elephant, a horse, a white unicorn, a wolf, and various other animals. On the right, at the border of the forest, emerges a deer."
Description of Shepherds and Flocks.—Shepherds and Flocks, painted in the next year (1651), is also a masterpiece, remarkable for the clearness of its light golden tones, especially in the sky. It represents a hilly landscape with a shepherd playing on the bagpipes, a shepherdess singing to her child, and flocks of sheep, goats, and oxen grouped variously. By the side of the shepherd is a black dog. At the Van der Pot sale, in 1808, this picture brought 10,050 florins!
Description of A. 's The Artist and his Family.—A very beautiful work by Adriaen van de Velde[Pg 140] is The Artist and his Family in the Van der Hoop Collection. It is generally considered one of the most incomparable and precious works in the gallery. This is a landscape bathed in the light of a lovely Autumn evening. The scene is probably near Haarlem, where the artist is enjoying the country with his family. Adriaen himself, about twenty-eight, is standing in the foreground, dressed very simply but elegantly in brown with a white collar, his hat under his left arm while his right rests on his huge and fashionable walking-stick. He has blue eyes, chestnut hair, a small moustache, a fine mouth, and a charming expression. On his left stands his wife, whose handsome figure is dressed in a crimson skirt, brown corsage, a white fichu, and a black cloak. She wears a little cap and long, ash-colored gloves. Her hands are crossed over her waist. Near this attractive couple is a little boy of seven dressed just like his father, leading a little spaniel by a string to a fountain. He has thrown his hat on the ground. A nurse dressed in a blue skirt, white apron, and yellow bodice is sitting at a little distance on a tree-trunk, taking care of the little daughter, who is playing with some flowers. Around them are some bushes and stumps, a kind of hedge, and an undulating and sandy ground that leads into a group of trees. On the road, in the middle distance behind Adriaen, is the carriage that has brought them here,—an open four-wheeled chariot, with red seats, drawn by two fine dappled-gray horses, whose harness a servant in gray is examining. On the right, a shepherd is lying on the grass, near a flock of sheep and a goat. In the background is a meadow with cattle, a winding stream, a house half hidden in the woods, and the distant line of the horizon. The landscape has all the delicacy of a Wijnants, but more breadth and harmony.
Crowe's Opinion of this Picture.—"This picture, signed and dated 1667, and of considerable size (4 ft. 8-1/2 in. high by 5 ft. 7 in. wide), is without question the finest work of the master. The composition of the whole is picturesque in no common[Pg 141] degree; while the union of a tenderly graduated tone in keeping with the most delicate carrying out of all the parts shows what a height of perfection the school had attained at this time."
This picture was bought in London in 1833 for 15,700 florins.
Description of The Chase.—The Chase (1669) shows a beautiful picture with a wooded background. On the left, through the gate of a park comes a huntsman with the hounds. A large chestnut palfrey with a green saddle embroidered with silver is led by a valet in red livery, and a little farther away a gray horse with trappings of scarlet velvet is led by another valet. On the right are seated two men: one in red, the other in brown, and before them a big fawn and a white dog; another large dog is sniffing the ground in the foreground on the left.
Other Works by A. .—A Landscape with Cattle shows a somewhat sombre country with clumps of trees; on the left, sheep, goats, and a little shepherd; in full light two cows, one white standing in profile, and the other black, seen from behind and foreshortened. It brought 5,650 florins in 1838. A Landscape with Ferry (1666), The Cabin (1671), and another Landscape complete the list of A. van de Velde's works in the Rijks.
An Appreciation of A. 's Pictures.—His cattle browse in velvet meadows under a beautiful sky. Animals, meadows, grassy hills, and trees—he painted them all with affection. He excels in depicting the various hides and skins of goats, sheep, horses, and asses. Animals always occupy a prominent place in Van de Velde's canvases. The air seems to circulate—light, pure air gently moving the trees or slightly waving the grass. The blue sky is filled with vaporous clouds, which are often mirrored in tranquil lakes. The chestnut with its thick foliage, the willow with its flexible branches, the oak, he paints in masses, or singly, with exquisite skill.
General Description of Aelbert Cuijp's Style.—Aelbert Cuijp (1620-91), son and pupil of Jacob Cuijp, first followed[Pg 142] his father's style, as is evidenced in the Hilly Landscape in the Rijks. Little by little he formed his own style and became thoroughly original. He excelled in depicting the humid atmosphere about Dordrecht, and on the horizon of all his landscapes generally the clock-tower of his native city is represented half veiled in golden mist emerging from the lush meadows, where placid cows repose in the bright sunshine.
His Versatility.—Though Cuijp loves to paint the calm meadows of Holland under a golden light, his elegant figures of men and animals, dashing cavaliers, boats driven by the approaching storm, and landscapes seen under the enchantment of moonlight prove how versatile he was. Moreover, he was a brilliant painter of still life, as the partridges in The Return from the Chase (in the Louvre), the Salmons Offered to Mr. de Roovere Directing the Fisheries in Dordrecht (in The Hague), and the Dead Game (in the Rotterdam Gallery) show.
His Skill in painting Living Birds.—As for painting living birds he is only equalled by Melchior d' . It is only necessary to look at his magnificent Fight between a Turkey and a Cock which hangs in the Rijks. The sky has darkened in sympathy, as it were, with this epic combat, where two splendid specimens are using their beaks and claws with the greatest fury, and the brilliant feathers fly in all directions. Splendid in color, furious of action, and beautiful in its arrangement of light and shade, it deserves its great reputation.
The Rijks owns four other pictures: Portrait of a Young Man, Shepherds with their Flocks, Cattle, and View of Dordrecht.
Description of Shepherds with their Flocks.—Shepherds with their Flocks represents an Autumn morning in a meadow, where four grazing cows and a shepherd on a mule occupy the foreground; on the left, a man on an ass and a man on foot wearing a red vest; on the right, two large trees; in the middle distance, some trees, a river, and a tower; and in the background, mountains.[Pg 143]
Description of Cattle.—This painting represents a great red ox with a white head, standing in profile on the left, occupying half the picture; a little behind is seen a black ox, full face; both stand out from the gray wall of a house. In front of the red ox three lovely pigeons are pecking. On the left, in the middle distance, a brown and a dun-colored ox are lying down. In the background, on the horizon, are trees and the spires and towers of Dordrecht. The sky is superb.
The View of Dordrecht seen from a great expanse of water, marvellously painted, is also a beautiful picture.
Jacob G. Cuijp's Scène Champêtre.—Jacob Cuijp (1594-1651?), father of Aelbert, is a painter whose pictures are very scarce. His Portrait of a Woman is dated 1651; and a very fine Scène Champêtre, which brought no less than 4,000 florins in 1849, represents, according to Immergeel, the family of the painter Cornelis Troost, a gay and large family. The grandmother, father, mother, four boys, and two girls are walking in a landscape where is also seen a chariot drawn by a handsome black horse of the Frisian race that Aelbert Cuijp so often paints.
The Cuijp Family.—The founder of this family was Gerrit Gerritsz Cuijp, originally from Venlo, who settled in Dordrecht, where in 1585 he entered the Guild of St. Luke as a painter on glass. He sent his talented son, Jacob, to study with Abraham Bloemaert. Jacob Cuijp became known as a portrait-painter, and was noted for his fine drawing, splendid coloring, and force of expression. His pictures were ranked with those of Th. de Keijser. He was no less skilful in painting animals and landscapes and family groups in the open air, undisturbed by browsing cattle.
Benjamin G. Cuijp's Style.—Benjamin Gerritsz Cuijp (1612-52), brother of Jacob and uncle of Aelbert, a painter who has attracted much attention of late years, differed entirely in taste and style from them both. He was particularly fond of historical and mythological subjects, and belonged to the Italian group of Dutch painters, who tried[Pg 144] to amalgamate the traditions of classic art with the growing realism of the day. Some of his works show the influence of the young Rembrandt. His Joseph Interpreting Dreams was acquired by the Rijks in 1883.
Jan van Goyen.—Jan van Goyen has five beautiful landscapes: River Scene, View on the Meuse and Town of Dordrecht, View of Valkenhof at Nimeguen, View of Dordrecht, and a Landscape.
Burger's Explanation of the River Scene.—"The view of a river in the Van der Hoop Collection is the last expression of his magnificent and exalted manner. A better name for this picture would be The Windmill. In a few words here is the picture: A bit of the Meuse; on the right a piece of ground covered with trees and houses, and on the summit a black mill with its sails spread to the winds, extending high upon the canvas; a stockade, against which the waves of the river break gently, the water heavy, soft, and admirable; and a little corner of the almost lost horizon, very attenuated, very firm, very pale, yet very distinct, on which rises the white sail of a boat, a flat sail without the slightest wind in the canvas, but having a value tender and perfectly exquisite. Above, a great sky filled with clouds; through the rifts and holes the shining blue that they efface, the clouds all gray and filling the space from the stockade to the top of the canvas; so that there is no light in any part of this powerful tonality, composed of dark brown and sombre slate colors. In the centre of the picture one ray of light glimmers like a smile upon the clouds. A great square grave picture, of an extreme sonority in the deepest register, and my notes add merveilleux dans l'or."
Karel Dujardin (1625-78).—Of the Portrait of a Gentleman with a Dog and a Dead Hare (1670), Burger says:
A Dead Picture of a Dead Hare.—"The deadest one in the lot is not the hare; for if the hare were alive the dog certainly could not run after him, nor could the gentleman run after his dog. The gentleman is dressed in tin-plate and is represented to the knees and of natural size, with the background of a dark sky. The hands have been praised; but they do not look as if they could move."
A Good Portrait of Gerard Reinst.—A Portrait of Gerard Reinst, a celebrated art collector of Amsterdam, who died in 1658, and who was a patron of Dujardin, is painted sympathetically. He is , with a blond wig, and is dressed in a grayish violet with chocolate tones. One hand rests on his hip; the other is marvellously represented. A landscape and sky form the background, and two greyhounds are at the gentleman's side.
A Portrait of Himself.—A portrait of himself is signed and dated 1660. This is only nine inches by six and one-half inches. It is only a bust showing a shaven face with a thread of a moustache, long black hair, brilliant eyes, and handsome mouth. He wears a grayish costume with puffed sleeves, and his right hand somewhat pretentiously holds the drapery of his cloak on his chest.
Dujardin's Other Works.—A Landscape, dated 1655, and showing a peasant winnowing corn, is noted for its silvery tone; A Trumpeter on Horseback shows a cavalier in a blue mantle and on a white horse, stopping before the door of an inn, and drinking from a glass offered by the hostess, who is standing at the door. His other works are an Italian Landscape with Animals and The Muleteers. Another Landscape in the Van der Hoop Collection was bought at the Duchesse de Berry's sale in 1837 for 4,000 florins. A copy after Karel Dujardin shows an Italian Landscape with figures, and a white horse.
Adam Pynacker.—Adam Pynacker has four landscapes: Border of a Lake in Italy, Italian Landscape, Landscape, and Pilgrimage.
Johannes Both's Pictures.—Johannes Both may be studied in The Courtyard of a Farm; two Italian Landscapes, one of which is a luminous picture of a summer morning, with mountains on the horizon on the left, trees to the right in the foreground, and many small figures on the road; and in Painters Studying from Nature. Here we see on a canvas about six feet by seven, a vast landscape of much beauty, having the Apennines for a background.[Pg 146] Beneath a tall oak tree on the right and among the rocks, Johannes Both himself is seated, with his back turned to the spectator. He has a sketch book before him and is talking to a beggar; his brother Andries is facing us; and the fourth person is talking to some one in the distance. The time is a beautiful Summer morning.
Jan Asselijn.—Jan Asselijn (1610-60) was a pupil of , but went when young to Italy, where he was called by the band of Dutch painters "Krabbetje," on account of a contraction in his fingers. His pictures are highly valued, representing, as a rule, views of Rome, enriched with figures and cattle in the style of N. Berchem. He greatly resembles Jan Both.
His Italian Landscape in the Rijks is considered a very true and important landscape, with a background of bluish mountains, and a bridge on the left. The artist has introduced Italian ruins and some muleteers. He is also represented by a Cavalry Combat, signed and dated 1646; and the Allegory on John de Witt.
Philips 's Hawking Scene.—Of the thirteen pictures by Philips Wouwermans we may pause before the well-known Hawking Scene, noted as a specimen of his delicacy and precision on a small scale. It is only one foot high by eight inches wide. The exceedingly animated composition shows about a dozen people on horseback scattered through a delicate landscape. Other figures of men, women, and children enliven the scene. This is painted in his last and most prized period.
His Horse-pond.—The Horse-pond is a lovely picture, with a silvery sky filled with luminous morning clouds, and, far away in the distance, hills, trees, and women bleaching linen. In the centre of the picture, a lovely stream in which children are bathing, and a ferry with persons and animals passing over in little boats. It is the moment when grooms and peasants are taking their horses and animals to water; and naturally, therefore, we have some beautiful groups: here a man is leading two horses, one of[Pg 147] which is kicking at a barking dog; other horses are at the edge of the stream; others have plunged in. Among the eight horses, there is one splendid white one, and there are about twenty figures, including washerwomen and children. It is impossible, even with , who is so spirituel and clever, to find a richer, more animated, more varied, and more brilliant composition.
A Landscape with Water belongs to the first period when followed Wijnants; The Camp shows horsemen and other people; a horseman turned to the right and mounted on a white and brown horse is very remarkable.
Description of The Kicking White Horse.—A celebrated canvas is The Kicking White Horse. Two mounted horses and one lead horse are under a tree in the foreground. The white horse, after having knocked over an old woman with a basket of fruit, is kicking the lead horse on the right, while a dog is snarling at his heels. On the extreme left, a richly dressed lady and gentleman are watching the affair with interest, and in the middle distance, on the right, two men are watering their horses at a ford. There is fine painting of distance in the low landscape and beautiful aërial perspective in the Summer sky with its floating clouds.
Besides landscapes, a camp, and others in his usual style, there are two pictures of fighting peasants.
His brother, Pieter (1623-82), is represented by two works: Assault on the Town of Koevorden, 1672, and The Hunting Party. His works have frequently been mistaken for Philips's, though, as may be seen in these pictures, his brush work has less freedom, and his tones are heavier than his brother's.
Jan Wijnants Unsuccessful in peopling his Scenery.—Jan Wijnants (1600-79), who is said to have been the master of Philips , has eight pictures by which his qualities may be compared with those of that painter. These are Landscape in the Dunes, with Hunters; Mountainous Country; The Farm; and Flock in a Landscape; and four landscapes in the Van der Hoop Collection. He[Pg 148] was a painter of extreme care and finish; and in painting nature he ranks among the highest. Like so many other Dutch landscape-painters, however, he was not successful with figures; and for peopling his scenery he availed himself of the assistance of his great pupil, Adriaen (as in the case of the above-mentioned Landscape in the Dunes), Lingelbach, Wouwermans, Helt , and others.
Jan Wijnants's Love of painting the Dunes.—Durand Gréville says:
"His dated pictures are of his last period, 1641-79, so that he may claim the honor of first having introduced into the landscape the neighboring dunes of Haarlem and of having been the first to love them. He faithfully translated in their blond harmony the dunes, gray or golden, with the sun, the trees with their pale foliage, and the skies with their light vaporous veilings. To his last hour he went back again and again to that inexhaustible theme in its apparent monotony. He put into the execution of the dazzle of the sand, tree-trunks, spaces of moss and clumps of grasses an astonishing sincerity, perhaps even somewhat too minute from the point of view of the impression of the whole, but, even by that, quite accessible to the taste of the majority of people. None the less he remains to-day one of the most remarkable landscape-painters of Holland."
Cornelis van Poelenburg.—Cornelis van Poelenburg has four characteristic pictures in his favorite Italian style: The Bathers, Women Coming from the Bath, Adam and Eve Expelled from Paradise, and The Bathers Spied Upon.
Winter Scenes by A. van der Neer.—The most noted painter of winter scenes and of the magic beauty of snow and ice is van der Neer (1603-77), a friend of A. Cuijp, from whom he doubtless learned much, as they frequently worked together on the same canvas. His winter pieces are generally warm in their lighting. Two fine specimens hang in this gallery, one of which is brightened by numerous figures skating and playing ball on a frozen canal. The sky is full of dark snow-clouds. He may also be studied by a Landscape.[Pg 149]
His Moonlight Scenes.—He is also famous for his beautiful towns on the canals, lighted by the moon, and his conflagrations. No other painter has depicted the broad masses of shadow, and the effects of light and tranquillity of character peculiar to a moonlight night, with so much truthfulness as Van der Neer. In his rendering of the warm glow of sunset he has been compared to his friend Cuijp.
Hendrick Averkamp.—In this connection The Skaters, by Hendrick Averkamp (1585-after 1663), should be noted. This artist was surnamed "the Mute of Kampen" because of his taciturnity. He produced many marines, landscapes, and festivals on the ice, which have, unfortunately, lost their color.
's Pictures.—Winter amusements by Esais van de Velde will afford pleasure to the student, who may also see this artist's Dutch Landscape, painted in 1623; The Surrender of Bois-le-Duc (1629-30), and an original replica of his curious satire on religious quarrels in 1618-19, Prince Maurice Fastening Bells on a Cat. Many of the architectural painters have depicted the well-known street scenes and buildings under the mantle of winter.
Three Excellent Pictures by Hendrik Dubbels.—Hendrik Dubbels (1620-76?), about whom comparatively little is known, has three pictures of great excellence: A Marine, a Calm, and a River Scene. Dubbels is supposed to have taught Bakhuysen (1631-1708), who was also a pupil of van Everdingen.
Bakhuysen, Painter of Stormy Seas.—Bakhuysen loved the ocean in its angry moods, and used to hire fishermen to take him out in their boats in the fury of storms. His works are highly valued, and some critics prefer them to the more placid pictures of Willem . The Rijks owns two views of The Ij (or Y) near Amsterdam; The Port of Amsterdam, painted in 1673; Agitated Water: Haarlemmer Meer (for which 3,500 florins was paid in[Pg 150] 1840); Stormy Sea After the Storm (1672); Embarkation of Jan de Witt on the Dutch Fleet; and Portrait of the Painter by himself.
, the Elder and the Younger.—Willem van de Velde the Elder (1611-93), who was Court Painter to Charles II. and James II. of England, is represented in the Rijks by eleven marine drawings. We have already seen fine examples of his more famous son, Willem van de Velde, at the Mauritshuis, but thirteen splendid examples hang in this gallery.
Some Notable Pictures of Naval Warfare.—The Ij (or Y) at Amsterdam, dated 1686, which formerly hung in the Schreierstoren in Amsterdam, was described by Sir Joshua Reynolds as follows:
"At the office of the Commissary of the Wharfs is one of 's most capital pictures: it is about twelve feet long; a view of the port of Amsterdam with an infinite quantity of shipping."
The Four Days' Combat is a picture of the moment when the English flag-ship, the "Prince Royal," is striking her colors in the fight with the Dutch fleet in 1666; and its companion, The Capture, shows four English men-of-war brought in as prizes in the same fight. Here the painter has represented himself in a small boat, for in such a position he actually witnessed the battle. An Agitated Sea, with various sailing-vessels, is delightful because of the warm lighting and movement of the waves; two Calms represent the painter in the mood he best loves to paint the sea. Other canvases represent the sea under squalls, light breezes, etc. The Canon Shot, with a large ship in the foreground, was bought in 1834 for 3,000 florins.
A Beautiful Picture of the Dutch Coast.—View on the Coast of Scheveningen shows the dunes on the right, above which rises the steeple of a church; on the left is the calm sea under a lovely afternoon light. Two fishing-boats are seen in the distance; a boat lies on the beach; a fisherman[Pg 151] walks by with his nets, and in the foreground are three men. The sea, the dunes, the tiny figures, and the light all combine to make a beautiful picture.
How some Painters helped each Other.—The great geniuses could do everything well—portraits, landscapes, marines, figure subjects, architecture, interiors, and still life. Some, however, excelled in one particular branch, and, sometimes against their will bowed to the popular demand for their works in that line, and devoted themselves entirely to it. This specialization was carried to great lengths; and it seems strange to us to find one master of landscape calling upon a famous figure-painter to people his landscapes à la mode, and vice versa, as happened in numberless instances. Sometimes even cattle were supplied; and, more particularly, live and dead game, flowers, fruits, household stuff, and all kinds of still life.
The Effect of this on their Reputation.—Sometimes a young artist's facility in a certain field was detrimental to high esteem. Paul Potter, for example, had to live down the reproach that he was nothing but a painter of animals,—which he very quickly did. Those who made a specialty of live animals apart from landscape are very few. With the exception of the works of , hunting scenes are rare. 's hunts are confined to the start and the return of the cavalcades.
Blanc's Description of Weenix's Style.—J. B. Weenix must have loved hunting also, for it forms one of the familiar motives in his landscapes in the Italian style. However,
"as he painted above all for the pleasure of painting, his usual custom was to group in the foreground of his composition the products of the chase rather than to represent the hunt itself. It is only in the distance that hounds and huntsmen are seen hunting the hare, while the poor animal is already dead and hanging by its foot to a branch of a tree in the foreground. A brilliant gamecock, one or two partridges, some ribbons and flowers, and a big garden vase will accompany the hare and form a charming picture for the mere delight of the eyes. Truth, finesse of local color, delightful light and shade,[Pg 152] exquisite handling, and the whole technique of art are employed to make us admire this still life. We cannot help noticing the masterly manner in which the artist has rendered the fur of his dead hare, crimsoned with blood; and how lovingly he has caressed the plumage of the neck and crop of his partridges, and reproduced the beautiful lustrous black of the cock, whose wings are splashed with white; how he has made us feel the velvet of the skin at the joining of the muscles, and accentuated the feet and claws. But the final luxury of the palette seems to have been reserved for a superb hunting-dog with delicate ears, that watches with an eye full of life over his master's gun and the glorious trophies of the chase; and distends his nostrils as if to snuff the odor of the gunpowder, the aroma of the gin, and the strong scents of the venison."
Painters of Still Life.—Usually the painters of inanimate objects take the trouble to arrange their inert models, just as a historical painter would dispose his living figures. The human figures in 's pictures were painted by Rubens, Jordaens, or Martin de Vos. His pupils were Jan Fyt, Nicasius Bernarts, and Pieter Boel. The Rijks Gallery has two splendid pictures by him: one, a dish garnished with fruits and dead game; and the other, a dead roebuck, a wild boar's head, and vegetables.
's Dead Game and Vegetables.—Beautiful in composition and color is his Dead Game and Vegetables. On a shelf are placed choice specimens of china, glass, earthenware, fruit stands, etc., and these are balanced on the left by a beautiful glass vase of roses and iris standing in a niche. A large basket of apples, peaches, melons, pears, and grapes, a hung deer, a boar's head, a lobster, a few artichokes, and a bunch of asparagus show the artist's wonderful arrangement of form and color.
Savery's Landscapes and other Pictures.—Roelandt Savery (1576-1639) was famous as a landscape-painter. The landscapes are somewhat artificial, and really are used as framework for the animal life he loved to introduce. His execution is sometimes rather heavy but with strong tones. The landscapes usually consist of grassy swards with brownish-green trees and shrubs in the foreground, while[Pg 153] the background is bathed in the bluish tints so dear to Brueghel. Animals and birds of all kinds animate Savery's pictures, as well as human figures, all drawn with much talent. The Hague has a famous picture, by this artist, of Orpheus Charming the Animals; and the Rijks owns Elijah Fed by the Ravens (1634) and A Stag Hunt in a Rocky Landscape (1626).
Adriaen van Utrecht and his Still Life.—Adriaen van Utrecht was ten years ahead of Jan Fyt in painting those pictures of live or dead animals, game, fruits, and implements of the chase that we still admire so much. Although his lights are sometimes somewhat heavy and his brush work is not so fine as Fyt's, yet he equals the latter in certainty of touch and especially in his feeling for life and nature. His pictures are very scarce: Amsterdam possesses only one, called Still Life, signed and dated 1644. On a canvas eight by ten feet the painter has grouped pies, hams, a lobster, grapes, peaches, and lemons on a table. On the left, on the floor, are some musical instruments; on a chair some golden vases; above, a parrot; on the right a great sculptured basin and a little white spaniel, and in the centre a monkey playing with some fruit from an overturned basket.
Ten Pictures by M. .—Melchior d' can be studied to great advantage in the Rijks, which owns several pictures of the first order: The Floating Feather, The Philosophical Magpie, Animals and Plants, The Country House, The Duck Pond, The Frightened Hen, The Menagerie, Dead Game, and two of birds.
's Father and Grandfather.—The great Hondecoeter was a pupil of his father, Gijsbert d' Hondecoeter (1604-53), the pupil of his father Gillis d' Hondecoeter (1583-1638), a painter of portraits and landscapes in the manner of R. Savery and David Vinck Boons. Gijsbert followed his father's style of landscapes; but he attained a great reputation for his birds, and particularly his ducks. Both styles may be seen in the Rijks: A Landscape with[Pg 154] Figures, dated 1652, and Aquatic Birds, dated 1651. In the duck pond, where ducks and pigeons are sporting, is also a feather floating on the water, for the artist was fond of repeating this little touch.
The Philosophical Magpie regards from a tree-trunk a dead heron, a goose, and ducks; its pendant shows a living peacock near a large vase and a dead hare and pheasant. Dead Game, a small picture, exhibits a dead partridge and a string of four little birds, and the others represent parrots and other exotic birds, flowers, and plants, and some monkeys. The Frightened Hen is defending her chickens against the attack of a pea-hen. The most famous of all, however, is The Floating Feather.
Burger's Criticism of The Floating Feather.—"To make a pilgrimage to Amsterdam without admiring The Floating Feather, would be committing the crime of lèse-peinture. has painted this most carefully and in his happiest vein. In a park luxuriantly decorated with beautiful trees and springing fountains, he has grouped strange and rare birds with domestic fowls. On the left in the foreground may be recognized a pelican, a crane, a flamingo, and a cassowary; on the right are ducks and geese of various breeds; a magpie cleaves the air with rapid wings; and, lastly, a light feather floats on the surface of a quiet pool, and this detail has given the picture its name."
Dr. Bredius says:
"The pelican on the left is particularly remarkable; but the ducks do no less credit to this artist, who has expressed with such penetration the life of the feathered world, the movements of these creatures, I should indeed say their expression; and he has rendered their physiognomy and character with such profound truth that no other artist can approach in this respect."
The Philosophical Magpie, the Country House, and, better still, the modest frame in which the artist, putting aside for a moment his usual style, has brought together lizards, butterflies, and sparrows amid shrubs and large-leaved plants, are s of the most admirable[Pg 155] quality, whether in frankness of detail, or for the mastery of execution and accent of color.
Asselijn's Allegorical Bird Picture.—The curious Allegory of the Vigilance of the Grand Pensionary John de Witt by Jan Asselijn is a bird picture. Here a great white swan is defending her nest against the attack of a black dog swimming rapidly toward it. Beneath the swan is the Dutch legend The Grand Pensionary; on the eggs, Holland; and under the dog, The Enemy of the State (intended for England). The feather lost by the bird is beautifully painted, and has challenged comparison with 's Floating Feather.
