|Vermeer, "The Art of Painting," ca1667|
Over the past several decades my focus has again and again returned to the masters of the 17th century particularly the northern painters. Obvious representatives are Rembrandt, Hals, Vermeer, and their contemporaries. There is something to be learned from each on every revisit to their works.
Among my other favorites from that age of painting (besides the three above) are Jan Steen, Pieter Claesz and Gabriel Metsu. These lesser-knowns were highly-skilled and very successful. And like their better-known contemporaries, they have much to teach.
|Pieter Claesz, "Vanitas," 1630|
|Gabriel Metsu, "The Sick Girl," 1659|
|Jan Steen, "The Quacksalver," 1651|
There were many other very accomplished, even masterful painters of the time, and all from that small part of northern Europe. One wonders how such things happen. Why did Italy in the 16th century beget so many great artists? And why did tiny Holland do the same in the 17th?
This post is the first in what will probably become a continuing series dealing with favorites and why they've been an influence. More to come.