Tag Archives: Dutch Portrait Painter

Was Gerard ter Borch an excellent artist in his own right?

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Gerard’s father, Gerard ter Borch the Elder, was an excellent artist in his own right. Seeing that his son shared his talent and affinity for art, Ter Borch the Elder took it upon himself to mentor his son as an artist. (Art was a family affair. Gerard’s sister was also a painter.) In 1632 the young Ter Borch was sent to Amsterdam to receive instruction from Pieter Codde or Willem Cornelisz.

Gerard ter Borch was chosen to be Pieter de Molyn’s apprentice while in Haarlem in 1634. During this time the burgeoning artist was influenced by Frans Hals. Just one year later, at the age of eighteen, Ter Borch was accepted into the Haarlem St. Lukas Guild. This fact alone hints at the enormity of his talent, even as a young man.
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During the early years of Gerard’s career, he tended to paint subjects from everyday life, as well as entertainers and soldiers. His painting The Knifegrinder’s Family is an example of the type of work he produced during the 1630s-50s.

Travel was a major part of Gerard ter Borch’s life. In an age where travel did not come cheap or easy, Ter Borch managed to visit several countries and expand his mind, artistic skill, and worldview. England, Italy, Spain, and France were some of the countries he called home for short periods of time. While living in England Ter Borch’s artistic style was impacted by Van Dyck.

Gerard ter Borch’s technique blossomed during his visit to Italy. It was in Rome that the young man painted Jan Six and A Young Lady (these portraits were painted on copper). In 1648 he traveled to Münster, Germany, when the Spaniards and the Dutch were establishing a peace treaty. The meeting of congress that facilitated the peace treaty was the subject of Gerard’s much loved oil on copper painting, The Treaty of Westphalia.

Gerard ter Borch’s next destination would afford him the honor of a lifetime: Knighthood. While in Madrid, Gerard was knighted by Philip IV. He was also given the opportunity to paint Phillip IV. Diego Velasquez, a Spanish artist, influenced Ter Borch’s artistic growth while the Dutch painter lived in Spain. Despite the incredible favor that was shown to him, Ter Borch chose to leave Madrid for the Netherlands due to the “consequence of an intrigue.”

The revered artist finally planted roots in Deventer in 1654. Ter Borch was an influential man in his new city, serving on the city council and continuing to create art. While living in Deventer he drastically changed the subjects of his artwork from common, everyday individuals to wealthy families. The Concert, Glass of Lemonade, and The Fatherly Admonition are perfect examples of Ter Borch’s later works. They are “marked with restraint lyricism.”

1681, the year of Gerard ter Borch’s death, was a sad time for the art world. Ter Borch not only managed to create a pristine career, but he was also set apart as nobility as a result of his talent and excellence. Thus, humanity lost a treasure the day it lost Dutch painter Gerard ter Borch.

Even though there are near 80 works of art in Gerard ter Borch’s collection, the number of paintings available to his fans today is considered small. His exclusive paintings are scattered across the world, housed at prestigious art galleries, including the Berlin Museum, the Dresden Museum, the Hermitage, the Louvre, the Getty Center, and the Wallace Collection. This is how individuals from all walks of life still enjoy Ter Borch’s talent and legacy.

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Sources:

http://www.abcgallery.com

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerard_ter_Borch/

Segmation wants to know if you have any famous painters that you enjoy that may be Dutch?

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Frans Hals – Dutch Portrait Painter

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Frans Hals (c. 1580 – August 26, 1666) was a master portrait painter and one of the most gifted artists of the 17th century Dutch school. His fresh, lively approach influenced the way future artists handled large-scale group portraits.

Not much is known about the life of Frans Hals. He was born in Antwerp sometime around 1580-1581 to a Dutch family living in Flanders. His father was a draper, and the family fled the city when it was conquered by Spain in 1585, moving to Haarlem in Holland where Frans Hals would spend the rest of his life.

Hals studied painting from 1601-1603 under Karel van Mander, who had fled Antwerp at the same time as the Hals family, and in 1610, was admitted to the Haarlem painters’ guild. He started working for the city as an art restorer and in the same year, married his first wife, Annetje Harmansdr. The couple had two sons, but Annetje died during the birth of their second son.www.segmation.com

The paintings Hals produced before the age of 30 are unknown, but his first important commission was painted in 1616: a life-sized group portrait known as The Banquet of the Officers of the St George Militia Company. This work led to other, similar commissions throughout the 1620s and 30s, which are among the artist’s finest productions. He was at the height of his artistic popularity during those years.

Hals was doing well and in 1617 he remarried. His second wife, Lysbeth Reyniers, had been hired as nanny for his two children. It is rumored she was eight months pregnant when they married and the couple went on to have eight children together. In fact, Frans Hals was a lively character with the reputation of being a womanizer who liked to have a good time. That might have been one of the reasons why, despite his success as an artist, he was always short of money.

The paintings produced in the 1630’s tend towards simple compositions and bright colors. These give way to cooler tones and by the 1640s a dramatic change can be seen in Hals’s works. His brushwork was bold and free and the colors became monochromatic tones of blacks and greys. His most important work of this period is the 1648 portrait of René Descartes.

Although Hals was elected chairman of the Haarlem painters’ guild in 1644, his manner of painting was starting to go out of style and he was losing customers. With a large family to support, Hals changed his style in a bid to remain popular, but to little effect. He worked as an art dealer, and acted as art tax expert for the municipality. In 1652 he was taken to court and declared bankrupt. He had to sell his belongings and was left destitute, relying on a stipend from the Haarlem municipality to survive.

When he was 84 years old, Hals painted two of his greatest works, Lady Regents of the Almshouse and The Governors of the Almshouse, considered to be among the greatest portrait works ever painted.

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Source:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frans_Hals

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