Famous Paintings of Chardin

Baltimore, MUSEUM OF ART: "Les Osselets."
Boston, MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS: "Still Life" (several).
Chicago, ART INSTITUTE: "Still Life."
Cincinnati, EWARDS COLLECTION: "Still Life."
Dublin, NATIONAL GALLERY OF IRELAND: "Les Tours des Cartes," "The Governess."
New York, FRICK COLLECTION: "La Serinette."
New York, METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART: "Supplies for Lunch," "Woman Knitting."
New York, PRIVATE COLLECTIONS: A number of examples.
Paris, LOUVRE: "Le Bénédicité," "La Pourvoyeuse," "L'Enfant au Toton," "La Mère Laborieuse."
Philadelphia, JOHNSON COLLECTION: Probably the largest group of Chardin's works in the United States.
Philadelphia, PRIVATE COLLECTIONS: Several examples.
Princeton, UNIVERSITY MUSEUM: "Attributs de Peintre,""Attributs d'Architecte."
St. Louis, CITY ART MUSEUM: "Le Gobelet d'Argent."
Stockholm, NATIONAL MUSEUM: "La Toilette de Matin," "Le Bénédicité."
Vienna, LIECHTENSTEIN GALLERY: "La Gouvernante,""La Garde Attentive."
Washington, CORCORAN ART GALLERY: "Woman with a Saucepan."
Washington, PHILLIPS MEMORIAL GALLERY: "A Bowl of Plums."
Washington, UNITED STATES NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART: "Little School Mistress," "The House of Cards."

The Attributes of the Arts and Their Rewards, Painted for Catherine the Great, 1766

The Attributes of...
Jean-Baptiste ...
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Building a House of Cards

Building a House...
Jean-Baptiste ...
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Le Bénédicité by Chardin Art Print

WHAT the painters, Watteau, Nattier, Boucher, Fragonard, did in commemoration of the court life of their century, Chardin did for the life of that lower class which was its undercurrent. Virtually in that station into which he had been born, he lived and worked and died. In his still-lifes he has imbued the simplest and most homely objects with arresting dignity, endowing them with a warmth that was of his own kindly, generous, and simple nature. Portraits, his still-lifes might be called, of people.

And in his genre pictures he has granted to the humble people of his own class a greater dignity than to the great of France their own appointed painters would concede. And on what Chardin saw and felt--on what Chardin himself through the simple integrity of his own nature was--the final happiness of social man depends.

The Grace, 1740

The Grace, 1740
Jean-Baptiste ...
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Chardin Paintings Posters - Turnip Cleaner By Jean-Baptiste Chardin

CHARDIN was born in a poor quarter of the neighborhood of the Rue de Seine, Paris, the second son of a master joiner and maker of billiard tables. His father, who had hoped that all his sons would follow in his profession, reluctantly permitted Siméon to take up art in the studio of the academician, Casus, a teacher of repute. But it was his second master, Coypel, who permitted him that freedom to pursue his own work in his own way through which he came to behold as though for the first time the immediate realities of the life around him. His paintings had an immediate popular appeal, and upon their first exhibition at the Academy elicited the praise from critics that "a new master has arisen who rivals the Dutch painters." Chardin was unanimously elected to the Academy, with the special consideration, in recognition of his poverty, of having his entrance fees reduced.

Chardin's first marriage, postponed because of his poverty, was of short duration. His wife's death left him with two children to care for. In 1744, after nine years of widowerhood, he married a widow of some substance. She cared for him tenderly until, yielding to increasing infirmities, he passed quietly away at the age of eighty years.

Famous Paintings of Nattier Posters Enchanting Beauty

Boston, MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS: "Portrait of Mlle. de BourbonConti."
Buffalo, CLIFTON COLLECTION: "Portrait of Mlle. de la Borde."
Cincinnati, MUSEUM ASSOCIATION: "Portrait of Mme. Thérèse de la Martinière."
Cleveland, SEVERANCE COLLECTION: "Mme. Henriette de France as Diana."
Haverford, MUCKLÉ COLLECTION: "Portrait of Henriette de Bourbon."
London, WALLACE COLLECTION: "Portrait of the Countess of Tillières."
New York, FRICK COLLECTION: "Portrait of a Lady."
New York, METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART: "Portrait of the Vicomtesse de Polignac," "The Princess of Condé as Diana."
Stockholm, GALLERY: "The Duchess of Orleans as Hebe."
Versailles, PALACE: "Portrait of Marie Leczinska," "Portrait of Madame Sophie."

Portrait of Madame Sophie by Nattier Postcard

ENTIRELY in keeping with Nattier's purposeful flattery, with the general vainglory of his patrons and the particular wishfulness of the young everywhere and always, Nattier, commissioned by Louis XV to paint the portraits of the five princesses, his daughters, showed the youngest of them, Sophie,--then a schoolgirl at the Abbey Fontevrault--as the mature woman that we see.

"Madame Sophie" is Sophie-Elizabeth-Justine, fifth daughter of Louis XV and Marie Leczinska. During the period of the three youngest princesses' education at the Abbey Fontevrault, the king sent Nattier to paint their portraits as a surprise gift to their mother. The daughters of Louis XV and Marie Leczinska his queen were named Mesdames Sophie, Victoire, Louise, Adelaide, and Elizabeth. Their portraits hang at Versailles.

