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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Willem Drost

Bust of Man Wearing a Large-brimmed Hat, 1655, Willem Drost
Signed and dated.
Artists! Save future generations of art historians a lot of work. Always sign and date your paintings (and other stuff) you create. Of course, in doing so you may also put them out of work but... Moreover, I'm not just talk-ing about important works such as major painting and sculptures. Very often simple drawings and sketches need attribution as well. Art experts also advise that an artist create a provenance packet, a starting point document in an envelope containing important de-tails about each major work, at-tached to the work (but not lodged between canvas and stretchers) for the benefit of future generations buying or selling your art. (Include preliminary drawings and photos too.) In doing so, you might make your descendants quite wealthy. It might make the difference between your work, sometime in the future, bringing six figures at auction, or seven. The Dutch "golden age" student of Rembrandt, Willem Drost, is a good role model.
 
The Polish Rider, c.1655, Rembrandt. Is it really a
Rembrandt, or a Drost...or a little of both?
It wasn't that Drost didn't sign his work. Mostly, he did. The problem is, Rembrandt often forgot to do so. And as it happens, art historian are left scratching the heads, forced to rely on minor, highly esoteric (and debatable) details in deciding, in essence, who painted what. Drost was such an apt student, as seen in his Bust of Man Wearing a Large-brimmed Hat (top), in many ways he rivaled or surpassed his master. In fact, he may have worked on some parts of Rembrandt's paintings such as The Polish Rider (above). Some have even suggested he painted the whole damned thing. Art historians hate it when faced with such controversies.

The Vision of Daniel, Willem Drost
One factor not making life any simpler for art historian now and then is the fact that, though Willem Drost was one of Rembrandt's most gifted pupils, he was also one of the most enigmatic. We don't even know for sure the date of his birth, though he was apparently baptized on February 5, 1633. A Dutch painter, presumably born in Amsterdam, Drost was active in Italy for part of his very brief career. Several paintings now assigned to him were formerly attributed to his master, including perhaps, the celebrated Polish Rider mentioned earlier, which is considered by many to be one of Rembrandt's most poetic creations.

Bathsheba's baths.
Among Drost's undisputed works is the sensuous masterpiece Bathsheba with the Letter from King David, (above, top) dating from 1654. It now hangs in the Louvre, near Rembrandt's much more famous version (above, middle) painted in the same year and evidently inspired by it. A second version by Rembrandt also dates from 1654 (above, bottom). Personally, I like Drost's version the best. It seems so much more natural.

 
These were apparently all painted in the 1650s while
Drost was an eager student of Rembrandt.
Around 1650, Willem Drost became a student of Rembrandt, eventually developing a close working relationship, painting history scenes, biblical compositions, symbolic studies of a solitary figure, as well as portraits. Drost spent a long period in Rome where he became friends with Karel Lot and the well-to-do Utrecht painter, Joan vander Meer, around 1653. He was back in Amsterdam until 1655 before again traveling to Italy. It was there Willem Drost died in 1659 at the age of twenty-six. Who knows? Had he live to be as old as Rembrandt (sixty-three), he might have surpassed him in importance.

Timothy and Lois, 1650s. Is it a Drost or a Rembrandt?
You decide (answer at bottom).
Willem Drost's recognized lifetime output of artwork is very small, as compared to that of Rembrandt, who is credited with more than 2,000 paintings and etchings, the majority of which are not signed. As a result, in recent years some paintings attributed to Rembrandt have had their authenticity come under question. The importance of these Rembrandt works is such that a foundation known as the Rembrandt Research Project, was established in Amsterdam to review the attribution of all of his works. As a result, scholars have now reattributed a number of Rembrandt's paintings to his pupils and associates.

Young Woman in a Brocade Gown, 1654. Willem Drost
When the portrait of a young man on horseback titled The Polish Rider was discovered in 1897, it was attributed to Rembrandt. Acquired by New York City's Frick Collection, The Polish Rider is one of the Frick Museum's most valued treasures. For years, the painting's subject matter and purpose were questioned by many scholars. However, beginning in 1984, a movement led by Dr. Josua Bruyn of the Rembrandt Research Project, began to believe this great painting might also be the work of Willem Drost (or several others). This attributions remains controversial, but a reattribution of a group of "Rembrandt" drawings to Drost is more widely accepted. Also, Drost's 1654 painting, Portrait of a Young Woman with her Hands Folded on a Book (above), from 1654, is one of the works attributed to Rembrandt for more than three-hundred years.

