Gerard Terborch is a famous Dutch painter of the 17th century. The work of Gerard Terborch – skillful portraits, attracting attention with subtle psychologism and atmospheric genre painting, personifying the life of that time. The artist’s paintings are executed in restrained colors, but each work has an excellent sense of color. After reading the biography of the painter, you understand that he was destined to become an outstanding artist.
Biography of Gerard Terborch
Gerard Terborch was born in 1617 in Zwolle (Dutch Republic). The exact date of birth is unknown. His father was also an artist, but not nearly as famous as his son became. Nevertheless, it was he who gave the child the first lessons in painting, introducing him to the world of art. Gerard Terborch’s talent manifested itself from childhood. At the age of eight, the boy drew a perfect figure from the back.
Gerard Terborch moved to Amsterdam in 1632. Moved to Haarlem a year later to study with the renowned artist Pieter de Molijn.
As soon as the young man gained professional independence, he became interested in travel. First, Gerhard Terborch went to England to visit his uncle, who was a famous engraver. Then he traveled to Italy, France and other European countries. The painter’s work was highly appreciated. Once he even painted a portrait of the Spanish king Philip IV from life. Unfortunately, the work has not survived to this day.
In 1640 Gerard Terborch returned to his homeland. The artist lived and worked in different cities, only occasionally leaving the country. In 1654, the painter married and settled in Deventer, and his passion for travel subsided. Gerard Terborch left this world on December 8, 1681 and was buried in Zwolle.
Other genre artists were inspired by the painter’s work.
His most famous student is Caspar Netscher. He created original paintings and also made copies of some of the teacher’s works. Another of the artist’s followers, Jan Vermeer, adopted the style of the master so accurately that many of his works were initially attributed to Gerard Terborch himself.
The most famous paintings by Gerard Terborch
Gerard Terborch’s paintings convey the atmosphere of the 17th century, showing the details of interiors and the subtlest nuances of human emotions.
Some of the most famous works:
- The Peace of Munster (1648). The artist depicted the moment of the conclusion of the peace treaty with Spain Here, the talent of a portrait painter is revealed in all its glory: on the face of each character, his own emotion is visible, albeit very restrained.
- The Grinder (early 1650s). Here the master showed what poverty the artisans of that time lived in. The painting is considered unusual, since painters rarely used such subjects in their work.
- “Fatherly Instruction” (c. 1654). At first glance, it seems that the viewer is presented with a scene of a conversation between father and daughter. The mother does not interfere with the conversation, but only drinks wine. But art critics are not sure of this interpretation. The man looks too young to be the father of a girl. Some believe that there is a scene of acquaintance, and the lady with the glass is a matchmaker.
- “Boy looking for fleas” (c. 1655). This piece shows a child who focuses on catching fleas. The pet’s health concerns him much more than the lessons: we see a closed notebook on the table.
- “Glass of lemonade (c. 1665)” – the picture leaves a feeling of understatement. Experts have not come to a consensus about what this work is about. Some suggest that this is a scene from family life. The girl fell ill, and the gentleman makes her lemonade: then it was believed that citrus fruits help relieve fever. This is the most “modest” interpretation. It is also believed that the scene is being played out in a brothel. The old woman, putting her hand on the girl’s shoulder, as if draws attention to her appearance. The guy is still timidly looking at the young woman.