Gateway to the Classics: The Story of Dutch Painting by Charles H. Caffin
 
The Story of Dutch Painting by  Charles H. Caffin

Dutch Genre

T HE tendency toward genre painting began before the separation of the Holland Free State from the Spanish Netherlands. Pieter Brueghel the Elder, who died in Brussels in 1570, is regarded as the leader of the group of painters who depicted the life of the people, particularly in open-air surroundings. His work, for example, and that of one of his pupils, Lucas van Valckenborch, make a very lively showing in one of the galleries of the Art-History Museum in Vienna. Here, in a number of canvases of considerable size, crowded with figures, are pictured scenes of peasants, merrymaking, harvesting, engaged in a vintage festival, or skating and sleighing, while there is even a representation of rich folk enjoying a picnic in a park. These painters and their contemporaries in similar subjects are to be reckoned in the Flemish School. But there is one, Pieter Aertz, surnamed "Long Pieter," who, although he died in 1575, before any separation from Flanders was dreamed of, may be considered as a forerunner of distinctly Dutch genre, since he was born in Amsterdam and lived there for the greater part of his life. An interesting example of his work, The Egg Dance,  is in the Rijks Museum. The scene is a kitchen, opening into a garden, and the floor is scattered with various articles—a bowl, a shoe, onions and eggs—among which a young man is jauntily dancing, while a group beside the hearth applauds. As far as the character and spirit of the scene go, the picture is thoroughly representative of the older kind of genre, which portrays the type rather than the individual, and numerous little episodes massed into a group, rather than a single incident or phase of life wrought out completely. For this becomes the tendency of the later and distinctively Holland genre, which, as the technical motives of the artists grew in refinement and possibly as the taste of the public became more refined, resulted in the subjects being drawn more and more from the home life of the well-to-do and fashionable. By this time the genre pictures have ceased to represent an amusing picture-book of manners and customs; they have in a sense lost their interest of subject, the matter of which they treat counting for very little in comparison with the charming manner of the treatment.

The three greatest masters of Holland genre, Vermeer, Terborch, and Jan Steen, must be considered separately. Meanwhile we will summarize the method and manner of some of the most important among the able but lesser artists.


Adriaen Van Ostade

Van Ostade, who was a pupil of Hals and later became influenced by Rembrandt, stands midway between the earlier and the later motives of genre. His favorite and, on the whole, most characteristic subjects are groups of peasants reveling or squabbling in the kitchens or around the doors of inns. The figures are squat and lumpish, curiously like animated roly-poly puddings, only redeemed from commonness by the limpid coloring and the suave, facile manner of the brushwork that he had derived from Hals. Sometimes, however, he selects a few figures and gives them an individual characterization. In fact, the latter pictures, as well as his groups of peasants, show a remarkable affinity to Brouwer's treatment of similar subjects. For this eccentric and original artist, an "Adonis in rags," as he has been called, a refined painter of coarse themes, though Flemish by birth, seems to have come under the influence of Frans Hals, lived in Haarlem and Amsterdam, and was really in his art representative of the Holland School of genre. Van Ostade, therefore, must have known him and may well have been affected by his example. At any rate, the character and spirit of his earlier pictures correspond with those of Brouwer's, though the latter's work exhibits a more refined artistic sense. In time, however, Van Ostade came under the Rembrandtesque manner; the thinness of his painting develops into a richer impasto, the feeling of the composition becomes larger, the choice of subject more distinguished, and his treatment more studied and sympathetic, while the tone is warmer and more luminous in consequence of the shrewder use of chiaroscuro. Later his manner again changes to one of extreme refinement, almost finical. The surface, to use an expressive French word, léché,  seems licked into glossiness; the tone has become cold and grayish; the compositions are more studied but less picturesque; yet the colors have an extraordinary transparency. The whole canvas has less the air of intimate observation than of something wrought over in the studio.

These three phases of Van Ostade's development can be studied side by side in the examples of his work in the Gallery of The Hague. Representative of his first manner is Peasants' Holiday,  painted in 163—(the last figure is undecipherable); of the second, Marriage Proposal,  which belongs to the period between 1650 and 1655; and of the third manner, Peasants in an Inn  and The Fiddler,  painted respectively in 1662 and 1673.