Young Boy Holding a Flute, Willem Drost.
(In answer to the question posed earlier,
Timothy and Lois is also by Drost.)















































 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Art in French


The Louvre Museum of Art, Paris, France
(with the emphasis on France).
In visiting the art museums of foreign countries, it's not necessary to speak the language, nor even understand the spoken version. However, I have found that it IS necessary, or at least highly desirable, that one be able to read the native language as it applies to art. In general, Europeans tend to be pretty good at doing all three in at least two languages. Americans however, isolated an ocean away from anything other than Spanish, are terrible in this regard. Although I usually try to write from an international point of view, in this case, and for the aforementioned reason, I'm aiming this little art language lesson specifically at Americans.

Under I.M. Pei's glass pyramid entrance to the Louvre.
English is spoken here but you have to ask for it by name.
Photo copyright, Jim Lane
"Parlez vous Français?"
It would be too much to ask in such a limited space and from one who speaks and understands only English to get involved in grammar and pro-nunciation, so I've therefore concen-trated upon French (this time) and only two areas of usage, surviving in the hundreds of French museums (just in Paris alone), and under-standing some of what you see and read. Don't expect much help from the French in this regard (right); they're great at labeling everything, but only in French. Also, to possibly save a little embarrassment, I've included a few gender specific words to help get over that horrendous stumbling block. First the museum vocabulary:

           Museum French: (Musée Français)
 
        Art in French: (Art en Français)

 
         French Genders: (Les sexes Français)



I should note that teaching French without being able to speak French puts me at a distinct disadvantage. If anyone more familiar with the language than I wishes to post comments below, I'd be more than happy to make any changed suggested. There's probably some shades of meaning that I've missed. If all else fails and you find yourself lost in the Louvre, there are three magic words that might help: "Parlez vous Anglais?"

Photo copyright, Jim Lane
Just don't ask this guy for directions;
he's partially lost himself.



























































 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Helen Thomas Dranga

Portrait of a Polynesian Girl, ca 1910, Helen Thomas Dranga.
Twenty-three years ago (June, 1994), my wife and I, along with our then twelve-year-old son, celebrated our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary with a visit to the Hawaiian Islands. It was then I had my first glimpse of Hawaiian art. And it was, but a glimpse, in that at the time there was so many other thing to so and see, this first look consisted mostly of the work of contemporary painters hung for sale in some of the tourist venues we visited. In 2019, Lord willing, we'll be going back to celebrate our fiftieth anniversary (minus our son) at which time I plan to take a closer look at some of the artists I've studied since, who helped create the rich artistic heritage of our fiftieth state. One of them I plan to look at more closely is Helen Thomas Dranga.

Helen Thomas Dranga,
passport photo, 1922
Helen Dranga was not all that prolific and ranks well down the list of important island artists such as D. Howard Hitchcock, Charles W. Bartlett, and Jules Tavernier. She was, however, well educated as an artist, having studied at the Kensington Art Academy (Royal College of Art) in Lon-don, England. If that sounds strange for a Hawaiian artist, keep in mind that Helen Thomas Dranga was born Caroline Helen Thomas in Oxford, England, in 1866. Her father was a plumber, painter, and decorator (nice combin-ation). Miss Thomas moved to the United States in 1892, probably in search of a husband. Twenty-six years old at the time, she was rapidly approaching the prospect of becoming a Victorian "old maid."

The Artist's Home, Helen Thomas Dranga
It worked. She somehow found a Wisconsin merchant of Norwegian stock named Theodore Dranga. They were married in 1895. A year before the couple were actually married, they moved west to Oakland, California, where they remained for the next six years before really moving west to Hilo, Hawaii in 1900. The Drangas had two children and were to spend the rest of their lives enjoying the beautiful coastal scenery Helen painted (I'm guessing) mostly for visitors. Helen Thomas Dranga died in 1927 at the age of sixty-one.

On Waiakea River, Near Hilo, Hawaii, Helen Dranga
Helen Dranga painted numerous scenes around her home on the island of Hawaii. Her palette included the violet grays that she saw in the moisture-laden Hilo sky. She also created images of scenes on other Islands. One exceptional example is a painting On Waiakea River, Near Hilo, Hawaii (above). Later in her career, she did portraits of Hawaiian and Chinese friends as well as native Hawaiian flowers (bottom). Helen Dranga was among a number of Hawaiian resident artists in the early 1900s who wished to express in their art a sense of Island color and culture.