Eckhout.—G. van der Eckhout (1621-74) has a Huntsman with Two Greyhounds, painted about 1670. The huntsman, wearing a red vest, is seated on the grayish earth. The general tone of the picture is chocolate or chestnut.
Jan Vonck.—Jan Vonck (1630-?), another painter who devoted himself principally to still life, especially dead birds, sometimes was responsible for the birds in 's pictures. His brush work is that of a master; his color is strong and agreeable with a transparent touch. The Rijks owns one example, Dead Birds.
Jan Weenix.—Jan Weenix (1640-1719) was the pupil of his celebrated father during the latter's lifetime; and later he studied still life under his uncle G. , Elias Vonck (brother of Jan), and Matthys Bloem. He surpassed his father in his pictures of dead game, one of which hangs in this gallery. His animals—swans, hares, and various birds, arranged with flowers and fruits around sumptuous antique vases—are not so strong in character as those in Hondecoeter's works; but they are very true to nature and have the great charm of harmony and picturesqueness. They richly deserve their original popularity which their wonderful finish and execution have preserved till the present day.
Coninck a Good Animal-painter.—David de Coninck (1636-87), who had many affinities with Fyt, also painted[Pg 156] landscapes, animals, and birds. He received the nickname Ramelaer from his fondness for painting rabbits especially. He was quite at home in hunting scenes, two of which are in the Rijks,—The Bear Hunt and The Stag Hunt.
Another painter of this period, Pieter Jan Ruijven (1651-1716), has a fine picture of a cock and hens.
Bosch, an Early Painter of Flowers.—One of the early Dutch painters of flowers was L. J. van den Bosch (?-1517), who painted with a transparent color and a light touch. He treated fruits, flowers, and insects with sympathy and truth. He often represented flowers in vases; his insects are so minute that they have to be examined with a magnifying glass.
Delff's Poultry Seller.—Pictures of this school, however, do not abound in the Dutch galleries till we come to the artists who lived a century later. The first of these who appears in the Rijks is Cornelis Jacobsz Delff (1571-1643), a pupil of Cornelis Cornelisz. Delff was renowned for his pictures of still life. He is represented in the Rijks by The Poultry Seller.
Other Still-life Painters in this Gallery.—Other still-life painters born in the sixteenth century, who are represented in this gallery, are Ambrosius Bosschaert (1570-?), Pieter Noort (1592-1650), Pieter Symonsz Potter (1597-1652), Adriaen van Utrecht (1599-1652), and Hans Boulengier (1600-45). Bosschaert has a picture, Flowers, dated 1619. He had a son of the same name who also painted flowers.
Of Pieter Noort little is known beyond the fact that he painted still life, and especially Fish, as in the two pictures here signed P. van Noort.
P. S. Potter painted on glass and was the manager of a gilded leather establishment at Amsterdam. His model was Hals. Besides portraits and landscapes, his preference was for still life. The Straw Cutter and Still Life (signed and dated 1646) are worthy of attention.
Two Pictures by Heem of Utrecht.—Jan Davidsz de Heem (1606-84) of Utrecht was a son of David de Heem,[Pg 157] so famous for his déjeuners spread with game, oysters, lobsters, fruits, wine, china, glass, and silver. Jan inherited his father's tastes, and much of his talent, as is evidenced by two pictures in the Rijks. One shows flowers and fruits of natural size; and the other represents a table on which are a cup, a glass, and a vase of wrought silver loaded with fruits.
Gréville on his Style.—"At Antwerp, under Seghers, he enriched his palette and learned the art of composing a delicious harmony by setting flowers and fruits and glass and silver vases on an Oriental . To the most minute exactitude and almost microscopic details, he added the most brilliant coloring and an unfailing taste in the arrangement of his flowers and still life."
Pieter de Ring.—A picture of a table covered with blue velvet and spread with lobsters, oysters, bread, fruit, etc., is typical of the work of Pieter de Ring (1615-60), one of De Heem's pupils, a Fleming, who spent his whole life in Holland, and was noted for his picturesque arrangement and fine execution.
Hans Boulengier has a flower piece signed 1625. He painted still life, genre, and sometimes "fantasmagories." Little is known about him.
Still-life Painters in the Latter Half of the Seventeenth Century.—A generation later this school was in full blossom. Pictures of fruits, flowers, and dead game, by artists who flourished in the second half of the seventeenth century, are fairly plentiful.
Abraham Hendricksz van Beyeren (1620-74) painted with fine composition and strong color breakfast pictures in the style of David de Heem, and delighted in portraying fish as in the Rijks example.
Cornelis Brisé (1622-7-) painted portraits; this gallery possesses one of his pictures of flowers, signed C. Brisé, 1665. On the wall beside it hangs another flower piece by the brush of Elias van Broeck (?-1708).
De Snuffelaer.— van Schrieck (1619-78) was nicknamed De Snuffelaer (the ferreter), by the Dutch[Pg 158] art colony in Rome, because of his frequent country walks to discover new plants, insects, and reptiles as models for his compositions. He painted with wonderful finish, good drawing, and truth to nature, as may be seen in his Insects, Lizards, etc., here signed O. M. V. S.
Jacob Marrel (1614-81) has a flower piece signed and dated 1634. Among other masters in Utrecht, Frankfort, Brussels, and Antwerp, he studied with J. D. de Heem.
Kalff, a Good Painter and a Brilliant Talker.—Willem Kalff (1622-93) was the pupil of Henry Pot, and as soon as he left the master he abandoned his manner, choosing for his subjects vegetables, fruits, kitchen utensils, and sometimes handsome vases. Houbraken says he spent whole days before a lemon, a beautiful orange, and the agate or mother-of-pearl handle of a dessert-knife; and the vessels of Holland never brought home a single shell, the strange form and splendid colors of which he did not copy.
Unlike many of the Dutch painters of his day, who spent most of their time in the tavern, Kalff was a man of charming and distinguished manner and a brilliant talker, and he possessed a witty and cultivated mind. His friends would spend the entire night listening to his conversation, and when he died from an accidental fall from the bridge at Bantem, the poet Willem van der Hoeven wrote a eulogy in which he said that Willem Kalff "knew how to paint golden vases and silver cups and all the treasures of opulence, but no treasures could outweigh his merit, for he had no equal in his line."
His Favorite Subjects.—The kitchen with Kalff became a heroic subject, and over it he threw the most subtle effects of chiaroscuro, throwing a gleam of light upon a well, a scoured saucepan, or a bunch of vegetables. Who is the hero or heroine of the scene? A fine cauldron or saucepan or kettle shining with a thousand reflected lights that come through a window of thick glass or yellow paper. An old cask stands by, interesting us with all its details of decay,—its swollen staves, its rusted hoops, and the insects that[Pg 159] lodge in the rotten wood. A big nail, an earthen pot, a skimmer, a few onions with their shining skins, a broom, a jug of water, and a towel lying on a barrel,—with such simple things he makes a beautiful picture. Perhaps in the background the cook and her dog are discerned. Kalff never allows figures to become too prominent, for he wishes his still life to catch and hold the spectator's interest.
The picture by this artist in the Rijks has for its subject a silver vase, of elegant form, and a porcelain dish filled with oranges and lemons. The objects are tastefully arranged and beautifully painted.
Some other Painters of Animals and Fruits.—Anthonie Leemans (1630-8-) has also a characteristic picture of still life; he was fond of painting dead birds. Another picture of dead birds is by Willem G. Fergusson (1632-9-), a Scotchman, who hired a house at The Hague in 1660, and another in 1668; he was living in Amsterdam in 1681. The picture is dated 1662. A Garland of Fruits is signed J. Borman, who flourished in Leyden in 1657 and 1658; but about him little is known. Another notable canvas belonging to this school is Animals, Insects, and Fruits, by Anthony van Borssom (1629-77), who was probably a pupil, and certainly an admirer of Rembrandt; his tones are somewhat sombre, but his drawing is vigorous and full of interest. R. van der Burgh (fl. 1680) has a lifelike painting of Sea Fish; and Karel Batist is a little-known flower-painter, who worked in Amsterdam in 1659; his canvas is unusually large for this genre, though the student will have noticed that most of the artists of this period liked to paint their flowers and fruits natural size.
Pieter Claes van Haerlem (d. 1660) has a small picture of still life which bears the false signature, Johan de Heem, 1640; and Jan van Kessel (1626-79) has a much smaller one of Fruits and Insects. Another picture by the latter, representing a woman seated at a table with fruits, etc., on it, is falsely attributed to Anna Maria van Schurman (1607-78), who was called "the marvel of her century." Her[Pg 160] great reputation probably prompted some dealer to attempt the fraud. None of the principal galleries of Europe possesses any examples of her pictures, insects, etc., so celebrated during her lifetime.
Another picture of Flowers, dated 1667, is by Nicolaes Lachtropius, who was a famous Dutch painter of coach panels during the second half of the seventeenth century. A contemporary German painter, Ottomar Elliger (1633-79), also has a flower piece, dated 1674.
Mignon, a First-class Flower-painter.—Abraham Mignon (1640-79) was a pupil of J. D. de Heem. He had as pupils in the same style, two daughters and M. S. Mérian. He belongs to the first rank of flower-painters. Péries says:
"The qualities which distinguish the works of Mignon are freshness, delicacy of tone, finish, the splendor of the reflections, and the perfect imitation of nature. His flowers are selected with taste and he perfectly well understands the art of giving them their full value. He equally excels in painting insects, flies, and butterflies, and the dewdrops trembling on the leaves; the velvety skin of his fruits invites the touch of the fingers. His only fault is perhaps a dryness in his draughtsmanship."
Some of his Pictures.—His masterpiece, Mignon au Chat, showing a Persian cat upsetting a vase of flowers on a marble table, is in the Rijks. Another picture here is Fruits, representing a dish with grapes and pomegranates, besides oysters and white bread. In composition, warmth, harmony, and truth to nature this belongs to his best work. Inferior to this is Flowers, where flowers appear in a vase, and a cat and a mouse-trap are also represented. Still Life and Fruits shows a marble table, on which are fruits and flowers, a boiled lobster and an antique vase, a picture that approaches his master Jan de Heem in harmony and softness of touch.
How Jan became a Great Fruit and Flower painter.—Jan van Huysum was the son of a flower-painter who had turned his house into a sort of factory where[Pg 161] everything contributing to the decoration of rooms and gardens could be found. Jan, who was placed at the head of the enterprise, grew tired of the business side and devoted himself to art, especially the works of Mignon, Verelst, and David de Heem. He also closely studied nature, and seeing a whole world unfold itself in the study of flowers alone, he explored the furthest recesses of his domain; birds, butterflies, beetles, wasps, bees,—he forgot none of the satellites of the flowers. Being also surrounded with examples of all the exterior and interior art decorations of the day, he was able to copy the marble consoles that served as supports for his baskets, the earthenware bowls and vases in which he kept his bouquets fresh, and the bas-reliefs that set off the flowers in those vases, and the mascarons and chimæras that formed the handles. It may be said of him as a French critic said of Baptiste: "His beautiful flowers lacked only the perfume that they seemed to exhale." Reynolds must also have been thinking of Huysum's effects when he said that Rubens's pictures were "bouquets of colors." Huysum's fruits have received some criticism: some critics hold that he has given them the look of wax and the polish of ivory. In this branch of his art, he perhaps falls short of David de Heem. His peaches are too firm, his plums not provocative of thirst, and his grapes leave a little more ripeness, gold, and sun to be desired. He succeeded better with red gooseberries and the cleft pomegranates with their pulp and seeds sparkling like rubies and delightful to the eye. The Rijks Museum has five pictures by this master in which his qualities as a fruit and flower painter are fully displayed.
His Landscapes.—A small landscape is also here. Formerly 's landscapes were as highly prized and as costly as his flower pieces. However, his works in this field are echoes merely of Guaspre, Glauber, Poussin, and Claude; he lived in an age when the Dutch again bowed down before foreign idols. The familiar Dutch pastures were now peopled with nymphs and demigods.[Pg 162]
Conrad Roepel.—Conrad Roepel (1678-1748) was famous for his flowers, fruits, festoons, garlands, birds, and insects. He painted with much truth and good color. He studied under C. Netscher; but later he took for his model. The Rijks has a picture of Flowers and another of Fruits by him, both signed and dated 1721.
The Van Os Family.—Jan van Os (1744-1808) was greatly admired in his day as a painter of marines, landscapes, and more particularly flowers and fruits. There is one of the latter here. His son and pupil, Georgius Jacobus Johannes (1782-1861), was equally famous as a painter of flowers and game. He is represented here by four pictures, one of which is a landscape, the animals of which are painted by his brother (1776-1839). The latter painted chiefly military and hunting scenes, landscapes, and animals. Nine canvases exhibit his qualities in this gallery. His sister Marie Margrita van Os (1780-1862) was, like her brothers, a pupil of Jan van Os; she has a Still Life in the Rijks.
Eight of Gerrit Dou's Pictures.—Gerrit Dou is represented by eight works including the famous Evening School which in 1808 was sold for 17,500 florins. The others are his own Portrait; the Portrait of a Man, dated 1646; Portraits of a Gentleman and his Wife, in a landscape painted by Berchem; La Curieuse, a small oval picture of a girl with a lamp in her hand; a Hermit in Prayer in a Grotto; a Hermit, dated 1664; and A Fisherwoman.
Description of The Evening School.—The Evening School is the most important of all Dou's candle-light pictures. The composition is very simple. A looped curtain is lifted to reveal a room poorly furnished with benches and tables. The schoolmaster, who sits at a table with his arm on a small desk, is hearing a girl spell, and shaking his finger at a boy who is walking away. This group is lighted by a candle that stands on the table near an hour-glass. In the background a small group is seen at a table also lighted by a candle. On the left of the teacher a boy is making[Pg 163] calculations on a slate, while a girl by his side looks on, holding a lighted candle in her hand. A fourth light—from a large lantern on the floor—adds another artificial light for the painter to treat. This great work is painted on a panel 1 foot 8 inches high by 1 foot 3 inches long.
The Fisherman's Wife.—The Fisherman's Wife, painted in 1653, shows an old woman in a black gown with yellow sleeves and a man's round hat. She is holding a reel.
Description of The Hermit.—The Hermit is one of the most marvellously finished works of the master in his most minute style. You can count the wrinkles and hairs of the old white-bearded man who holds a crucifix in his hands. An open book, an hour-glass, a can, and a basket (for bread and wine or water) and other accessories are painted in miniature; on the right is seen the trunk of a tree, and in the far distance are some arcades, probably cloisters. The tiny panel is only ten by eight inches.
Schalcken, Imitator of Dou and Rembrandt.—Godfried Schalcken was the pupil of , and of Dou, whom he skilfully imitated. The sight of some of Rembrandt's pictures next led him to devote himself to the effects of light, artificial light especially: the majority of his pictures therefore are illuminated by lamp or candle light. His most remarkable work is at Amsterdam. It is called Young Girl Lighting a Lantern. At the Revolution, he accompanied William III. to England, and painted portraits of that king, one of which, signed with the artist's name and dated 1699, is in The Hague Gallery. Among his best pictures is the Boy Eating an Egg, in the Rijks Museum.
His Portrait of William III.—The half-length portrait of William III. in the same gallery, in which there is a remarkable play of light, shows that this master who delighted in the composition of small subjects borrowed from common life, was equally capable of painting pictures of natural size.
Schalcken's chief merit consists in the neatness of his finishing and the perfect intelligence of his chiaroscuro. His touch is mellow, but too fused, and his color warm and golden.[Pg 164]
His Other Pictures.—The other pictures here are A Young Man Smoking; Difference in Taste, in which two men are talking, while another lights his pipe; and two Female Portraits, one of an ambassador's daughter, and the other her companion.
, Another Imitator of Dou.—Pieter Cornelisz van Slingelandt (1640-91) is another pupil and a close imitator of Dou; and almost surpasses him in laborious execution. He reached the limits of what can be done by a painter in oils. All his work seems to have been done under the impression that imitation is the sole end of art.
His Skill in Delicately Minute Painting.—Naturally he excelled in still-life painting, in which nothing was too minute for him to endeavor to reproduce on his canvas. His brush indicates the weft of the most delicate tissues; the coloring matter, almost microscopically divided, gives a tone to every stitch in a linen hood or cap, or a knitted stocking. On a panel of the smallest size you can sometimes distinguish the shadow, half tone, and high light of each of the pearls in a necklace; sometimes also a cat's whiskers, and even the hairs on the skin of a mouse. Sometimes a piece of lace is rendered with such labor that it took more time to paint than to make. The consequence is that his pictures are very scarce: not fifty are known.
His Favorite Subjects.—Though as a rule he preferred the luxury and elegance of high life, with its marbles and richly carved furniture, upholstery and tapestry, jewels and laces, silks and satins, velvets and furs, he also sometimes chose models of humble estate. The Rehearsal is a masterpiece in this class. Here a man is playing a violin while a boy is singing and a woman preparing dinner. The other example of his art is quite in contrast with the above. It is called The Rich Man, and on it has lavished all the resources of his brush. Blanc says:
"He painted the merchant at his counter and the lacemaker at her distaff, the housekeeper purchasing partridges or getting dinner ready, and the woman of the people occupied in sewing[Pg 165] beside the cradle in which her infant is sleeping. From the richly furnished salon descended to the scullery and took pleasure in looking at the rows of shining pots and pans, and other kitchen utensils. He observed the correct tone of the servant's apron as well as that of the silken skirt he had painted in her mistress's portrait. He devoted as much attention to imitating the polish of a brass vase or the rough varnish of an earthenware pot, as to expressing the transparency of a Bohemian glass. Cats and mice were also honored with his precious painting, as well as parrots and spaniels. But what he rendered with most love and with unequalled truth was the musical instrument. His violins are light, and sonorous; his violoncellos provoke the virtuoso and enchant the ear almost as much as the eye. One would say that nothing escaped his observation, nothing of what constituted private and family life, that which he himself lived in obscurity, the simplicity and joys of which he painted with so much application, finish, and patience."
Adriaen de Vois.—Arie (or Adriaen) de Vois (about 1630-80) studied first under Nicholas Knupfer in Utrecht, next with Abraham van den Tempel, and lastly with Pieter van , whose highly finished style he followed with great success. He painted charming scenes of familiar life, lovely portraits, interiors, and even landscapes, in which he introduced, in the style of Poelenburg, tiny nude figures. The Dutch collectors have always prized them for the delicacy of their color and touch and vivacity.
Description of The Lady with a Parrot.—In his Lady with a Parrot, the lady is rather French in type, and dressed in the most fashionable style of the period. Her earrings are wonderfully painted and perhaps even more realistic are the fruits in the basket which she holds on her knee, and from which she offers her parrot a tempting treat. Every detail of this picture is perfect in treatment—the dress, the hair, the face, the jewels, the still life, and the brilliant feathers of the bird.
His Other Pictures in the Rijks.—In addition to this beautiful picture the Rijks also owns The Fisherman Smoking, a little oval panel; A Violin Player, who holds a[Pg 166] wineglass; and The Fish-Vender, a jolly old fisherman with a glass of beer in his hand.
Seven Pictures by Brekelenkam.—Quieringh Gerritsz van Brekelenkam (?-1668) was a pupil of Gerrit Dou; and his own manner was a mixture of Dou and Rembrandt. He settled in Leyden in 1648. His works, representing, as a rule, interiors, with figures noted for the natural expression of their heads, are highly esteemed. His touch is light and spirited, and he understands the art of chiaroscuro. The Rijks owns seven pictures: Two Interiors, The Fireside (1664), The Mouse Trap (1660), Confidences (1661), Reading, and A Mother and Child. The latter is a little oval panel, in which a woman in a red skirt and black jacket is giving some porridge to her child.
One of the Interiors, representing A Tailor's Shop, is one of his best works. The tailor, with long hair and fur cap, is seated at a work-table on the right; he is talking to a woman who is carrying a tin bucket. On the right, near the window, you see the back of a young workman. In the background hangs a picture, and there are some clothes on a board. The work is somewhat in the style of Pieter de Hooch.
His Poverty of Imagination.—Brekelenkam has been accused of poverty of imagination because of the paucity of figures in his compositions; and yet some of the most beautiful and famous pictures of the Little Masters consist of single figures, such as a woman sitting spinning. One critic complains:
"Notwithstanding his ability (his method is preferable to Dou's; his painting is more unctuous, warmer, and freer, being finely accented with lifelike touches on the various utensils or accessories of his interiors), it seems that this painter was not endowed with a very fertile imagination. He has a very slight taste for difficult subjects, and carefully avoids complicated compositions; most often, indeed, a single personage suffices him for a picture. A smoker lighting his pipe, an old woman sitting in the chimney corner, a philosopher turning over the leaves of a folio volume, the interior of a farm, or a kitchen,—these[Pg 167] are Brekelenkam's ordinary motives. But feeling and intellect give relief to these vulgar themes, and render the delicate works of this too-little-known painter precious to art-lovers."
The student will be able to judge from the pictures in the Rijks whether or no the artist deserves more or less than this half-hearted praise.
Ter Borch's Famous Paternal Advice.—Ter Borch, as we have seen by The Message or Despatch in the Mauritshuis, was fond of painting pictures with some slight dramatic connection. Here we find the very famous Paternal Advice, also called The Paternal Reproof, but better known as The Satin Dress (Robe de Satin).
A young lady is standing with her back to the spectator. She wears a black cape and a white satin dress, and her hair is blond. The , bed curtains, and other hangings are red. On the table at the left are a silver candlestick, two combs, and a pink string, and a mirror or perhaps a picture in a frame. On the right is seated a rather young man with long hair, and richly and somewhat extravagantly dressed in lilac and gray. In one hand he holds a large hat trimmed with three immense blue and lemon-colored plumes. His sword is by his side, and behind him in the shadows stands his greyhound. His left hand is raised with some gesture, probably of admiration, as his face is smiling. The old woman at his side is interested solely in her glass, through which half of her face is seen as she is drinking.
It was Goethe who bestowed the name Paternal Advice upon this picture, the story of which is not yet known; but although critics have accepted fatherly admonition as the theme, the relative ages of the characters do not justify the theory.
Blanc's Critique of the Picture.—Blanc is one who does not question this. He exclaims:
"Truly this dress is perfect: it is so close to the eye and within reach of the hand that it engrosses the entire attention[Pg 168] of the spectator. One would say that the young girl, so gently reprimanded by her father, has come there merely for the sake of showing her dress; and, indeed, the painter has dwelt on this detail with the greatest affection, and, moreover, has hidden the face of the young girl, and shown us only the back of her head with its blond coil and the escaping tresses, in which are mingled some black velvet, which relieves the ash-colored tone of the hair. What a singular thing! A frightful sacrifice of a woman's head to a robe of satin, the unheard-of triumph of an accessory—a charming infraction against all the principles of art—we might call it a colossal fault—but a privilege only allowed to great artists. The painter has by this aroused our curiosity regarding the face of the young girl, who has turned away her head, and so we have to imagine her blushing cheeks and her lowered eyelids. As for the father, he is remonstrating with her so tenderly, with such a gentle gesture and so paternal a manner that we are not disturbed by it, and can therefore fix our glance on the magnificent satin dress, the folds of which are so beautifully broken by the light, and in which all the interest of the picture is concentrated. But what an inexplicable attitude is that of the mother, who is slowly drinking a glass of fine wine, while her husband lectures their daughter."
Other Pictures by Ter Borch in the Rijks.—The Rijks owns a Portrait of Ter Borch, painted by himself, and one of his wife, Geertruida Matthyssen; a copy of The Peace of Münster (original in the National Gallery), and a copy of his Boy and a Dog, also known as The Scholar.
Description of The Scholar.—The latter shows a table covered with an old gray carpet, on which is a copy-book and an inkstand. The scholar, who instead of writing his exercise is busy catching fleas on the dog, which he holds between his knees, wears a violet coat and blue stockings, and his gray hat lies on a little wooden bench before him. The whole is of a neutral color, but very clear.
Seven Pictures by Adriaen van Ostade.—Adriaen van Ostade has seven pictures on these walls: An Artist's Studio, Travellers' Halt (1671), The Charlatan (1648), The Baker, The Merry Peasant, The Intimate Company (1642), Confidences (1642).[Pg 169]
His Artist's Studio.—An Artist's Studio, of which there is a replica dated 1666 in the Dresden Gallery, shows a painter sitting at an easel with his back to the spectator; he wears a violet coat and a red cap. The other features of the composition are a black dog asleep, an assistant grinding colors in a corner, and a pupil preparing a palette. The artist is supposed to be Ostade himself in both instances; but for some reason his face is half hidden. The play of light and shadow in the apartment is noticeably Rembrandtesque in character.
A Tavern Interior.—There are two tavern interiors here. In one (dated 1661) five peasants are grouped in the foreground. Before a large chimney stands a man in a blue vest and gray hat, holding a mug in his hand; opposite is a man in a blue mantle and a white hat, who is filling his pipe; in the chimney corner an old man is dreaming; and to his right an old woman is listening to what a man in a furred cap, with a pipe in his hand, is saying to the man before the fire. On the extreme right a little girl, on a wooden stool before a rustic table, is eating her soup and amusing herself with a little black-and-white dog. In the background, near the open window, five men are grouped around a table, smoking, drinking, and talking. The lights on the separate groups from the back and side windows are ably managed.
Ostade's Best Period.—The Charlatan, dated 1648, belongs to the master's best period, when he painted such gems as The Barn, The Family, and The Father of the Family.
The Intimate Company, signed 1642, is in the Van der Hoop Collection, as is also a rustic interior, Société de campagnards, signed 1661. The latter has passed through the Lormier, Choiseul, Du Barry, Tolozon, and Duchesse de Berry collections.
Some of his Pupils.—Among Adriaen's many pupils may be mentioned Cornelis Dusart, Cornelis Bega, Michiel van Musscher, R. Brakenburgh, and Jan de Groot. They[Pg 170] all followed his style more or less closely. When Jan Steen visited Haarlem he also fell under his influence.
Isaak van Ostade.—Isaak van Ostade (1621-49) has two rustic inns, one signed and dated 1643, that are typical of his style. In his early work he imitated his brother and teacher with some success, both in subject and treatment, especially wayside hostelries. His pictures, however, are browner in tone and harder in execution than Adriaen's. In one picture here we see two travellers with a white horse halting in front of an inn. The composition is delightful and full of nature and spirit.
C. Dusart, Better in some Respects than his Master.—Cornelis Dusart (1660-1704) adopted his master's (Ostade) style without servile imitation. He was a minute observer of details and had an astonishing memory that enabled him to use them to the best advantage in his interiors. His choice and treatment of scenes were rather more distinguished and less vulgar than some of his master's. His later pictures are inferior to his early ones: they lack spontaneity of conception, and that freshness and simplicity of impression that mark so many of his works. Five striking pictures worthily represent his abilities,—Wandering Musicians, The Fish Market (1683), The Village Kermesse, A Village Inn, and Maternal Happiness.
Cornelis Bega.—Cornelis Bega (1620-64), another pupil of Adriaen van Ostade, copied and improved upon him. A Concert of Peasants is full of color, light, movement, life, and gayety, with music, singing, and dancing. It is warmer in color than most of his works.