Van Ostade died in Haarlem in 1685. Among his pupils were his brother Isaac van Ostade (1621-1649), Cornelis Bega (1620-1664), and Cornelis Dusart (1660-1704). The last named inherited a great number of his master's studies and sketches, which he worked upon and finished. These after Dusart's death were sold as his own, a fact which helps to explain the similarity of his style to that of Adriaen van Ostade. Bega often imitated the latter's choice of subject, and also with some success his manner of gray tonality, but his colors lack transparency, and the flesh parts are dry and brickish. The outdoor scenes of Isaac van Ostade, alive with figures in characteristic action, are exceedingly interesting as pictures of the "passing show" of Dutch life. Lastly, it is to the credit of Adriaen van Ostade that he was the teacher of, or at least exercised considerable influence over, Jan Steen during the latter's sojourn in Haarlem. But the manner of his own pictures is that of the earlier genre which preceded the great School of Holland.


Gerard (Gerrit) Dou

This artist, born in Leyden, 1613, and dying there in 1675, spent his whole life in his native city, helped to found its Guild of St. Luke, and influenced several other genre painters. Among the latter were Gabriel Metsu, Godfried Schalcken, Pieter Cornelisz van Slingeland, and Frans van Mieris the Elder, who handed on the tradition of the Leyden School to his son, Willem van Mieris. Dou himself had enjoyed the influence of Rembrandt, in whose studio he worked during the three years preceding the master's move to Amsterdam in 1631. But before this time he had been instructed by his father, who was a painter on glass, and by Bartholomeus Dolando, an engraver. Dou's own matured style very remarkably reflects both the earlier and the later experiences of his training. While he learned to feel his subject in the manner of Rembrandt, he contrived also to see it with a precise eye for detail and to render it with the nicety of a painter on glass or of one who uses the burin. He was an impeccable draftsman and a good composer, so long as the subject contained only a few figures and was treated in a small size. For large canvases and the handling of a complicated composition his style was altogether too minute in character. On the other hand, his color is always harmonious, though in some works inclined to an excessive polish; and the chiaroscuro, skilfully applied, is, when the subject permits, very charmingly expressive of the sentiment. He devoted himself to the representation of interiors and, as we have seen, adopted the device of showing them through an arch or beyond a lambrequin, formed of a heavily draped curtain, frequently also representing one or more figures at a window with the obscurity of the room behind them. In thus adapting Rembrandt's principle of chiaroscuro to the rendering of the physical phenomenon of a concave space more or less immersed in shadow, no one was more skilful than Dou. To give depth and quality to the obscurity of the distance and especially of the ceiling, he would hang a chandelier or lantern in the middle distance and catch the light upon it. Similarly, he would place some objects in the foreground to bring the latter forward, and then between these two foci of secondary light concentrate or scatter the main group of figures in highest illumination.

The two finest examples of his skill in thus building up a composition of values of light are The Young Mother,  in the gallery of The Hague, and The Dropsical Woman  of the Louvre. The former, because of its charming sentiment, is Dou's most popular picture; but the other, in consequence of the superior simplicity and concentration of its composition, the comparative breadth of its treatment and fuller richness of color and quality of chiaroscuro, is without much doubt his masterpiece. However, another example which approaches it very closely is A Lady at her Toilet,  in the Munich Gallery. Dou's interest in chiaroscuro led him to experiment with so-called night-pieces, where the gloom of the interior is illuminated by a candle that makes a central spot of brilliance, fitfully reflected in a partially diffused glow. Such are An Old Woman who has Lost her Thread  and the Young Man and Girl in a Cellar,  both in the Dresden Gallery; while the most elaborate and famous example is The Night School  of the Rijks Museum, somewhat damaged by time, in which there are five separate points of varying degrees of illumination.

In a picture in the Dresden Gallery Dou has represented himself at work in his studio, a bare and homely room, lighted by a large window on the left. This window, with slight differences of shape and size, appears in many of his works, occupying a similar position; while, even when it is not shown, its effect is noticeable in the artist's tendency to light his compositions from the left. Another instance of his tendency to repetition of motive may be traced in the frequency with which he used over and over again the same piece of furniture or object of furnishing. For example, in a still-life (No. 1708) in the Dresden Gallery appears the same candlestick that is introduced in a number of other pictures. The point is interesting as showing the way in which Dou artificially arranged his subject-matter; and he was followed in this respect as in others by all the genre painters. Each had his particular motive of composition and freely repeated it; his particular bit of costume or article of furnishing that with variations of arrangement he used repeatedly. Holland genre, in fact, ceased almost from its beginning to be a direct representation of actual domestic life. It was based upon the latter, but the artist reserved a complete liberty of selection and arrangement. He was not intent upon illustrating the life, and only borrowed hints from it to assist him in creating a picture of his own invention. It is a point to be observed by the modern public, which is apt to resent, as shallow in motive and uninteresting in subject, a picture which has been designed mainly or solely as a picture; that is to say, for the beauty of form, color, light, and tone that may be expressed in a composition of objects, arbitrarily brought together for this purpose. Such an attitude on the part of an artist is, however, thoroughly justified by the example of the Holland School of genre, which it is the fashion to-day to admire so generously.