Nattier - French School Posters

JEAN-MARC NATTIER received his first instructions in drawing and painting from his father. Although his skill in portraiture was early in evidence, his first important commission was the engraving of the Rubens' paintings in the Luxembourg Palace for Louis XIV. In 1716 he traveled to Amsterdam to paint the portrait of Peter the Great, and to the Hague where he painted the Czarina. Reduced to financial straits by a prolonged study of the Dutch masters, the repercussions of the bursting of the John Law bubble left him with no resources but his talent. He promptly turned it to account in portraiture; and winning favor from the court of Louis XV, succeeded the painter Raoux, on his death, as the favored painter of the fashionable world.

Nattier served his patrons well. To flatter his subjects had become his aim; and by the delicacy of his drawing and color he achieved it. Employing a time-honored expedient of portrait flatterers he bestowed classical divinity on his sitters, and thereby on the court itself the glory of Olympus.

Nattier outlived his vogue. He died in obscurity in 1766.

Famous Paintings of Watteau

Berlin, PALACE: "Fête Champêtre," "Departure for the Island of Cythera."
Boston, MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS: "La Perspective."
Chicago, EPSTEIN COLLECTION: "Portrait of Jean Francois Pater."
Cleveland, PRENTISS COLLECTION: "The Village Bride."
Edinburgh, NATIONAL GALLERY OF SCOTLAND: "Fête Champêtre."
London, WALLACE COLLECTION: "Return from Hunting."
New York, PRIVATE COLLECTIONS: Several examples.
Paris, LOUVRE: "Gilles," "Jupiter and Antiope."
Philadelphia, WIDENER COLLECTION: "Woman Asleep."
Potsdam, MUSEUM: "L'Amour Paisible," "L'Enseigne de Gersaint."

Nymph and Satyr

Nymph and Satyr
Jean  Antoine...
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Study of a Woman Seen from the Back, 1716-18 (Chalk on Paper)

Study of a Woman...
Jean  Antoine...
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Fête Champêtre by Watteau

FROM Murillo to Watteau; from the fervent unrealities which were the solace of the rulers of decaying empire, to the triumphant, light-hearted pageantry of make-believe of a court too blinded by wealth to care where wealth derived from or to think where play might lead. From Spain to France. How devastatingly does art betray its time and place, and the minds and moods and circumstances of its sponsors:

The world's a theater, the earth a stage,
Which God and nature do with actors fill.

The wise have known this. The French court, lacking wisdom, built for itself a theater within that larger theater, the world. And little guessing to what role in the larger drama their own acts predestined them, played on. Watteau was perhaps no wiser than the court he served, but he had eyes. And with the compelling realism of great art, he gave us in "Fête Champêtre" just what the French court was: life once too much removed.

Watteau - French School

JEAN-ANTOINE WATTEAU was born at Valenciennes in Flanders, the son of a carpenter. Yielding to the boy's precocious talent for drawing, his father most unwillingly sent him, when fourteen, to study with an obscure local painter. To escape the importunities of his father, the boy fled to Paris where his eventual sufferings from hunger and cold laid the foundation of consumption from which, at the age of thirty-seven, he died. His drawings attracted the attention of Claude Gillot, a painter and engraver, who introduced to the young Watteau those subjects to which the pupil's own charm of imagination were to lend such lasting distinction.

Through his friendship with the great financier, Crozat, he was to enjoy for the remainder of his life that luxury to which his eyes were attuned. Wearied at last by the restraints and excitements of fashionable life, he left Crozat's friendly roof. His illness had by now so far advanced that he was beset by a depression of spirit which never left him. To seek the counsel of a noted London physician, he crossed the channel to England. He returned to France and died there.

Watteau was by nature both sensitive and wild, a product of the France of his day. He was the prototype of the school of distinguished court painters who came to record to the very moment of its tragic close an era of such reckless pleasure as no ruling class, pray God, will ever know again.

Famous Paintings of Murillo

Boston, MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS: "The Assumption."
Cincinnati, MUSEUM ASSOCIATION: "St. Thomas of Villanueva Dividing His Clothing Among the Beggar Boys."
Detroit, INSTITUTE OF ARTS: "The Immaculate Conception."
Glasgow, GALLERY: "The Infant St. John Playing with a Lamb."
Guadalajara, Mexico, CATHEDRAL: "Assumption of the Blessed Virgin."
Jenkintown, Pa., FISHER COLLECTION: "The Holy Family."
Kansas City, NELSON GALLERY: "The Little Conception."
London, NATIONAL GALLERY: "St. John and the Lamb," "The Holy Family."
Los Angeles, FISHER COLLECTION: "Our Lady Kneeling."
Madrid, PRADO: "The Adoration of the Shepherds," "St. John the Baptist."
Minneapolis, INSTITUTE OF ARTS: "The Pilferer Alarmed."
Montreal, VAN HORNE COLLECTION: "Portrait of a Cavalier."
New York, HISPANIC SOCIETY OF AMERICA: "St. Francis of Assisi."
New York, METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART: "Portrait of Don Andres de Andrade y Col."
New York, PRIVATE COLLECTIONS: Several examples.
Pride's Crossing, Mass., FRICK COLLECTION: "Self-Portrait."
Paris, LOUVRE: "The Immaculate Conception," "The Young Beggar."
Philadelphia, PRIVATE COLLECTIONS: Some examples.
Riverside, Calif., HUTCHINGS COLLECTION: "Immaculate Conception with a Mirror."
St. Louis, CITY ART MUSEUM: "Portrait of a Man."
San Diego, MUSEUM: "Penitent Magdalen."
San Francisco, STERN COLLECTION: "A Girl with a Basket of Chickens."
Seville, CATHEDRAL: "St. Anthony of Padua Visited by the Infant Savior."
Youngstown, WARNER COLLECTION: "Madonna and Child."

