Self-portrait by Gerard Terborch (c. 1668)
He was precocious and successful, Terborch (or Ter Borch) was one of the finest and most versatile masters of the Dutch School. His small-scale, very beautiful, tranquil, and gentle genre scenes show self-absorbed moments of a mundane world. One sense from the acuity of his observation and the minute care with which he applies the paint that he viewed this world, its people, its foibles, its ordinariness, and its objects with the greatest of affection and pleasure.
Note the harmonious combination of warm brown, gold, yellow and silver, gray-blue on the dark background; the various details; the rendering of fabrics and the way clothes are made; the ability to discreetly draw us into the intimate world of the characters and make us guess about their secrets and feelings; the love with which he painted the female nape or the glare of light on the surface of objects. Note how the artist uses gentle symbolism but without overt moralizing.
Gerard Terborch’s major works are The Swearing of the Oath of Ratification of the Treaty of Münster, 1648 (London: National Gallery); The Message, c. 1658 (Lyon: Musée des Beaux-Arts); A Lady at her Toilet, c. 1668 (Detroit Institute of Arts).
- Robert Cumming. Art: complete encyclopedia. – 512 p. – Moscow: Astrel, 2005.