Nicolaes Maes

Some may criticize this placing of Maes among the lesser artists of genre. Bode ranks him with Vermeer and Pieter de Hooch among the "great genre painters of Holland," and adds that "there is scarcely any pupil of Rembrandt's who approaches the great master so nearly as Maes does in this series of pictures." He is alluding to Dreaming,  or, as it is sometimes called, A Reverie,  a young girl gazing out of a window, and to Asking a Blessing,  in the Rijks Museum; to The Young Card-Players,  in the National Gallery, and to Nurse  and Children with Goat-Carriage,  in a private collection; and also to certain pictures of old women, such as the one owned by Mr. John G. Johnson of Philadelphia, that was recently seen in the Exhibition of Dutch Art in the Metropolitan Museum. In all of these pictures the figures are life-size, and, to quote Bode, "one weakness is common to all of them: that they present simple motives on a large canvas with rough execution and without the powerful and individual language with which Rembrandt renders similar genre pieces."

The truth of this criticism seems to be sufficient of itself to exclude Maes from the ranks of the great genre painters, whose works are great of their kind just because these painters so admirably fitted the size of their pictures to the scope of their intention and their powers, and wrought their canvases to the highest pitch of a personally inspired technical perfection. This became the ideal of Holland genre and remains its chief distinction; and Maes only attains to it in his smaller canvases, such as the two examples of An Old Woman Spinning,  in the Rijks Museum, and An Old Woman Peeling Apples  (the spinning-wheel near her), in the Berlin Gallery, and The Cradle  and The Dutch Housewife  of the National Gallery. The period of these small genre pictures, beginning about 1655 and lasting for ten years, represents the high-water mark of Maes's artistic career.

In his earlier period he shows a preference for red, juxtaposed with black and less frequently with yellow, that continues to characterize his work. But at first, as in The Dreamer,  it is the brightness of hue that seems to attract him. He has bathed the red shutter and the girl's figure and the leaves and fruit of the apricot-tree, that grows beside the window from which she leans, in a warm sunlight, and the latter, blended with soft shadows, glows upon her face and hands. All the several textures are rendered with admirable veracity, and a resemblance to life, that would be startling but for the quiet, pensive expression of the girl's figure that pervades the canvas. The picture attracts and charms, but does it hold one's interest? Scarcely, if you come back to it after seeing the more imaginative treatment of chiaroscuro in the Card-Players  of the National Gallery; and still less, if you compare it with one of Maes's smaller genre pictures in the Rijks Museum; for example, An Old Woman Spinning  (No. 1504) . Here the red reappears in the tablecloth, and the black spot is made by her head against the drabbish white of the wall, but the yellow is disguised in her olive-green dress, which shows the whitish-gray sleeves of the undergarment. It is a cooler scheme of color, more restrained yet richer, and it is lighted without any striking contrasts of chiaroscuro. Instead, the humble apartment is permeated with a dimly luminous atmosphere, out of which certain parts of the composition emerge into clearness, while the rest is veiled in half-tones and shadow. The picture is extraordinarily real, exquisite in technique, and deeply moving in its suggestion of the half-lights of existence among the aged and the poor. The secret is, that what was experiment or assertion in the larger canvas has here become the free expression of the artist's simple and sincere sentiment. Sentiment and expression are united in a natural and complete equipoise.

During the last twenty-five years of his life Maes seems to have gained a rather scanty subsistence by painting portraits. Some of these are of high merit; the Portrait of a Man,  for example, in the Fine Arts Museum at Budapest, which represents a gray-haired and bearded man, with black velvet cap and black coat edged with brown fur, sitting in a red-backed chair. Thus it repeats the artist's favorite color-scheme, and moreover, in its grave, tender rendering of old age, preserves the fine sentiment of his best period. But such noble characterization of humanity is rare with him, for, impelled by need and very likely by the taste of his public, he became an imitator of Van Dyck's elegance. With Maes this elegance became pinchbeck, his fine ladies and gentlemen being very cheap imitations of their models.