The Grace before the Meal (1663) shows a young woman with folded hands seated at the table, and on the other side an old man. On the window-sill is a flower-pot; in front, on the floor, a foot-warmer. This is a good picture, but a little too red in tone, as often happens with Bega.
M. van Musscher's Lack of Originality.—Michiel van Musscher (1645-1705) was completely lacking in individuality: he simply mirrored his successive masters, Martin[Pg 171] Zaagmorlen, Abraham van den Tempel, Gabriel Metsu, and Adriaen van Ostade. Not only that, but he sometimes painted also in the style of Jan Steen, and even imitated the marvellous chiaroscuro of Pieter de Hooch. Sometimes also in subject and treatment his work resembles that of Netscher and Albert Cuijp. He has five portraits here, but is not represented by an example of his many interiors, feasts, or scenes of peasant or genteel life.
Brakenburgh, a Clever Colorist.—Richard Brakenburgh (1650-1702), a pupil of A. van Ostade, Hendrick Mommers, and probably Jan Steen, whom he imitated, lived in Haarlem. He also studied with B. Schendel, and became a clever painter and very able in the management of chiaroscuro. He is fond of , drunken assemblies, doctors' visits, and children's feasts. He sometimes painted the figures in the landscapes of P. de Koninck and others. In his best works, some competent critics consider him worthy to rank with Ostade in the brilliance of his color, although it is always inferior in transparency. In form and modelling his subjects suffer by comparison with those of his master. The Rijks owns a jovial tavern scene, and The Feast of St. Nicholas, signed and dated 1665, which the student will be interested in comparing with Jan Steen's treatment of the same subject.
Several Periods in the Career of D. Teniers the Younger.—David Teniers the Younger (1610-90) has seven pictures here that illustrate his various styles. As with most other artists who reached old age, critics recognize several periods in the career of Teniers. At first, his figures, from twelve to eighteen inches high, are broadly painted in brownish and somewhat heavy tones. Toward 1640 his color becomes clearer and more luminous and golden. From 1640 to 1660 it assumes silvery tones of admirable lightness and limpidity; and, at the same time, his execution grows more careful and precise. The pictures of this last period are held in highest esteem. After that Teniers returned to a gamut of golden tones, in which he[Pg 172] sometimes displayed great power. At the close of his life he became heavy and brownish in tone, and his touch lost some of its clearness. Not many of his pictures are dated. The earliest known date is 1641, on Our Corps de Garde, a medium-sized picture of no special interest, in which we note numerous military attributes. This is far inferior to a similar picture, now in St. Petersburg, painted two years later.
His Relish for Pictures of the Supernatural.—The Temptation of St. Anthony is one of many pictures he painted in his relish for the class of subjects painted two centuries earlier by Jerome Bosch—Dives in Hell, incantations, witches, phantasmagoria, etc.—for the simple purpose of assembling the most hideous and grotesque apparitions imaginable.
His Pictures of other Kinds.—The other pictures here are devoted to his villagers, drinking, playing bowls, dancing, singing, and fighting. A Landscape, with a rustic house, shows a gardener standing, spade in hand, talking to a woman with a child on her lap. On the left, on the ground, are some vegetables, also pots and other household utensils.
Peter Balten.—Peter Balten (fl. 1540-71) is represented by a large picture, St. Martin's Fair. His figures are full of spirit, and his touch is sure. Little is known of him except that he was one of the greatest wits of his day. He studied under Pierre Brueghel, whom he resembles in style.
B. van Bassen.—A contemporary of his was van Bassen (d. 1652), who has a fine Interior with figures supplied by . His specialty was portraits, with studies of perspective, and church and other interiors.
Three Pictures by Hendrick Bloemaert.—Hendrick Bloemaert (1601-72) was probably the son of Abraham. The Rijks has three of his pictures, signed and dated: Winter (1631), Portrait of Johannes Puttkamer (1671), and The Eggseller (1632). The latter is in the Van der Hoop Room.[Pg 173]
Three Popular Artists.—Jan van der Meer the Younger (1656-1705) is represented by a charming picture, The Sleeping Shepherd, dated 1678. Frans van Mieris the Elder is represented by The Letter, The Lute Player, Jacob's Dream, The Lost Bird, and Fragility. His son, Willem van Mieris, is represented by The Poulterer (1733), A Landscape with Shepherds and Shepherdesses (1722), and a Lady and a Gentleman.
The Grocer's Shop by F. van Mieris the Younger.—Willem's son and pupil, Frans van Mieris the Younger (1689-1763), who carried on the family traditions in Leyden, although somewhat inferior to his father and grandfather, is represented by A Hermit (1721), A Chemist's Shop (1714), and The Grocer's Shop (1715). This latter picture presents an interesting scene of the day. Note the beautiful painting of the sculptured bas-relief of the counter, at which stand the purchasers—an old woman and a child. The shopkeeper holds scales and two baskets, about the contents of which there seems to be some contention. In the shop there is a larder, on the shelves of which various articles are seen; baskets hang on the wall; and tubs, barrels, and casks are also visible. Over the shop has grown a grape-vine, and its graceful festoons of leaves make a beautiful effect.
Several of Karel Dujardin's Pictures.—Karel Dujardin may also be studied by his Portrait of a Man; Portrait of Gerard Reinst, a celebrated art collector of Amsterdam and also a patron of the painter; The Muleteers; The Laborer on his Farm (1655), in which a peasant is seen winnowing corn; A Trumpeter on Horseback; a Portrait of Himself (1660); an Italian Landscape with Animals; and a Landscape, which was purchased at the Duchesse de Berry's sale in 1837 for 4,000 florins.
Burger on A Woman Reading.—"Again the sphinx! Here we have an interior with a woman standing in profile to the left. She is reading a letter; she wears a light blue jacket and a grayish-blue skirt. Before her are a table and a chair with a[Pg 174] blue back. Behind her is another blue chair. Decidedly Van der Meer has an affection for the blue sky. The wall of the background is a pale moonlight blue, and the woman's figure stands out against a geographical map a little tinted with bistre, which hangs on the wall.
"The execution of this picture is very delicate, indeed almost trivial: the paint is laid on very lightly, the color is weak and even a little dry. It is true that this picture is a little rubbed. On the contrary, Van de Meer's touch was frank and the pâte grasse abundant, even somewhat exaggerated in the View of Delft at The Hague; there is an incomparable firmness of design and modelling in The Milkmaid in the Six Gallery; and in the Façade of a Dutch House in the same gallery, the color is extremely warm and harmonious. These differences of practice make us hesitate for a time regarding the parentage of The Woman Reading in the Van der Hoop Collection. However, the physiognomy of this woman is of an exquisite delicacy; her bare arms and the hand that holds the paper are marvellously drawn.... This pale light and these delicate blues betray Van der Meer. This artist probably had several styles.
"This picture is signed: an open book on the table bears the word Meer."
Van der Meer's Later Style.—In later pieces his style is reminiscent of De Hooch and Metsu, but it is brighter and the tone more enamelled. In most instances the scene is in a small room lighted by a casement window. Sometimes the painter himself is seated in a studio; sometimes a girl and her lover are together; sometimes a woman is seated at the clavecin. The Milkmaid in the Six Collection is noted for its brilliancy of tone, harmonious distribution of tints, delicacy of gradations, and solidity of touch.
His Portrait-painting.—Van der Meer was also a splendid portrait-painter and excelled in landscapes, in which he sacrificed figures to trees, cottages, and lanes. There is a charming little picture of this class in the Six Collection, representing a row of brick houses with people, in the style of Pieter de Hooch. It is said that he was killed by the fall of his house at the time when Simon Decker, a vestryman of the Delft Church, was sitting to him for his portrait.[Pg 175]
Pieter de Hooch (1635-78).—This master who was so long neglected and is now regarded as at least the equal of Ter Borch, Metsu, and Van Mieris, is well represented in the Rijks, though absent from The Hague Gallery. His talent is exhibited chiefly in his Conversations. Burger says he has never seen a single picture by De Hooch that is not of the first rank.
Burger on De Hooch's Choice of Subjects.—"Sometimes he paints interiors—people are playing at cards, or having a family concert, or reading, or drinking, or conversing. Sometimes he paints exteriors; then the painter introduces us to domestic occupations, and the innocent recreations of private life, as, for instance, a servant washing linen in a back yard, or cleaning fish, or plucking a fowl; or perhaps there are ladies and their cavaliers playing at bowls in a garden with trim gravelled walks."
His Excellent Painting of Interiors.—"When he paints interiors, this artist rarely neglects to show, on the right or left, doors opening on a staircase or revealing a leafy alley, or the trees along a quay, so that his pictures almost always seem to be the antechamber of another picture. In this characteristic style of De Hooch, when the interior of the apartment is moderately lighted, the sun shines outside, and we feel its heat and brilliance in the vistas gradually lost to view in the background, so inimitably managed in the artist's manner.... Pieter de Hooch seems to have been in Rembrandt's secrets, and knew how to adapt the genius of that great master to familiar scenes, just as Gonzales Coques had adapted the genius of Rubens."
Seven Fine Examples of his Work in the Rijks.—The Rijks Museum owns seven fine examples of this master's work. The Portrait of a Man is said to be that of the painter at the age of nineteen; but this is doubtful. One of the most celebrated interiors shows a woman about to let a child drink from a jug of beer at the entrance to a cellar. This picture is very attractive for the simple attitudes, and for the depth of the equally sustained warm harmony. "The execution," says Crowe, "is a model of softness and ." The most glowing example, however, of this warm lighting is a woman cleaning the hair of a child, in the Van der[Pg 176] Hoop Room. The woman wears a skirt of deep blue and a bodice of red, bordered with white fur, while the child has a skirt of green and a gray bodice. Behind them is an alcove bed with green curtains, and to the right, in the foreground, a little chair. An open door on the left allows you to see into another room with a passage and courtyard beyond. A little black dog seen from behind lies on the reddish tiles. The picture is beautiful in its treatment of three successive planes of light.
Another picture in the same collection represents apparently a pair of lovers who seem to be teasing each other. The lady seen in profile is squeezing a lemon into a glass, and the young man sitting opposite with his elbow on the table looks at her with a subtle smile. The costumes are elegant—the lady wears a straw-colored skirt and a rose-colored jacket. The man has on a garnet-colored doublet, scarlet knee-breeches, and white stockings. He is and wears a wig. If it were not for the pipe in his hand he would remind you of Molière's gentlemen. They are sitting in a kind of courtyard of a house with a red-tiled roof, and a window with red shutters is also visible. At the door of the house a woman is standing with a glass in her hand. A servant is busy with a kettle by the window. On the right there is an opening into a clump of trees, suggesting a park, and to the left another enclosure.
One of the most beautiful pictures in the collection, a marvel very difficult to describe because its superlative value lies in its luminous effect, is thus described:
A Picture Highly valued for its Luminous Effect.—"We are in a room, the door of which, in the background on the left, opens onto the quay of a canal. A girl passes along the path; next we see a tree, a stretch of the canal, and on the opposite bank another street, flooded with sunlight, in which two cloaked men have halted in front of a house. Above the door, which is slightly arched, is a large window with small panes in four compartments, one of which is open. Under the light falling from the window, in the corner of the room, a girl in a blue bodice[Pg 177] and white apron is seated, with her head turned toward a youth who is entering through on the extreme right in the foreground. In one hand he holds his hat, and presents a letter with the other."
A Pleasing Sunlight Effect.—Another picture shows a sunlight effect, in which both De Hooch and Vermeer of Delft delighted. There is a window on the left, above a table covered with a Turkey-red , which is silhouetted brightly on the lower part of the opposite wall, close to a . A servant is sweeping in front of the latter. Another woman, almost full-face, is seated, holding a baby in a yellow frock, with a child's cradle beside her. She wears a blue velvet jacket and red skirt. Behind her a door opens into a courtyard, and gives us a glimpse of the town. The rest of the background consists of a gray wall, on which hangs a picture. There is also a picture over the fireplace.
The Sick Lady.—Very similar to the pictures by Jan Steen and Metsu is 's The Sick Lady, who, very pale and with drooping head, sits by a table on which her left elbow rests. On the red cloth, which is covered with a piece of white linen, stand a pot and a phial. She wears a white cap, a yellow jacket bordered with ermine, a Persian-blue skirt, and a white apron. Her hands are clasped at her waist, and her feet rest on a foot-warmer. Behind the table stands the doctor in his conventional costume of black. The bed, draped with green curtains, is seen in the background, where, to the left, a short flight of stairs leads to a series of rooms opening one into another in the style of Pieter de Hooch. The figures, about a foot high, are very finely drawn. Burger says:
"The general harmony of color is strange, distinguished, and original. There are tones of straw-color, tones of pearl-color, and silvery tones, happily brought together, a clever distribution of light, and lightness in the shadows."
Jan Steen's Style patterned after Hals and A. van Ostade.—Jan Steen shows the influence of his models, Hals and Adriaen van Ostade, in several of the seventeen pictures of this artist owned by the Rijks Museum. His own portrait and those in the Oostwaard picture (dated 1659) are strong, bright, and clear with the qualities he admired in Hals. The other pictures are all distinguished by correct drawing, admirable freedom and spirit of touch, and clear and transparent color. They range in subject from the stately interiors of grave and opulent burghers to tavern scenes of jollity and debauch.
Some of the Seventeen of his Pictures owned by the Rijks.—There are two pictures of the charlatan who puffs his pills, draws teeth, and sells everything helpful to those sick in body or in mind, from a love-philtre to the Elixir of Life. Here, also, we see doctors and patients, card-parties, marriage-feasts, and the festivals of St. Nicholas and Twelfth Night. His delightful rendering of children is also fully exemplified here. In detail, the pictures are as follows: A Portrait of Himself, showing a rather handsome man with oval face, arched brows, and well-cut mouth; A Charlatan Selling his Wares, in which the chief figure is standing on a platform beneath the shade of a tree, while around him are many little figures variously grouped, forming comic episodes; The Baker Oostwaard with his Wife and a Son of the Painter (1659). The baker is arranging his wares, and the little boy is blowing on a horn. The Scullion represents a woman scouring a pewter pot. She is in a kitchen, and wears a white jacket and a blue skirt. On the table by which she stands are utensils and a lantern.
Description of The Parrot Cage.—The Parrot Cage is a domestic scene, in what appears to be a tavern or a middle-class hall, in which there is a bed, a chair, and a table, at which two men are playing backgammon, while a third looks on smoking a pipe. At the big fireplace an old woman is broiling oysters, which are likely to spoil, as[Pg 179] she is taking more interest in the backgammon than in her own task. A boy seated on a low stool is feeding a kitten with milk from a spoon, and watching a woman of graceful figure who is offering a biscuit to a parrot in a cage.
The Orgy is famous for the dash and abandon with which it is painted.
The Village Wedding and Other Pictures.—The Rijks owns also The Birthday of the Prince of Orange, The Happy Return, The Rake, The Dancing Lesson, in which merry children are teaching a cat to dance; The Village Wedding, a little masterpiece, in which the light is treated as if by Ostade, and where the bride and groom are seated at a table with friends, while musicians play for many dancers.
Description of The Happy Family.—In The Happy Family we see a simply furnished room, in which is a bed, and next it a cupboard, on the top of which stand a mortar, some platters, and a vase of flowers; a happy family group is seated at a table. Hanging on the bed curtains is the legend in Dutch, "As the old ones sing so will the young ones pipe." This is the keynote of the picture. Every one is singing, piping, and making merry. Their gaiety is infectious. The father, seated at the end of the table, has a viola in one hand, while the right holds a glass of wine. Next him stands a boy playing bagpipes. Then the grandmother, singing, with a jolly expression on her face; next, the merry mother, with a merry baby, the image of her; next, a boy with a flute, another with a pipe; next, a girl about to smoke a pipe, in front two children, and at the open window a boy with a pipe. A dog stands by the master, near an empty platter, that shows he too has shared in the feast. There is a handsome table-carpet on the table, protected by a napkin, and on it a ham and a loaf of bread.
A Family Scene on Twelfth Night.—Nearly all the same persons, only grown older, appear in A Family Scene on Twelfth Night: van Goyen, Steen's wife, seen[Pg 180] this time from behind, with her profile upturned, and wearing a red skirt and a blue jacket trimmed with ermine, and ten other figures, including the old father and the painter himself, who are smoking in the background. "Delicious in color and vivacity!" is Burger's comment.
A Doubtful Picture of Steen and his Wife.—The Couple Drinking is said to be Steen and his wife. The latter with a white handkerchief on her head, a dark blue jacket, red skirt, and white apron is drinking from a tall glass. The man in black behind her and talking to her is about to drink from a mug. The ages of the couple make it doubtful if the painter and his wife are represented.
The Young Lady who is Ill.—The Young Lady who is Ill, seated languidly in a red arm-chair, with her head on a pillow, may be compared with similar pictures in The Hague Gallery. She wears a yellow silk skirt, and a jacket of lilac velvet bordered with ermine. The doctor is one of Steen's best creations of this type.
Steen's Most Popular Picture.—The most popular of all Steen's pictures, however, is the Eve of St. Nicholas, which shows a room in Jan Steen's house, and himself, his first wife, and their children. Beside the chimney sits the mother in lilac skirt and green velvet jacket bordered with ermine, and on her left is a low table, on which is a variety of cakes, fruits, and other holiday sweets. In the background sits the father, who is enjoying the scene. Seven children are present. The oldest, holding a baby with a rag doll in its arms, is pointing up the chimney, explaining to the open-mouthed and staring little boy at his side whence St. Nicholas came. On the extreme left a boy is crying because all that St. Nicholas has rewarded him with is a birch rod, which his sister is presenting to him in his wooden shoe, and with evident pleasure. A little boy, with his father's cane in his hand, is enjoying his brother's disappointment and probable future punishment. In the background, the grandmother, drawing the curtains of the bed and tauntingly beckoning to the crying boy, seems to invite him to spend[Pg 181] his St. Nicholas festival in bed. In the very centre of the picture is the pet of the family—a little girl, the very image of her mother. She has a pail full of toys, fruits, and cakes on one arm, and in her tiny hands she holds the figure of St. Nicholas, whose head is surrounded with a nimbus.
A basket of wafers, cakes, waffles, buns, crullers, etc., stands on the floor on the left; and leaning against the little table on the right is an enormous flat loaf of bread or cake iced in lines and decorated with figures of the cock at the four corners and in the centre that of St. Nicholas.
Early and Later Styles of Jan Miense Molenaer.—Jan Miense Molenaer (1610-68) was either a pupil or a very skilful imitator of Jan Steen in his early works, which are painted in strong, clear color with bold execution. About 1650, however, he adopted a brown tone with a light and transparent execution, and concentrated his effects of light after the manner of Ostade when the latter was under the influence of Rembrandt.
A Fine Example of his Powers.—The Lady at the Clavecin is a splendid example of the powers of this artist who was almost as fond of making musical instruments important features of his compositions as was. It was painted in 1637 as the signature shows, and therefore is full of the Hals influence. The lady and two children, whose amiable faces are turned with interested expression toward the spectator, are evidently portraits, probably of the artist's wife and children. The other picture, Grace before Meat, is also a fine study with Hals's technique. It is in the Van der Hoop Collection.
Four Pictures by Metsu.—Four Metsus hang in the Rijks: The Huntsman's Present, purchased in 1843 for 12,400 florins, The Old Drinker, purchased in 1827 for 2,960 florins, The Breakfast, acquired in 1809, and the Old Woman in Meditation, bought in 1880 for 6,170 florins.
Description of The Huntsman's Present.—For taste, depth, warm harmony, and careful execution, The Huntsman's Present is of the first order. In a room lighted by a[Pg 182] window on the left, a lady is seated by the side of a table on which is a rich carpet. A large white apron of exquisite tone covers her lap, and on it lies a little green cushion on which she has been making lace, which she holds in her left hand. Her jacket, bordered with ermine, is of that flesh-color that Metsu loved. With her right hand she caresses a little King Charles spaniel perched on the table. On her right, an old gentleman is seated. He still wears his hunting clothes and holds his hat under his arm. Evidently he has just returned from the chase, for his dog is with him, and on the floor lie his game bag, gun, and a dead duck. To the lady he is presenting a partridge. On a handsome kas stands a statuette of Cupid.
The Old Drinker.—The Old Drinker represents a man with gray hair and short gray beard, with a pipe in one hand and a mug in the other. He has on a gray coat and a red cap edged with brown fur. He is perfectly happy, as his joyous expression shows.
The Breakfast.—The Breakfast is a beautifully painted scene. At a table covered with a Persian carpet over which is thrown a linen cloth, a woman in a light pink bodice, a violet skirt, green apron, and white fichu, seated at the right in profile, is pouring wine from a jug into a tall glass. A man in a puce-colored vest is placing a dish of meat on the table, which is already set with plates, bread, knives, and a glass. On the left is a dark green curtain, and in the background a door is indicated.
Johannes Verkolje.—Johannes Verkolje (1650-93) is represented by The Family Concert (1673). He was the son of a locksmith in Amsterdam, and studied with Jan , but later imitated the highly finished style of Gerard Pietersz Zijl (fl. 1655), whose works were in such favor. He produced portraits, historical subjects, and conversations, delicate and graceful in sentiment, charming in color, and excellent in drawing.
Jan Victors's Pork Butcher.—The Pork Butcher (1648) and The Dentist (1654) are by Jan Victors, an artist about[Pg 183] whom so little has been known until recent years that he has been confused with two others of the same name. The pork butcher is seen in the centre of the picture, which represents a village street; the butcher is standing before his freshly butchered quarter of pork, and a boy, in a large hat and jacket, with yellow sleeves, with knife in hand, is helping his master, to whom a woman is bringing a drink in a glass. On the right, a little boy seated on a fence is blowing a bladder, while a little girl looks on and laughs. Behind, a man is ascending a ladder into a barn. On the right a little boy is washing a ham in a tub, and a woman is kneeling by him with a dish.
The Dentist.—The pendant shows a table over which a rose-colored umbrella is opened, and under it a charlatan is drawing the tooth of a peasant. A man and a woman witness the operation, and three children on the left, a peasant, and a woman with some vegetables on her head are laughing heartily. In the foreground two dogs are quarrelling over a bone; and in the background small figures and a village clock-tower are visible.
The Religious Pictures.—The religious pictures need not detain us long. Two or three in the style of Rembrandt: Isaac Blessing Jacob, by Govert Flinck; The Woman Taken in Adultery, by G. van der Eckhout, purchased in London in 1828 for 3,000 florins, and belonging to that artist's best period; and the picture of Herodias with the Head of John the Baptist are worth the student's attention. The latter is particularly interesting, because, although the catalogues give it to Cornelis Drost (1638-?), a pupil and imitator of Rembrandt, it is really by the hand of (1624?-54), also a pupil of Rembrandt and so close a follower that many of his pictures have passed for Rembrandt's. The artist met with a tragic death; for he was killed in Delft by the explosion of a powder magazine.
Aertsen's Altarpieces.—Of historic value are the altar wings by Pieter Aertsen (Long Peter), The Presentation at the Temple; on the reverse, King Balthasar, painted for[Pg 184] the Delft church; and the Nativity of Jesus Christ, a fragment of a picture destroyed in the fire of the in Amsterdam in 1652. On Dr. J. Six's authority, the rest of this picture is in the New Church in Amsterdam. Aertsen was particularly famous for his altarpieces, many of which were destroyed by the Iconoclasts in 1566.
Other Painters of Biblical Scenes.—Of other painters whose reputations are larger in other fields, but who are represented in this gallery by one or two Biblical works, we may mention Berchem, with Ruth and Boaz; Velvet Brueghel, Repose of the Holy Family, Christ Preaching in a Fisherman's Boat, and the Adoration of the Kings, in a winter landscape; Frans Francken II., Adoration of Jesus Christ, and The Prodigal Son; and Maerten van Heemskerck (1498-1574), The Resurrection of Christ. Benjamin Gerritsz Cuijp may be studied in Joseph Interpreting the Dreams of the Baker and Butler; Dirck van (1595-1640), The Virgin, with Jesus and St. Anne; Eglon Hendrick van der Neer (1643-1703), Young Tobias with the Angel; and Rubens, Bearing of the Cross (a sketch for the picture in the Royal Museum in Brussels), and Ecce Homo and Meeting of Jacob and Esau (copies).
In addition to several Biblical pictures in the Italian, Flemish, and German schools, there are, by François Joseph Navez (1787-1839), Isaac and Rebecca and the Resurrection of the Widow's Son; by A. van Dijck, The Repentant Magdalen; (School of Van Dijck) The Holy Family; one by Bronzino, Judith with the head of Holofernes; one of the School of Palma Vecchio, The Holy Family; and Spain is represented by The Annunciation to the Virgin, by Murillo (1618-82), and The Glorification of the Virgin, by Antolines (1639-76). Hans (1564-1623) has a Virgin with the Infant Jesus (1604); Nicholas Bertin (1667-1736), Joseph Fleeing from Potiphar's Wife, and Susannah at the Bath; Sebastian Bourdon (1616-71), the Mystical Marriage of St. Catherine; copy after Hieronymus van Aeken, surnamed Bosch (1462?-1516), Adoration[Pg 185] of the Magi; Leonard Bramer (1595-1674), a Biblical Subject(?) and King Solomon Sacrificing to Idols; Mechior Brassauw (1709-57?), The Prodigal Son; Peter Codde (1599?-1678), Adoration of the Shepherds; Jacob Cornelissen, Saul and the Witch of Endor; Gasper de Craeyer (1584-1669), The Adoration of the Shepherds and Descent from the Cross; Geertgen van St. Jans (fifteenth century), Allegory on the Death of Jesus Christ; Barend Graat (1628-1709), The Prodigal Son (1661); Nicolaes de Gijselaer (1590-95-1644?), The Angel Gabriel Appearing to Zacharias in the Temple (1625); Cornelis van Haerlem (1562-1638), Massacre of the Innocents, and Adam and Eve in the Terrestrial Paradise; Pieter van Hanselaere, Chaste Susannah; Frans Haseleer (1804-?), Esther before Ahasuerus; Isaac Isacsz (1599-1648), Abimelech Giving Sarah to Abraham (1640); Cornelis Kruseman (1797-1857), The Burial of Christ; J. A. Kruseman (1804-62), Elisha and the Shunammite; Pieter Pietersz Lastman (1583-1633), The Sacrifice of Abraham; de Poorter (?-1645?), Solomon Sacrificing to Idols; Joris van Schooten (1587-1651), The Adoration of the Kings (1646); Jan van Scorel (1495-1562), St. Madeleine, Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, and David and Bathsheba; Gerard Seghers (1591-1651), Christ and the Penitents; Benvenuto Tisi (the Garofalo) (1481-1559), Holy Family, and Adoration of the Magi; Tiziano Vecelli (1477-1576), Repentant Magdalen (copy); Jan Victors (1620-82?), Joseph Interpreting Dreams (1648); Jacob de Wet (1610?-71?), Christ Blessing the Children; Rogier van der Weyden (1399?-1464), Descent from the Cross; and Joachim A. Wttewael (1566-1638), David and Abigail (1597).
