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Gerrit (Gerard) Dow
Gerrit (Gerard)
 Dow
Netherlands 1613−1675
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Biography and information
 
Gerrit Dou (Gerrit Dou, also known as Gerard Dou — Gerard Douw or Dow, April 7, 1613, Leiden — February 9, 1675, Leiden) — painter of the Dutch Golden age, the first disciple Rembrandt. The founder of the Leiden school fijnschilders («fine painters») and the Guild of St. Luke.

Features of works of Gerrit Dou. Lasting fame DOE concluded in the appeal of small, but extremely painstaking and masterfully executed works: genre scenes, still lifes, and portraits — which is unusual for Dutch artists of the XVII century — nu. His paintings are characterized by smooth, like enamel surface, which has become a benchmark for the whole school fijnschilders. The time the artist spent on the careful depiction of details, illustrates such a legend: when he was praised for the patience with which it is written tiny broom the size of a fingernail, the master replied, what’s another three days of work. His customer said that he spent five days on only one hand. Since DOE took six guilders per hour as a portraitist, it is not surprising that the portraits do not comprise a significant part of his work.

Most often in the paintings of Dou depicts one or two figures engaged in everyday chores or in the interior, or visible through the window. This artist popularized the composition «frame inside a frame», for which he received the name «niche». A work full of symbols and numerous, sometimes ambiguous, visual references to common sayings or mottos.

At a comparatively early stage of his career, DOE has developed its own characteristic style, different from that of Rembrandt, honing detailed and delicate style. Having spent five days writing one hand on the portrait, he found the work so delightful, that he began to produce their own brush. The Gerrit Dou is attributed to the more than 200 paintings, and samples of his work can be found in most major public collections of Europe. His most famous student Frans van Mieris the Elder. Another consideredGabriel Metsobut the documents do not confirm this.

Famous paintings of Gerrit Dou: «Young mother», «Girl chopping onions», «Doctor quack», «The woman behind clavichord», «Man with pipe and book (self Portrait)».

Rembrandt 100 guilders


Gerrit Dou was born in Leiden in the family of mariti Jansdotter van Rosenberg and glassmakers and printmakers DOE Jansa. First lessons in the art of engraving on glass he got from his father. At the age of nine years old boy apprenticed to the engraver on copper Bartolomeus Dolendo, with whom he remained for a year and a half. Then two years he studied with glass artist Peter Covenham, and from 1625 to 1627 years was a member of the Guild of glaziers. There is a temptation to establish a link between the early years of his career, and the shining, polished surfaces of his later panels.

14 Feb 1628 Gerrit Dou, who was not yet 15 years of age, he entered the Studio of Rembrandt van Rhine. At that time the latter himself was barely out of adolescence. It is believed that Dow was the first student 21-year-old Rembrandt. Subsequently, he had about fifty trainees. Thus, it seems that Rembrandt never took beginners.

The parents of the student had to pay tuition Rembrandt 100 guilders annually. It was a high amount, especially considering that the teacher, contrary to custom, did not provide young people with contentment. The students, as was customary in the seventeenth century, was learned by copying the works of the master, and later more or less freely drew and wrote their own variations on the basis of his works. Rembrandt’s biographers tell us that the disciples were working in the attic in separate cubicles separated by cloth or paper.

Dou has no paintings dated to the period of apprenticeship with Rembrandt. But some of his works are so similar in style to a teacher that probably was written at the time. Early work DOE sometimes even attributed to the Rembrandt — this confusion partially stems from the fact that in those years they had common themes and patterns.

To illustrate the influence of Rembrandt, Dou, art historians often compare the two paintings with the same title, «the Artist in his Studio», one of which belongs to the teacherand the second student.

«The great Exodus», dust and fijnschilders


1631 year was a turning point for the development of painting in Leiden. The sudden departure of several masters caused serious damage to artistic life in the city. First in Amsterdam moved Rembrandt, who agreed to open up a workshop under the patronage of the famous art dealer Hendrick van Uylenburgh. Soon after this his friend Jan Leavenswent to London hoping to obtain the post of court artist. In the same year, the city lost a successful landscape painter Jan van Goyenwho chose to settle in the Hague, and master of still life Jan Davids de Hema. Last though not born in Leiden, but rather worked there before he went to try his luck in Antwerp.

This «great Exodus» was not due to a deterioration of living conditions in Leiden. On the contrary, the company informed the city the textile industry is the basis of the local economy — reached its peak of development. Thus, the reasons for his departure were personal, due to the belief in a greater success elsewhere.

Loss of talent — primarily Rembrandt and Lievens — Leiden led to artistic stagnation, which lasted for nearly a decade. However, their departure made way to the success of Gerrit Dou, whose star has risen to the late 1630s and brightly shone not only in his hometown, but also outside the country.