Gabriel Metsu

Born in Leyden in 1630, the son of a painter, Gabriel Metsu was one of the precocious talents of the Holland School, for in his sixteenth year he helped to form the Guild of St. Luke in his native city. For the purpose of studying his art, his brief career of thirty-seven years (he died in 1667) may be conveniently divided into two parts, preceding or following the year 1655, in which he moved to Amsterdam and came under the direct influence of Rembrandt. But it would appear from his own early pictures, that even during his life in Leyden he had by some means obtained a knowledge of this master's work. Metsu's actual teacher, according to Houbraken, had been Dou, though his own work shows no direct trace of the latter's influence. On the other hand, that of Hals is apparent. Meanwhile he experimented for himself and produced several pictures which, like The Blacksmith,  in the Rijks Museum, are founded on the motive of a workshop, lighted fitfully by a forge and scattered with tools. In fact, as Bode says, the work of his early period is distinguished by "restless composition, hurried movement, and careless treatment."

Moving to Amsterdam, he became one of the group that circled round Rembrandt, and at first was directly influenced by Maes, and perhaps by Rembrandt himself; witness his Old Woman in Meditation  of the Rijks Museum and his fine portrait of an old lady in the Berlin Gallery. Then almost at a jump he reaches an individual style of his own. It grows out of his attitude toward the subjects that—with occasional exceptions of marketing scenes, such as the two pictures respectively of a man and of a woman selling poultry, in the Dresden Gallery, and the Vegetable Market  of the Louvre—he now favors. They are intimate presentations of the graciously prosperous life of the middle-class burghers, before extravagance and ostentation had eaten their way into Dutch society. That his art thus settled to a distinct purpose may be partly attributed to the fact that the artist himself settled down to domestic life, marrying Isabella Wolff, April 1, 1663. A picture in the Dresden Gallery, dated two years earlier, Lovers at Breakfast,  shows himself and the lady sitting side by side, one of his arms about her shoulders and the other lifted as he holds a tall wine-glass. It is curiously interesting in its resemblance and difference to Rembrandt's picture of himself and Saskia that hangs in an adjoining gallery of the same museum.

The style which Metsu formed for himself is in accordance with the character and treatment of the subjects to which he now devoted himself. He abandons the Rembrandtesque principle of chiaroscuro, for there is no mystery or depth of sentiment in his point of view. He is frankly and simply interested in the genial externals of his subject; yet something of the Maes influence still affects his outlook. He sees the comfort and happiness of the home life and reflects it in the composure and refined orderliness that now pervade his compositions. Devoting himself to the simplest and directest way of presenting the subject, he avoids all striving after effect and secures a quietly balanced ensemble, wherein every figure and object is rendered with sureness of drawing, regard for the beauty of local color, and the utmost perfection of truthful realization. The date at which Metsu thus found himself is placed about 1660, and the picture in the Metropolitan Museum, A Music Party,  dated 1659, serves to mark the transition. Its composition is still inclined to be "restless"; but the treatment, far from being "careless," is distinguished by a very sincere feeling for the objective beauty of the salient details, while at least one figure, that of the cavalier on the right, exhibits the concentrated repose of movement which became one of the most delightful elements of Metsu's art. It is seen developed throughout the whole composition in Mr. J. P. Morgan's Visit to the Nursery,  where, notwithstanding the sprightliness of feeling that animates the figures, each of them has its own plastic individuality of self-contained movement. Every detail has a perfection of finish that is never finical or at the expense of the unity of the whole. The hands and heads have a special distinction of fluent modeling and of exquisite expression. These qualities, combined with richness of local color, characterize the pictures of the sixties, as may be seen in the examples in the National Gallery, the Wallace Collection, and the galleries of Dresden, Amsterdam, and The Hague. Toward the end of this ten years of highest production Metsu's pictures grow stiffer in composition, colder in color, and harder in their surfaces. The beginning of this change is noticeable in the portrait group of The Family Geelvink,  in the Berlin Gallery, and characterizes also some of his latest genre subjects. Probably the cause was failing health, for toward the end of his life he suffered from the effects of a bungled operation.