Kahaluu, Kaneohe, Helen Dranga
The period 1800 to 1940 was considered the ‘golden era’ of Hawaii. In 1992, paintings specifically from this era were gathered for the first time in the show "Encounters In Paradise," which was exhibited at the Honolulu Academy of the Arts. The paintings were obtained from museums and private collections, and included works by Jules Tavernier, Charles Furneaux, John Kelly, and Helen Dranga. All were a part of a general movement to capture on canvas images of Old Hawaii before it disappeared. One such example of Dranga’s work is Portrait of a Polynesian Girl (top), from 1910, which depicts a Polynesian girl dressed in white and garlanded with an orange ilima flower lei. Warm light through the foliage of pandanus leaves illuminates the ground and her figure, creating a lively pattern of light, shade, and reflection on her face.

Hawaiian Landscape, Helen Thomas Dranga
Helen Dranga’s compositions also regularly appeared as covers of Paradise of the Pacific Magazine throughout the 1920s and 1930s. These magazines themselves have become collectibles. Dranga painted the Hawaiian landscape with a remarkably sensitive touch, a trait which also marked her portraits and skyscapes. The Hawaii State Art Museum, the Honolulu Museum of Art, and the Lyman House Memorial Museum (Hilo, Hawaii) are among the public collections holding works by Helen Thomas Dranga. If my feet and legs hold up, I plan to visit every one of them the next time we're in Hawaii.

This untitled work by Helen Dranga
 is one of my favorites.














Ohia Lehua Blossoms,
Helen Thomas Dranga





























































 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Whether seen in daylight or at night, the complex is impressive.
Alice Walton has her own art museum. You might not recognize the name immediately but she's said to be the 16th wealthiest person in the world. She lives in the small town of Bentonville, Arkansas. Maybe you've shopped in one of her stores--Walmart. No, it's not called the Walmart Art Museum. It's called the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and it takes its name from its architecture rather than the heiress and the family foundation which has endowed it. Guesstimates of that endowment add up to around a billion dollars, give or take a few million (specific figures are long since outdated). In any case, with a Forbes estimate of $26.3-billion, she can afford it.
 
The museum is within easy walking distance from
beautiful downtown Bentonville, Arkansas.
There's a lot of ugliness in art circles about Alice Walton's Crystal Bridges, the country's newest major art museum. It is controversial simply by its existence. It exposes the hypocrisy of the art world. The kind of art that gets into museums is surrounded by all manner of expectations and myths. Artists and their critics often want art to be some kind of social critique or revolutionary force. Others want it to preserve aristocratic values in a world of populist conservatism. In reality, what museum grade art does most (and best), is to decorate the lives of the fabulously wealthy. Art is not an anarchic force, or an engine of social change. Art entertains, it enlightens, it enriches, whether in Alice Walton's foyer or her environmentally responsible bastion of American good taste. Walmart epitomizes much of what the cultural elite hates, in terms of both capitalist exploitation and tackiness. So of course lots of self-important artists and other arty folks are going to make snide remarks about a Walmart-funded art museum. In doing so they are, in fact, exposing their ignorance of the economic and social position of museum art in our society today. In effect, they are perched on an elite and precarious scaffolding, which can only stand with the financial support of people like Alice Walton.

The museum opened in 2011 so it's permanent collection is not large, but it is extremely well curated.
Alice Walton's vision for a great art institution in a small corner of Arkansas was as ambitious as it has been successful. Because this is an American art museum in middle of the country, one might expect to see several Norman Rockwells as well as many American landscape and genre painters. There is only one by Rockwell, Rosie the Riveter. Likewise, the American scene painters, while present, were not overly represented. Instead, there is work by Georgia O'Keeffe, Charles Willson Peale, Josef Albers, Mark Rothko, Jeff Koons, and Asher B. Durand's famous Kindred Spirits (above, upper-right).

