Dutch Artists Illustrating Boys' Fashions



Figure 1.--This Dutch boy in a painting by Pieter de Hooch has not yet been breached. I have seen the contenbts of the basket the boy is bringing home to his mother as either bread or pomegranates. The painting is a good example of de Hooch's interiors and dramatic use of light.

The Netherlands is a small country, but with a glorious artistic tradition. It is interesting how certain countries ecelled at art and why this was, especially such a small country as the Nethelands. We suspet what made this possible was the wealth generated by Dutch mariners and merchants. It is no accident that it was the Dutch who invented capitalism. The high point is the Dutch School of the 17th century. Some of the leading artists were Frans Hals, Thomas de Keyser, and of course Rembrandt. Related to the Dutch are the Flemish artists. While Flanders is today part of Belgium, the Flemish speak Dutch and it is difficult to separate them from the Dutch in the artistic tradition of northern Europe. Only unlike the Dutch, Flanders were overwealmed by the massive Spanish armies and Protestantism extinguished.

Jacob Gerritsz Cuyp (1594-1652)

The Cuyp family was from Dordrecht and included three artists of some distinction. Jacob's father was a glass painter who had studied under Abraham Bloemaert at Utrecht. His best known works are portraits and he did some especially notable portraits of children, providing great deatail on their clothing. We have noted a portrait by Jacob Gerritsz Cuyp, "Portrait of a Boy with red-lined Straw Hat". It was an oil on panel. I'm not sure precisely when it was painted. He is also known to have produced some important landscapes.

Frans Hals (1582/83-1666)

We notice a few charming domestic genre paintings by the masterful Dutch prtratist Frans Hals which show the clothuing worn by children in the 17th century in some detail. Hals was born in Antwerp and his parents were Flemish. They moved Holland after the Spanish seized the city in 1585. His parents had decided to settled in Haarlem by 1591. It was there that Frans grew up and persued his career. He married twice and had ten, perhaps more children. Many of his portraits of lace trimmed gentry remind one of Van Dyck, but it is the sober portraits of the Dutch bourgeoisie that he is more famous.

Adriaan Hanneman (16??-??)

We have little information on Adriaan Hanneman at this time. We do know that he was influenced by Van Dyck and spent some time in England. Hanneman's portrait here shows the substantial influence of the Flemish painter Anthony van Dyck on Dutch portraiture. Hanneman traveled to London in 1626 and from 1632, when Van Dyck also settled in England, moved in the same circles and worked for the same patrons. Hanneman often painted with that elegance and aloofness that are so characteristic of Van Dyk’s portraits. The two artists used somewhat different paletts. Hanneman tended to prefer more transparent colors and brown ones. Even so, some of Hanneman's portraits have been attributed to Van Dyck by mistake. We note one portrait of William III.

Pieter de Hooch (1629-84)

Pieter de Hooch was born in Rotterdam during 1629. He was one of the greatest of the Ductch 17th century genre painters. The genre paintings depicr many children and the clothing they wore. He is associated with the Delft school. He is especially noted for his donestic interior scenes and dramatic use of life. He also painted exteriors. Many are quiet, undramatic and unsentimental depictions of Duch daily life, a wonderful glimse into the 17th century. He was a contemporary of Vermeer.

Thomas de Keyser (c. 1596–1667)

Thomas de Keyser was born in Amsterdam (c1596). De Keyser's father was the architect and sculptor Hendrik de Keyser. He seems to have a pupil of Cornelis van der Voort. De Keyser was a brilliant portrait painter, but also worked as an . architect. In most countries he would be seen as the greatest portratist of the day and an artist among a short list of the great masters. In was indeed the post popular portatist in the Netherlands for a decade (1620s). Then Rembrandt appeared him and replaced him as the country's most respected portraitst. Actually Rembrandt was strongly influenced by his work. And art historians subsequently mistakinglyh attrobuted quite a few of de Keyser's unsigned paintings to Rembrandt. For a time de Keyser had trouble finding commissions. We note a brilliant, but somewhat enigmatic painting of three brothers (probably painted 1627-32). The boys were Hendrick, Johannes, and Simon. We know that by the Latin inscription on the back. Hendrick was 12 years old and Johannes 6 years. For some reason Simon is unclothed. Art historins express various guesses as to why this. Such depictions were not common, especially with the oldr boys so emacutely clothed. The clothing the boys are wearing clearly point to a wealthy family. We can assume that it was a Catholic family by the cross the bby is wearing. Some art critic thinks that the parents wanted that the younger son became a friar. The painting is now at Amsterdam National Museum (Rijksmuseum).