The Immaculate Conception by Murillo

PIOUS and cautious by nature, and living in a period when the activities of the Inquisition were to be feared, Murillo, in the painting of religious subjects, sought and followed minutely the instructions of the authorities. His religious symbolism is the approved orthodox symbolism of his day. The details of this version of "The Immaculate Conception" are based on the verses in the Book of Revelation: "And there appeared a great sign in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars." The crown of stars, it will be noted, is omitted.

Of Murillo's versions of this subject, "The Immaculate Conception" in the Louvre is the most popular. His Madonnas were new to Spanish art; they were Andalusians "idealized" (that's the accepted term) or sentimentalized to a degree that was new in the sacred art of his country. Yet, though his world-wide reputation rests mainly upon these devotional pictures, he is perhaps to be more fairly judged by his paintings of beggars and peasants. Many of these are in the United States.

Esteban Murillo - Spanish School

BARTOLOMÉ, ESTÉBAN MURILLO was born at Seville of poor parents. Left an orphan at the age of ten, he was adopted by an uncle who, happily encouraging his interest in drawing pictures, eventually placed him in the studio of a local artist. Just as potential American Murillos or "inglorious Miltons" of the brush are today earning a precarious livelihood at our World's Fairs by sketching for the public, so the young Murillo occupied himself at the weekly fairs in Seville. With the little money that he could at last accumulate, he set off on foot for Madrid. He brought himself to the attention of Velasquez who, consistent with his generous nature, helped him.

After two years in the capital, Murillo, now an accomplished painter, returned to his home town. He was awarded commissions for church decorations which he executed so brilliantly as to establish himself as the foremost painter of Seville. A wealthy marriage and a circle of learned friends enhanced his prestige. He lived happily; and in the fullness of his powers at the age of 64, suffered from an accident while at work, and died.

Famous Paintings by Velasquez

Boston, DANIELSON COLLECTION: "St. John in the Wilderness."
Boston, GARDNER COLLECTION: "Portrait of Philip IV,""Portrait of Pope Innocent IX" (attributed).
Boston, MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS: "Portrait of Don Baltasar Carlos with a Dwarf,"Portrait of a Man,""Portrait of Philip IV," "Portrait of the Infanta Maria Teresa" (attributed).
Chicago, ART INSTITUTE: "Job," "The Kitchen Maid."
Chicago, EPSTEIN COLLECTION: "Portrait of Isabel of Bourbon."
Cincinnati, MUSEUM ASSOCIATION: "Portrait of Philip IV."
Detroit, INSTITUTE OF ARTS: "Portrait of a Man."
London, NATIONAL GALLERY: "Portrait of Philip IV," "Venus and Cupid," "Christ at the Column."
London, WALLACE COLLECTION: "Portrait of a Young Girl," "Portrait of Prince Baltasar Carlos,""A Boar Hunt."
Madrid, PRADO: "The Spinners," "Las Meniñas," "The Dwarf," "The Surrender of Breda," "The Topers."
Montreal, VAN HORNE COLLECTION: "Portrait of a Young Man."
New York, FRICK COLLECTION: "Portrait of Philip IV."
New York, HISPANIC SOCIETY: "Portrait of the Count-Duke of Olivàrez,""Portrait of a Young Girl,""Portrait of Cardinal Pamphili,""Portrait of Juan de Pareja."
New York, METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART: "Christ and the Pilgrims of Emmaus," "Portrait of Philip IV," "Portrait of Count Olivàrez," "Portrait of a Man."
New York, PRIVATE COLLECTION: Several examples.
Paris, LOUVRE: "Portrait of a Young Woman," "Portrait of Princess Margarita Maria."
Rome, DORIA GALLERY: "Portrait of Pope Innocent X."
Rutherford, N. J., WARRINGTON COLLECTION: "Angelica and Medoro."
Toledo, WILLYS COLLECTION: "Portrait of a Girl."
Washington, UNITED STATES NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART: "Portrait of Pope Innocent X."

Portrait of Philip IV by Velasquez

OF THE "shattered visage" of one Ozymandias who had held himself to be the "king of kings" Shelley wrote

. . . whose frown And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on those lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed . . .
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Read into these lines imperial Spain, the Spain of Charles V, of Philip II and his Armada, the Spain of the Hapsburgs and the Bourbons; all, by the grace of time, growth, progress, by the grace of God are gone. And Philip IV, well-meaning, pleasure-loving, weak, by virtue of the arts which flourished on the decaying refuse heap of a great empire, by the penetration of a master painter's mind who served and knew him well, Philip lives on.