Inside the museum is a pleasant mixture of curves
and angles topped by an exposed-beam ceiling.
Museum gift shop, Marlon Blackwell, Architect
The Crystal Bridges, was designed by Israeli/Canad-ian /American architect, and urban designer, Moshe Saf-die. The museum's glass-and-wood design features a series of pavilions nestled around two creek-fed ponds. The complex includes 217,000 square feet of galleries, sev-eral meeting and class-room spaces, a library, a sculpture garden, a gift shop designed by architect, Marlon Blackwell, a restaurant and coffee bar, named Eleven after the day the museum opened, Novem-ber 11, 2011 (11-11-11). Crys-tal Bridges' meeting space can accommodate up to 300 people. There are also outdoor areas for concerts and public events, as well as extensive nature trails. The museum employs approximately 300 people. Like Walmart stores, admission is free.

Key:
 7--Art library, 8--Loading docks, 9--Art collections, exhibits and vaults,
10--Auditorium, 11--Administrative offices, 12--Arrival terrace, 13--Pond terrace,
14--Visitor orientation, 15--Dining, 16--Pedestrian entrance, 17--parking garage.
Crystal Bridges may be the one and only museum to own a Frank Lloyd Wright original. Known as the Bachman-Wilson House (below), this structure is an example of Wright’s classic Usonian architecture. Wright coined the term "Usonian" to describe a distinctly American style of residential architecture he developed during the Great Depression to be within the reach of the average middle-class American family. The house was originally built in 1956 for Gloria and Abraham Wilson along the Millstone River in New Jersey. It was meticulously restored in 1988. Threatened by repeated flooding at its original location, in order to preserve it, the house was sold to Crystal Bridges and relocated. The museum acquired the house in 2013 whereupon the entire structure was then taken apart, each component labeled, packed, and moved to the museum, where it was reconstructed two years later.

Frank Lloyd Wright's Bachman Wilson House as
reconstructed on the museum's grounds in 2015.
Sculpture also figures prominently in the collection, both in the interior galleries and along outdoor sculpture trails. Sculptors represented in the permanent collection include Paul Manship, Roxy Paine, Mark di Suvero, and James Turrell. Leo Villareal’s lighted sculpture Buckyball (below) was added to Crystal Bridges' permanent collection in 2013 to become a featured element in the museum's extensive sculpture garden.

Bucky Ball, 2013, Leo Villareal
Crystal Bridges' museum complex lives up to it's name. It's complex.
And this is where it all began.

















































 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Thomas Doughty

Fishing in a River, 1828, Thomas Doughty. Though unarguably the work of Doughty, the dazzling color, as compared to his other works, leads me to think this may be a present-day, hand-painted copy. I could not, however, find an original version. It could also be one of the few instances involving the costly cleaning and restoration of a Doughty original. The painting is privately owned.
As diverse and visually complex as American art has become today, with media as ancient as fresco and egg tempera and as cutting edge as pigmented pixels, it's important to remember that during this nation's nascent period, the visual arts were limited entirely to relatively crude oil portraits, a few tavern signs, and carved tombstones. Americans were nothing if not practical. Art was used solely to commemorate and communicate (aside from perhaps a few ladies doing needlepoint). And for the first couple hundred years, that's pretty much the way things stayed. Then around 1820, two men from New York City changed all that. The packed up their imported oils, stretched canvases, sketchbooks, charcoal, easels, folding camp stools, tents, and other survival paraphernalia, loaded them on horses, and began following ancient Indian trails up the Hudson River, stopping now and again to paint the scenery. If not the first artists to do so, they were, at least, the first to recognize the inherent beauty of the American landscape as something more than a wilderness of natural dangers and stubborn impediments. One of those men was Thomas Sully, the other, Thomas Doughty.

Delaware Water Gap, 1827, Thomas Doughty
There were others of course, Alvin Fisher, John Frederick Kennset, and Thomas Cole, to name just a few of the first generation of what has since come to be known as the Hudson River School of landscapes painting. I deliberately led off with Doughty's Fishing in a River (top) from 1927-28 suggesting it might be a restored painting, especially as compared to his Lake and Mountains (below) from roughly the same decade, which obviously is badly in need of restoration. Fishing in a River, by the way, is not necessarily the Hudson River, but possibly one of its tributaries. The Delaware Water Gap (above) also from the 1820s, is not the Hudson River either, but such streams are usually included in paintings said to be of the Hudson River School.

Lake and Mountains, 1820s, Thomas Doughty. Compare this to the top image. The prevalence of Wood burning fireplaces are often blamed for discoloring paintings from this era.
Art historians have argued for over a century as to who should be credited with having "founded" the Hudson River "School" (which was by no means an academic institution). However, it would be fairly safe to say Thomas Doughty would be a prime candidate for such an distinction. Fisher may have been the first, and his meager work was likely an inspiration for all the others. But Doughty quickly followed and, it's his work which is credited with sparking the initial popularity of landscape painting in the newborn United States.