Jan Adam Kruseman (1804-62)

Jan Adam Kruseman was born in Haarlem (1804). He came from an artistic family. He was trained by a second uncle, Cornelis Kruseman. His son Jan Theodoor Kruseman also became an artist. He studied in Brussels under François-Joseph Navez and Jacques-Louis David (1822–24). We do not know much about him at this time, but we have found several of his works. We notice works during the 1820s-50s, mostly portraits. He helped found the Amsterdam society Arti et Amicitiae (1839). He travelled in England, France and Germany to observe master wirks. He taught at at the Amsterdam Royal Academy of Art where he helped train quite a number of notable Dutch artists. We have found several excellent portaits he did of children. Most of the boys were dressed in brown or black tunics, some but not all are named and dated. He took over the care of his nephew, Petrus Augustus de Genestet, at the age of 7 years. The boy became a well-respected poet. Kruseman died (1862).

Jan Miense Molenaer (1610-68)

Jan Miense Molenaer was born in Haarlem in 1610 and lived his entire life there and in Amsterdam. He is not known to have traveled. He is one of the Dutch 17th century genre painters. His paintings begin to appear in 1629. He married Judith Leyster, who also painted, in 1636. Many of his works, especially the early ones appear to have been influenced by another Haarlem artist, Frans Hals.

Jan Anthonisz van Ravesteyn (1570-1657)

Van Ravesteyn was one of the upper class’ most prominent portaitists of his time. He learnt his trade with Michiel van Mierevelt at Delft and later established himself in his native The Hague. We note a portrait of 5-year old Joannes de Ruyter painted in 1632.

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-69)

Rembrandt is of course one of the towering figures in Western art. Like other great masters, he hired many assistants. Art historians are often perplexed with his paintings. They managed to copy the masters style so faithfully that there is no consistent assessment as tyo what Remrandt actually painted with his own hands.

Jan Steen (about 1626-79)

Jan was born in Leiden about 1626. He is often known by different names, including Jan Havickszoon Steen. Little is known about his childhood an early life. He studied under Adriaen van Ostade. He is a noted genre painter of the Broque era. His paintings are a wonderful source of information on Dutch life in the 17th century. His paintings are destinguished by the fact that Steen seems to have made no effort to clean up a home or other scene that he painted. Rther he seems to have painted scenes as they actually were. His scenes are busy and often cluttered. Now I supose it is possible that he added clutter, but that to us seems improbable. We think rather he has left us some wonderful realistic scenes. Many of his paintings are the interior scenes of Dutch homes, but there is at least one school scene. Steen himself like to create images that make a moral point, often using popular Dutch expressions. His paintings are fun to look at as there is so much going on and he paints clothing, furniture, and household items in such detail. He was the son-in-law of Jan van Goyen, another Dutch painter.

Michiel Sweerts (1624-64)

Most artists have an obvious national affiliation. Sweerts is difficult to assign to one country. He was born in Brussels, located in modern Belgium, during 1624. As a young artist he lived and painted in Rome. By the late 1650s he was living in Amsterdam. He left for Portuguese Goa (India) in 1662. Portugal was the first European power to reach India by sea and Goa was a Spanish colony there. Sweerts spent the last 2 years of his life there. While Sweerts nationality is somewhat confused, his art is clearly of the 17th century Dutch school with wondrful genre paintings of everyday life, including children and their clothes.

Abraham van Strij (1753-1826)

We note that Abraham van Strij was active in theNetherlands during the late 18th and early 19h century. We know nothing about him at this time, other than we know he did some genre scenes. One example is "The Drawing Leson" showing a yoing boy being tutored at home which his younger sister plays.

Gerard Terborch (1617-81)

Gerard Terborch is another of the 17th century Dutch genre artists who painted detailed scenes of middle-class family life. The provide some fascinating examples of childremn's clothes. His paitings are considered to be very accurate depictions of both clothing and family life. Most of his painting are interiors giving us a very good idea of domestic life in the Netherlands.

Wallerant Vaillant (1623-77)

Wallerant Vaillant (1623-77) is one of the Dutch Golden Age artists. He was one of the first artists to use the mezzotint technique in engraving, which he is credited with helping to develop. He was born in Lille. He was the oldest of five brothers. They all became recognized artists. He is believed to have studied under Erasmus Quellinus in Antwerp. Vaillant is known to have been established as a portraitist in Antwerp (mid-1650s). He was the tutor of Prince Rupert of the Rhine. The Prince would go on to become a leading royalist commander in the English Civil War. He experimented with engraving while tutoring Prince Rupert. One source describes Vaillant as a specialist in ad vivum portraits in coloured pastels. He also painted in oils. He traveled extensively and worked in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris and possibly England. He is chiefly known as a portraitist, including some excelent works depicting children. One well known work is 'Boy with a Falcon'. The boy is notidentified, but the falson suggests that he was from an aristocratic family. He also worked as an engraver. The development of the mezzotint technique yielded better reproduction of shading. He is better known for this work than his portraits, but some are very good. Vaillant finally settled in Amsterdam and became the court painter of John William Friso, Prince of Orange (1664). He died in Amsterdam. Vaillant died in Amsterdam.

Unidentified Artists

We have noted some wonderful Dutch paintings, but some are unidentified. We do not know who the artist is nor wjo the subjects are. One notable image shows a boy with what looks like a early golf club.







HBC






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Created: July 24, 2003
Last updated: 6:46 AM 11/28/2014