Venus and Cupid by Velasquez

IT WAS no doubt a problem to one whose rank was that of Grand Marshal of the Palace in a Court noted for its sober dignity to paint the goddess Venus, full length, full faced, and unadorned, and yet in painting her preserve to some extent her modesty, and spare a prudish Court its blushes. That problem Velasquez, with a mirror, solved. And the picture, owned at one time by the Merritt family of Rokeby, is now known as the "Rokeby Venus."

Although the art of painting is ostensibly limited to the appearance of life, the painter-seer (and all great masters of the art are that) views surfaces as but the covering of underlying structural truth or principle. Under the forest-clad slopes that meet our eyes the seer perceives the naked contours of the earth; behind the mask of the human countenance he discerns essential character; and beneath the voluminous brocades and satins, the hoops and panniers of whalebone and steel, the bales of petticoats that made, to courtiers' eyes, a Spanish lady there lived, though who would guess it, the primordial woman, call her Eve or Venus.

The Rokeby Venus, circa 1648-51

The Rokeby Venus,...
Diego  Velázquez
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Velasquez - Spanish School

AT THIRTEEN THE young Velasquez was a pupil of the Spanish painter and fanatical tyrant, Francisco Herrera the elder. Surviving this, he went a year later to study under the polished and scholarly Francisco Pacheco. Here, privileged no doubt to mingle with the nobles and intellectuals who frequented Pacheco's house, he remained for five years, winning from his master the first recognition of an original and personal talent. Probably less through instruction than by natural tendency Velasquez was a realist, his conviction that art must follow nature deepening as his life advanced. The apparent similarity of Velasquez's manner of painting to that of his slightly older contemporary, Ribera, has led some authorities to term imitation what was in fact a spiritual likeness between the two. Velasquez, a great master of realism, came to have a profound influence on European art of the succeeding centuries.

In 1618 Velasquez married his master's daughter, Juana; and four years later, being already the father of two daughters, the family accompanied by Pacheco himself journeyed to Madrid. Here but for two journeys to Italy he was to spend his life. Under the royal patronage and favor he rose to that high rank of Grand Marshal of the Palace which, through the obligations and restraints that it imposed, was to curtail the painter's output at the very height of his powers. It was in the fatiguing performance of his distinguished official duties that he died.

Famous Paintings of Hobbema

Amsterdam, MUSEUM: "A Water Mill."
Antwerp, GALLERY: "A Water Mill."
Brooklyn, MUSEUM: "Ruins of Kostverloren Castle on the Amstel."
Chicago, ART INSTITUTE: "The Water Mill with a Great Red Roof."
Cincinnati, TAFT COLLECTION INSTITUTE OF FINE ARTS: "Landscape with Cattle and Figures."
Cleveland, PRENTISS COLLECTION: "A Wooded Lake with a Large Pool."
Detroit, INSTITUTE OF ARTS: "A River Scene."
Glasgow, GALLERY: "A Group of Trees," "Wooded Landscape," "Landscape in a Storm."
Indianapolis, JOHN HERRON ART INSTITUTE: "Landscape with Cottages."
Kansas City, NELSON GALLERY: "Road in the Woods."
London, NATIONAL GALLERY: "Woody Landscape,""Village with Water Mills,""Ruins of Brederode Castle,""Forest Scene,""Castle in a Rocky Landscape,""The Avenue, Middelharnis."
Madison, N. J., TILGHMAN COLLECTION: "Old Mill."
New York, FRICK COLLECTION: "View of a Woody Country," "Landscape with Buildings and Figures."
New York, METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART: "Entrance to a Village."
Paris, LOUVRE: "Landscape."
Philadelphia, MUSEUM OF ART: "Wooded Road."
Philadelphia, PRIVATE COLLECTIONS: Several examples.
Pittsburgh, PRIVATE COLLECTIONS: Several examples.
Saugatuck, Conn., ENO COLLECTION: "The Water Mill."
Washington, CORCORAN GALLERY: "Landscape with Figures and Ruins."
Washington, UNITED STATES NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART: "The Farm in the Sun," "The Holford Landscape," "The Farmyard."

The Avenue by Hobbema

HOBBEMA, despite the short period of his activity as a painter, is next to Ruysdael the most distinguished of the Dutch landscape painters. While neither were effective in establishing a school of landscape painting in Holland, their influence upon Constable, the founder of the English landscape school, is definite.

Hobbema's interest in painting the countryside of Holland as every day it met his eyes was kindred to the interest and avowed purpose of Constable in portraying his own England. What to Hobbema and Constable was significant in that it was commonplace, became to their followers the "picturesque," and, as such, a ready-made-to-order subject matter for the art of the degenerated heirs of a worthy tradition.

Whether or not the works of Hobbema were studied by the impressionists of the nineteenth century, he reveals a spiritual kinship to them in the outdoor light and atmosphere for which his paintings are noteworthy.

Meindert Hobbema - Dutch School

HOBBEMA WAS PROBABLY born in Amsterdam. In 1668 he married Geltie Vinck, a servant maid four years his senior; by her he had a son and two daughters. Through her influence he obtained a post in the wine office of the Excise. The little stipend derived from his employment scarcely relieved the poverty which beset him all his life. His period of activity as an artist was brief, eleven years. He was a painter of the pleasant countryside of Holland, of red roofed houses, canals, streams, watermills. Always a landscape painter, it was recorded that the human figures incidental to his compositions were painted by his friends, Ruysdael and Van de Velde. Hobbema died in poverty at the age of 70.