View of the Fairmount Waterworks, Philadelphia, Thomas Doughty, from the opposite side of the Schuylkill River.
Thomas Doughty was born on July 19, 1791 on 1793 (sources differ) in Philadelphia, the son of a local ship carpenter. He was locally educated and later apprenticed to become a leather worker. He was also gifted with largely self-taught skills as an artist. Doughty’s older brother, a ship designer of frigates such as the Constitution and the President, was instrumental in encour-aging his younger brother towards art. While still in his early twenties, Doughty was working as a leather currier in Philadelphia, but by around 1816, he was registered as a painter. In the same year, he exhibited for the first time at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. The View of the Fair-mount Waterworks (above) is possibly one of his earliest surviving works. Despite having been digitally enhanced, it too shows signs of having hung over a fireplace for far too many years.
 
Desert Rock Lighthouse, Maine, Thomas Doughty
In 1828, two works by Doughty were included in an exhibition onboard the Hudson River steamboat, Albany, organized in an effort to differentiate the steamboat from its competitors. Besides work by Thomas Doughty, the steamboat company included works by Thomas Birch, Thomas Cole, and Thomas Sully. The name, "Thomas," seems to have been a prerequisite for joining the Hudson River School. About this same time, Doughty moved from Philadelphia to Boston where He display some nineteen paintings at the Athenaeum. However, Doughty did not remain in Boston long, before returning to Philadelphia in around 1830 where he began to work on The Cabinet of Natural History and American Rural Sports (little more than a men's hunting magazine) with his brother. The publishing effort contained historical accounts of the flora and fauna of North America, including detailed illustrations utilizing color lithographs. It also illustrated Doughty’s ability to render significant natural detail not to mention his expertise at lithography.

Ships in Rough Coastal Waters, Thomas Doughty

Niagara Falls, Thomas Doughty
Doughty returned to Boston in 1832. There he would remain for the next five years. These years proved to be his most productive and lucrative, allowing him various sketching trips to the White Mountains, New Hampshire, the Catskill Mountains, New York's Niagara Falls (left), and along the coasts of Mas-sachusetts and Maine as seen in Ships in Rough Costal Waters (above). Al-though Doughty set up a studio in Bos-ton, like virtually all serious American painters who could afford to, he began making short trips to Europe in 1835 and again in 1845. He added to his list of American rivers he'd painted, the Seine, and the Thames. It would be safe to say these trips to Europe ruined his career.

Windsor Castle, ca 1837, Thomas Doughty
Though Doughty's work became more lyrical and intimate in feeling, he began painting his landscapes in a manner reminiscent of the misty painters of the Barbizon School and with the softness of Constable's landscape sketches. In 1838, when Doughty returned to America, this time he settled in New York City. His European sojourn and exposure to French and English works had influenced him greatly. His landscapes became more painterly, while utilizing a darker palette with more stress on tone rather then color. In 1845, Doughty returned to London where he exhibited paintings of English scenery, including scenes of Windsor Castle (above). The following year, he traveled to Paris and sketched from paintings in the Louvre.

View Toward London from Hampstead Heath,
ca. 1837, Thomas Doughty
In returning to New York, like many other painters of his time, Doughty spent the winter in the city and the summers traveling. By this time his health had begun to deteriorate even as he continued to experience some degree of public praise for his truthfulness to nature. However, as a result of his exposure to European landscapes, Doughty began introducing Romantic castles and ruins along the banks of his frontier wilderness streams. Tastes had changed by the 1840s. Thomas Cole and a whole second generation of Hudson River School painters were gaining recognition. Doughty’s Romantic landscapes fell out of favor. For several years he moved around in search of economic opportunity. At the same time, he continued to suffer from poor health and in 1851, in an effort to deter critics, wrote in the Home Journal that he would prefer not to paint at all than paint poor pictures or “pot boilers”. Doughty lived briefly in Oswego, New York as he tried to recover his health. But by 1853, he had again returned to New York City, where he lived for the remainder of his life, until his death due to “a softening of the brain” (probably a stroke). He died impoverished in July, 1856.

Winter Landscape, 1830, Thomas Doughty.
He was one of the few Hudson River School
artists to paint winter landscapes.
