Pieter De Hooch

Pieter De Hooch, the son of a butcher, was born in Rotterdam in 1630, being therefore the same age as Metsu and two years older than Maes and Vermeer. With these last two he has been ranked by some critics, who consider that the trio represents the high-water mark of Holland genre. With Maes's claim to this distinction one has ventured to disagree, and may also dispute De Hooch's for somewhat the same reason. The latter's best period was confined to ten years, 1655-1665, and outside of that, especially toward the end of his life, he did some quite indifferent work.

Houbraken makes the statement that his teacher was Nicolaes Berchem. It is accepted as a fact, the presumption being that Berchem at the time was living in Amsterdam, in which case De Hooch would have become acquainted with Rembrandt's style. That it did not affect him, immediately at any rate, is evident from his early work, which represents lively scenes of soldiers and young girls, painted rather in the manner of Dirck Hals or Duyster. It is possible, however, that even thus early the Rembrandt influence may have been operating upon him, as upon so many of the painters in Amsterdam at that time, by drawing his attention to problems of light, which eventually became the characteristic of his art.

From 1653, for two years, he served as "painter and footman" to Justus de la Grange, a rich merchant adventurer, with whom he lived both in Haarlem and The Hague. Then he married a girl from Delft and moved to that city, his name appearing among the members of its guild from 1655 to 1657. It was now that he came in touch with Vermeer, whose example helped to bring out all that was best in him. His pictures now became veritable poems of light, wrought with extraordinary conscientiousness and to a high pitch of refinement. He paints the courtyards of city houses, aglow in bright sunshine, cool rooms opening into warmly lighted ones, the vista often terminating in a street or canal. Always the varieties of light are rendered with delightful naturalness and in a way that gives a special charm to every detail which the light illumines. He is not very skilful in the representation of figures, but a master in the art of placing them. They and every object in the scene not only occupy their respective planes with absolute justness, but the position assigned to them has been selected with an unerring eye for decorative effect. Moreover, no artist has been so successful in rendering what visitors to Holland rarely fail to observe—the propriety and cleanliness of the Dutch home, and the sentiment that seems to attach to every object in it and around it. Among the loveliest of these interiors is No. 426 in the Munich Pinakothek; The Mother,  in the Berlin Gallery; The Interior  of the National Gallery; The Pantry  and The Interior,  in the Rijks Museum, and an Interior  in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts; while two notable outdoor scenes are the National Gallery's A Dutch Courtyard  and the Family Group  of the Berlin Gallery. All these and others that might be cited belong to the period between 1655 and 1665. But the enthusiasm which these arouse is sadly dashed by many examples of his later manner, which are disconnected or restless in composition, hot in color rather than luminous, and heavy in the shadows, while others are marred by excessive hardness of surface and triteness of overwrought detail. The latest date that appears on any of his paintings is 1677, wherefore it is surmised that De Hooch's death occurred about this time.


Frans Van Mieris The Elder

Of the painters bearing the name Van Mieris the most considerable was Frans van Mieris, surnamed the Elder, to distinguish him from his grandson, Frans van Mieris the Younger. Between them came Willem van Mieris, and the merit of the three as artists corresponds with the order of their succession.

The elder Frans, born at Leyden in 1635, became a pupil of Gerard Dou, though, like the latter, he had first been taught by a painter on glass. The earliest part of his career was still within the best period of Holland genre, but before he died in 1681 the decline was come; and it was to this that his son and pupil, Willem, succeeded. Willem's pictures are still clever but tricky, hard and glossy in texture, trivial and often silly in motive. As for his son, Frans the Younger, he belongs to the decadence, and the Dutch consider his pictures of no merit. There was still another Mieris, Jan by name, the brother of Willem, who, however, lived mostly abroad and died at the age of thirty in Rome.

Frans the Elder was popular in his own day and continued to be held in high esteem by collectors of the eighteenth century. He has been ranked with Metsu, but not with justice to the latter, for some of his work betrays that pettiness of motive and method which marked the decadence of genre and has been aptly called the "snuffbox" style. On the other hand, he had his moments of more genuine artistry, when he would paint a picture that even in comparison with Metsu is acceptable. These are chiefly to be found in the galleries of Munich, Vienna, and St. Petersburg. Among the Munich examples is The Sick Woman;  she seems to have sunk to the floor in a faint and is being tended by an old woman, while a doctor in the shaded background is holding up a bottle of cordial to the light and gazing at it—a figure very familiar in Dutch genre. Unfortunately the subject suggests Jan Steen and the superior esprit  with which he would have treated it. The lady wears a reddish jacket trimmed with white fur, and the same garment reappears in The Oyster Breakfast.  Here a girl is seated at a table holding an oyster in one hand and a wine-glass in the other. The picture represents the finer side of Van Mieris, though it is surpassed by another example in the Munich Gallery, The Girl Before a Mirror,  which possesses the quality that has suggested the coupling of this artist's name with that of Metsu.