Famous Paintings by Maes

Amsterdam, RIJKSMUSEUM: "Girl at a Window," "Old Woman Spinning."
Baltimore, BURNS COLLECTION: "Portrait of Henrietta Maria."
Boston, MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS: "The Jealous Husband,""Portrait of a Lady."
Brussels, ROYAL MUSEUM: "Old Woman Reading."
Chicago, ART INSTITUTE: "Portrait of an Old Lady."
Cincinnati, HANNA COLLECTION: "Titus, Rembrandt's Son, as a Child."
Hartford, WADSWORTH ATHENEUM: "Portrait of Prince Charles, Earl of Plymouth."
London, NATIONAL GALLERY: "The Dutch Housewife," "Portrait of a Girl," "The Cradle," "The Idle Servant."
New York, METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART: "A Woman Making Lace," "Young Girl Peeling an Apple," "Portrait of a Woman," "Portrait of a Young Man."
Philadelphia, JOHNSON COLLECTION: "The Lovers,""Kitchen, with a Maid Peeling Apples, and a Pig's Carcass,""Old Woman."
Toledo, MUSEUM OF ART: "Portrait of a Gentleman," "A Lady by a Fountain."
Washington, UNITED STATES NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART: "Old Woman Dozing over Her Bible."
Worcester, ART MUSEUM: "Interior with an Old Lady."

The Idle Servant by Maes

DRUDGERY is a burden and housework day in and day out a bore. The hours are long. Rooms are cleaned, only to be cleaned again. Dishes are washed, only to be dirtied at the next meal. And so, in all ages, servants have sometimes slept at their work.

The ladies of Holland had their domestic problems too. You had to be snapping at servants constantly, watching them every minute, to get things done. It was easy for a Dutch housewife of the seventeenth century to see the humor of this unpretentious little drama. She would not be bitter about things like this. As a matter of fact, she seems quietly amused. Chatting in her parlor with her neighbor's wife, she might point to this painting, shrug her shoulders and say, "It is so hard these days, my dear friend, to keep a house running smoothly. I don't think our husbands appreciate what we must put up with to make them comfortable. But what is to be done to these lazy girls?"

Pictures like this were not made to be placed in museums or described at great length in encyclopedias. Men painted them to sell them. And if they amused people, people bought them and kept them in their homes. And saw them and were amused because-look! that very thing happened to me yesterday!

Nicholas Maes - Dutch School

NICHOLAS MAES was born in the Dutch city of Dordrecht. At the age of eighteen he went to Amsterdam where he became one of the many pupils and assistants in the atelier of Rembrandt. It was here that he acquired the warmth of color which characterizes his early genre pictures. The years between 1655 and 1665 were the most productive of his life. The paintings dating from this period are small, simple scenes portraying people engaged in domestic pursuits. When he settled in Antwerp about 1670, his style was radically altered. Possibly under the influence of Van Dyck, Maes abandoned scenes of home life and devoted himself exclusively to portraiture. So completely altered was the matter and the manner of his work that for many years it was believed that two painters named Maes were living at the same time, one in Dordrecht, the other in Brussels. Commissions came readily from the prosperous citizens of Antwerp who were more interested in life-like portraits than in qualities of color and design. At the age of sixty-one Maes died in the city of Antwerp.

Famous Paintings by Vermeer

Wien, KUNSTHISTORISCHES MUSEUM: "The Artist in His Studio."
Boston, GARDNER COLLECTION: "The Concert."
Cincinnati, EDWARDS COLLECTION: "Portrait of a Woman."
Dresden, STATE PICTURE GALLERY: "The Young Courtesan."
The Hague, MAURITSHUIS: "View of Delft," "Head of a Young Girl."
The Hague, RIJYKSMUSEUM: "The Love Letter," "A Girl Reading a Letter," "A Maidservant Pouring Milk."
London, BEIT COLLECTION: "A Love Letter."
London, NATIONAL GALLERY: "A Family Group," "A Lady at a Spinet."
London, WALLACE COLLECTION: "A Boy with Pomegranates."
London, WINSDSOR CASTLE: "Lady and Gentleman at a Spinet."
New York, FRICK COLLECTION: "The Soldiers and the Laughing Girl,""A Lady and a Maidservant,""The Music Lesson."
New York, METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART: "Allegory of the New Testament," "A Lady with a Lute," "A Young Lady Opening a Casement," "A Young Woman with a Water Jug," "A Girl Asleep."
Philadelphia, PRIVATE COLLECTIONS: Several examples.
Washington, UNITED STATES NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART: "The Smiling Girl," "The Lace Maker," "The Girl in the Red Hat."

Lady at a Spinet by Vermeer

THIS is a late work, "tight" in handling, more meticulous in detail. The room is bathed in atmosphere; color is subdued and harmonious. It is genre painting at the level of highest perfection.