Mythological Pictures combined with Landscape.—It is noticeable that in mythological pictures landscape forms a prominent feature. Rubens was, doubtless, responsible for much of the popularity of this class of art, and the vogue that the Italian landscape also enjoyed aided the taste. Nymphs and satyrs and gods and goddesses were more[Pg 186] appropriate figures to introduce into the classic scenes of Italy than Dutch peasants and cattle. We, therefore, find two classes of mythological pictures: one in which the landscape is more important than the figures; and one in which the figures take precedence.
Born more than half a century after Poelenburg, de Lairesse (1641-1711), the most important Flemish painter of historical and mythological subjects in the generation succeeding Rubens, followed Poelenburg in his taste for Italian settings for his figures, although he had never been to Italy. He is represented in the Rijks by Mars, Venus, and Cupid; another of the same title, Seleucus Abdicating in Favor of his Son Antiochus; Diana and Endymion; Virtue, an Allegory; and two in grisaille,—The Revolution and Legitimate Power.
G. de Lairesse, Portrait-painter.— de Lairesse was the son of an artist of some celebrity, studied under Bertholet Flemalle, and by the age of sixteen had become known as a portrait-painter. Some historical works for the Electors of Cologne and Brandenburg established his reputation, and when he settled in Amsterdam he was regarded as the greatest historical painter of his time. At the age of fifty he lost his eyesight. His style is grand and poetical, and his background enriched with architecture.
More Mythological Pictures in the Rijks.—The other mythological pictures in this gallery are: Hendrick van Balen (1575-1632), Bacchus's Homage to Diana; Jan Brueghel le Vieux (Velvet) (1568-1625), Latona in Caria; Caravaggio (1569-1609), The Death of Orion; Johannes Glauber (1646-1726), Mercury and Io, and Diana Bathing; Goltzius (1558-1616), The Dying Adonis (1603); Hendrick Heerschop (1620 or 21-72?), Erechthonius Found by the Daughters of Cecrops; Jacob Jordaens (1593-1678), A Satyr; Hendrik van Limborgh (1680-1759), Cupid and Psyche; W. Ossenbeeck (?-1678), Mercury and Io (1632); Hans (1564-1623), Mars and Venus (1604); Adriaan van der[Pg 187] Werff (1659-1722), Cupid Embracing Venus; Pieter van der Werff (1665-after 1721), Cupid Adorned with Flowers (1713), Young Hercules and Young Bacchus; Thomas Willeborts (1614-54), Mars Armed by Venus; Flemish School (1610-20), Dispute of Apollo and Pan; Dutch School (sixteenth century), Adonis (supposed to be by Jan van Scorel); and Dietz (living in 1830), Hebe. Here must be mentioned Rembrandt's mythological picture known by the name of Narcissus.
Painters of Exteriors and Painters of Interiors.—No survey of Dutch art would be complete without a brief account of the painters of buildings; and these may be divided again into two classes: those who painted the exteriors and those who painted the interiors.
Murant and his Old .—The first of those who painted exteriors seems to have been Emanuel Murant (1622-1700), a pupil of Philips . He chose for his specialty Dutch village houses which he painted with vigor and warmth, and introduced figures and cattle into his foregrounds. These he painted himself. His works are rare, because he spent so much time on each work that he produced few pictures. He also spent much time in travel. His color is rich and silvery in tone; his impasto fine, and he gives the details with great truth and finish. By the aid of a magnifying-glass every stone in his buildings and every leaf on his trees may be counted. The Rijks possesses The Old Farm-house, which represents a dilapidated old house, where a man is feeding the chickens, and there are also pigs and an old woman at her spinning-wheel.
Jan .—Jan van der Heyden (1637-1712) was "the Gerard Dou of architectural painters." The Rijks owns View of the Town of Amersfoort, with delightful figures by A. , A Drawbridge, A Stone Bridge, and A Canal in Holland. He loved to paint canals bordered with trees. His tone is warm, and his execution soft and free.[Pg 188]
G. A. Berck-Heyde, Painter of German and Dutch Towns.—Another skilful painter of exteriors, Gerrit Adriaensz Berck-Heyde (1638-98), is noted for his faithful representations of the principal towns of Germany and Holland. His perspective is extremely fine. The Rijks owns: View of the Dam at Amsterdam; View of the (1685); The Flower-Market, Amsterdam; The Ruins of the Castle of Egmont, near Alkmaar; and three Views of the . In some of his works he was assisted by his brother.
J. A. Berck-Heyde.—Job Adriaensz Berck-Heyde (1630-93) was a pupil of Frans Hals and Jacob de Wet. He is represented in the Amsterdam Museum by The Spaarne at Haarlem, Interior of a Church (1674), and Interior of the Old Bourse at Amsterdam.
J. van der Ulft the Versatile.—The works of Jacob van der Ulft, so remarkable for his versatility, are rare. The Rijks, however, owns two pretty cabinet-pictures by him, representing an Italian town and an Italian port. A very interesting and valuable picture by him, representing the on the Dam, completed in 1667, is in the present Town-hall.
Other Painters of Exteriors.—Among the other artists and pictures represented are: Kornelis Beelt (seventeenth century), Dutch Flotilla at the Herring Fishery and View of the Haarlem Market; Anthonie Beerstraten (seventeenth century), View of Regulierspoort in Amsterdam in Winter, and Interior of a Town in Winter; Johannes Bosboom (1817- ), Notre-Dame, Breda, Great Church, Edam, and Aire in Guelders; F. der Braekeleer, Ruins of the Citadel of Antwerp (1832); Hendrik Gerrit Ten Cate (1803-56), The Tower, Jan Rodenpoort in Amsterdam (1829), and the City in Moonlight; Jan Ten Compe (1713-61), View of the Quay called Keizersgracht, in Amsterdam; Constantinus Coene (1780-1841), the Porte de Hal in Brussels (1823); Croos (seventeenth century), View of the Castle of Egmont, near Alkmaar; Claes Dircksz van der[Pg 189] Heck (seventeenth century), The Castle of Egmont and The Abbey of Egmont (1638); Edward A. Hilverdink, View of the Singel in Amsterdam; Johannes Janson (1729-84), The Château de Heemstede (1766); Kasparus Karssen (1810-?), Interior of the Old Bourse at Amsterdam (1837); J. C. K. Klinkenberg (1852- ), The Market at Nimeguen; Everhardus Kloster (1817- ), Amsterdam; Dirk Jan van der Laen (1759-1829), View of a Town: A Snow Scene; François de Momper (1603-60), The Valkenhof at Nimeguen; Isaac de Moucheron (1670-1744), View of Tivoli, near Rome, and View in the Hortus Medicus at Amsterdam; Isaak Ouwater (1747-93), Unfinished Tower of the New Church at Amsterdam and Le Poids St. Anthony at Amsterdam; Antoon Sminck Pitloo (1791-1837), St. Georgis Church, Rome (1820); P. J. Poelman (1801-?), The at Oudenarde (1824); J. H. Prins (1758-1806), View of a City (1793); Cornelis Springer (1817-91), and Vegetable Market at Vere (1861), and Town-hall, Cologne (1874); Abraham Storck (1630?-1710?), View of the Dam; Pieter George Westenberg (1791-1873), View of Amsterdam in Winter (1817); and Jan Wildens (1586-1653), View of Amsterdam (1636).
Painters of Interiors—P. H. van Steenwyck.—Turning now to those painters who devoted their attention chiefly to interiors, the first to be noticed is Pieter Hendrik van Steenwyck the Elder (1550-about 1604), the pupil of Jan Vredeman de Vries, who has never been surpassed in this particular field. He usually painted the interiors of Gothic churches and other buildings. He also won distinction with torchlight effects. The figures were usually supplied by the Franckens and others. Van Steenwyck lived in Antwerp and also in Frankfort. The Interior of a Catholic Church, in the Rijks, is a good example of his style.
His Pupil, Pieter Neeffs the Elder.—Among his pupils was Pieter Neeffs the Elder (1577-between 1657-61), who followed his master closely, but with a heavy touch. His colors are not so pleasing as Steenwyck's, but his[Pg 190] mechanical skill is great. F. Francken, Teniers, Velvet Brueghel, and Van Thulden are responsible for the figures in his pictures. In the Rijks we may study him by his Church of the Dominicans in Antwerp (1636), A Church: Effect of Candle-light (1636), and Interior of a Church.
P. J. Saenredam, Painter of Church Interiors.—Next must be mentioned Pieter Jansz Saenredam (1597-1665), who painted the interior of churches in a large and luminous manner. His pictures were highly esteemed, but are now very rare. The Rijks owns: two Interiors of the Church of St. Bavon, Haarlem; three Interiors of St. Mary's, Utrecht; and View of the Church in Assendelft. Adriaen van Ostade contributed the figures in the latter. Pieter Saenredam was a pupil of his father, a celebrated engraver, and of Frans de Grebber in Haarlem.
Emanuel de Witte's Beautiful Work.—Emanuel de Witte (1617-92), a pupil of Evert van Aelst, bears the same relation to the representation of interiors that does to landscape, and Willem to marine painting. Beautiful modelling, fine color, linear and aërial perspective, masterly treatment of chiaroscuro, and animated figures are all at his command. The Vestibule in the Prinsenhof in Delft and two Interiors of a Church are picturesque canvases that exhibit the rich talents of this painter.
H. C. van Vliet.—Hendrik Cornelisz van Vliet (1608-66?), a pupil of his father, Willem van Vliet (1584-1642), paints under the influence of De Witte as is shown in the Interior of Part of the Old Church at Delft, signed "H. van Vliet, 1654." Here the treatment of sunlight is very reminiscent of Emanuel de Witte.
Egbert van der Poel.—In this connection may be mentioned Egbert van der Poel (1621-64), whose specialty was conflagrations. The effects of lurid light are seen in his Ruins in Delft after the Explosion of a Powder Magazine (1654) and Interior of a (1646).
Collections on the Ground-floor and Basement.—After lunching in the pleasant little restaurant in the west wing[Pg 191] on the ground-floor we take a rapid view of the collections here. The East and West Courts contain military, naval, and colonial collections, weapons, uniforms, and models of ships, which need not detain us long; nor will the department of Ecclesiastical Architecture and the Hall of the Admirals, where there is a collection of modern French paintings. In the western half of the building there are splendid collections of engravings, porcelain, lacquer, and textiles, two seventeenth century rooms furnished by the Antiquarian Society, and in the basement a collection of old Dutch costumes, carriages, and doll houses. On the east side are a number of correctly furnished Dutch rooms, one a "Chinese Boudoir" from the Stadtholder's Palace at Leeuwarden (seventeenth century), and a great collection of civic and industrial domestic art. Silver occupies a conspicuous place, and one of the cases contains drinking-horns, among which is the original drinking-horn of the Guild of St. Joris, which appears in Van der Helst's painting.
The visitor will seldom see a more wonderful collection of glass of all shapes and forms, and beautifully engraved, cut, and mounted; and the display of jewelry, trinkets, and children's toys will also claim attention.
The Garden.—We now enter the garden at the south side of the building. This is laid out in the Dutch style of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, with clipped hedges of beech and box, and adorned with flowers, vases, statues, and busts. There is also a maze, and fragments of old Dutch buildings, such as the old Bergpoort of Deventer (1619) and the Heerenpoort of Groningen (1621). Various old gables, pilasters, columns, walls, tympanums, and gates have been grouped; and in the eastern part of the garden is the house of the Director of the Museum. [Pg 193]
Ground-floor of the Stedelijk Museum.—A short walk from the Rijks down Paulus Potter Straat brings us to the Stedelijk (Municipal) Museum, built in 1892-95. The ground-floor is devoted to uniforms, weapons, and pictures of the Schutterij of Amsterdam, and a series of rooms furnished in the style of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries, including an old Dutch kitchen.
Its Pictures of the History of the Netherlands.—An extraordinary collection of pictures by Allebé, Israëls, Rochussen, and other well-known painters, treating of the history of the Netherlands, deserves a passing glance, for there are no less than 250 small canvases, all of the same dimensions and similar treatment. A more curiously monotonous effect would be impossible to imagine; but, to use a Dutch term, they are decidedly symmetrisch.
The Gallery of Modern Pictures.—Ascending the stairs we reach the gallery of modern pictures. The collection consists of about 200 paintings gathered by a society founded in 1874, and is very rich in fine examples of the modern Dutch school.
Mauve's Sheep on the Dunes.—One of the gems of the modern landscapes is Mauve's Sheep on the Dunes. The sheep, all of which have their backs to the spectator, the rolling dunes with their tall, waving grass, the shepherd boy and his dog, are all painted with equal skill; and over the still landscape hovers a poetic feeling that communicates itself instantly to the spectator.
Mauve is also represented by A Fold and Woodmen.[Pg 196]
Anton Mauve.—Anton Mauve (1838-89) was a native of Zaandam, and the son of a clergyman. He studied under the cattle-painter, Van Os, who was not particularly pleased with his pupil. After his apprenticeship was over, he began to paint little pictures in the neat manner and conventional style of his master. Mauve lived in Oosterbeck, "the Barbison of Holland," for a time, and at a later period spent his winters in Amsterdam and his summers in The Hague, where he could enjoy Scheveningen and the dunes.
A Dutch writer, A. C. Loffelt, says:
His Style.—"The poetry of Mauve's art, its tenderness, the unobtrusive, quiet sadness of the scenery and people which attracted him most; the homeliness, humor, and domestic happiness which he interpreted in his interiors and scenes of country and village life, can only be appreciated by people of the same descent."
The same critic tells us that Mauve lived for a time in a , near Dekkersdinn.
His Favorite Themes.—"Here Mauve found some of his most important and favorite themes, such as poor cots built in or near the downs, where slender, poorly nurtured women tended a few sheep or a goat, or occupied themselves in bleaching linen. His painting had not yet gained that transparency and brilliancy of tone which the artist acquired in subsequent years. At this time his work was gray, but not always pellucid or silvery. Thus it came to pass that critics and public began to talk of 'The Gray School,' for a few other artists painted in the same neutral scale of tints.
"As we walk in the rural lanes, beneath the slender birches wrapped in their mantle of silver-gray haze, or watch the chequered sunlight dancing into the secluded nooks of some emerald meadow, when we hear the echoes of the tinkling sheep-bells on the moors, we think 'There lives Mauve!'"
His Truthful Painting of Sheep and Cattle.—Mauve is, perhaps, best known by his flocks of sheep painted under all conditions and at all seasons and times of day; but not[Pg 197] less true to nature are his cows in the Melkbocht, that paddock or reserved spot in the meadow where the cows are gathered for milking. His horses ploughing, or at rest, and his coast scenes, showing Dutch fishing-boats about to be pulled across the sands by teams of horses, are no less remarkable performances.
The Early Training of Josef Israëls.—For a whole generation Josef Israëls has stood at the head of modern Dutch art. Born in 1827, at Groningen, the son of a money-changer, he carried money-bags in his early years to the banking-house of Mesdag. He studied under Jan Adam Kruseman, and at first painted historical pictures; lived in the Ghetto in Amsterdam, and nearly starved in Paris, where he studied in the Delaroche school.
The Themes of his Paintings.—It was in , near Haarlem, that he discovered his true bent, and began to depict the seafaring man and the peasant in their homely every-day life. His people are all humble, and most of them are broken by poverty and sorrows. For more than thirty years his pictures have occupied the place of honor in all the Dutch exhibitions; and on his seventieth birthday he was made Commander of the Order of Orange-Nassau, and was the recipient of many gifts and congratulations. In this gallery hang a number of pictures dating from various periods. Among them are Fisherman's Children, Rustic Interior, After the Storm, Passing the Mother's Grave, Margaret of Parma and William of Orange (one of his earliest efforts), Old Jewish Peddler, and a Study of a Head.
Veth's Appreciation of Israëls.—The artist himself is represented in a statuette by F. Leenhoff, which stands in one of the rooms, and also in a portrait by J. Veth, who sympathetically writes:
"The choicest pictures by this master are painted in a truly mysterious way, simply by the nervous vigor of an untaught hand with heavy, sweeping shadows and thick touches of paint, which[Pg 198] stand out in a wonderful mixture of sharp relief and dim, confused distance; with soft hesitation and touches of crudely decisive certainty; with broad outlines and incisive emphasis. Ruggedness and tenderness, corruption and sweetness, whimsicality and decision, are magically mingled there in dignified depth, with the most refined feeling—the most ductile language of the brush that is known to me.
"And yet, notwithstanding, all this exists, as far as possible, in the clear, simple execution of the old Dutch painters, and there is one great family resemblance between the nineteenth century master and those who are the classics among the petits maîtres."
Each of his Pictures a Harmonious Whole.—"The resemblance—the revived tradition—is to be seen in the fact that Israëls, like the old Dutch painters, nay, even more than they, always aims at the sober, general harmony of the whole work. It is wonderful how discreet the effect is of a picture, for instance, by Pieter de Hooch, with all its elaborate execution; how splendidly it holds together, how strong yet delicate the construction is. It is this great quality of presenting an absolutely organic whole at one impulse which seems to have passed into Israëls from his precursors, who otherwise painted so utterly differently. Indeed, it is in this concentrated power, in this self-contained harmony, the outcome of one glance, as it were, and of one impetus, that we may discern one of the principal features of Israëls's art. There is nothing in his work that asserts itself alone, nothing detached, nothing that plays any part but that of strengthening the whole."
His Aim to paint the Truth, rather than to produce Studied Effects.—"Those who really understand the sincerity of his art know that he rejects everything approaching to working for effect—everything that looks like rule of thumb; and that he in fact never consciously troubles his head about studied effects or beauty. Beauty to him lies in the silent woe with which the survivors stand in a house of death; in the attitude of the old wife left alone, who spreads her hands stiffly out to the fire, as though she might win a spark of life from the smouldering hearth; in the way in which the decrepit old man sits with resigned dejection in his gloomy hovel, staring into his old dog's eyes; in the stupefied wretch who sits on a broken bench, where, behind him, his dead wife lies stretched on her bed; in the woful gleam in the eyes of the huckster who sits in front of his dirty booth, with a motley collection of rags above his head, watching us so mysteriously; in the sad old woman[Pg 199] who, with elbows wide apart on her table, her hands quietly folded, sits weary and alone in front of her meal; in the kindly but hard-set woman, who, through wind and weather, tramps along field and road by her jolting dog-barrow, in a cruel struggle for existence; in the business of the fisherman and seafaring folk and their hard and simple labor; in the dignity of the patriarchal peasant family that gathers round the dish; he sees beauty in everything which lays bare what lies mysteriously latent in poverty and privation and suffering, at the very roots of human life."
Roelofs, Painter of A Marshy Landscape.—Familiar to the Holland traveller is the Marshy Landscape, so true to nature and so charming in color.
If he had painted nothing else, Roelofs (1822-97) would deserve his reputation because of this work.
This painter was born in Amsterdam and was a pupil of H. van de Sande Bakhuijzen for about a year; then he remained for six years in Utrecht; and settled in Brussels, where he remained forty years, finally returning to Holland. This painter's chief desire is to express himself poetically.
The Inexhaustible Supply of His Favorite Subjects.—"His pictures are truly beautiful: cattle standing up to their knees in rich green pasture land; luxuriant meadows; secluded pools reflecting the blue sky and the moving clouds; lakes with floating lilies; rivers, streams, noble trees, canals, and the thoroughly Dutch windmill. Roelofs may be called the pioneer in our country of a broader school of painting, especially that pertaining to landscape. Much of this he may be said to have taken from the French.... Of late years he has added more cattle to his pictures; but whether cattle or trees, land or water, they are painted with the firm belief that they needed no embellishment, but were good enough to be represented exactly as they were. For Roelofs will not invent a subject. And why, indeed, should he do so? Is the supply exhausted? He does not think so, for no summer passes but he packs up his paint-box and with his little stool, his easel, and his umbrella, goes off either to Noorden, or Abcoude, or to Voorschoten, to study nature again and again, as if he did not know her well already."
J. Maris, Skilful in producing Ethereal Effects.—Of Jacob Maris, Zilcken writes:
"No painter has so well expressed the ethereal effects, bathed in air and light, through floating silvery mist, in which painters delight, and the characteristic remote horizons blurred by haze; or again the gray yet luminous weather of Holland, unlike the dead gray rain of England, or the heavy sky of Paris."
This artist may be studied in this gallery by A Beach, two Views of a Town, The Ferry, and The Two Windmills, which latter represents two windmills standing as sentinels over a rather dreary landscape at the edge of a river and a canal.
His Training and his Aim in Art.—Jacob Maris (1837-99) was born in The Hague and was sent to Stroebel's studio, and later studied in the Antwerp Academy of Drawing. He was also a pupil of Louis Meyer in The Hague, and in 1865 went to Paris and studied with Hébert. Returning to The Hague, he devoted himself to landscape. He painted views of streets, country lanes, small hamlets, windmills, canals, rivers, and, sometimes, genre pieces. In all his work his aim was to make an impression. One day he said: "A picture is finished as soon as you can see what it is intended to represent."
Marius on the Beauty of his Work.—The Dutch critic, G. H. Marius, writes:
"If you stand before one of Maris's pictures for a long time you discover many objects which you had not noticed at first—houses, bridges, trees, all looming out of the mellow misty light which is diffused over the entire canvas.... What an endless variety of windmills he immortalizes! Some of his canvases have but a small solitary windmill, while others have a crowd of these gigantic, cumbersome structures. Some pictures have a fringe of them upon the horizon.
"However simple the subject, it is ofttimes made almost dramatic by the rays of the setting sun, or by the brilliancy of a silver-lined cloud. These effects of light and shade are rapidly passing, and we gaze with admiration upon the skilful work of a[Pg 201] man who can produce such a faithful picture, which his eye could have seen but momentarily. Sometimes he paints a canal with a barge pulled by a weary-looking horse, tramping along the muddy road the ruts of which are filled with water from recent rain (his horses are generally white). Or it is a bit of rich agricultural land, the long furrows stretching into the far distance; against a wonderful sky you see the profiles of distant houses, trees, mills, etc., all dying away into the horizon, showing the flatness of our Dutch landscape, where there is nothing to impede or obstruct the eye for miles."
Willem Maris's Relish for painting Cows.—Willem Maris (1844- ) studied with his brothers Jacob and , and all three worked together. As early as 1868 he sold a picture which found its way to The Hague Gallery. This, representing cattle in a green meadow, at once showed his talent for painting warm sunlight. A typical picture of Cattle hangs in this gallery; for the chief subjects of Willem Maris's pictures are cows in meadow lands; sometimes they are waiting to be milked, or are being milked; sometimes they are standing or lying under the trees; and sometimes they are knee-deep in one of the lakes.
Mr. Marius says:
Willem's Style contrasted with his Brother Jacob's.—"The two brothers Maris [Jacob and Willem] treat their skies in exactly opposite manners. The one depicts clouds, threatening storm, and changeable weather, whereas the younger brother gives us only sunshine and a sky of turquoise blue; if, however, clouds are introduced, they are like small white feathers or like the petals of a white rose. Each in his own way true to nature, and beautiful to gaze upon, yet methinks that we must give the preference to the one who gives us that greatest of all blessings, sunshine.
"A very favorite aspect of his is a cloudless sky, the brightest of suns, and part of the canvas thrown into deep shade, producing a wonderful contrast.
"Another bewitching feature, so truly Dutch, in Maris's landscapes, is the rising mist after the heat of the day. It rises from the meadows at sunset and covers the land like a cloak, especially after a hot day when the ground has been baked."
A Socialistic Artist with Romantic Visions.— Maris, the second of the three, joined his brother Jacob in Paris, and eventually he settled in London.
" Maris found rest and isolation in a suburb of London; a few faithful friends, such as Swan (the animal painter) and Van Wisselingh, break in occasionally upon his solitude. But his ideas are still socialistic, not only theoretically, but materially; and, without looking around, he gives what he receives. On this point he is likewise very sensitive. To be waited on by another, although that service is paid for, he considers humiliating; and, in order to avoid such a possibility, he lives without the comfort of attendance.
"Many might pass by the works of Maris without even noticing them; many may consider them impossible and inexplicable, and pass on, almost out of humor, perhaps even angry with them; the rational spectator will put questions to which he will receive no satisfactory replies.
"Though in his early years he painted still-life pieces, his fame rests chiefly on his visionary women seen in his romantic dreams, and portrayed with the clouds and mists of dreamland about them."
In this gallery The Bride represents him worthily.
Two Pictures representing Albert Neuhuys.—Albert Neuhuys, born in Utrecht in 1844, studied in the Academy of Drawing in Antwerp, and settled in Amsterdam, the painter of landscapes and scenes from homely and humble life. He is represented by The Doll's Dressmaker and By the Cradle, which represents a mother leaning over the cradle of her baby lying comfortably on pillows. It is interesting to note how thickly the artist has spread the paint on the canvas.
A Characteristic Picture by Christoffel Bisschop.—Christoffel Bisschop (1828-1904) may be studied by The Lord Gave and the Lord hath Taken Away, Sunday in Hindeloopen, Sister of the Bride, and Winter in Friesland, also called Repairing Skates. This is a very characteristic and typical picture. Friesland is not only the home of a[Pg 203] peculiar style of brightly painted furniture, but also the home of a school of skating of which there are two schools,—the Dutch and the Frisian. The latter, which is the older, aims at speed; and the skater wears a peculiar kind of skate, well shown on the foot of the young girl seated on the right, who is having the other skate repaired. The carved and colored sledges are also typical of Friesland. An escort waits at the door. The painter was himself a native of Friesland, and therefore depicts the costumes, furniture, houses, and people of this most picturesque corner of Holland with accuracy, charm, and sympathy.
Christoffel Bisschop.—Christoffel Bisschop is the Dutch colorist par excellence. He entered the studio of Schmidt in Delft, and worked at The Hague under Huib van Hove. He also studied in Paris with Le Comte and Gleyre, and in 1855 established himself in The Hague. A visit to the quaint town of charmed his artistic eye, and henceforth the peasants, with their gay costumes, and the brightly painted furniture and quaint houses, have furnished themes and settings for his pictures.
H. W. Mesdag.—Born in Groningen in 1831, Hendrick Willem Mesdag was destined to follow the family business of banking. Art, however, claimed him; and after painting for several years as an amateur he started work in Brussels in 1866. Except for the criticisms of Roelofs, Alma-Tadema, and other artists, Mesdag may be said to be self-taught. In 1869 he removed to The Hague, so that he could be near Scheveningen, for he had found his special talent. "I must go and live near the sea," he said, "gaze upon it daily, not only for weeks, but for months and years; watch and study its every movement, this ever-changing element, this amazing, stupendous work of the Almighty!" In 1870 he exhibited at the Paris Salon, and his Breakers in the North Sea received the gold medal. His fame was now established. France has decorated Mesdag more than once, and one of his sea pictures hangs in the Luxembourg.[Pg 204]
His Style.—Mesdag is a realist, and with broad, bold strokes of the brush he portrays what he sees and feels. He depicts the ever-changing ocean in all its moods, at all times of day and in all seasons; and the life of the fisherfolk on the shore and in the fishing-boats is also treated with sympathy. His Calm Sea by Sunset, painted in 1878, and Fishing-boats at Sea and Beach, the two latter painted in 1895, belong to this gallery.
