Stories in Gilded Frames

Dutch Seventeenth-century Paintings with Biblical and Mythological Subjects

Lyckle de Vries

Stories in Gilded Frames

Lyckle de Vries

Distributed for Amsterdam University Press

182 pages | 100 color plates, 21 halftones | 8 1/4 x 10 1/4 | © 2016
Paper $59.95 ISBN: 9789462981478 Published October 2016 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada
Dutch painters in the seventeenth century frequently turned their brushes on subjects from the Bible or mythology. Such subjects, bringing with them whole stories with which patrons and art lovers were intimately familiar, were perfect for the dramatic designs and vibrant play of color and shadow that were these painters’ stock in trade.

This book presents the work of forty-one Dutch artists who handled Biblical and mythological stories in the period, including Rembrandt. Arranged chronologically, and copiously illustrated with full-color images of the paintings in question, the book shows how each of these paintings works with—or sometimes against—the conventions of the story it is telling, making use of the viewer’s knowledge of the subject and themes and finding ways to bring the familiar arrestingly to life. Lyckle de Vries sets each artist’s work in context of his career and influences—including influences from Flemish and Italian painters—and helps readers understand what the goals and intentions were as each artist set out on a painting.

A beautiful produced volume, Stories in Gilded Frames offers a new way of looking at one of the most enduringly popular periods in art history.
 
Contents
Preface
1. Introduction
What, how and why?
2. Large-scale paintings: How it began
The international standard
Maerten de Vos
Otto van Veen
Peter Paul Rubens
Recognising classicism
Dutch Rebellion
Hendrick Goltzius
Karel van Mander
Cornelis Cornelisz
Abraham Bloemaert
Joachim Wtewael
A different scale
Recognising mannerism
3. Small-scale paintings: How it began
Collectibles from Italy and Antwerp
Hans Rottenhammer
Adam Elsheimer
Jan Brueghel I and Hendrick van Balen
The others
Dutch cabinet paintings: Lastman
Mythology
The passion
Style cut to measure
A borderline case
Landscape or background?
Honselaersdijck
Cornelis van Poelenburgh
Abraham Bloemaert
Promising young men
Lastman and Rembrandt
Rembrandt and Lievens
More light
A different style
4. Large-scale paintings: Back to normal
An international style in Holland
Cornelis Cornelisz
Hendrick Goltzius
Abraham Bloemaert
In the periphery of the court
Gerard van Honthorst
Pieter de Grebber
Salomon de Braij
Art for merchant kings
Jacob Backer
Jacob van Loo
5. Large-scale paintings: Baroque attempts
Rubens’ religious and political propaganda
Rubens’ altar pieces
Poetry and propaganda
Light and dark and drama
Gerard van Honthorst in Rome
Gerard van Honthorst in Utrecht
Dirck van Baburen
Hendrick ter Brugghen
Rembrandt’s theatre of horrors
Abraham and Isaac
Samson
Tobias
6. Small-scale paintings: Beyond baroque
Rembrandt in the 1640s
Rembrandt’s classicism
Rembrandt, Lastman and someone else
Three pupils
Govaert Flinck
Ferdinand Bol
Gerbrand van den Eeckhout
Some more pupils and followers
7. Monumental canvasses for public buildings
Huis ten Bosch Palace
The triumphal procession
Birth, education and mission of the prince
The drapers’ hall of Leiden
Abraham van den Tempel
The assembly hall of the States of Holland
Adriaen Hanneman
Amsterdam’s new town hall
The offices
The gallery
8. Large-scale paintings: The second half of the century
Specialists and others
Nicolaes Berchem
Jan de Braij
Karel Dujardin
Adriaen Backer
Jan van Noordt
Gerard de Lairesse
9. Large-scale paintings: New possibilities
Monumental art for the private home
Ferdinand Bol
Gerard de Lairesse
Augustinus Terwesten
War and peace, justice and politics
Holland’s freedom endangered
The Hof van Holland
10. Small-scale paintings: The last quarter of the century
Between history and genre painting
Caspar Netscher
Godfried Schalcken
Adraen van der Werff
11. Exceptions
Four outsiders
Rembrandt
Arent de Gelder
Jan Steen
Nicolaes Berchem
12. Addition and subtraction
Left out
The end?
The canon
13. The actors
Patron and their wishes
The churches
The national and provincial authorities
The towns
Paintings in the private home
The choice of subject matter
Artists and their choices
Four kinds of stories
High and low
The all-round master
Emotions
Size and scale
Art historians and their problems
Decline and ‘decline’
A longer or a shorter Golden Age
Rediscovery
New perspectives
Style and styles
 
Notes
List of illustrations
Colour illustrations
Comparative illustrations
Illustrations (by name of artists)
Illustrations (by subject)
Illustration credits
Bibliography
Index (artists’ names)
 
Review Quotes
Choice
“This accessible, well-illustrated survey examines painting of the Dutch Golden Age, the long 17th century spanning the years from 1580 to about 1700. . . . Leading the reader through this imagery with skill and grace, Vries provides the stories, information about the artist, and, if pertinent, the artist's patron and commission. Highly recommended.”
Historians of Netherlandish Art
"de Vries’s deep knowledge of this material, his accessible way of writing, and his engaging and generous enthusiasm in wanting to share history painting with new readers, is evident throughout this volume.”
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