In the Art-History Museum of Vienna is A Lady and Her Doctor,  in which he stands feeling her pulse as she sits beside a bed. It is sentimentally imagined, but extremely clever in a superficial way, the fabrics being imitated with extraordinary skill. Far more satisfactory is Cavalier in a Shop.  On the right of the foreground is a mass of sumptuously colored stuffs, but the man's costume and the jacket of the woman, who stands at a table offering something to his notice, are of black velvet. Beside her is a curtain of ashy purple, and the color of the background of the dim interior is a darkish olive, the whole forming a tonal scheme of subdued richness. But the cavalier is chucking the woman under the chin, her coy smile responding to his smile of amorous complacency, while an old man out of the shadow of the ingle-nook watches them. It is this sort of thing, coupled with the skill in imitating textures, that especially commended this artist to the taste of the eighteenth century.


The decline of genre reflects the changed conditions of Holland society. For the old ideal of liberty had given way to one of money and the power that comes in its train. Statesmen, soldiers, and patriots had been succeeded by self-seeking politicians and ambitious tradesmen, who disdained to be burghers and aspired to the luxury and ostentation of merchant princes. "Taste" now became the shibboleth, and it was a taste that aped the standards and manners of the French, whose influence became more and more powerful in Holland as the seventeenth century drew to a close.

Gerard de Lairesse, a painter of Flemish extraction, who settled in Amsterdam in the sixties, helped to establish the vogue of "taste." He had a considerable following of students and dilettanti  to whom he expounded his views on art, assailing the vulgarity of such as Hals, and advocating the courtly style by which the theme is "ennobled." He himself introduced the fashion for historical pictures, vapid and theatrical; and these qualities, interpreted in a minute and precise style, found their way into genre. The Dutch interiors became transformed into palatial chambers, decked with columns, amid which the inmates strut and pose with affectation of superior elegance and refinement. Such are the genre pictures of Caspar Netscher. Now and then, as in A Lady at the Clavichord  of the Dresden Gallery, his motive and execution remind us that he had the privilege of being a pupil of Terborch; but these moments are rare. Usually his pictures are but petty and meretricious echoes of the great days of genre. Nor are his portraits less trivial. They are numerously represented in the Rijks Museum and other galleries, suggesting the popularity that he enjoyed and also explaining it; for, with few exceptions, they exhibit the shallowness and display of a society that, like the jackdaw in the fable, has borrowed the plumes and is aping the manners of the peacock. The same is true of the portraits of Godfried Schalcken, who also indulged in genre that supplemented the poverty of the artistic motive by the mild humor of its subjects. To these names of the decadence may be added that of Pieter Cornelisz van Slingeland.

Before completing the story of Dutch genre with a separate notice of Terborch. Jan Steen, and Vermeer, allusion must be made to the "society pictures." Their prototype appears in Flemish painting, in such canvases of fashionable life as we have already noted by Lucas van Valckenborch. The Dutch development of this motive, however, produced smaller canvases, very carefully composed, with superior quality of color and skilful rendering of detail. The leader in this class of picture was Dirck Hals (1591-1656), who was a pupil of his brother Frans; and it is the latter's corporation pictures that became the model for corresponding groups of "society people," banqueting, engaged in concerts, or disporting themselves in garden-parties. Dirck's pictures are bouquets of gay color, animated with lively and characteristic action, and, notwithstanding their slightness of motive and superficiality of technique, form attractive spots in the galleries of Europe. He, like the rest of the society painters, varied these subjects with others of an unfashionable and sometimes coarse description, involving the amusements of the soldiery on furlough or in the intervals of peace. Willem Cornelisz Duyster, who died in 1635, painted creditably both these kinds of picture; and two other names, frequently met with in the galleries and not unacceptably, are Palamedesz (1601-1673) and Pieter Codde (1600-1678).


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