"High up in the scale, and standing somewhat apart, is Henry William Mesdag, the marine painter. Into a branch of art which had been treated in so masterly a fashion in former centuries by Willem and Van Capelle, not to speak of Backhuysen and Bonaventure Peeters, he introduced a thorough reform. In the beginning of the century he was preceded by men of note, such as Schotel, Waldorp, Meyer, Greive, Van Heemskerck, Van Beest, Van Deventer; but their chief aim was to remain true to the tradition of the great period. They painted pretty little ships sailing on calm seas, their white sails catching a gentle breeze and reflecting the rays of the sun; or again they would paint large vessels, driven before a gale over mountainous waves. But the one was as artificial as the other; their water was like glass, their ships as if made of tin, their skies seemed cut out of oilcloth, and not one showed that he felt any love for the sea.
"Mesdag was the first to paint the sea as it is, the turbulent, restless, omnipotent, unlimited sea, that free, majestic, and mysterious element which cannot be brought within any formula, but can only be rendered in its tossing and pitching, peopled by its 'children of the sea' living on its shores or drifting on its billows. He studied every movement of the waves, every tint of the water, every change in the ever-changing sky; he bade good-bye to large vessels, huge castles of the sea, and took to painting small ships and fishing smacks, the cottages, so to speak, of the ocean. His painting is as broad and manly as the element wherein he moves and the space it covers; not as soft and transparent as the works of landscape painters,—those who give us meadows and downs,—but yet a revelation."
Other Works in the Stedelijk by Modern Artists.—Other works by modern artists worthy of attention are:[Pg 205] Canal in Amsterdam and Sinking Piles for the Erection of a House, by G. H. Breitner (1857); Te Deum Laudamus, Groote Kerk at The Hague, Oude Kerk at Amsterdam, Groote Kerk at Edam, and Barn-floor in Guelderland, by J. Bosboom (1817-91); Mother and Child, by B. J. Blommers (1845); Arrival of the Water Gueux at Leyden, by C. Rochussen (1814-94); Episode from the Siege of Leyden, Battle at Castricum, and Mellis Stoke Presenting his Rhymed Chronicle to Floris V., Count of Holland, by K. Klinkenberg (1852); River Scene in Winter, by L. Apol (1850); Scheveningen in Rainy Weather, by S. L. Verveer (1850); Queen Fredegonda and St. Prætextatus, by Alma-Tadema (1836); Mary Magdalen at the Foot of the Cross, by Ary Scheffer (1795-1858); A Landscape, by H. van de Sande Bakhuijzen (1795-1860); Church at Zandvoort, View in Enkhuizen, in Cologne, and at Amsterdam, by C. Springer (1818-91); and A Prison of the Spanish Period, and Norwegian Women Bringing their Children to be Christened, by H. A. van Trigt (1829).
A Survey of Modern Dutch Art.—A brief survey of modern Dutch art, condensed from the learned pen of Max Rooses, will not be unwelcome, particularly as we shall meet many more examples of the modern artists.
The French Neo-Classical School.—He tells us that the group of Dutch and Belgian figure-painters of the beginning of the century were descendants of the French neo-classical school; and until 1850 the principles of David, Gros, and Girodet were highly respected. The best-known representatives were John William Pieneman in Holland, and Bree, Navez, and Paelinck in Belgium.
The Romantic School.—Thereupon followed the Romantic school, whose leaders in France were Eugène Delacroix, Horace Vernet, and Descamps; in Belgium, Wappers and De Keyser; in Holland, Huib van Hove, Herman Ten Cate, Charles Rochussen, Stroebel, and Van Trigt. This school departed from the academic tendency of its predecessors,[Pg 206] just as romantic literature declared war against classicism in poetry.
The Secret of the Success of the Romanticists.—Another source helped to swell the stream of Romanticism in Holland. The artists of the neo-classical school, with their pompous but severe forms, paid more attention to line than to color. They took their example from the Italians of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Their successors set themselves to study the masters of their own country, and learned to appreciate the rich coloring, the warm lights, and harmonious tones of the golden period of their own art. We can see that they were filled with admiration for the effects of light and color in Rembrandt's works and in those of De Hooch, Gerrit Dou, and Ter Borch.
Not only did they find subjects for rich and warm coloring and pleasing treatment in the history of former days, but also in that of their own times. They took, in fact, a great step forward in that they observed the daily life around them, and kept in touch with their fellow-creatures, their ways and habits. To this group belongs Hubert van Hove, who was the first to admire the works of the old masters, and again to carry on the broken tradition; Charles Rochussen, Stroebel, to whom the effects of light and color were particularly attractive; and Herman Ten Cate and Van Trigt, the talented painters of romantic scenes derived from history.
Josef Israëls, a Brilliant Painter in this Group.—To this group belongs Josef Israëls in his earliest works. During this period of his brilliant career he was filled with enthusiasm for all that is sweet, joyous, and charming in the world, all that is fair in youth and nature; this is the period of his Children of the Sea, his Fishwomen, and his Knitting Girls. Later his subjects became more serious, and more serious, too, the claims of his art. Many followed Israëls's example. The group of admirers of the master, those who saw the world as he did,—though with their own eyes,—may be called the pith and kernel of the[Pg 207] young Dutch school. Blommers, Valkenburg, Neuhuys, and Artz may be placed at the head. They did not take life quite so sadly, they did not wish to obscure light and color but allowed the sun to blaze and triumph over mystery and darkness.
A New Party opposed to the Romanticists.—In opposition to these "champions of twilight and tenderness" arose those who preferred the real and substantial: Breitner; Sosselin de Jong, the portrait-painter; Witkamp; Thérèse Schwartze, and Van der Waay.
A similar movement took place in landscape-painting. The most important landscape-artists in the first half of the nineteenth century were Kobell, Koekkoek, and Schelfhout. Their great ideal was a careful, almost painful, working out of detail; they selected subjects rich in material, masses of big trees against water, producing great effects of light and shade. They sought to captivate the eye by an abundance of detail, and to depict woods and meadows with a smoothness which was more artificial than natural.
Bilders, Roelofs, and their Followers.—What was called the picturesque in a landscape became unnecessary to the younger men of the newer school; they painted Nature in its own beauty and in the simplicity of its charm, as they saw it in their daily lives. Of this group Bilders is the most important. He admired in the landscape, not a favorite spot, or a pretty pool, or a gayly colored cow; he saw rather land and meadow and wood in the mass, as one whole, beautiful by reason of its grand lines, its rich tones. Roelofs went a step further; his first works differ little from those of his predecessors, but by degrees he tore himself away from the accepted style and became a true reformer. It was no longer the color or the beautiful contours of a view that attracted him, but the country itself, the vegetation, the verdure, the cattle in the meadows, the sky that seems always holiday-making, the ever-changing clouds, always full of beauty.[Pg 208]
A whole school followed in this new track,—Van de Sande Bakhuijzen, Mevrouw Bilders van Bosse and Mevrouw Mesdag, Van Borselen, Storlenbeker, , who depicted with extraordinary fidelity both land and sea; John Vrolijk, whose cows are always grazing in sunny meadows under a brilliantly blue sky; De Haas, whose cattle are more heavy and massive; Du Chattel, who prefers the effect of light in Spring and in Autumn; Apol, who devotes himself almost exclusively to snow scenes, producing singularly charming effects of the sun shining upon monotonous whiteness; Mari Ten Kate, De Bock, Wijsmüller, Weissenbruch, and Tholen.
Another Step in the Modern Direction.—Another step in the modern direction was taken by artists who gave themselves up entirely to the impression of the landscape, and painted exactly what they saw; Ter Meulen, for instance, who loves Nature for the mood which she awakes in him, and who understands so well how to convey light and tone into his clever and refined pictures; Anton Mauve, and the brothers William and Jacob Maris, were also accomplished interpreters of nature, and all that lives and moves therein.
Modern Dutch Painters pursuing Independent Lines.—Of other modern Dutch painters pursuing different lines may be mentioned Bosboom, who devoted himself chiefly to the interiors of old churches, bringing out the play of light and shadow among the pillars; Klinkenberg, who paints Dutch streets and canals and the old buildings upon them in full sunshine; Jansen, who paints the Amsterdam docks and quays; Alma-Tadema, painter of classical scenes; Bisschop, the great colorist; David Bles, "the witty portrayer of morals and manners of years ago"; Henrietta Ronner-Knip, the famous painter of cats and dogs; Henkes, who depicts in grayish tones old-fashioned scenes and characters; Bakker Korff, who paints similar scenes, but in miniature; the brothers Oyens; Elchanon Verveer, painter of jolly old fishermen; Sadée; Mejuffrouw van de Sande[Pg 209] Bakhuijzen, and Mejuffrouw Roosenboom, painters of flowers and fruit; Eerelman and Van Essen, the animal painters; Allebé, the colorist, painter of human figures and animals; and Kaemmerer, who is fond of painting figures in the costumes of the Directoire. [Pg 211]
It would be well now to make a day's trip to Haarlem. The steam tram takes us through an interesting country, and in about an hour we reach the centre of the town,—the Groote Markt,—in which are several old buildings, the meat market, the Groote Kerk, and the . The latter is the chief object of our visit to Haarlem, for it contains ten large pictures by Frans Hals, which no admirer of this great master can afford to neglect.
The , facing the Groote Kerk, was originally a palace of the counts of Holland. It was begun in the twelfth century, but was remodelled in 1620 and 1630, when a wing was added. Some of the large beams in the interior date from the thirteenth century. The walls of the vestibule are decorated with coats of arms and portraits of the counts and countesses of Holland.
The Room containing Hals's Doelen Pictures.—We pass at once into the principal room, where the famous Regent (or Doelen) pictures by Hals are arranged in chronological order. These pictures represent nearly all the artist's working period. The Banquet of the Officers of the Guild of the Archers of St. George was painted in 1616, when the artist was thirty-five; the same subject, with different portraits, in 1627; the Banquet of the Officers of the Arquebusiers of St. Andrew, in 1622, when the corps departed for the siege of Hasselt and Mons; Reunion of the Arquebusiers of St. Andrew, in 1633; and Officers and Sub-Officers of the Arquebusiers of St. George, in 1639.[Pg 214]
As the enormous canvases each contain from fourteen to twenty life-size portraits, we feel as if we were entering a hall full of convivial officers, laughing, jesting, and making merry over their fine wines and choice food. They are richly dressed; many of them wear lace cuffs and ruffs and bright scarfs; flags flutter, spears glitter, spurs and swords clank and flash in the sunlight; the plumes on the large hats nod; and loud talk and bursts of laughter seem to issue from the frames. These convivial men have fought against the hated Spaniards, and are ready to trail a pike at any moment. The artist was commanded to paint each man accurately and according to his rank in the company. Every picture is, therefore, a group of portraits; and Colonel Jan Claasz Loo, in the picture of 1633, is considered one of Hals's masterpieces of portraiture. These pictures rank with Rembrandt's and Van der Helst's works of this class.
In addition to these are Regents of the Hospital of St. Elizabeth (1641), Regents of the Old Men's Almshouse, and Lady Regents of the Old Men's Almshouse, both painted in 1664, when Hals was over eighty. Two fine portraits of Nicholas van der Meer, Burgomaster of Haarlem, and his wife, are dated 1631. A copy of a portrait of Frans Hals by himself hangs in an adjoining room.
Crowe on Hals's Earlier and Later Styles.—"In every form of his art we can distinguish his earlier style from that of later years. Two Boys Playing and Singing, in the Gallery of Cassel, and A Banquet of Officers, in the Museum of Haarlem, exhibit him as a careful draughtsman, capable of great finish, yet spirited withal. His flesh, less clear than it afterwards became, is pastose and burnished. Further on he becomes more effective, displays more freedom of hand and a greater command of effect. At this period we note the beautiful full-length of a young lady of the Berensteyn family in the house of that name in Haarlem, and a splendid full-length of A Patrician Leaning on a Sword, in the Lichtenstein Collection at Vienna. Both these pictures are equalled by the Banquets of Officers of 1627, and a Meeting of the Company of St. George, of 1633, in the Haarlem Museum. A picture of the same kind in the[Pg 215] of Amsterdam, with the date of 1637, suggests some study of the masterpieces of Rembrandt, and a similar influence is apparent in a picture of 1641 at Haarlem, representing the Regents of the Company of St. Elizabeth.... Rembrandt's example did not create a lasting impression on Hals. He gradually dropped more and more into gray and silvery harmonies of tone; and two of his canvases, executed in 1664,—the Regents and Regentesses of the Oudemannenhuis, at Haarlem,—are masterpieces of color, though in substance they are but monochromes."
His Pictures of Various Strata of Society.—"Hals's pictures illustrate the various strata of society into which his misfortunes led him. His banquets or meetings of officers, of sharpshooters and guildsmen, are the most interesting of his works. But they are not more characteristic than his low-life pictures of itinerant players and singers. His portraits of gentlefolk are true and noble, but hardly so expressive as those of and tavern heroes. His first master was Van Mander, the painter and historian, of whom he possessed some pictures. But he soon left behind him the practice of the time illustrated by Schoreel and Moro, and, emancipating himself gradually from tradition, produced pictures remarkable for truth and dexterity of hand."
Hals and Rembrandt compared.—"We prize in Rembrandt the golden glow of effects based upon artificial contrasts of low light in immeasurable gloom. Hals was fond of daylight, of silvery sheen. Both men were painters of touch, but of touch on different keys. Rembrandt was the bass, Hals the treble. The latter is, perhaps, more expressive than the former. He seizes with rare intuition a moment in the life of his sitters. What nature displays in that moment he reproduces thoroughly in a very delicate scale of color, and with a perfect mastery over every form of expression. He becomes so clever at last that exact tone, light and shade, and modelling are all obtained with a few marked and fluid strokes of the brush."
The Other Corporation Pictures.—The other Corporation pictures will not detain us; but while here we can take a hasty glance at A. Brouwer's Binnenhuis; Jan Steen's Peasants' Kermesse; Philips 's Stags and Goats; Molenaer's Rustic Wedding; F. Hals the Younger's Binnenhuis; Pieter Aertsen's Children in the Fiery Furnace; A. Backer's Semiramis; Cornelis Bega's Street Musicians; Gerrit[Pg 216] Berckheyde's Groote Markt in Haarlem and Fish Market in Haarlem; Job Berckheyde's Groote Kerk, Haarlem, and Joseph and his Brothers in Egypt; Bloemaert's Message to the Shepherds; Pieter Claez's Still Life; Jacques de Claen, Fruits; Droochsloot's Kermesse; A. van Everdingen's Street in Haarlem; H. Goltzius's Titus; G. W. Heda's Still Life; G. van Honthorst's Singer; Hendrik Meyer's Groote Markt, Haarlem; P. de Molyn's Pillaged and Burning Village; Isaac van Nickele's Groote Kerk, Haarlem; Isaac Ouwater's Groote Markt, Haarlem; Christoffel Pierson's Hunting Attributes; 's Holland Dunes and Landscape in the Dunes; Saenredam's Nieuwe Kerk, Haarlem; P. van Santvoort's Winter Landscape; J. van Scorel's Adam and Eve, St. Cecilia Playing the Organ, and Christ's Baptism in the Jordan; Jacob van der Ulft's The Forum of Nerva, Rome; 's Landscape; Jan Wijnants's Landscape; Thomas 's Roman Ruins; and many portraits by Maes, Jan Weenix, Jan Victors, Verkolje, Ter Borch, Ravesteyn, Pot, Netscher, Mierevelt, T. de Keijser, and other famous Dutch artists.
The Teyler Museum.—We can afford to neglect the Teyler Museum, unless we are particularly interested in the study of modern Dutch art. In that case, we can view there some excellent examples of Israëls, Mauve, Mesdag, Ten Cate, J. Koster, Bosboom, Verveer, Eeckhout, Koekkoek, and others. The Teyler Museum also contains a valuable collection of engravings and drawings by old masters, including Rembrandt, , Goltzius, and A. van Ostade.
The Paviljoen Welgelegen.—Taking the tram to Frederiks-Park, we may glance at the Paviljoen Welgelegen, a château built in 1788 by Mr. Hope, an Amsterdam banker, and which was purchased by Louis Napoleon when he became King of Holland. It was to this building that the modern pictures were removed from the Trippenhuis in 1838. This now shelters a Colonial Museum and a Museum of Industrial Art, both of great interest. [Pg 217]
The (or Boymans) Museum, on the Schiedamsche Dyk, was founded by a bequest of Mr. F. J. O. Boijmans, who died in 1847. His fine collection of 360 paintings suffered by fire in 1864, and only 163 of them were left. These were housed in a new building, completed in 1867. By means of various bequests and purchases, the collection has been increased to more than four hundred paintings and two thousand drawings and engravings. The ground-floor contains the drawings and engravings, the Library of Rotterdam (30,000 volumes), and the Portrait-room. The upper floor consists of six galleries, two of which are devoted to modern pictures.
Two Classes of Landscapes in this Museum.—The Museum is rich in landscapes. These naturally fall into two classes: first, the works of those men who studied in Italy or at least owed their inspiration to others who did; and secondly, pictures of purely Dutch scenery with the peasants, flocks, and herds familiar to the native. The classical landscapes are framed with mountains, and usually have cascades and ruins, and often are peopled with nymphs, shepherds, and other figures classically draped. Many examples of this school have already been noted in The Hague and Amsterdam museums.
Painters of Italian Landscapes.—Jan Miel (1599-1664) went to Rome and studied under Andreas Sacchi.[Pg 220] His Italian Landscape, alive with travellers, is similar in feeling and treatment to many others in this gallery by Jan van de Meer, Jr., Adam Pynacker, J. Lingelbach, Jacob van Huchtenburgh, Willem de Heusch, Jan Hackaert, J. van Bronckhorst, Pieter Bout, Jan Both, Adriaen Bloemaert, and Johannes van der Bent. In many of these classical landscapes the figures are supplied by A. and Lingelbach.
Poelenburg's Figure-painting.—Poelenburg painted the figures in the pictures of some of his contemporaries,—in the Rocky Landscape by Willem de Heusch, for instance. In this panel we find the usual road with women, children, cattle, sheep, goats, trees, cascade, rocks covered with vegetation, shepherd with flock, travellers with a pack-mule, and mountainous background.
A. Bloemaert's Italian Landscape.—Adriaen Bloemaert (d. 1668) painted historical subjects and landscape. His Italian Landscape exhibits goats on rocks covered with vegetation in the foreground, from which a road rises to a castle on a mountain. A man and a child are coming down the road. The background is mountainous.
Dirk Maas's Camp.—Dirk Maas (1656-1717) studied successively under Mommers, Berchem, and Huchtenburgh, and finally adopted the style of the latter. His subjects generally are skirmishes, marches, and camps. His Camp is full of life. The canvas of a tent is fixed to a tree-trunk. Before the tent sits a cavalier, glass in hand and holding a horse by the bridle, talking to a woman standing in front of him. Inside the tent, soldiers are playing cards; on the right, two dogs are fighting. There are other groups of soldiers, beggars, horses, women, and children. The background is closed by tents at the foot of an elevation crowned by a fortress.
Jan Maartsen's Cavalry Combat.—Jan Maartsen (d. 1645) painted battles and cavalry skirmishes. His Cavalry Combat, dated 1630, shows a fight between Dutch and Spaniards. Infantry are engaged in the background.[Pg 221]
Vrancx's Pillage and his Promenade.—Sebastian Vrancx (or Francken) has a Pillage, somewhat similar to that of . Soldiers are seen pursuing fugitives and chasing cattle before them; one soldier takes a poor peasant from his house as prisoner; and farther away, near a tree, are a horseman on a rearing horse, and a house in flames; in the middle distance the village street guarded by the cavalry; and in the background houses, and a town on the horizon.
His Promenade shows a gentleman in black, with brown mantle and large hat ornamented with green, white, and red feathers, offering his hand to a lady in a white dress, red overskirt, black mantle, and red bonnet. On the right is a grape-vine; on the left, an inn, in which several persons are seated; and on the horizon, a town.
The same subject is again treated, but this time the gentleman wears a costume of white satin and red velvet, a brown cloak and a brown hat with a green plume, and high leather boots, while the lady has a blue dress, a white bodice, a tunic of red satin, a fluted ruff, and a round hat. Fireworks are seen in the background.
's Battle Picture.—Esais van de Velde has a Nocturnal Combat between Cavalry and Infantry, in which a Dutch troop of cavalry are attacking Spanish Mousquetaires and Lansquenets, the scene illuminated by a tent in flames. Far in the distance are the towers and spires of a town.
Johan Huchtenburgh and his Cavalry Combat.—Johan van Huchtenburgh (1646-1733) was a pupil of Thomas . After joining his brother Jacob in Italy in 1667, and working there for a time, he left for France, and painted under the direction of the celebrated battle-painter, A. F. van der Meulen. On his return to Holland in 1670 he grew famous; afterwards he painted scenes from the wars in which William III., Marlborough, and Prince Eugene were prominent. His Cavalry Combat shows a fight between the Imperial troops and the Turks in a mountainous district.[Pg 222] It is full of action. The foreground is in shadow, while the middle distance and background are fully illuminated.
Lingelbach's Country People by a Fountain.—Country People by a Fountain is the title of a picture by J. Lingelbach. In the foreground of an Italian landscape several country people are variously grouped; on the right, at the foot of a rock, a fountain gushes forth, by which is a man wrapped in sheepskin; in the centre, a woman riding an ass, is talking to another woman, who stands by her side; then comes a boy; then a man is seen drinking from the fountain, his ass beside him. On the left, another peasant is riding a white horse laden with panniers; and by his side walks a man with a stick in his hand, and followed by a dog. On the left is a lake; and mountains form the background.
Three Landscapes by Adam Pynacker.—The Rotterdam Gallery owns three pictures by Adam Pynacker. In An Italian Landscape a line of high mountains edges the horizon, from which stretches a plain; and in the foreground on the right, a river flows from a high mountain through a rocky gorge. Two men are fishing; and near them are a dog and an ass. On the left a road leads to a small lake, on the borders of which a herdsman and his cattle are advancing. In the Mountainous Landscape a ruined tower stands at the foot of a high rock on the left; and along the road that is lost behind the hill and rocks in the foreground, peasants and their cattle are seen. The setting sun throws its warm rays over the wooded hills and over the river that winds through the vast landscape and upon the figures, and illuminates a cow and a goat browsing among the bushes and rocks. On the Border of a Lake shows a sheet of water illuminated by the sun, and on the left several persons are embarking. In the distance are rocky peaks partly wooded; and men are fishing from the shore of the lake.
Jacob Huchtenburgh's Mountainous Landscape.—Jacob van Huchtenburgh followed his master, Berchem.[Pg 223] In the foreground of his Mountainous Landscape a road crosses a river by a three-arched stone bridge. In the road are some sheep and peasants; and a shepherd with an ass and two cows is crossing the bridge. At a ford on the right a man is watering two horses. Some distance away there is a cloister at the foot of a high mountain, before which are monks, peasants, and a carriage and horses. Higher up the mountain are a farm, a castle, and a group of buildings surrounded by walls. Peasants are dancing in a valley on the left. Finally, we see a vast mountain landscape through which a river winds.
Moucheron's Mountainous Landscape.—Another Mountainous Landscape is by Moucheron. In the foreground we observe a woman on a white horse. She is talking to a man who descends a hill. Some country people are wading through a ford, and on the other side of the stream stands a ruined tower. The picture is lighted by the warm rays of the setting sun. Adriaen painted the figures.
Two Imitators of Poelenburg's Style.—Jan van Bronckhorst has an Italian Landscape in the style of Poelenburg, by which he is most commonly known. There are ruins partly surrounded by water, two bathers, a shepherd and goats, a stone bridge, and mountainous background. Another imitator of Poelenburg was Jacob Esselens (b. 1628), who painted landscapes, marines, and town views. A Landscape shows a distinguished company of ladies and gentlemen beside a stream with carriages, horses, hounds, herons, and falcons. On the river are a yacht and a row-boat; and, in the distance, a castle among the trees. The scene is full of color and movement.
Jan Beerstraten and his Town Gate.—Jan Beerstraten (d. 1660) painted marines and town views; but nothing is known of him except that he married Magdalena Bronckhorst. His drawing is good, color excellent, and brush work strong. Some of his marines will bear[Pg 224] comparison with those of Backhuysen. A. sometimes painted his figures. A Town Gate, signed and dated 1654, worthily displays his powers. In a mountainous country we see a town, with its churches, towers, gates, and fortifications, situated on both sides of a river; on the water several boats are sailing and rowing; and, on the banks, people are bathing and promenading.
Jan Hackaert's Mountainous Landscape.—Jan Hackaert has a fine Mountainous Landscape with a shepherd playing a clarinet by a stream, and a couple of peasants dancing, watched by a man with his back to us. On a hill to the right, under tall trees, are a hunter and his dog; to the left, a man on horseback followed by a dog. A road runs along the banks of a lake, at the foot of a high mountain brightly illuminated by the sun, on which three cavaliers are approaching at a fast trot. The figures and animals in this canvas belong to J. Lingelbach.
Berchem and Two who painted in his Style.—Johannes van der Bent (1650-90) was a pupil of Ph. and A. ; but he also imitated the style of N. Berchem. He has an Italian Landscape in which a shepherdess is milking a goat in the foreground, with another woman and a boy near her; farther on are a white horse and cattle. The mountainous background has a cascade as usual. Berchem is not strongly represented here,—only by A Grotto: a woman and two men, one mounted on an ass, are driving cattle over a ford. On the right, a shepherd is driving a flock of sheep; there are high mountains in the distance. Dirk van Berghen has also a Landscape and Animals in this style with mountainous and woody perspective.
J. Both's Italian Landscape: Evening.—Johannes Both has another of his pictures here that shows the influence of Claude Lorraine. In the Italian Landscape: Evening, the left foreground is occupied by tall trees; a chariot is drawn by two oxen along a road leading to an old tower; on the horizon is a town on the .[Pg 225]
P. Bout's Italian Seaport.—Pieter Bout (1658-1702) almost always worked in collaboration with N. Boudwijns, for whose landscapes he supplied figures. Works exclusively his own are very rare. He belonged to the Flemish-Italian school, and has here a busy and lively Italian Seaport in the style of J. B. Weenix. It is signed and dated 1669, which hardly agrees with the date given for his birth unless he was very precocious.
Other Painters in the Same Group.—In this group also we might include Gerrit Claes Bleecker (d. 1656), whose work recalls Elzheimer and his followers. His Saul on the Road to Damascus is classical rather than Biblical in sentiment, and the landscape is Italian.
Weenix's Tobias Sleeping under a Vine.—The same may be said of the charming Tobias Sleeping under a Vine by J. B. Weenix. In this there is a house on the right, against the wall of which is a vine under which Tobias is sleeping. A magpie is flying above his head, and beside him are various objects such as this artist loved to paint,—vegetables, a great copper milk pan, a yoke, harness, and other things, including a basket of grapes and an earthen pitcher. In the background a man is mounting a ladder. The picture is signed and dated 1662, two years before the painter's death.
Hendrick Mommers (1623-97) also has an Italian Landscape. He imitated the style of Karel Dujardin, another painter of this school. Frederick de Moucheron has a Mountainous Landscape. His pictures also were peopled by the indefatigable and Lingelbach.