The first sophisticated style 28-year-old DOE praised the mayor Yang Orders. In his «Description of Leiden» from 1641, he noted the young man as «excellent master, especially in small, delicate and intricate things». A year later, artist and critic angel Phillips publishes «the Praise of the painters», which also assigns DOE a leading role. In the passage concerning the ideal manner of writing, the author encourages his colleagues to follow the example of colleagues.

However, by the time DOE was a role model and without the support of an angel. The price of his paintings reached thousands of guilders, and high personal standards in work was described as «uncompromising perfectionism». Only bad weather could prevent the artist to appear in the workshop. Moreover, he personally did what his colleagues had left the disciples, for instance, rubbed pigments. DOE itself did brush and so afraid of dust, which after a session hid the palette, tools and paints in a dust-tight Cabinet. The next day, before to get the equipment and get to work, he has waited until the dust settles (who knows if it was due to a desire to preserve the brightness of colors and the smoothness of the surface on the pattern — or master suffered emetophobia). One of the self portraits visibleas a painter protected the Board from her, setting the umbrella on the easel.

It’s amazing how in this respect the work of Gerrit Dou plant students. However, it is known that one of them at different times included Godfried, SchalkenAnd Frans van Mieris, as well as Abraham de Pape, Karel de moorthe nephew of the artist Dominique van Tol (which, according to some critics, came to the workshop as a relative, not the talent), and others. Along with the numerous followers, who worked «in the technique of the Dow», they formed in the Leiden school, called fijnschilders — «fine artists». This term was known until the end of the XVIII century and belonged to a special manner of painting — an extremely accurate image details in the small format.

However, none of these artists, with the exception that Metso and van Mieris, have not achieved the success of Gerrit Dou.

Businessmen, princes, kings and other collectors


In the treatise by Philips angel, it was mentioned that Gerrit Dou was granted an honorable citizen Peter Spirings «right of first refusal», for which he annually received 500 guilders. And although «Herr Spirings» industrialist, diplomat and collector — was not a patron of the artist in the full sense of the word, his fellowship gave DOE a guaranteed income in the late 1630's. Then skilled craftsmen earned one Guilder per day, so that colleagues could only envy the young artist.

Peter springs, which was an agent of Queen Christina of Sweden, apparently convinced his patroness to double the annual payment for the right of first refusal of the artist’s paintings. Prices for works by Gerrit Dou has surpassed the cost of the works his teacher, Rembrandt. Exorbitant fees are confirmed by documentary sources. For example, there is evidence that the States General of the Netherlands paid the painter a huge sum of 4,000 Gulden for the «Young mother» (1658). This picture was one of the gifts Charles II of England on his restoration to the throne. Admiring the fine workmanship, the monarch invited the author to take the post of painter to the Royal court. DOE, who did not need work, it declined the invitation.

Panel by Gerrit Dou bought, among others, the Florentine Duke Cosimo III de Medici and Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria. Services of the master appreciated and countrymen: in Leiden he was called not only as «monsieur» is a word usually intended for people of noble birth.

DOE vs impressionism


Gerrit Dou was never married and never left Leiden. He died on 9 Feb 1675 and was buried in his hometown in St. Peter’s Church. Along with Ian Stanthe master was the founder of the Guild of St. Luke, but unlike the colleagues, were respected throughout life. His paintings were prized until the nineteenth century, until the advent of impressionism thorough execution was not recognized as a soulless, and the stylistic and thematic innovations are not out of fashion. In the early twentieth century, organizers of exhibitions of Dutch art were most often rejected his work. Nowadays, however, critics have completely reinterpreted the artistic achievements of the DOE and returned to the master pride of place in the galaxy of artists of the Golden age of Dutch painting.

Author: Vlad Maslov
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Whole feed
Artworks by the artist
total 143 artworks
Gerrit (Gerard) Dow. A young mother
5
A young mother
1658, 73.7×55.5 cm
Gerrit (Gerard) Dow. The woman behind clavichord
3
The woman behind clavichord
1665, 37.7×29.9 cm
Gerrit (Gerard) Dow. Artist workshop
0
Artist workshop
1630, 59×43.5 cm
Gerrit (Gerard) Dow. Girl cutting onions
8
Girl cutting onions
1646, 20.9×16.8 cm
Gerrit (Gerard) Dow. The healer is a charlatan
1
The healer is a charlatan
1652, 112×83 cm
Gerrit (Gerard) Dow. Man with pipe and book (self-Portrait)
4
Man with pipe and book (self-Portrait)
1650-th , 48×37 cm
Gerrit (Gerard) Dow. Old teacher
2
Old teacher
1671, 32×25 cm
Gerrit (Gerard) Dow. The soldiers in the guardroom
2
The soldiers in the guardroom
1630-th , 66×51 cm
Gerrit (Gerard) Dow. An old woman with a book (Mother Rembrandt)
9
An old woman with a book (Mother Rembrandt)
1632, 71.2×55.2 cm
View 143 artworks by the artist
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