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Terborch (ter Borch)

Gerard Terborch Junior (Gerard Terborch, as well as Ter Borch or Terburg; 1617, Zwolle, the Netherlands - December 8, 1681, Deventer) - a Dutch Baroque artist who developed his own special type of genre interior, in which he elegantly and immaculately conveyed the life atmosphere of a prosperous middle class in Holland of the 17th century.

Features style Gerard Terborh. The legacy of the artist equally consists of portraits and genre works. His characteristic delicate technique can be seen in small, almost miniature portraits, many of which, however, represent models in full growth (1, 2, 3). The color palette of these paintings is usually muted, which is largely due to the restrained costumes of the time. But thanks to the subtlety of gradations of shades and skill in conveying a variety of textures, Terborch achieved extraordinary rich effects. In genre scenes, the artist demonstrates an excellent sense of color, although he uses paints with masterly restraint.

In his early years, Terborch wrote many scenes in the guardhouses (1, 2, 3) in stylePeter Codda and Willem deyster. But later - when he finally settled in Holland - he turned to the image of elegant calm compositions, the characters of which are written against a dark background with an almost aristocratic elegance. This manner distinguishes Gerard Terborch among Dutch artists of the time. His most famous works are"Signing of the Munster Peace Treaty" (1648),"Letter" (1660s)"Concert" (ca. 1657) and"Father's Admonition" (1654–55).


Gerard Terborch the Younger was born in the family of the artist Gerard Terborh the Elder, who later became a tax collector. The first drawing lessons the boy received from his father, probably soon after the death of his mother Anna Bufkens. He was clearly developed beyond his years: in the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum there is kept a perfect figure drawing from the back, dated September 25, 1625, when the future painter was only eight years old.

At the age of fifteen, Terborch the Younger moved to Amsterdam, and then studied with the famous landscape painterPeter Molina in harlem. In 1635, he graduated and joined the Harlem Guild of St. Luke. But as soon as the young man got to his feet, he was seized with a passion for travel. He went to London, later visited Italy, Spain, France and Flanders. In Madrid, Terborch was so highly appreciated that even King Philip IV himself posed for him (the portrait was not preserved and is now known only by replica).

It is not known how long the artist spent in Spain, but in about 1640 he returned to the Dutch Republic. Probably due to his connections in Amsterdam, he was included in the Dutch delegation that signed the peace treaty with Spain in Munster on May 15, 1648. This historic event that ended the Eighty Years War between the Netherlands and Spain, Gerard Terborch captured in a group portrait, on the left depicting Dutch delegates with raised fingers, on the right - the Spaniards, who laid hands on the Gospel. After that, the artist received a gold chain with a medallion from the King of Spain.

February 14, 1654 Terborch married Gertrue Mattis, the sister of his stepmother, and settled with her in Deventer. A year later he received city citizenship, and in 1666 he was appointed gemeensman'om (city councilor), although he never became an alderman or burgomaster. Despite the fact that the artist still traveled to Amsterdam, The Hague and Harlem, he lived in Deventer until his death on December 8, 1681. According to the will, his body was transported to Zwolle and buried in a family grave in the church of St. Michael.

Gerard Terborch influenced other prominent genreists - Gabriel Metsu,Peter de hoch and Jan Vermeer, and his most talented student is consideredCaspar Netscher (1639 - 1684). The latter adopted many of his teacher’s techniques for creating luxurious textures and, apparently, in addition to his original compositions, he made a number of signed copies of his master’s works.

The painter's extensive legacy has survived thanks to his half-sister and colleague Gesine Terborch, who ran the family collection and repeatedly posed for her brother (1, 2). The drawings remained in the hands of their descendants until 1886, and after were transferred to the Rijksmuseum. This rich and diverse collection provides a unique insight into the development of the artistic family on the periphery of the Dutch Republic during the Golden Age.

Author: Vlad Maslov


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