Landscape Setting for The Good Samaritan.—Joris van der Hagen is another who makes use of a Biblical episode as an excuse for a landscape, or for the frame of the subject, as in his Landscape Serving as a Frame for the Parable of the Good Samaritan. In the foreground on the left, near two tall trees, the Good Samaritan has dismounted and is stanching the wounds of the traveller; four dogs are near the ass; not far away the brigands are descending a path at[Pg 226] the foot of a mountain. On the right is the Levite, and farther back is the Pharisee, going away in a different direction. In the background is a river crossed by a three-arched bridge, on the other side of which are high buildings surrounded with trees. Mountains close the view.
Boaz and Ruth in an Italian Setting.—Gerbrand van den Eeckhout (1621-74), although a pupil of Rembrandt, painted so-called Biblical scenes in much the same spirit. Thus his Boaz and Ruth has an Italian setting. In the foreground Boaz is talking to his servant; Ruth is standing beside the latter with her apron full of wheat. On the left is a barn surrounded with trees; in front of it three harvesters are eating their meal; on the right beside a plough are a straw hat, a game-bag, and a pitcher. In the background is a field of corn which is being reaped and sheafed. Mountains close the scene.
Balaam, by the Same Artist.—Again in Balaam, trees and a river, high mountains and ruins, form the background. The prophet is seated on his ass, and beating him with a stick to make him advance; but on the left an angel in white with golden wings stops him, sword in hand. Balaam is followed by two horsemen in Roman costume, and behind them is a chariot drawn by two horses.
The Flight into Egypt with an Italian Background.—Pieter Lastman painted an Italian landscape as a background for the Flight into Egypt. Here we see the Virgin Mary on an ass with the Infant Jesus in her arms, and by her side walks Joseph, carrying his carpenter's tools. A tree is seen on the left; and a cascade, ruins, and rocks in the background on the right.
Van der Weyden's The Apostle John.—Rogier van der Weyden (1390-1464) is an early master who painted in this style. In his The Apostle St. John, the Apostle is seated in the foreground of a landscape, writing on a sheet of paper which lies on his knees. He wears a red robe, and a large red mantle lined with green falls from his shoulders and covers his knees with ample folds. Behind him, a[Pg 227] winged demon empties his inkstand. On the left two gentleman are seen on horseback, and the background shows a mountainous landscape traversed by a river and enlivened by a castle and a fortified town.
Van der Maes and Van der Werff.—Evert Crijnsz van der Maes (1577-1646) has a St. Jerome in a landscape, signed and dated 1609. Another picture of a hermit is by B. Matton, who lived a little later. Pieter van der Werff has a Repentant Magdalen, who is kneeling in a grotto with hands crossed on her breast, while she reads a parchment scroll covered with Hebraic characters.
Jan van Byler's Picture of Rachel and her Father.—Jan van Byler, born in Utrecht in the second half of the seventeenth century, and pupil of his father, is rarely met with in either public or private galleries. Here, however, we find Laban Reproaching Rachel for having Carried off his Household Gods. In the foreground, Rachel is seated holding by one hand a little boy, while with the other she makes a gesture, as if to ward off the reproaches of Laban, who is standing before her. On the right is a young man carrying a basket. A brown and white dog lies in the foreground; and in the distance are seen two men and a camel near a tent attached to the trunk of a tree.
H. Goltzius.—H. Goltzius is represented by an interesting picture, Juno Receiving the Eyes of Argus Killed by Mercury. Mercury is seated on a red cloak; in his right hand he holds one of the eyes of Argus, which Juno, descending on a cloud, is about to receive in her robe. Before him are the severed head and corpse of Argus and a naked sword. A rocky landscape extends to the right, and on the left, in the clouds, the chariot of Juno, drawn by peacocks.
Moreelse's Vertumnus and Pomona.—An interesting mythological picture by Moreelse is called Vertumnus and Pomona. The latter is seated under the trees to the left with her face turned toward the spectator. She wears a yellow silk dress with a blue tunic; her right hand holds a[Pg 228] pruning-hook and her left a bunch of white grapes. A little behind her Vertumnus is seen in the guise of an old woman, leaning on a stick and extending the left hand.
De Vos's Allegory, Crowned by Riches.—Cornelius de Vos (1585-1651), pupil of David Remens, has an Allegory, Crowned by Riches. On the right, under a red tent fringed with gold, a young woman in a green dress and mantle embroidered with gold, a crown of gold in her right hand and a sceptre in her left, stands majestically. Before her kneels a farmer to be crowned, and he extends his hand to the fruits and vegetables in the foreground. On a table to the right, covered with a crimson cloth, are various objects of gold and silver. Farther back under the tent are two women, a negro, and Love. In the middle distance is Time with his scythe. To the left in the background, a landscape, where people are tilling the soil.
An Allegory by De Wit.—Jacob de Wit also has an Allegory. Minerva, in a landscape, is seated with her right hand on her harp; in front of her, four naked children are sporting, and one is playing a harp.
A Classical Scene by Van der Ulft.—Jacob van der Ulft has a picture, painted in 1674, representing The Betrothed of Allucius Led as Prisoner Before Scipio. Ruins of temples and city walls and gates are seen to right and left. In the foreground are Scipio, the betrothed of Allucius, and other prisoners. Farther back are Roman soldiers with chariots, elephants, camels, and spoils of war. In the background a town is seen at the base of the mountains.
Achilles Recognized by Ulysses, by Van Limborch.—Achilles Recognized by Ulysses, by H. van Limborch, shows Achilles kneeling on the ground in the dress of a woman with a blue chalmys, having a sword in his right and the scabbard in his left hand; he is recognized by Ulysses who, with another person, is standing behind him. On the ground lie a helmet, a shield, several precious objects, and some jewels which are being examined and handled by the wives of Lycomedes, King of Scyros. In the background[Pg 229] on the left is the peristyle of a palace; and on the right are several persons near a statue and a boat.
De Vriendt's The Death of Lucrezia.—The Death of Lucrezia, by Frans Floris de Vriendt, is painted in a similar vein. Lucrezia is on her knees, in a despairing pose, and about to stab herself. In the background several buildings are seen.
Painters of Purely Dutch Scenery.—Turning now to painters of purely Dutch scenery and outdoor life, the contains many pictures by the followers of Rembrandt, Potter, , and . Some of these display the open country, and others the life by the wayside, in the streets, and in the vicinity of towns. There are many charming pictures of the outdoor life of the gentry, the tradesmen, and the farmers. We have scenes of hunting, hawking, fishing, promenades, and cavalcades, with beautiful landscape surroundings, and several pictures of the farm, pure and simple.
Three Pictures by Jacob .—Jacob Ruisdael has one picture, The Corn Field, which represents a hilly landscape. In the foreground brushwood, heath, and moss; on the right two oaks and, on an incline, a wheat-field partly cut, and mowers who are resting. On the horizon, to the left, is the sea with a few sails upon it.
Another picture is called A Sandy Road, and on this, which leads through brushwood and oak-trees, trudge two persons. On the right is a pool partly hidden in shadow.
The third picture by represents The Old Fish-Market at Amsterdam. On the right is the tower of the old church; in the foreground are the fish-venders sitting at their stalls and many promenaders; and in the background is the canal, on which boats are lying and sails spread out to dry. The figures were painted by Gerard van Battem.
A Wooded Landscape by .—Izack van Ruisdael (1628 or 9-1677) is represented by A Wooded Landscape, signed and dated 1665. Water is seen to the[Pg 230] right, as well as in the foreground, and six cows are standing in it. On the left are several tall trees, beneath which are cows and sheep; and far in the distance some men are fishing from the bank.
A Wooded Landscape by Hobbema.—A Wooded Landscape and Landscape by Hobbema are characteristic examples. The first shows fine treatment of light. The sun piercing through thick clouds lights the middle distance, while foreground and background are in shadow. Among the tall trees in the background a barn is seen; then a boy and a woman fording the stream; a shepherd and some sheep near a willow tree; then come two tree-trunks and some brushwood; then a winding road, on which a peasant and a boy are walking; then a sheet of water bordered by willows.
Another Landscape by Hobbema.—The other Landscape also shows a sheet of water in the foreground where two persons are fishing; then a tree-trunk, half of which is in the water; then some trees on a rising ground. A couple of ducks are swimming in the water. In the background a peasant's house is seen, before which a man is standing; and on the left a second clump of trees, where two persons are walking. The background is brilliantly lighted; but the middle distance and the foreground are in shadow.
Van Kessel's Landscape near Haarlem.—Jan van Kessel (1648-98), about whom little is known, and some of whose works follow the style of J. van , has here a Landscape near Haarlem and a View of Amsterdam. The first shows a brightly lighted foreground with a road leading to a village on the right, the ruins of the Castle of Brederode. Huntsmen and dogs, a shepherd and sheep, and some swans in a moat, by Lingelbach, enliven the scene. The middle distance is in shadow, and here we have trees, fields, and dunes. The background shows a brightly lighted landscape stretching away into the distance.
His View of Amsterdam.—His View of Amsterdam[Pg 231] shows a canal where a man is rowing a boat, a large boat fastened on the right, some swans floating in the water on the left. The canal, shut by the gates, is crossed by a stone bridge, on which some people are walking. In the corner is a quay bordered with trees, and on the horizon a clock-tower.
One of Isaak van Ostade's Rare Pictures.—Isaak van Ostade (1621-49), a pupil of his brother Adriaen, usually painted inns and village scenes, now extremely rare. Neither the Mauritshuis nor the Rijks owns an example. Hence the Inn among the Dunes is of great interest. A chariot, drawn by a white horse, is arriving before an inn among the trees on the left. The horse is being fed, and some travellers and children stand in front of the door. A little boy is leading some pigs across the foreground; two horsemen are galloping away in the distance, and the horizon shows the dunes and a clock-tower.
A. van der Neer's Moonlit Landscape.—A Moonlit Landscape by van der Neer is a striking picture with simple materials. A road, bordered with trees, is seen in the foreground, with two persons approaching; in the middle distance are some cows on the banks of a canal, and peasants' houses under the trees, with a clock-tower in the background. The sky is stormy, and the moon is rising and throwing its rays on the water.
A. 's Landscape and Blacksmith.—Adriaen van de Velde has a Landscape with Animals and A Blacksmith. The first shows a flat landscape with a light brown ox, and a little farther away a sheep lying down, and also a cow; in the background a is seen beneath the trees, and a vast meadow dotted with cows stretches away to the right. The Blacksmith is in the background at the door of his forge, before which a boy stands with a gray horse. An ass, a cock, and some hens lend additional animation to the little scene.
Two Norwegian Landscapes by Everdingen.— van Everdingen is represented by two fine examples of the[Pg 232] Norwegian landscape, for which he is famous. The scenes are lively, with human figures in both.
A Hunting Scene by Keirinckx and Poelenburg.—Alexander Keirinckx (b. 1600) was a painter of landscapes and views of towns. He painted with much truth to nature, his foliage especially being executed with rare perfection. Poelenburg, as a rule, painted the figures in his pictures, as he did in A Forest, signed and dated 1630. This is a hunting scene, with a gentleman on horseback followed by hounds under tall trees in the foreground. Other figures are a huntsman sounding a call, two other hunters, and a stag in the distance among the trees.
Verboom's Evening.—Abraham Hendricksz Verboom (seventeenth century) is represented by Evening, showing trees in the foreground, huntsmen and dogs in the middle distance lighted by the setting sun, and behind a wooden fence a . In the background a clock-tower appears on the right, while a rocky landscape extends to the left.
Nymegen's Swiss Landscape.—Gerard van Nymegen (1735-1808) was the pupil of his father D. van Nymegen. He visited Germany and Switzerland. The owns a Swiss Landscape, in which a majestic and foaming cascade plunges down the rocks; while, on the left, in the foreground, is a large fallen tree. Shepherds and sheep are crossing a bridge.
's Ruined Castle.—A good example of Jan van der Heyde is A Ruined Castle. The scene is a courtyard with a large tree, under which is seated a shepherd playing a flute; a horseman is in a gateway on the left; and several persons are standing on a stone bridge on the right. A few clouds are floating across the clear sky. The picture is much admired for its light and shadow.
Donck's Coming Home from Shooting.—Gerrit Donck has a canvas called Coming Home from Shooting, with a cottage, two gentlemen, a woman, a peasant, and a boy. In the centre, some dead game lies on an inverted tub.[Pg 233] One gentleman is seated; he points to the birds and talks to the woman. The other gentleman holds his gun and listens to what the peasant has to say. The boy looks on. Through the open door on the right we see a landscape in the style of J. van Goyen.
P. 's Gentleman on Horseback.—A Gentleman on Horseback is by Philips Wouwermans. Mounted on a gray horse the rider takes his way through a sandy landscape toward the dunes that are seen on the left. He wears a gray costume embroidered with gold, a black hat with a white feather, and high black boots. In the background are trees, and on the right is a pavilion.
An Admired Picture by E. .— van de Velde's Cavalier has always been greatly admired. Vosmaer says: "This little figure, seen from behind, sitting so squarely and easily on his horse, seems really a personage of life size; it is almost an equestrian statue. The horse is rearing, and the rider, whose back is turned to the spectator, wears a felt hat, a blue cloak, and high black riding-boots."
P. 's Pillaging Soldiers.—Philips Wouwermans once again displays the pleasure he takes in painting horses in his Pillaging Soldiers. In a hilly country and on the banks of a river a soldier on a white horse is aiming at the cheek of a peasant who is begging for mercy on his knees; one individual lies stretched out on the ground; and on the right a woman with her child in her arms is being pursued by a soldier. In the middle distance, a horseman is carrying off his booty, and on the left two horsemen are pursuing the fugitives. A village in flames appears in the background.
Verschuring's Horse-Shoer.—Hendrick Verschuring (1627-90) was a painter of social life, portraits, and figures, and was a pupil of Dirk Govertsz and Jan Both. He visited Italy. His picture here is called A Horse-Shoer. Before the steps of the old of Amsterdam (represented also in Beerstraten's picture in this gallery) a man is[Pg 234] shoeing a white horse. Farther back stands a man in a red cloak; to the right some beggars with a dog. Among the trees in the background a horseman is disappearing.
A Spirited Forest Scene by Looten.—Another landscape painter of this period was Jan Looten, who died in England in 1660. Like so many of his contemporaries, he employed others, especially Berchem, to enliven his scenery with figures. His large picture, A Forest, signed and dated 1658, is a spirited scene of ladies and gentlemen mounted, with hawks on their fists and followed by falconers. The landscape is prettily diversified with woods, streams, and hills.
The Dunes, by J. .—Jan Wouwermans (1629-66), pupil of his brother Philips, has a picture of The Dunes. In the middle of the picture is a watercourse, which is crossed by a bridge and loses itself behind a hill over which is seen the roof of a house.
A Sunny Picture by Molenaer.—Nicolaas Molenaer (d. 1676) has a sunny picture of a Bleaching Ground. In the foreground is a man in a boat on a stretch of water. To the right is the bleaching ground, in which people are busy spreading out the linen; and on the left are cottages, with tall trees behind.
P. de Molyn's Farm.—Pieter de Molyn the Elder (?-1661) has a pretty picture of a farm, where two peasant men are talking to a peasant woman. A very large tree stands in the front in full light, and behind the hedge are a hayrick and the house.
Murant's Farm.—Another farm is the work of Emanuel Murant. A large tree and a sheet of water occupy the foreground. Near the latter a goat is lying; then come three pigs before a stable, and three sheep and a peasant. A pigeon-house on four poles and a hay-wagon are seen in the background.
Three Good Landscape-painters.—Jan Breughel (1601-78) painted so much like his father ("Velvet") that it is hard to distinguish the one from the other. His two village[Pg 235] scenes are full of the country and rural life. Michiel Carree (1666-1747) was another painter of the country. His Wooded Landscape with Cattle has a mountainous background; it is animated by a shepherd, an ass, two oxen, two goats, a ram, and several lambs. Cornelis Decker (d. 1678) was a pupil of Salomon , whom he greatly resembles in style. His landscape depicts a peasant's cot half hidden among trees on the bank of a stream. On a plank crossing the latter a woman is washing clothes; on the right are two persons in a boat; on the horizon are trees and a clock-tower.
Netscher's Family Scene.—Netscher's Family Scene, painted in 1667, shows a group in a garden in front of an imposing house. A gentleman in a long brown wig leans on the base of a pillar; behind him is a statue of Justice, and beside him a lady in white satin with a child on her knee. Near her are two young girls; one is in red silk, the other in blue satin. They are making floral crowns, while three other children are twining flowers around a statue of Love. On the left, in the foreground, is a handsome stone vase containing a plant.
Two Landscapes.—Pieter Jansz van As has a typical Dutch landscape with rustic cottages, goats, shepherds, etc. Jan van Gool (1685-1763) was a pupil of Terwesten and Van der Does. His Landscape and Animals is a milking scene in a meadow, wherein are also a dog, goat, sheep, and lambs. Trees, meadows, and a town close the distance.
One of Koninck's Very Scarce Pictures.—Jacob Koninck (fl. 1640) was a pupil of A. ; his pictures are very scarce. Landscape with Animals shows sheep and cattle browsing and lying down, with a young shepherd presumably cutting his name on a tree-trunk. Banks of trees and a close the background.
A Charming Landscape by P. van der Leeuw.—Another little-known landscape-painter, Pieter van der Leeuw (fl. 1670), was a son and pupil of Sebastiaen van der Leeuw.[Pg 236] He has a charming Landscape and Animals; the animals consist of two oxen drinking at a stream, a ram, two ewes, a goat, a sheep, and two lambs. A shepherd and shepherdess rest under a tree. The color and composition are excellent.
Michau's Landscape with Cottages.—Theobald Michau (1676-1765) modelled himself on D. Teniers the Younger. His Landscape with Peasants' Cottages is full of the spirit of humble life. A woman sits at her door with a child on her lap, talking to three neighbors; another is washing kitchen utensils; a man and a dog are approaching. On the left there are tall trees, and five cows beside a stream; and farther back are cottages and a church-tower above trees.
A Characteristic Picture by Van der Poel.—Egbert van der Poel has here a characteristic picture, Fire at Night in a Village House. The house in flames occupies the middle of the picture; many persons are trying to put out the fire, and some are throwing water upon it. Several neighboring houses and a clock-tower are lighted by the glow of the flames.
Van Straaten's Washerwoman.—Bruno van Straaten, who was born in Utrecht in 1786, is represented by The Washerwoman. She is represented as busy outside the walls of the town; near her are houses, trees, and a windmill.
Van Os's Farrier.—Pieter Frederik van Os (b. 1808), a pupil of his father, , has a canvas called The Farrier. In this, two men are shoeing a white horse in front of an old forge.
Cuijp's Stable.—Aelbert Cuijp's picture The Stable shows two dappled horses seen from the back in a stable; in the foreground are seen a stable-boy, a goat, some stable utensils, and a brown dog.
An Interesting Kermesse by Droochsloot.—Joost Cornelisz Droochsloot, a native of Utrecht, who was born about 1586 and died after 1666, has an interesting Kermesse.[Pg 237] The scene is a village street, where a great number of peasants are drinking, singing, and quarrelling. The houses are half hidden by trees, and in the background is seen a clock-tower, on the summit of which a red flag is floating.
An Interesting Picture of Low Life.—An interesting picture by Govert Camphuysen, who lived in the seventeenth century, called Wagon Full of Drunken Peasants before an Inn, shows a wagon drawn by a white and a brown horse standing before an inn. About half a dozen men and women are seated in it drinking and singing, and there is a fiddler upon the front seat. The driver is cutting some bread; by the door stands the hostess, who is pouring beer into a pewter mug; a man with glass in hand is seen at an open window; a beggar stands by the wagon; and a horseman is riding along the road.
A Dutch Landscape by Van Os.—Georgius Jacobus Johannes van Os has a landscape. The scene is in Guelderland. Trees and a wheat field occupy the background and middle distance; and in the foreground are seen sheep and cows, painted by his brother, van Os.
Maria J. Ommeganck's Landscape with Sheep.—Maria Jacoba Ommeganck (1760-1849) is represented in this gallery by a Landscape with Sheep. The scenery is mountainous. In the foreground two sheep are lying down; in the middle distance a brown sheep is standing near a portion of a house; and in the background are a shepherd with his dog and some browsing sheep.
Two Landscapes.—Jan Hendrik Weissenbruch, born in Amsterdam in 1829, has a Landscape with Animals, representing cattle in a meadow bright with sunshine. In the foreground to the right is a watercourse, and in the middle distance a mill. A Landscape in Guelderland by Anthonie Jacobus van Wijngaerdt (1808- ) represents a sandy road through a forest along which a man and a woman trudge bearing fagots. The sky is full of clouds.
A Sunset, by Schipperus.—Pieter Adriannus Schipperus (b. 1840) has a Sunset. The red sun disappears[Pg 238] behind the trees and is reflected across a pond surrounded by brushwood that occupies the foreground.
A Fine Example of H. van Hove's First Period.—Hubertus van Hove (1814-65), the son of Bartholomeus, painted figure subjects, after having first applied himself to landscape. A fine example of his first period is the View of the Lakes in the Environs of Rotterdam.
An Early Production of W. Roelofs.— Roelofs is represented here by one of his early productions, Landscape and Animals. In the middle distance are trees and a country house, and in the foreground a meadow with cows standing on the banks of the river. It is interesting to note that the cows were painted by J. H. L. de Haas.
Mauve's Cows in a Shady Nook.—Anton Mauve is represented by Cows in a Shady Nook. Several black cows spotted with white are lying under the shade of the big boughs; another stands in the foreground near the water; in the background there is a ditch bordered with willows and tall grasses.
Other Modern Landscapes.—Among the other modern landscapes we may note: Landscape, by Apol; On the Dunes, by Artz; The and View of the Village of Nuenen in Northern Brabant, by Vincent van Gogh; An Afternoon at Katwijk-on-Sea, by S. L. Verveer; Landscape with a Windmill near Schiedam, by Weissenbruch; Heath in Guelders in Autumn, by Théophile de Bock; Street View (The Hague) and March Showers, by J. J. van de Sande Bakhuijzen; and Summer (a woman and three children playing on a beach), by Blommers.
Jäger's View of the Town of Alger.—Gerard de Jäger (d. after 1663) was a painter of marines and canals. Nothing is known of him. His View of the Town of Alger is signed and dated 1665. It is a plan rather than a picture, having an explanatory placard of the objects of interest depicted.
A Village Picture by Van der Meer.—Jan van der Meer (1628-91) has a picture of The Village of Noordwijk[Pg 239] Seen from the Dunes, dated 1676. A hunter is talking to two women in the foreground; cattle and a bleaching-ground occupy the middle distance, while a church amid trees is in the extensive stretch of background.
Two Town Views of Van Hove.—B. J. van Hove has a Town View, where upon a square in front of a Gothic church three men are talking. One of them is accompanied by a dog. On a stone parapet on the left is seated a person with a basket on his back. In the background a canal is seen with two boats on it, and behind the trees on the quays some houses are visible. Another Town View by the same painter shows a canal with a bridge, beneath which a boat is passing. In the middle distance on the right there is an old Dutch house, a part of which, as well as the church with its clock-tower in the distance, is brilliantly lighted.
Two of De Hulst's now Rare Pictures.—The pictures of Frans de Hulst, a native of Haarlem, where he died in 1662, are now exceedingly rare. Two hang here. One is a View of the Old Gate of the East at Hoorn, showing the moat surrounding the town, and various boats, in one of which the fishermen are drawing their nets. In the middle distance is the old fortified gate (built in 1511 and now demolished) and the drawbridge, and in the horizon a large sheet of water. The View of Nymegen shows some travellers arriving on the river bank in a chariot drawn by four horses; the city is seen on the hills bordering the river on the right, and beyond the walls and gates rises the Valkhof with its square tower. The river is lost on the left.
Town Views, by Vertin.—Petrus Gerardus Vertin (born 1820) has two Town Views. One represents some old houses more or less dilapidated, and persons carrying merchandise and talking; the second, a canal bordered with very old Dutch houses. On the horizon a clock-tower is seen.
Winter Scenes by Leichert.—Charles Henri Joseph Leichert (1818- ) has two winter scenes: one represents a frozen canal animated with skaters, with a frame of[Pg 240] houses, a church, and a clock-tower; and the other a street covered with snow, with houses on either side, and many figures.
Van Beest's Market.—Sybrandt van Beest (d. 1665) painted landscapes, marines, and genre. His pictures are rare. He somewhat resembled Van Goyen in style. In his Market, we see on the right a richly costumed gentleman bargaining for a melon with a woman who is seated before a table loaded with all kinds of fruit. Behind her are a man and two women in conversation; an ass drawing a cart is passing. To the left are a heap of vegetables and a woman is picking up a red cabbage. The background is composed of houses and a wall partly covered with verdure, and several women in front, also selling vegetables. The panel is signed and dated 1652.
De Witte's Fish Market at Amsterdam.—Emanuel de Witte's The Fish Market at Amsterdam is an interesting picture. In the foreground under an awning near her stall, where lie many kinds of fish, a fishwoman is standing and disputing with a lady who has a white handkerchief on her head and a blue satin jacket. On the right a fisherman is taking off his hat to her. In the background a part of the quay, Buitenkant, and the Y are seen.
Three Pictures of Fish-Sellers.—Frans van Mieris the Younger has a picture of a fish-seller standing behind his stall; he holds a whiting in his right hand and two baskets in his left; on the right are a tobacco-box, a knife, and a pipe. On the left are some trees, and the sea extends on the right into the background. Louis de Moni has The Fishmonger. An old woman stands at a window where dried fish are hanging; on the left is a spinning-wheel. She is talking to a servant who is standing before the window and who has a basket full of bread. Several houses are seen in the background. The Herring Seller, by Pieter Christoffel Wonder (1780-1852), belongs to this group. A young woman is seated before the window of her house and at her stall, on which are apples, cabbages,[Pg 241] and onions. She has a pot on her knee and holds it with her right hand, while in her left she offers a herring for sale.
Two of Barent Gael's Good Pictures.—Barent Gael (d. 1663) was a pupil of Ph. ; and, like his master, painted battles and cavalcades with rich ordering, careful drawing, and picturesque effect. He sometimes painted more humble scenes, as in the Woman with Cakes. She is making these appetizing dainties in front of a village house, watched by a man and four children. To the left are a hedge and some trees, and in the background a few little houses. A beggar with his wife and child is trudging along the road.
The Village Inn is not less interesting. Here a gentleman, having alighted before the inn, stands with the bridle in his left hand and a glass in his right, as he talks to a man and woman seated on a bench. In the foreground a dog is lying, and in the background are two horsemen and some trees.
A Town View by Beerstraten, with Figures by Lingelbach.—A. Beerstraten, about whom little is known except that he lived in Amsterdam in the seventeenth century, has an interesting picture of The Old of Amsterdam, built in the fifteenth century and destroyed by fire in 1652. The old building on the Dam and the adjacent houses are covered with snow. Persons of quality, and also merchants and peasants, are seen walking through the snowy streets in all directions. These little figures were painted by Lingelbach.
Job Berckheyde's Old Bourse at Amsterdam.—Another architectural picture by Job Berckheyde (1630-93) shows The Old Bourse at Amsterdam, built by De Keyser in 1608-11, and destroyed in 1836. We see only a portion of the interior of this building under the colonnade, where many merchants are talking. Some of them are in oriental costume. The picture is beautifully lighted by the sun, which enters on the right.[Pg 242]
His Brother Gerard's Cologne.—His brother Gerard Berckheyde (1631-98?) has painted The Town of Cologne, showing the quay, the wall, churches and other buildings, with the Rhine on the left. The foreground is beautifully lighted. A brown and white horse, wagons, and boats enliven the scene.