Grizzly Bear lithograph, Thomas
Doughty, probably painted from
memory, or a vivid imagination.











































 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Gerrit Dou

Notice the inclusion of the written word (poetry), sculpture, even music as Gerrit Dou touted painting as the "paragon of the arts" in depicting nature.
Art used to be considered much more important than it is today. From time to time in past ages there would arise various art controversies which were considered fundamentally critical at the time, but that today would likely fall in the realm of "who the hell cares." For instance, during the early 1800s the argument arose in the French Academy as to which was more important draughtsmanship or color (drawing or painting). That one eventually came to a draw as the academicist decided both were of equal importance (duh). Another similar argument having about as much consequence came up in the Netherlands during the Dutch "golden age." It had to do with which of the fine arts was best at representing nature, painting, sculpture, or poetry. Art historians refer to it now and then as the "paragon debate." Once more, today, we would dismiss the whole thing with something on the order of, "what the hell difference does it make?"


Gerrit Dou's paintings were all quite modes in size. The
self-portrait above, bottom-left, was a mere seven by five inches.
One artist of the time, the painter Gerrit Dou, seemed to think it made a lot of difference. Being a painter of some repute, he naturally came down on the side of painting. In fact, he pretty much devoted his entire painting career to trying to prove his point. His Old Painter in His Studio (top, left) was so "natural" (read, realistic), his technique so precise, he is said to have taken five days to paint a hand, with brushes so small he had to make them himself. Needless to say, he had few portrait clients. He was so impressed with himself, his portraits were mostly of himself (above).
 
OId Painter in his Studio, 1630-32, Gerrit Dou
The Silver Ewer, 1663, Gerrit Dou
The paragon debate is not only addressed in writings from that time, but is also reflected in the subject matter of quite a number of Dou’s paintings. An example, is his the Old Painter in his Studio (above), an old painter is shown working on a canvas behind a table displaying objects that show his capabilities of imitation. The aged painter refers to an argument in the paragon debate that a painter can achieve his best work at an old age, while a sculptor cannot because of the physical demands of sculpting. On the table, a sculptured head and a printed book are rendered in a lifelike fashion to show that painting can imitate both sculpture and printed paper, thereby reinforcing the notion that painting trumps sculpture and literature. Dou's The Silver Ewer (above) demon-strates his skill with still-lifes, though in fact, he painted very few of them among all his approximately two-hundred works. A prominent supporter of Dou's position goes so far as to argue that the ability of painting to "preserve the transient works of nature thereby also surpasses it."
 
Prince Rupert of the Palatinate and his Tutor, 1631,
Gerrit Dou, an excellent example of his portraiture.
A Painter in his Studio,
1637,  Gerrit Dou
Gerrit Dou (also sometime spelled "Douw" or "Dow") was born in 1613. Gerrit was the son of a Leiden stained glass maker, and as was the custom at that time, studied stained glass making before moving on at the age of fourteen to study under Rembrandt. Rembrandt was only seven years older than his talented young (and perhaps first) student. The Painter in his Studio (right) from 1637 is thought by some to, in fact, be Rembrandt. The title is somewhat confusing in that Dou used it (or close variations of it) numerous times over his career. In any case, at some point early on, Dou avoided becoming a Rembrandt look-alike to develop a style of his own. He managed to cultivate a minute and elaborate mode of painting. Today we'd probably refer to him as "anal-retentive."

Dentist by Candlelight, 1660-65, Gerrit Dou
Yet the general effect of Dou's work was harmonious and free from stiffness, while his color was always fresh and transparent. He often represented subjects in lantern or candle light, the effects of which he reproduced with an unparalleled fidelity and skill. Some of Dou's most popular works are night scenes such as Dentist by Candlelight (above) and his Woman Drawing a Beverage (below).


Woman Drawing a Beverage, Gerrit Dou
Dou's died in 1675, though his work continued to command respect (and high prices) for some two-hundred years after his death. However, around the 1860s he fell into obscurity. In terms of Dutch art, Gerrit Dou was on a par with Rembrandt or Frans Hals, but remained quite obscure until the 1970s when there were several retrospectives involving Dutch painting, which helped reestablish and maintain his reputation and popularity since.

Hermit, 1665, Gerrit Dou On the table are
an open book, a rosary and an hour glass.



























Sleeping Dog, 1650, Gerrit Dou