Vermeer is par excellence a painter's painter. As a craftsman he has never been surpassed. And no other painter has so beautifully and correctly organized color in terms of light. Vermeer, unlike Ter Borch and De Hooch, was not interested in the superficial, flashy sheen of textures. He studied the effects of light, captured the play of it upon colored surfaces existing in space and atmosphere, and by painting deliberately and scientifically in the mode of the total visual effect, achieved tonal harmony and richness and delicacy that have never been equaled. His paintings are small and unpretentious; their limitations are acknowledged. They possess the quiet beauty, dignity, and lucidity of well-fashioned gems, and are among the most precious things we have in oils.

View of Delft by Vermeer

THIS landscape is believed to be an early work, for the brushwork is comparatively broad and free. It is probable that the picture was painted direct from observation, contrary to the custom of that period. Most Dutch landscape painters first made drawings and sketches of their scene, and painted from them in their studios.

The cities of Holland have changed very little during the past few hundred years. If you study this reproduction well and then go to visit Delft, no doubt you will feel at home. Perhaps you will even recognize Rotterdam Gate and the Niewkerk.

Vermeer - Dutch School

VERMEER'S LIFE fared as poorly as his reputation. He was born in Delft, marriedin Delft, raised a large family in Delft, painted in Delft. But the people of Delft hadlittle use for his pictures; the pictures didn't sell. And so Vermeer died in Delft, a poor, well-intentioned artist who had the hard luck of being a failure.

One hundred years ago the name Vermeer meant nothing in the history of painting. His works were not known and were attributed to inferior painters with more impressive names. After hundreds of yearsof neglect, a new personality was admitted to art's arbitrary Hall of Fame.

So it was and is with Vermeer. His name today is among the foremost in the historyof Dutch painting. His works, small in number, are as precious as jewels. That he couldn't find a market for his work in Delft is a fact we regret and can do nothing about.But it is a good and encouraging thing to know that effective research and sound ap­preciation can regenerate a deserving artistic ghost.

Famous Paintings by Metsu

Baltimore, WALTERS COLLECTION: "The Message."
Boston, MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS: "The Usurer."
Brooklyn, MUSEUM: "A Dutch Interior."
Cincinnati, HANNA COLLECTION: "Lady Seated With A Dog."
The Hague, GALLERY: "The Huntsman," "Justice Protecting the Widow and Orphan," "The Amateur Musicians."
London, NATIONAL GALLERY: "The Music Lesson," "The Duet," "The Drowsy Landlady."
New York, FRICK COLLECTION: "Lady in Blue."
New York, METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART: "The Music Lesson," "The Visit to the Baby," "The Artist and His Wife," "The Music Party."
Paris, LOUVRE: "An Officer Entertaining a Young Lady," "The Chemist at the Window."
Philadelphia, JOHNSON COLLECTION: "The Hay Barn,""A Young Lady Sewing,""Twelfth Night."
Philadelphia, WANAMAKER COLLECTION: "Twelfth Night."

The Music Lesson by Metsu

METSU painted high life and low life without moralizing about either. Here is one of the most genteel of his canvases, as fragile and delicate in tone as it is in anecdote.

It is not very often that we find three paintings within the compass of a single frame. Hanging on the wall in the background is a Ruysdael landscape. Beside it is a much larger canvas, "The Twelfth Night Feast" by Metsu himself; two versions of this picture are now in Philadelphia. The Dutch painters frequently used pictures as backgrounds, not in the nature of a joke or trick, but as elements of design and composition.

Gabriel Metsu - Dutch School

GABRIEL METSU was born at Leyden in 1630. He was one of the first to register in the newly formed Guild of St. Luke in his native city, being only twenty at the time. Houbraken, the prolific and frequently unreliable chronicler of the Dutch painters, says that Metsu studied with Gerard Dow in his early years. But after moving to Amsterdam in 1650 he came directly under the influence of Rembrandt. He made an awkward attempt to paint religious pictures, but soon realized that sacred subjects were not his forte. And so he turned to the scenes of Dutch life for which he is famous. Metsu, more than any other painter of his times, cut across class lines in his choice of subjects. They range from the most decorous of family group portraits to the Rabelaisian rowdiness of the peasantry. Metsu married in 1659 and became a permanent citizen of Amsterdam. It was there that he died at the early age of thirty-seven.

Famous Paintings by De Hooch

Amsterdam, MUSEUM: "Self-Portrait," "The Buttery Hatch."
Berlin, GALLERY: "A Dutch Interior."
Boston, MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS: "Dutch Interior."
Brooklyn, MUSEUM: "The Flower Garden."
Cincinnati, HANNA COLLECTION: "The Game of Skittles."
Copenhagen, GALLERY: "A Family Party," "An Interior."
Detroit, INSTITUTE OF ARTS: "Mother Nursing Her Child."
Glen Ridge, N. J., BLANK COLLECTION: "Interior with Soldiers in a Tavern."
The Hague, STEENGRACHT: "A Musical Party."
London, NATIONAL GALLERY: "Interior of a Dutch House," "Courtyard of a Dutch House," "Brick-paved Courtyard of a Dutch House," "Dutch Interior."
Minneapolis, INSTITUTE OF ARTS: "Dutch Interior."
Munich, GALLERY: "Dutch Interior."
New York, FRICK COLLECTION: "Girl and Two Officers."
New York, METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART: "The Visit," "Scene in a Courtyard," "The Maid Servant."
Paris, LOUVRE: "Dutch Interior Showing Two Women and Child," "Dutch Interior Showing Card Players."
Philadelphia, JOHNSON COLLECTION: "View of Delft after the Explosion of 1654," "Cavalier with a Pipe," "A Group in a Barn," "A Dinner Party on a Terrace," "A Lady Feeding a Child, with a Serving Maid."
Philadelphia, WIDENER COLLECTION: "The Bedroom," "Woman and Child in a Courtyard."
Pittsfield, Mass., MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY AND ART: "The Music Party."
St. Louis, CITY ART MUSEUM: "The Skittles Players."
Toledo, MUSEUM OF ART: "Interior."
Toledo, WILLYS COLLECTION: "A Musical Party."
Washington, UNITED STATES NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART: "Interior," "Courtyard Scene."
Worcester, ART MUSEUM: "The Young Mother."