Two Town Pictures by Verheijen.—A fine view of The Geertekerk at Utrecht by Jan Hendrik Verheijen (1778-1846) shows the church on the right and the streets enlivened with strollers, playing children, and a fish-seller. His Town View, where brightly lighted buildings are seen across the bridge of a canal, should also be noted.
St. Mary's Church, Utrecht, by Saenredam.—Pieter Jansz Saenredam (1597-65) is represented by St. Mary's Church, Utrecht. This remarkable church, demolished in 1813 or 1816, was a copy of a church of the eleventh century in Milan. It dominates the picture, although it stands on the right. Behind it are some houses, and in front are trees and a square, on which men and women are promenading, and children playing.
A Good Example of H. van Vliet's Style.—The Interior of a Protestant Church, by Hendrick van Vliet (1605-71), is a good example of this painter's style. On the left is the choir; in the centre of the foreground, an open tomb; on the right, near a pillar, a gentleman whose back is turned toward us, and who is accompanied by a dog. Between the pillars the preacher in his pulpit and his hearers are seen. The name and date, 1666, appear on one of the pillars.
A Splendid Church Interior by Neeffs.—Pieter Neeffs the Elder has a splendid Interior of a Catholic Church, showing the nave animated with many figures; chapels and altars are on right and left, and the choir is in the background.
Two Church Interiors by Bosboom.—Johannes Bosboom (1817-91) has an Interior of a Protestant Temple, with people walking about in costumes of the seventeenth[Pg 243] century; and also an Interior of the Church of St. Laurence, Alkmaar, also brightened with figures.
A Noted Picture by Klinkenberg, and Others by him.—John Christian Charles Klinkenberg (1852- ) is the modern Dutch painter of towns, cities, and hamlets,—the Dutch Canaletto. He is a pupil of Bisschop and Louis Meyer. At first he was inclined to historical subjects, but soon turned his attention to street views. It would be impossible to enumerate them all,—the old water-gate at Sneek, the at Zutphen, the town-gate at Hoorn, the market at Nymegen, the chancellory at Leeuwarden, the old gate at Haarlem, the old streets of Amsterdam, and the old buildings of The Hague. His noted picture representing a View of the Vijver at The Hague was presented to the Museum by the Rotterdam Society for Promoting Art in 1876. The Royal Museum is represented on the right.
The Maas before Dordrecht, by S. van .—The view of a town seen across the river has always attracted Dutch artists. Dordrecht and Rotterdam in particular have been painted by Jan van Goyen, Cuijp, and others. One of the most noted pictures of river scenes is The Maas before Dordrecht by Salomon van Ruisdael. In the foreground, to the right, is a shabby old pier on which some cows are standing, while others are in the water. Row-boats and sail-boats brighten the river, and one of them on the left is flying the flag of Dordrecht. The town is seen on the horizon.
Burger's Opinion of this Artist.—Burger says that this artist formed his brother, and that he stands between Van Goyen and the glorious Jacob. The picture just mentioned he considers "as masterly as one of Jacob's works. The distant horizon and the tiny sails, extremely fine in color, harmonize with the beautiful silvery sky."
A Fine River Scene by Aelbert Cuijp.—Aelbert Cuijp has a beautiful View of the River in the Morning. On the right, at the foot of a high mountain, a tongue of land advances into the water; two shepherds are visible; some cows are browsing, quenching their thirst, or lying down;[Pg 244] and the river is dotted with row-boats and sail-boats. On the left are some mountains, and in the background the town lies on the banks of the river.
One of Pompe's Rare Works.—A View of Rotterdam, by a little-known painter, Gerrit Pompe (fl. 1700), whose works are very rare, deserves study. The Maas, animated with ships, occupies the foreground; on the left, the Admiralty yacht is under full sail, and there is also a row-boat; in the middle distance is a battleship; in the background are some other boats; and still farther away extends the town of Rotterdam. The painter has signed his name on a floating plank.
Pompe's Rotterdam and Sonjé's.—It is interesting to compare Pompe's Rotterdam with the View near Rotterdam by Johannes Sonjé. Here we have the Rotter in the foreground, on which a merchant ship and a row-boat are seen. The river winds among the trees of the meadows, which are animated with persons and animals. Under the trees on the left is a . Farther back are two sail-boats, and in the background is the city.
A Beautiful River Scene by Van Goyen.—J. van Goyen, the father-in-law of Jan Steen, was particularly famous for his landscapes and river scenery, a beautiful example of which is called View of a River in Holland. On the left is a jetty, from which fishermen are loading a boat with baskets; in the middle distance is a boat with fishermen drawing a seine; and in the background are a mill and some houses on the bank. Several other sailing and rowing boats are on the water, and on the horizon to the left is a village.
Avercamp's Famous View of a River.—Hendrik Avercamp (fl. 1660) was famous in his day for his Dutch kermesses, camp life, landscape, and still life. His View of a River is full of life and color. In the left foreground are two fishermen, and on the left a seated fisherman's wife. The men are dragging a big seine. In the middle distance to the right people are bathing and swimming; swans are[Pg 245] on the stream, also boats with occupants; and there are houses on the banks.
River Scenes by Willaerts, Father and Son.—Isaac Willaerts (fl. 1650) has a View of a River. On the left is a village on a dike; on the right, a river with many sail-boats. He was a pupil of his father, Adam. The Mouth of the Meuse near Brielle, by Adam Willaerts, also belongs to this group. In the foreground on the left stands an inn with the sign In de Witte Zwaan (The White Swan), and before it on a cask sits a wandering singer, surrounded by fishermen and peasants; a little to the front are seen a gentleman and his family, to whom an old fisherman offers fish; on the banks of the river are groups of peasants, sailors, and fishermen, talking, embracing the women, and offering their arms to them for a promenade. Boats are arriving and departing, and on the horizon lies the town.
A River Picture and Two Others by Verschuier.—Lieve Verschuier has The Maas before Rotterdam. The river is seen on the right; on the left are the Bompjes (the quay bordered with trees), the (old gate), and the Haringvliet (canal). Merchant vessels are riding at anchor, and all sorts of boats are carrying merchandise and passengers. In the foreground is a boat with two fishermen. The same artist has here a Mountainous Landscape, and the old Oostpoort at Rotterdam, built in 1611-13 and demolished in 1836.
Jongkind's Impressive Picture of Overschie in Moonlight.—The impressive picture, View of Overschie in Moonlight, was purchased in 1893 out of a bequest by Mr. Prainat at Rotterdam. After Jongkind settled in France he frequently visited Holland, and this picture was painted in 1872, during one of his visits. He was exceedingly fond of Rotterdam and its environs. Overschie is a village near Rotterdam, and the Schie, it may be noted, joins the Maas at Delftshaven; upon it is situated Delft. It is interesting to compare this picture with 's In the Environs of Overschie.[Pg 246]
Jan Storck's Picture of the Old Gate at Rotterdam.—Jan Storck, whose Castle of Nyenrode is in the Rijks, has here The at Rotterdam seen from the Maas. In addition to the old gate (built in 1598 and demolished in 1856), several boats are represented, and a yacht is just leaving port amidst salvos of artillery. The Maas is seen to the right.
Two Pictures Characteristic of A. Storck's Style.—Abraham Storck has two characteristic works. An Italian Seaport has a jetty on the right with a large building and a stone fountain. Several persons are busy discharging the contents of the boats and galleys. On the left a sloop is going toward a Dutch boat at anchor. His other picture is A Dutch Port in Winter. A great hole appears in the ice in the centre; on the right is a pole on which nets are drying; on the left, a boat stuck fast in the ice: Farther along are more imprisoned boats, some houses, and a mill; near the bridge are a lady and gentleman in a sleigh; on the left, two persons playing hockey; farther along are some skaters and promenaders. In the background are two ships in the ice; and on the horizon, some houses and a clock-tower.
Two Marines by Backhuysen.— Backhuysen has a large View of the Dutch Coast in Stormy Weather, dated 1682. Ships of various sizes are endeavoring to escape an approaching heavy squall. A marine, about one-third the size of the above, is a calmer but bustling scene of ships of war exchanging salutes at a place of embarkation.
A Marine, by Zeeman.—Reinier Zeeman (16— after 1673), whose pictures greatly resemble those of Jan Both and Claude Lorraine, is represented by a marine. On the left some vessels are in the roadstead, on the right other boats are off for the deep, and on the banks sailors and fishermen are seen.
Two Marines by Schotel.—J. C. Schotel has an Agitated Sea showing a brig at anchor and a fisherman's boat. A lighthouse is seen on the shore to the right. Another, called Au Moerdijk, represents a steamboat plying toward[Pg 247] the landing, and in the background boats laden with hay. The weather is calm.
The Port of Texel, by W. .—A characteristic example of Willem van de Velde is The Port of Texel. On the left is a jetty from which large merchant ships are preparing to leave, on the right the Admiralty yacht firing salvos, in the foreground fishermen busy with their nets, a boat containing several gentlemen, and in the offing many boats leaving port.
A Sea-Strand, by Mans.—Fredericus Mans (d. 1673) has a panel called A Sea-Strand. In the foreground are fishermen, peasants, and women. A road on the right leads to a village in the dunes. On the left, the beach is animated with many figures and fishing boats.
A Marine, by L. G. Man.—L. G. Man (eighteenth century) has a marine consisting of several English men-of-war on a sunlit sea.
Sunset at Scheveningen and Two Other Pictures, by Schelfhout.—Andreas Schelfhout (1787-1870) has A Beach, with the sea in the background, fishing-boats in the middle distance, and a fisherman on the dunes, with his dog in the foreground. A Winter Scene represents a frozen stream where three children are playing with a sled; farther away are some skaters; and to the right, the village houses beneath wintry trees. Sunset at Scheveningen shows a beautifully lighted sea; some boats with fishermen occupy the middle distance; and the beach with promenaders is shown in the foreground.
H. Koekkoek's Stormy Sea.—Hermanus Koekkoek (1815-82) was a pupil of his father, and, like him, a marine painter. His Stormy Sea, showing various vessels struggling with the elements, is full of force and atmospheric effects.
Two Beautiful Marines by Mesdag.—Two beautiful pictures by the skilful marine-painter, H. W. Mesdag, should be noted: Breakers on the North Sea Coast, presented by Mr. C. E. van Stolk in 1885, depicts a scene that the[Pg 248] traveller himself may verify at any moment; and A Sunrise on the Dutch Coast, presented by the Society for Promoting Art at Rotterdam in 1876. This was painted in 1875. Beautiful in color and striking in composition, it appeals equally to the artist and the amateur.
A picture by Mrs. Mesdag, Moorland with a Sheepfold in Moonlight, was presented to this gallery by her in 1904.
David de Heem, One of the First Painters of Still Life.—This gallery owns many pictures of fruits, flowers, animals, and birds. David de Heem (1570-1632) was one of the first to devote his talents almost exclusively to still life. Neither The Hague nor the Rijks gallery contains an example of his work. He treated with great minuteness flowers, fruits, glasses, etc. Even during his own lifetime his paintings were much sought after, and high prices were paid for them. In his Flowers and Fruits we see a glass of Rhine wine standing in a stone niche ornamented with carved mouldings. The glass is garlanded with roses, honeysuckle, pinks, and chrysanthemums; and grouped about it are white grapes, peaches, apricots, plums, etc.
A Large Still-life Picture by Jan de Heem.—His more famous son, Jan Davidsz, who inherited his talents and tastes, has here a large picture of still life. On a table partly covered with a cloth of green velvet are arranged various fruits,—grapes, peaches, figs, and a lemon partly peeled. In the foreground is a pewter dish full of crabs, prawns, and hazelnuts; then come a blue porcelain bowl and a pewter plate with oranges and strawberries; next we have a basket covered with a blue velvet cloth, on which is a pewter dish with a cut ham. In the background is a box with gold and silver fringe, and on it a wide-mouthed bottle of Rhine wine, with a vine branch, a cooked crayfish, and some chestnuts. To the left are two wine glasses and a silver plate of plums, figs, and cherries. Well may Blanc exclaim:
"There is no eater so cloyed, no gourmet so blasé, who would not have his appetite restored by the sight of one of De Heem's[Pg 249] pictures; for here everything is exquisite, both the form and the substance, the viands and the fruits, as well as the way in which they are served. It is necessary that the eye should dine, says the proverb; and this is particularly true of feasts and collations given in painting.... De Heem has happily expressed the quality of every viand and every fruit, its rough or smooth surface, dull or shining, and even its stage of ripeness,—the violet plum with its thin skin, splashed with red and drab, the light down of the peach with its pale and purple tones, the plush envelope in which the hazelnut hides, and the green and split shell inside which we see the kernel. Moreover, this diversity of substances is not only rendered by local color but also by certain variations of the brush work by fine shades of touch. On the oak or marble table is placed an enormous glass vessel cut in facets, a patriarchal glass, all the ridges of which glitter in the light, and through the crystal of which we see a golden liquid, fused topaz. Sometimes it is a roemer, a cylindrical vase of Bohemian glass mounted in silver, a precious utensil transmitted from generation to generation. This is a picture that transports us to the intimate life of these domestic Dutchmen, attentive to all the delicacies of interior comfort."
Jan's son, Cornelis, has also a piece called Flowers and Fruits in the same style.
Seghers's Flowers.—The striking picture of Flowers, by David Seghers, shows a stone cartouche with a little bust of Ceres framed in a garland of red and white roses, tulips, and many small flowers, around which hover numerous butterflies.
W. C. Héda, an Early Still-life Painter.—Willem Claes Héda (1594-1668) was one of the earliest Dutchmen who devoted themselves exclusively to the painting of still life. Héda was the contemporary and companion of Dirk Hals, with whom he had in common pictorial touch and technical execution. But Héda was more careful and finished than Hals, and showed considerable skill and not a little taste in arranging and coloring chased cups and beakers and tankards of precious and inferior metals. Nothing is so appetizing as his Luncheon, with rare comestibles set out upon rich plate, oysters,—seldom without the cut[Pg 250] lemon,—bread, champagne, olives, and pastry. Even the commoner Refection is also not without charm, as it comprises a cut ham, bread, walnuts, and beer.
Van Gelder and Gillemans, Famous Painters of Still Life.—N. van Gelder (d. 1660) painted birds, animals, and flowers with great finish and delicacy. His Poultry consists of a dead cock on a black marble plinth, partly suspended by one of its feet from an iron hook fixed behind a partly open green curtain. To the left are two shot pigeons, a green velvet game-bag, and a fowling-piece.
Jan Paul Gillemans (1618-?) was famous for his still life. This gallery possesses one of his fruit pieces, in which grapes, oranges, lemons, plums, and apricots are temptingly displayed.
Ykens, Painter of Flowers.—Franchois Ykens (or Ikens) (1601-93), a painter of flowers and pupil of his uncle, Osias Beest, has a picture here that was formerly attributed to François Seghers. A stone cartouche, surrounded with a garland of roses, tulips, pinks, honeysuckle, clematis, etc., and bearing a representation of the mystic marriage of St. Catherine, is called simply Flowers.
W. van Aelst and his Famous Pupil, Rachel Ruysch.—Willem van Aelst delights us with his Flowers. On a brown marble slab in a niche stands an elegant vase containing roses, poppies, a pink, and other blossoms, around which a butterfly is fluttering. A snail is crawling in the niche. On a brown with gold fringe, to the right, is an open gold watch with a green ribbon attached. The picture is signed and dated 1662. Willem's famous pupil, Rachel Ruysch, may be seen here by a charming flower piece. A tree-trunk surrounded by red and white roses, poppies, convolvuluses, etc., and upon the stony ground, covered with moss and mushrooms, innumerable lizards, toads, snails, and various insects swarm. Butterflies hover over the flowers. Rachel Ruysch painted this picture in 1685, and gave it as a present to the famous painter, Bakhuysen.[Pg 251]
Pieter Boel's Dead Game.—Her contemporary, Pieter Boel, shows the influence of his master, F. , in Dead Game. A dead swan hangs by its foot to a tree. In the foreground, near a pedestal, are arranged two partridges and some other game, with a gun and a brass hunting-horn. On the left is a hound; and, in the background to the right, an owl on a cage with a little dead bird in front of it.
Marseus, Painter of Lowly Animal Life.—Another follower of was van Schrieck. He excelled in the loving rendering of lowly animal life. His Nest is of natural size, with eggs lying on the moss near some thistles, wild mulberries, and red mushrooms. Around it flutter some butterflies; on the right is a lizard, and on the left a Mayfly.
A. Breughel's Still-life Pictures.—His pupil, Abraham Breughel (1631-?), went to Rome; but little is known about him except that his favorite subject was still life. Like so many others, his flowers and fruits are painted natural size. The principal objects in his picture are a silver dish with figs, a silver bowl containing roses and gladioluses at the foot of a column, and black and white grapes, apples, etc., in the foreground.
A. Cuijp, a Painter Catholic in his Tastes.—Aelbert Cuijp was very catholic in his tastes. He occupied a country house near Dordrecht, called Dordwijck, where he painted everything that struck his fancy,—men, animals, fruits, flowers, and landscape. The poultry yard is noticed in a Cock and Hen scratching in the straw, with a broom and some blocks of red stone conspicuously placed. A hare, two pigeons, and other birds on a stone pillar compose his Dead Game. A painting called Fruits represents peaches on a blue plate on a table, and, beside the plate, white grapes, cherries, and green gooseberries. On the left is also a butterfly. A charming jumble of peaches, black and white grapes, and various shells make the picture, Fruits and Shells, in which three butterflies and a housefly are also prominent.[Pg 252]
One of Jan Weenix's Many Dead Swans.—No Dutch gallery would be complete without a Dead Swan by Jan Weenix. Sir Joshua Reynolds admitted that he had seen no less than twenty during his visit to Holland. The dead swan is here suspended by the foot from a stone pedestal; on one side lie a peacock, a partridge, and a thrush; and near them a branch from a rosebush and a basket of fruit. In the background is seen a park with a lake, statues, fountains, and large trees.
Two of Mignon's Best Pictures.—Abraham Mignon appears at his best in two pictures in this gallery called Flowers and Fruits. In the former we admire a vase on a stone table, filled with red and white roses, tulips, blue irises, poppies, pinks, convolvuluses, and ears of wheat; on the left on the table a mouse, snails, butterflies, beetles, and other insects are painted with rare delicacy and truth. Insects and snails also occur in the second picture, in which the fruits are placed in a niche, and consist of a bunch of black grapes, a peach, a melon, an apricot, and some plums decorated with a vine leaf, wheat, and small flowers.
A Still Life by Van Beyeren.—Abraham Hendricksz van Beyeren was especially fond of painting flowers and marine life. His Sea Fish is an evidence of his excellence in this line. On a table is a basket containing whiting and a slice of salmon; in front of the basket are a crab, some soles, some slices of cod, and a knife.
Van den Broeck's Flowers.—Elias van den Broeck (1653-1711), a pupil of Jan de Heem, delighted to immortalize on canvas the flowers he cultivated in his beautiful garden. A stone plinth with roses and Indian cress; and, in front, chrysanthemums and creepers, a lizard, two snails, and butterflies are the chief features of his Flowers.
Van Os, Another Good Flower-painter.—Georgius Jacobus Johannes van Os (1782-1861) was a worthy successor of the seventeenth-century masters of this school. Flowers and Flowers and Fruits are artistically composed and lovingly painted. The former consists of an Etruscan vase[Pg 253] filled with roses, blue irises, tulips, and anemones, standing on a marble table. The second picture represents, on a marble plinth in a niche, a melon, a pear, and a bunch of black grapes with roses, convolvuluses, poppies, and other flowers.
His Pupil, Hendrik Reekers.—His pupil, Hendrik Reekers (1815-54), has here Fruits, Vegetables, and Game, arranged on a marble table. A basket is full of white and black grapes, a cut lemon, and some oranges, plums, peaches, and an artichoke, mingled with flowers. Above these hang a partridge and a grouse.
Flowers, by Steenbergen.—Flowers, by Albertus Steenbergen (1814- ), consists of roses, poppies, lilacs, convolvuluses, nasturtiums, etc., arranged in a vase that stands on a marble plinth. On the right flutters a butterfly.
Still Life, by Maria Vos.—Still Life by Maria Vos (b. 1824) consists of a stone plinth partly covered with a piece of matting on which stand a white cock and a black hen, an overturned basket of oranges and lemons, a copper dish, and a porcelain bowl; and on the wall a stone jug with a pewter top.
Flowers, by Margaretha Roosenboom.—In Flowers, by Margaretha Roosenboom (1843), we have a silver vase filled with roses, standing on a table with a green cover. In the background, a green curtain is half drawn.
Two Excellent Hunting Scenes by Hondius.—Abraham Hondius (1638-91), who excelled in painting the different breeds of dogs and other animals, and hunting scenes, with much fire and action, has two pictures here. A Boar Defending Itself Against Dogs shows the furious beast at bay, with four dying or dead dogs under him in the foreground. On the left three more dogs are rushing to the attack. The features of the landscape are three trees, with a mountainous background. The other picture, of exactly the same size, depicts a Bear Attacked by Dogs. The bear is standing on his hind legs with a dog under him, and throwing another into the air, while he hugs the life out of another. On the right and left, more dogs are rushing to attack. There is a dying[Pg 254] dog in the left foreground. On the right, in the middle distance, there are two trees near a rock, and a cascade, and the background is mountainous. Both pictures are signed and dated 1672.
Bird Pictures by the s, Father and Son.—Gijsbert de Hondecoeter shows his loving study of the gallinaceous tribe in Cock and Hens. In the foreground is a black hen with a white comb; and behind her are a sitting yellow hen and a standing white one; still farther back are three more hens, one perched on the branch of a tree. To the left sits a brown hen with a black comb, with a yellow-brown cock behind. The ground is strewed with oyster shells and straw. Three hens are in the background. The picture is signed and dated 1652.
Melchior de , who surpassed his father as a painter of birds alive and dead, enriches this collection with his Dead Game. In a grotto at the foot of some ruins a dead bittern and two partridges are hanging. In front are two gulls; and on the right are a hunting-horn, tied with a red tasselled cord, a green velvet bag, a kingfisher, and two finches. In the middle distance is a fowling-piece with a shoulder belt and net. The entrance of the grotto is in the background on the left.
Four Portrait Groups by the .—In common with all other Dutch galleries, the is rich in portraits. Royalties, admirals, officers, ladies of quality, gentlemen, elderly men and women, and children are all represented. Three pictures of gatherings of officers at Goes, by Cornelis Willemsz Eversdijck, who died in his native town of Goes about 1649, and one by his son Willem, representing the same corps of archers, are the only important pictures of this class in the gallery.
Two Portraits by Mostert, and One by Queborn.—Jan Mostert (1474-?), who was a painter of portraits and altarpieces, has here two half-lengths of Augusteyn van Teylingen, Anno 1511, and Judoca van Egmont van der Nieuburch, 1511 (his wife).[Pg 255]
Crispyn van den Queborn (1604-58) was a distinguished portrait-painter and engraver. His half-length Portrait of Hartogh van Moerkerken was painted in 1645.
Santvoort, a Portrait-painter after the Style of Rembrandt.—Dirk van Santvoort (d. 1660) was probably one of Rembrandt's pupils; or, at least, he adopted that master's manner. Not many of his pictures are known, and the majority of these are portraits. His two pictures in the Museum, however, belong rather to the classical school of the Elzheimers and Poelenburgs. A Young Shepherd Playing the Chalumeau, wearing a brown cap with an ostrich feather, and a bright brown robe over a white shirt, with a knife and horn at his belt (green background), is dated 1632. A Young Shepherdess, half-length, turned to the left, wears a violet dress with red sleeves. A blue hat with a green branch is on her head and a crook over her right shoulder. The background is greenish.
Two Portraits by F. Bol.—Ferdinand Bol's Portrait of a Woman represents a young woman seen in profile half-length, and turned to the left. She wears a red dress and a violet velvet mantle lined with fur. Beautiful ornaments of gold and pearls are in her hair and on her neck and arms. One hand rests on the base of a column, and the other holds a closed fan. His portrait of Dirk van represents a young boy with long curls, dressed in yellow satin, red tunic, and yellow boots.
Portrait by Gerrit Dou.—Among the most striking portraits is that of An Old Lady by Gerrit Dou. She is dressed in black velvet trimmed with fur; her bodice is of black silk, and she wears a large turned-down collar, and round her neck a gold chain with a pendent jewel. She has on a blue cap with a gold band. The head stands out boldly from the grayish background, and the expression of the smiling face is singularly impressive.
Jacob Cats and his Cousin, by Mytens.—Mytens's Portrait of Jacob Cats, the Dutch poet, and his cousin Cornelia Bars, is also of interest. It was painted in 1650, and[Pg 256] represents Jacob Cats seated at a table before a tent. He is dressed in crimson, and turns toward his cousin at his side, who wears brown silk. On the table, with its red carpet, are an open book and an inkstand. On the left is seen a hilly landscape with trees; and in the background an angel with a long white robe.
Portraits by Opzoomer.—Simon Opzoomer has a portrait of Rembertus Frescarode, one called Erasmus in his Study, and one of the Brothers de Witt in Prison in Gevangenpoort. Cornelis is in bed, and Jacob is seated by him with a book on his knees. The time is just before their murder by the populace in 1672.
Portraits of Two Notables by Mierevelt.—Mierevelt has a Portrait of Johan van Oldenbarnevelt, painted in 1671. His Maurice of Nassau shows that prince standing by a table and wearing a richly worked cuirass, the present of the States-General after the victory of , and an orange silk scarf. He holds a commandant's baton in his right hand, and his helmet with orange plumes is seen on the table. Mierevelt has here also A Lady of Quality.
Finely painted Portraits by Nason.—Pieter Nason (1612-90), who painted portraits and still life, and who has a Portrait of Willem Frederick, Count of Nassau (1662), in The Hague, has here The Portrait of a Lord, and one of A Woman of Quality. The lady is holding some yellow flowers. She is dressed in red silk with white undersleeves; a brown scarf falls over her shoulders; and pearls ornament her hair, ears, and neck. The jewels, silks, and satins are beautifully painted, as is also the costume of the lord in the accompanying picture. He is dressed in yellow silk with a brown mantle, and his lace cravat is held by a circle of diamonds. Trees form the background.
A Woman of Quality, by Pourbus.—Pieter Pourbus (1510-83) was a painter, geographer, and architect. His Portrait of a Woman of Quality shows her costumed in the Valois mode, with Mary Stuart cap, fluted ruff, and black robe.[Pg 257]
Two Portraits by Netscher.—Caspar Netscher has a sombre Portrait of a Protestant Pastor and a brilliant Lady of Quality, dressed in blue satin with a graceful brown scarf. She is seated by a fountain. One hand is placed on her breast; the other is full of roses.
