Saturday, November 15, 2014

Gerard ter Borch (the Younger)

Woman writing a letter
oil on panel
39 × 29.5 cm
Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, Hague, The Netherlands

Gerard ter Borch (1617-1681) was a significant Dutch genre painter, who lived in the Dutch Golden Age. He is noted for small portraits and genre scenes of great refinement. He is known for his rendering of texture in draperies. His works are comparatively rare, About eighty have been catalogued.

He was born in the province of Overijssel in the Dutch Republic. He received an excellent education from his father Gerard ter Borch the Elder, who in his youth had spent some years in Rome and returned with drawings he had made as well as some he had collected in Italy. His son, the Younger, precociously revealed his gifts. His early paintings were mainly scenes of military life, painted with great subtlety of color and values. Later he showed a predilection for small, dainty interior scenes, in which he revealed his delight in the sheen of satin and the grace of charming women.

He traveled widely. In 1634 he was in Haarlem, in 1635 in London, in 1640 probably in Rome, then visits to Spain, France, Germany, etc.. He finally settled in Deventer, the Netherlands, where he became a member of the town council, as which he appears in the portrait now in the gallery of the Hague.