Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Gerrit Dou (1613–1675) painter of the Dutch Golden Age

Gerrit Dou (1613–1675) was one of the most accomplished painters of the Dutch Golden Age.

In his own time, Dou was viewed as the very paragon of art, and was a great favorite of important and influential patrons. He and his fellow artists from Leiden, called fijnschilders (“fine painters”), captivated generations of collectors and art lovers with their scenes of contemporary life, rendered with painstaking detail and modeled in the subtle and rich chiaroscuro inspired by Rembrandt.

His meticulously executed portraits and scenes of everyday life frequently use niches and windows to extend the space of the painting, heightening the viewer’s sense of reality and intensifying the painting’s illusions. These works also often contain hidden symbolism that encourage the viewer to search behind the mirror-like facade of visible reality.

A pupil of Rembrandt’s, Dou looked ahead to Vermeer in his love of domestic subjects, skillful rendering of light and texture, and fine execution.