Pool's Interesting Portraits of his Wife and her Father.—Of great interest is the portrait of Rachel Ruysch, painted by her husband, Juriaan Pool. This is a bust only. The lady is represented with powdered hair and dressed in brown satin with lace at the neck and sleeves. Her right hand is lifted and holds a veil. The background contains a column and a green curtain. Pool's portrait of her father, Professor Frederik Ruysch, is also a bust. He wears a large powdered wig and a long robe with a band; his left hand holds a skull.
A Portrait Group by Maes.—Nicholas Maes is represented by a Portrait of a Gentleman and a Lady standing in front of a noble house. The lady, in black with a gray tunic having an embroidered gold border and a large collar, holds a little child with her left hand. The latter is dressed in white and wears a cap with a red feather. The gentleman holds his wife by her other hand. He is dressed in black, with white ruff and cuffs, and a mantle is thrown over his left shoulder. His right hand holds a glove. Behind them are a rosebush and flowers, and there are shrubs and bushes by the wall.
Other Portraits by Maes.—Another by the same artist represents Mr. Willem Nieupoort, Envoy from the States-General to Oliver Cromwell in 1653. He is standing by a broken column, and is dressed in yellow silk and brown velvet, a corselet, a lace cravat, and a red scarf. Near the column are a sword and a helmet with red plumes. His wife, Anna van Loon, is also painted by Maes, standing by a stone balustrade. She wears a dress of red velvet with a tunic of yellow silk, a gray veil, and pearls in her hair. In her left hand she holds some oranges, and her right clasps that of a little girl in white. Trees occupy the background.[Pg 258]
A Portrait of a Priest, by Metsu.—Gabriel Metsu has a Portrait of a Priest, seated at a table in his study. One hand rests on his breast, the other on a death's head. On the table, covered with a green cloth, are placed an open book, a crucifix, and a sheet of paper. A glove, books, and a half-drawn curtain occupy the background.
A Lawyer in his Study, by A. van Ostade.—Adriaen van Ostade has A Lawyer in his Study. This important personage, dressed in black velvet and a violet robe, is seated by a table covered with a Smyrna rug, on which are books, papers, documents, and a pewter inkstand. He is reading a document which he holds in his left hand; his right, resting on the arm of his chair, holds his spectacles. Behind the table there is a blue screen. An open door is seen in the background.
Honthorst has a Portrait of an Old Man, dressed in brown, and having a long gray beard.
Several Portraits by Van der Helst.—Bartholomeus van der Helst has one of A Protestant Minister, painted in 1638; one called A Man, and another A Woman (the two latter painted in 1646); Portrait of Daniel Bernard; and Portrait of a Lady and Gentleman. The latter, painted in 1654, represents the couple on a bench in the garden. The lady is beautifully dressed in white satin, with pearls and diamonds, and she is plucking a rose from a bush near by. She has a huge diamond ring on her thumb. The gentleman is dressed in black satin: in one hand he holds his large-brimmed hat; the other supports the right arm of the lady. The landscape, with its varied trees and playing fountain, was painted by van Everdingen (1654).
A Portrait by Jan de Vos.—Jan de Vos, who died about 1651, has here a Portrait of a Man, dressed in black with white ruff, and standing by a table. His right hand holds a pen, his left rests on an open copy-book.
A Portrait by Stolker.—Jan Stolker (1724-85), pupil of J. M. , has a Portrait of the Burgomaster of[Pg 259] Rotterdam, Willem Schefers, seated at a table covered with a red cloth, on which are several books. He is dressed in black velvet, and wears a powdered wig.
Portraits by Simon de Vos.—Simon de Vos (1608-76), a pupil of Cornelis de Vos and Rubens, has a Portrait of a Man, dressed in black with striped sleeves and a large fluted ruff. His right hand rests on a table, and his left on his hip. He has also another Portrait of a Man, whose left hand rests on a chair, while his right holds a glove.
A Man in Oriental Costume by Van Vliet.—Jan Joris van Vliet, born in Delft in 1610, and one of Rembrandt's pupils, can be studied here by An Old Man in Oriental Costume. This is only a bust; the hair is short, the moustache gray; and the costume consists of a black turban with gold ornaments, a crimson coat, black mantle, and a golden chain. His right hand rests on his chest.
A Huntsman by Verkolje.—Verkolje has a Portrait of a Huntsman seated beneath a tree. He is young, and wears a large black hat, a gray costume, and orange scarf. His undersleeves are white, his stockings brown, and his garters orange. His left hand rests on his hip, and his right holds a gun. Two hunting-dogs are by his side, and some dead rabbits. Trees occupy the background.
Van der Werff's Portraits of himself and Others.—Pieter van der Werff has portraits of W. B. Schefers and his wife, of Johannes Texelius and of himself. The painter stands with his elbow on a stone balustrade, dressed in grayish blue embroidered with gold. A brown velvet cloak is thrown over his shoulder, and he holds his palette and brushes in his left hand.
An Admiral and his Wife, by Van den Tempel.—A. van den Tempel has An Admiral and his Wife, in which the former is dressed in gray and silver, and his wife in black and pink and jewels. She holds an orange in her hand; and in the distance a negro is seen with a dish of oranges. In the background a lifted curtain of crimson velvet reveals a warship from which a gun is being discharged.[Pg 260]
A Portrait by Zimmerman.—J. W. G. Zimmerman has a Portrait of Mr. Joost van Vollenhoven, Burgomaster of Rotterdam in 1864-81, dressed in the robes of office, his right hand holding a letter and his left resting on some books on the table.
Other Portraits of Interest.—Other portraits of interest are Adriaen Backer's Portrait of a Man; Hendrik Berckman's Portrait of Admiral Adriaen van Trappen; Portrait of Himself, by Gijsbertus Johannes van den Berg, and Portrait of his Wife with her son on her knee; C. Bisschop's Portrait of Prince Henry of the Netherlands, in the costume of the Royal Yacht Club; Ferdinand Bol's Portrait of a Woman (two), and Dirk Van der ; Cornelis Cels's Gijsbert Karel, Count of Hogendorp; Cornelius Janszoon van Ceulen's Portrait of a Gentleman, and Portrait of a Young Woman; P. van Champaigne's Portraits of two Artists; Jacobus Delff's Portrait of a Man; Dürer's Portrait of Erasmus; Anthonie van Dijck's Portraits of Charles I., King of England, Henrietta Maria, and Their Two Children; Gerbrand van den Eeckhout's Portrait of a Child; Robbert van Eysden's Portrait of J. F. Hoffman, Burgomaster of Rotterdam, 1845-66; 's Portrait of a Man, dressed in black with open shirt showing his neck and chest; Govert Flinck's Portraits of Dirck Graswinckel, and his Sister, under a tree, in a landscape with ruins in the distance; George Gilles Haanen's Portrait of a Young Man; Frans Hals's Portrait of an Old Gentleman; Adriaen Hanneman's Portrait of Johan de Witt; Constantin Netscher's William III., King of England; Dionys van Nymegen's Willem van der Pot (1733) and Sara, his Wife (1733); Nicholaes Pieneman's William III., King of the Netherlands; David van der Plaes's Cornelis Tromp, and A Gentleman; Crispyn van den Queborn's Hartogh van Moerkerken; Jan van Scorel's A Young Man, and A Gentleman; Pieter van 's Johannes van Crombrugge; Hendricus Turken's (1791-?) Margarethe Agnes de Vries; Adriaen Pietersz van de Venne's Prince on Horseback with[Pg 261] his Suite (en grisaille); and Abraham de Vries's A. A. Vroesen (1639), and An Old Woman (1644). Musscher's Portraits of Three Children, crowning the statue of a child with flowers, should also be noticed, as well as Jacob Cuijp's Portraits of a General, a Lady of Distinction, and Three Children. The last, a boy and two little girls, are beautifully dressed, and are playing under the trees in a charming landscape, with several buildings, including a mill and a church-tower in the distance.
Good Pictures of Social Life by Palamedesz.—Anthonie Palamedesz (1601-73) was a painter of social life, corps-de-gardes, portraits, landscapes, and still life. His art belonged to the school of Frans Hals. The quality of his work is very unequal, but many of his interiors are full of life and color. He was such a good painter of figures in landscapes that his aid was much sought after by brother artists, notably B. van Bassen and A. de Lorme. In The Hague Gallery he has two works that show him at his best,—Music after Dinner, and Merry Company; also a Portrait of Martinus van Stavenisse, Knight of St. Michael.
An Interior of High Life, by Palamedesz.—The Rotterdam Gallery has An Interior of High Life by this artist. In an apartment hung with gilded leather several ladies and gentlemen are talking and playing musical instruments. In the foreground there is a lady dressed in blue with a light red tunic; next to her is a gentleman holding a guitar. On the left there is a lady with a sheet of music in her hand. She wears a white dress and a yellow tunic, and beside her is seated a gentleman. In the centre of the room there is a table covered with a red carpet, at which two persons are seated. Farther back in the room several groups of ladies and gentlemen are seen; and in the background a .
A Musical Reunion, by Van Deelen.—A Musical Reunion by Dirk van Deelen (1605-71) is a scene in high life. Six gentlemen and four ladies are in a hall paved with blue and white marble. A gentleman who turns his[Pg 262] back to the spectator is seen in the foreground. He is dressed in black satin slashed with yellow, a black velvet cloak, yellow stockings, red-heeled shoes, lace collar, and large black hat. At the right a lady is leaning on a table with a red cloth. She wears a black-and-yellow flowered dress with a red tunic and large lace collar and sleeves. Near the table, on which are a guitar and some books of music, are four gentlemen, one of whom is without his hat. In the centre a lady dressed in green silk is playing the guitar, with her foot on a foot-warmer. Beside her stand a gentleman and two ladies, one of whom wears a black dress with a yellow satin tunic and holds a book of music. In the background on the right there is a bed with green curtains and an open door flanked with columns at each side. On the left are two tall windows, and on the wall hang two male portraits.
An Architectural Painting by Van Deelen.—The Peristyle of a Building, by this artist, shows his love for classic architecture. A stone bath with steps occupies the foreground, and two men enveloped in long cloaks talk with a woman who is seated on the steps. Near it is a statue of Hercules on a red marble pedestal. Many people are seen in a distant gallery through the columns.
A Delightful Conversation Piece, by Ochtervelt.—The Collation, by Jacob Ochtervelt, is one of those delightful "conversation pieces" so popular in the seventeenth century. A young woman in a yellow satin skirt and a red velvet jacket bordered with white fur is seated on a tabouret of green velvet with her back turned toward the spectator. Her left hand rests on her hip and her right holds a glass of wine. On her right is a table with an Oriental carpet upon which stands a flagon of wine. By its side is an officer in a blue costume and large blond wig, who is handing some oysters in a silver dish to the young woman.
A Ball, by François Francken, Junior.—François Vranckz, or Francken, the Younger (1581-1642), pupil of his father François Francken and a native of Antwerp, has[Pg 263] here A Ball. In the foreground a gentleman and lady are beginning a dance surrounded by spectators; at the entrance of the hall on the right a servant comes in with wine, and farther down against the wall and under the windows is a long table served with refreshments. In the centre farther back two gentlemen are talking to a lady; on the left a platform with musicians; in the background a large between two windows.
A Fine Interior, by .—Of Egidius, or Gilles, Tilborch (1625-78), a fine Interior (once attributed to Biset) hangs here. In a very rich room hung with gilded leather, and from the ceiling of which is suspended a copper chandelier ornamented with a two-headed eagle, a lady is seated before the mantelpiece near a table covered with a Smyrna rug. She is dressed in white, with a red petticoat, and some red bows on her breast. Around her are six children of different ages, including one in the arms of a servant. Opposite to her is a gentleman dressed in black with white sleeves, accompanied by a dog; a little behind is a servant with an inkstand. On the left an aged woman dressed in black is seen, and two ladies and a gentleman enter the chamber on the left. Over the is a beautifully painted landscape, and on the left against the wall a large armoire or kas of black wood ornamented with gold, above which hangs a large portrait.
A Village Interior, by C. de Man.—Cornelus de Man (1621-1706) painted portraits, churches, and social life. In The Hague Gallery he has a Peasants' Wedding, and here his qualities may be studied in A Village Interior. A joyous company of peasants, with a sprinkling of the better class, are gathered in a big barn. In the centre, a couple are dancing,—the man holding aloft a pewter pot. On the right a group are playing "hot cockles." In front, there is a dog asleep; on the right, a little girl with a hoop; and on the left, a peasant asleep on a barrel. Farther back is a long table covered with food, at which[Pg 264] several men and women are seated. A violinist sits on a barrel, and a guest is sitting on the table mimicking him with tongs; on the floor in front of him is an earthen pitcher with a pewter lid. In the background are two individuals, one with a drum. A black bird is on a perch close to the ceiling.
Two Pictures of Rustic Life by Molenaer.—Two pictures by Jan Miense Molenaer are owned by this gallery,—The Clarinet Player and Rustic Gaiety. The former represents a peasant's house, where a man with his foot resting on a stool is playing the clarinet; his audience consists of two peasants, one of whom is sitting and the other standing by the side of the fire.
Music is the feature of Rustic Gaiety also. A table with a green cover is set with pewter plates and bread; seated thereat is a peasant, dressed in green blouse and wearing a red cap, his face turned toward the spectator. His left hand rests on his leg and he holds a glass of wine in his right. Opposite is a woman singing and playing the guitar; a little farther away another woman, with a glass of wine in one hand and a jug in the other, is also singing. In the background a peasant, seated near a barrel, is lighting a pipe, and still farther back a man is playing a fiddle.
A Village Interior, by Sorgh.—Hendrik Maertinsz Sorgh, who died in Rotterdam in 1670, and who was a pupil of David Teniers, reflects his master in A Village Interior. Here we have the interior of a barn where five peasants are eating and drinking around a table, at which is also seated an old woman whose hands are resting on a jug. On the left is a brick oven, and utensils of various kinds hang on the wall. Many articles are scattered about, including a leather slipper, a wooden spoon, some mussel shells, a tub of onions, etc. From the ceiling hangs a wicker bird-cage and in the foreground a cock and hen are strutting about.
The Market in Rotterdam, by Sorgh.—Another picture represents an animated scene at The Market in Rotterdam.[Pg 265] In the foreground a vegetable stall is placed against the façade of a house. A woman carrying a copper pail is selecting some vegetables and disputing with the vender. Farther back more buyers and sellers are arguing; and the background is closed with some houses and the entrance to the Nieuwsteeg.
A Village Interior, by .—A Village Interior, by Thomas Wyck (1616-77), shows a room in which a woman is seated; a little boy kneeling has his head in her lap; by her side is a little girl, and other little girls are sitting on the floor; under the window on the left a child is sitting at a table with a red carpet; on the right, in the foreground, stands a barrel on which is a jug. A wooden stairway is seen in the background.
Two Paintings illustrating the Versatility of Quellinus.—Erasmus Quellinus (1607-78) was a pupil of Rubens, and painted history, architecture, landscape, portraits, and religious subjects, like his master. He was a strong colorist and his draughtsmanship is excellent. Two sides of his art are exhibited in The Ascension of the Virgin and A Woman in a Kitchen. The latter is a fine study of still life in the rendering of the various utensils. On the right a young woman with bare arms, a white cap, a red dress, and white tunic is represented down to the knees; on the left on the table and by its side are all sorts of pewter, copper, and earthenware utensils. Behind the table stands a young negress who is offering a bunch of cherries to the woman.
A Fine Example of Kalff's Still-life Painting.—Another study of still life is shown in The Village Kitchen, by Willem Kalff, a fine example of this master. In the background a woman is preparing vegetables, a man stands near a ladder with a basket filled with vegetables, and another woman is coming through an open door; but these figures are subordinate in interest to the pots, kettles, and pans of shining copper; the meat hanging from the ceiling; the bottles, the casks, milk jugs, white linen, beer, artichokes, onions, cabbages, and other vegetables and fruits variously arranged.[Pg 266]
Koninck's Famous Gold Weigher.—Of single figures perhaps the most famous is by Salomon Koninck (1609-68?), pupil of N. . The Gold Weigher, an old man with white hair and beard, is seated at a table. He wears a doublet of green velvet and gray fur, and a crimson velvet cap; he weighs the gold with the greatest care in a pair of scales which he holds in his right hand. He holds a piece of gold in his left hand also. On the table, which is covered with a red cloth, are books, a sheet of paper, a box of weights, and a bag of gold. The light falls through a window on the left.
Van der Neer's Guitar Player.—The Guitar Player, by Eglon Hendrik van der Neer, is probably a portrait. Here we see a young woman dressed in a red satin skirt and a white satin jacket, seated by a clavecin. She is tuning a guitar; and not far away is a gentleman who has a glass of wine in his hand.
Pencz's Savant in his Cabinet.—George Pencz (d. 1550) was a pupil of Dürer, who also went to Rome and studied under Raphael. He painted therefore much the same class of subjects and in the same style as Van Orley. His Savant in his Cabinet is an interesting interior. The savant is seated at a table covered with a green carpet, his head rests on his right hand, and his left is extended toward a death's head. He is dressed in red and wears a red cap. Behind the table is a desk on which are an open book and a copper chandelier with an extinguished candle. Through an open window in the background a landscape is visible.
The Drinker, by D. Ryckaert.—Another good study is The Drinker, by David Ryckaert (1612-77), a pupil of his father, Maerten Ryckaert, and who formed himself on Teniers, Brouwer, and Ostade. The man in a brown coat with red sleeves and a red cap is seated at a table with a pewter mug in one hand and a pipe in the other. A pewter plate and an earthenware jug stand on the table.
Pictures containing Human Figures, by Muys.—Nicholas Muys (1740-1808) has three scenes in grisaille from[Pg 267] plays, A Study in Light, two Interiors, and a Landscape with Figures. The last shows a monument in the shadow of an oak, and before it a gentleman, lady, and little child in the costume of the end of the eighteenth century. A beggar and his family sue for charity. Near the monument are three other persons. Two ducks are being pursued by dogs in the foreground, a hut is seen among the trees in the distance, and a village lies on the horizon.
One of the Interiors represents an apartment of the eighteenth century, where a lady dressed in a green robe is showing a little picture to two gentlemen. The other Interior is a richly carved vestibule, in which stands a lady in a violet silk dress and a blue hat; by her side on the floor are a dead heron, a partridge, a hare, and some rabbits, and the live greyhound that helped to catch them. Through a door in the centre is seen the kitchen, where the huntsman and his wife are preparing the vegetables; and there are two other persons, one of whom is hanging a cage from the ceiling.
In A Study in Light the painter has grouped a number of objects,—a bust of Homer on a white marble table, a guitar, music-books, and a chair with a violin on it,—and lighted them from a candle in a silver chandelier. In the background a lady is standing before an open clavecin with a sheet of music in her hand.
An Interior, by J. B. Scheffer.—Johan Baptist Scheffer, who died in Amsterdam in 1809, has here An Interior, showing a room in which a young peasant woman is sitting at a table preparing vegetables. Beside her stands a pedler who has placed his right hand on her shoulder, while his left dangles a gold chain before her eyes. On the left, a little girl is amusing herself by scaring a cat with her dog; in the background an open door gives a view through the next room into the street.
Ary Scheffer's Training.—Scheffer's more famous son, Arie (1795-1858), inherited talent also from his mother, Cornelia Lamme, a very distinguished miniature-painter.[Pg 268] He received his first instruction from his father and in Paris studied under Pierre Guérin. Géricault and Eugène Delacroix joined him in striking into a new path of art.
His Two Paintings of Ulrich of Würtemburg.—Here Arie Scheffer has two sketches—Heads of Two Children, and A Shepherd Under a Stormy Sky, and two large canvases on Uhland's ballad representing Ulrich, son of Count Eberhard of Würtemburg. He first represents the young warrior who, having lost the Battle of Reutlingen, returns to Stuttgart and finds his father at the table alone. He has a cold welcome; and Count Eberhard without greeting him takes a knife and cuts the in halves. In Scheffer's picture Ulrich is standing by the table on the right, and the angry father is cutting the table-cloth. Exasperated by this insult, Ulrich returned to the army and, throwing himself into the thickest of the fray at Doffingen, was killed. The old count spent the night weeping over the body of his only son. The companion picture, called The Weeper, represents the bereaved father with clasped hands seated by Ulrich's body, which still is in armor and lying on a bearskin in the tent.
Hendrik Scheffer's The First Child.—Arie's younger brother, Hendrik Scheffer (1798-1862), also a pupil of Guérin, was a capable painter whose work, The First Child, hangs in this gallery. A young mother in bed receives a visit from her husband, who is kissing her hand. On the right the nurse is seen with the child in her arms.
A Similar Picture by Cornelis Troost.—Another similar picture is by Cornelis Troost. The lady is lying in bed eating her breakfast. Near her are a cradle, a nurse with the baby, and a little girl. The wall is hung with portraits, and a clock and a painted screen are seen.
Brakenburg's Malade Imaginaire and Interior.—Richard Brakenburg (1650-1702), a pupil of Ostade, has a Malade Imaginaire, in which a young woman in blue rests languidly on her pillow, attended by a physician, who is feeling her pulse. A little dog plays by her side, and several[Pg 269] persons are variously grouped and laughing. A parrot cage hangs from the ceiling. This picture is dated 1696. A different phase of life appears in his Interior, showing a large room full of peasants, including women and children. They are laughing at an owl on a perch, because a man dressed in a black satin doublet is giving it a piece of cake on the point of a knife. A bird-cage hangs from the ceiling.
Bollongier's Carnival.—Hans or Johan Bollongier, who lived in the middle of the seventeenth century, has a Carnival. A man and woman are dancing in a street, the former being dressed as a savage and carrying a club; an individual follows them with a "rommel pot." In the foreground we see a dog, and a man in a blue toga, holding a sword and an imperial globe in his hands. Behind these persons a house is visible, the doors and windows of which are filled with people. The picture is dated 1720.
Jan Steen's Feast of St. Nicholas.—Turning now to humorous pictures, Jan Steen affords two. The Feast of St. Nicholas differs slightly from the one in the Rijks, and represents the painter's family. On the right is seated a young woman in a white satin dress and a blue velvet jacket trimmed with white fur. She is holding out her hands to a little girl, whose arms are full of spiced bread and other dainties. On the left a boy is crying behind the table, on which is a shoe containing a switch, and near him a servant, a boy, and an elderly man are laughing at his distress. The last has a glass of wine in his hand. Behind the group is an old woman, who is showing a piece of silver to the poor little boy to console him for St. Nicholas's present.
Another Humorous Picture by Jan Steen.—Another picture which shows Jan Steen in his most humorous vein is The Operator, who is removing the stones from a man's head. In Holland in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to say that a man had "a stone in his head" was only the equivalent for saying that he was "cracked"; and "to extract the stone from one's brain" merely meant to cure[Pg 270] him of his folly. The patient is seated in a surgeon's office, and the surgeon, who is behind him performing an imaginary operation, ostentatiously places some stones in a basin that an old woman is holding in the full view of the patient. On the left stands a boy with a basket full of stones, from which the surgeon supplies himself. The patient's arms are tightly bound with a rope of straw; a crow is pecking at his hand, and he is screaming with all his might. Some spectators at an open window are laughing heartily.
A Similar Picture in the Style of Frans Hals.—This may be compared with a picture of the school of Frans Hals, called The Quack Doctor. The doctor pretends to be cutting stones from the head of a man. To his cap is fastened a piece of parchment with Hebrew letters and three seals, and he wears spectacles. The patient is crying out; and a boy, dressed as a negro, stands in front with a basin full of stones. On the right is a table covered with a red cloth, upon which are scissors and other instruments, books, gourds, and a water bottle.
Cuijp's Eater of Mussels.—Aelbert Cuijp's Eater of Mussels has a double interest because the painter has represented himself here. The scene is laid in a forge, where the master is eating mussels from a plate that stands beside a glass of beer on a keg. Two little girls and a boy are watching him with great attention, and through an open window two gentlemen are peeping in from outside. One has a glass of wine in his hand, and the other is the artist himself, who is laughing heartily at the man devouring the mussels. In the foreground are seen a dog, a large jug, an anvil, some shells, an overturned basket of wood, a cat, and a hen. In the background are seen a blacksmith and many utensils.
Two Bright Pictures by Van Stry.—Abraham van Stry (1753-1826), a pupil of his father, the architectural painter, has an amusing Table Well Served. In a middle-class room a fat man is seated at a table, on which stand a fine roast and other dishes. He casts an approving glance upon a[Pg 271] dish which a servant is just bringing in. Behind him another servant is pouring out some wine. This artist's Village Inn represents a peasant on a white horse. He is taking a glass of beer from the innkeeper's wife. A servant, a barking dog, a woman, and a boy are the other figures. The sunlight is very vivid.
Some Characteristic Examples of the Early Netherlands School.—The early Netherlands school is well represented by a few characteristic examples. Toost van der Beke, called "The Master of the Death of the Virgin Mary," may be studied by three pictures,—Saint Jerome in his Study, the Virgin Mary and the Infant Jesus, and Portrait of Joris van der Helde (who died in Ghent in 1569). Dierick, or Dirck, Bouts is represented by The Apostle Saint John, which was formerly attributed to Rogier van der Weijden. Saint John is seated in a landscape writing the first verse of his Gospel on a sheet of paper, and a devil is tormenting him.
"The Master of the Half-Length Female Figures," a Dutch painter who is supposed to have worked at Bruges between 1520 and 1540, and who is known only by his pictures of saints on altarpieces and young women playing musical instruments, may be studied here in pictures called Golgotha and Young Woman Playing on a Lute. The latter is dressed in the costume of 1540, and she is singing from a music-book the words:
Golgotha represents the Crucifixion. The Cross, bearing the livid figure of Christ, is in the foreground, and beside it stand the Virgin on the left and St. John on the right. The landscape is very fine, but is entirely Flemish in character, although soldiers are supposed to be returning to the distant Jerusalem. At the foot of the hills Flemish cottages are noticeable, and the sky is gradually darkened from the[Pg 272] sun on the horizon, until it gets very black just above the Cross.
This may be compared with The Crucifixion of Christ of the Netherlands school, an altarpiece of the sixteenth century, formerly attributed to Bernard van Orley (died in Brussels in 1525). Like the former, it presents a green landscape with horsemen wending their way to the distant Jerusalem. The Virgin and St. John are kneeling at the foot of the Cross, and in the clouds are two female saints, God the Father, and the dove representing the Holy Ghost.
[Names will be found indexed under the surname, not under the prefix thereto; as, Dijck, van, Heem, de.]
 This picture, representing Dr. Johan 's lecture in anatomy, was partly burned in the eighteenth century, and the fragment now hangs in the Rijks with the other collection of anatomical pictures from the Surgeons' Guild of Amsterdam.
 The figures in this landscape were painted by Lingelbach.
 Dr. Bredius.
 In the Louvre.
 Greef (Grif, Grifir, or Gryef), Anton, Flemish painter of landscapes with dogs and dead game, born at Antwerp in 1670; died in Brussels in 1715. He is supposed to have been a pupil of Frans . There seem to have been two painters of the same name.
 Victor, Jakob or Giacomo, Dutch painter of the seventeenth century. Pictures by him are in Dresden, Copenhagen, and Munich; in the latter, his Barnyard bears the forged signature of .
 J. F. White.
 J. A. Crowe.
 H. Smissaert.
 G. H. Marius.
 H. Smissaert.