Courtyard of a Dutch House by Pieter De Hooch

OF A CERTAIN class of paintings Ruskin had this to say, "They are good furniture pictures, unworthy of praise, and undeserving of blame." One should not conclude from this remark that Ruskin was a tolerant critic; he certainly was not. What he meant was this. Some paintings, being neither pretentious nor bold, acknowledge their own limitations. They obviously are not inspiring; they tell us nothing about history or mythology; they have no connection with the painter's religion or beliefs. They are only what they seem to be: the products of good craftsmanship, nicely colored, well fitted to be placed on simple walls, to be decorative, and not too prominent.

And so it is with this picture. It is not necessary to be technical about it. Its subject has no mystery; its design has no intricacy. When one of De Hooch's townsmen bought a picture like this, he probably derived as much pleasure looking at it as we do when, going leisurely through an album, we run across a photograph of ourselves and a friend standing in the garden outside our home. It is a faithful scene of familiar people doing familiar things. For legend has it that the woman and child were the painter's wife and daughter.

Interior of a Dutch House by Pieter De Hooch

DUTCH homes in the seventeenth century were a tribute to the quiet restraint and dignity that have always characterized the lives and manners of the people of Holland.

Holland then was a rich land, thriving in commerce, abundant in comforts and the things that make everyday living a tolerable, pleasant routine. Another nation, in such favorable circumstances, might have succumbed to the extravagant, superficial pleasures of elegance. The Dutch valued simplicity and comfort. Their homes were uncomplicated, sparsely furnished, full of light playing upon broad, unrelieved surfaces. The pictures of De Hooch reflect this simplicity of living and are a faithful record of the exemplary manners of his contemporaries.

There is, in this painting, a very amusing oversight. Evidently the servant entering at the right, a hurried afterthought, was quickly and carelessly painted. Close examination will show the tiled floor coming through her voluminous skirts.

Interior of a Dutch House

Interior of a Dutch House
Pieter  de Hooch
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Pieter De Hooch - Dutch School

FOR MANY YEARS, before scholars really got to work on the facts of his life, it was impossible to arrive at any biographical conclusion about the one Pieter De Hooch who painted the pictures reproduced here. Holland, early in the seventeenth century, had Pieter De Hooch's in most of her larger towns. An unsuspecting historian, using contemporary records as his guide, would have found his subject an amazing personality, coexisting in five places at times, member of almost all the guilds. Sound research at last has gathered together a few important facts about this Pieter De Hooch.

He was born in Rotterdam in 1629 and studied first with the painter, Berchem, at Haarlem. At the age of 24 he entered the service, as painter and valet (!), of one Justice de la Grange, accompanying his master to Delft, The Hague, and Leyden. From 1654 to 1657 he was a member of the painters' guild at Delft where, together with Vermeer and others, he became identified with a group of artists who painted domestic scenes from Dutch life. After his wife's death, he left Delft in 1667 and moved to Amsterdam. Contemporary records show that he was still living there, in poor circumstances, in 1683.

That is about all we know of the life of Pieter De Hooch.

Famous Paintings of Ter Borch

Amsterdam, MUSEUM: "Paternal Counsel," "Portrait of Geertjen Matthijssen."
Antwerp, MUSEUM: "The Mandolin Player."
Boston, GARDNER COLLECTION: "The Music Lesson."
Brooklyn, MUSEUM: "Lady Pouring Wine."
Chicago, ART INSTITUTE: "The Music Lesson."
Cincinnati, HANNA COLLECTION: "Portrait of a Cavalier."
Cincinnati, MUSEUM ASSOCIATION: "A Music Party."
Cleveland, PRENTISS COLLECTION: "Portrait of a Lady Standing."
Detroit, INSTITUTE OF ART: "A Man Reading a Letter."
Dresden, GALLERY: "The Officer and the Trumpeter," "Young Lady Playing the Lute," "Young Lady in White Satin."
Haarlem, MUSEUM: "Portraits of Heer and Vrouw Colenbergh."
The Hague, MAURITSHUIS: "The Letter," "Self-Portrait."
London, NATIONAL GALLERY: "The Music Lesson," "The Peace of Münster," "Portrait of a Man."
Montreal, PRIVATE COLLECTIONS: Some examples.
Munich, GALLERY: "The Trumpeter and the Letter."
New York, FRICK COLLECTION: "Portrait of a Lady."
New York, METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART: "Lady Playing the Theorbo," "Young Girl at Her Toilet."
Paris, LOUVRE: "The Music Lesson," "Soldier Offering Money to a Young Woman," "The Concert."
Philadelphia, PRIVATE COLLECTIONS: Several examples.
Washington, CORCORAN GALLERY: "Portrait of a Young Man."

The Letter by Ter Borch

THE DUTCH school of painters of the seventeenth century is noted for the records it has given us of the lives of the people of the upper-middle class of its day. As the Venetian painter, Moroni, supplemented with portraits of the middle class that record of Venetian nobility which other painters of his time so generously supplied, so has Ter Borch completed for posterity the record of the Holland of his day and of his class.

He was, of all Dutch painters of his century, the most cultivated and refined. His horizon was limited by a life spent in the company of the aristocrats and the wealthy. If he knew anything about the existence of his less fortunate contemporaries, the peasants and tradesmen who worked hard and relaxed violently and obscenely, certainly he was careful in his painting to turn his eye the other way. His subjects are all well-mannered, charming people. Their gestures have a narrow scope. Their dignity is always carefully guarded. Never do they "let down their hair."
Ter Borch was the scion of a distinguished family and devoted his art to copying that fraction of the life of his times to which he was born and below which he never stooped.

Gerard Ter Borch Dutch School - Interior of an Inn, 1636 Post Cards

BORN AT ZWOLLE in 1617 Gerard Ter Borch was reared in the congenial environment of a cultured family circle. His father was quick in the encouragement of his son's liking to paint and sent him to be a pupil of Pieter Molyn at Haarlem. Years of travel followed for this most favored of the little masters. He visited England, Germany, and Italy in turn. While at Münster in Westphalia he was invited to return to Spain with the Spanish ambassador who introduced him to the life of the court. The portraits that he painted there won him the admiration of an exclusive circle and shortly before his return to his native town in 1652 he was honored with knighthood. While on a visit to England he was introduced into the society of the court and met the great court painter of that time, Van Dyck. Influenced to some degree by the great painters he had met on his travels, he became, nevertheless, the master of a personal style. It is information of a personal and intimate nature that he has given us of the time in which he lived and of that class, the aristocracy, in which he moved. After his death in 1681, his remains were carried to Zwolle where they were interred with great honor amid a gathering of the full citizenship of the town.

Famous Paintings of Rembrandt The Night Watch Poster

Amsterdam, RIJKSMUSEUM: "The Night Watch," "The Syndics," "The Jewish Bride."
Baltimore, EPSTEIN COLLECTION: "Portrait of an Old Man."
Baltimore, WALTERS COLLECTION: "Portrait of Hendrickje Stoeffels."
Boston, GARDNER COLLECTION: "Self-Portrait,""Landscape with Obelisk,""Christ and His Disciples in the Storm,""A Young Couple."
Brooklyn, MUSEUM: "The Rabbi," "Portrait of Rembrandt's Father."
Cambridge, FOGG ART MUSEUM: "Portrait of an Old Man."
Chestnut Hill, Mass., PAINE COLLECTION: "Portrait of Rembrandt's Sister."
Chicago, ART INSTITUTE: "Christ Washing the Disciples' Feet," "Portrait of a Young Girl," "Portrait of Rembrandt's Father."
Cincinnati, INSTITUTE OF FINE ARTS: "Young Man Rising from His Chair."
Cincinnati, MUSEUM ASSOCIATION: "Portrait of a Young Girl."
Detroit, INSTITUTE OF ARTS: "Head of Christ," "The Salutation," "Portrait of an Old Lady."
Dresden, GALLERY: "Portrait of Saskia."
Glasgow, KELVINGROVE ART GALLERY: "Man in Armor."
The Hague, MAURITSHUIS: "The Anatomy Lesson," "David Playing before Saul."
Indianapolis, CLOWES COLLECTION: "An Old Man in a Tall FurEdged Cap."
Kansas City, NELSON GALLERY: "Portrait of a Boy."
Leningrad, HERMITAGE: "Abraham with the Three Angels," "Danaë."
London, BRITISH MUSEUM: "Christ Healing the Sick," "The Three Trees."
London, NATIONAL GALLERY: "Portrait of an Old Woman," "Portrait of a Man," "SelfPortrait," "The Adoration of the Shepherds," "A Woman Bathing."
Montreal, VAN HORNE COLLECTION: "Portrait of a Young Rabbi."
Munich, GALLERY: "The Descent from the Cross."
New York, FRICK COLLECTION: "Self-Portrait,""Polish Rider," "A Young Painter,""Old Woman with a Bible."
New York, HISTORICAL SOCIETY: "Portrait of a Man."
New York, METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART: "Portrait of a Man," "Portrait of Titus," "Self-Portrait," "Old Woman Cutting Her Nails," and many others.
Paris, LOUVRE: "The Disciples at Emmaus," "Woman Bathing."
Rochester, UNIVERSITY: "Portrait of a Young Man."
Sarasota, RINGLING MUSEUM: "Lamentation over Christ,""An Evangelist,""Portrait of a Lady.
Toledo, MUSEUM OF ART: "SelfPortrait."
Washington, CORCORAN ART GALLERY: "Portrait of a Gentleman."
Washington, UNITED STATES NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART: "A Young Man with a Pink," "Joseph Before Potiphar," "Old Lady with a Bible," "Lucretia Stabbing Herself," and several other examples.