« PreviousContinue »
with that of the real master; a proof that they have not been in the hands of a dishonest dealer.
DEKKER. The Christian name of the painter is a matter of question; some call him Conraet, others Adrien: Adrien is said to have been a scholar of Everdingen. He painted views on a small scale in the manner of Ruisdael; they are not copies nor imitations, but partake much of the master's manner, though browner in the tints. They are distinguished by freedom of handling, and attention to details in the buildings, and the foliage of the trees. The elder tree in blossom was a favourite object with him. Adrian Ostade, and Adrian Van de Velde, frequently enriched his landscapes with figures and cattle. He flourished towards the latter part of the 17th century.
JAN RENIER DE VRIES was probably a scholar of Ruisdael. He painted a great number of small landscapes on panels, generally forest scenery, in which he frequently introduced a cottage, and in the distance a mill, sometimes with the effect of sunshine, but more frequently without. His manner partakes both of Ruisdael and Dekker; his colouring has the sombre hues of the latter. The trunk of an oak, or some large tree, is a prominent object in his pictures, and is generally laboured with great attention to nature. The figures, which are of a clownish description, are painted by himself; but some of his landscapes are enriched with those of Ostade.
PHILIP DE KONINGH, in his portraits and historical pictures, bears great analogy to Rembrandt, but in his bird'seye views of landscapes he adopted the manner of Ruisdael. His pictures of this class are very beautiful, and are often attributed to the master whose works he made hiş types. The representation is generally of the autumnal season, as admitting of greater variety in the appearances of nature, particularly in the alternation of cloudiness and sunshine, which enabled the artist to cast broad shadows, or gleams of light, on the objects in the landscape, as it suited his purpose. Every observer of nature will acknowledge how truly she is represented in his pictures.
A. VERBOOM may be considered an analogous painter to Jacob Ruisdael, though we have no account of his being a scholar of that master, nor is there any resemblance to him
as a copyist or imitator. He was a native of Haerlem, and flourished about 1654. His manner partakes of Waterlo, Jan Both, and Ruisdael; his pictures are sometimes enriched with animals and figures by Wouwerman and Lingelbach. They are of very rare occurrence, and not likely to be palmed on an inexperienced amateur for Ruisdael's, as they command a sufficient price when they occur in sales. Originally they must have been of a verdant hue, but time has partially embrowned them. Some writers call him Abraham Verboom; some, A. H. V. Boom: he signed his pictures, as well as his etchings, A. Verboom, and V'Boom.
JAN VAN HAGEN, who was born at the Hague in 1635, and died in 1679, is considered by some as an analogist to Ruisdael ; but his pictures have a greater resemblance to those of Dekker and Rontbouts. Generally they are selections from forest scenery. He was particular in marking the boles and leafing of the trees; the oak and beech are very distinguishable. He painted his skies with a fugitive colour, called Haerlem blue, which having disappeared, has robbed them of much of their pristine beauty; indeed the main parts of his landscapes have become dark, perhaps owing to the same cause. The cattle and figures are generally by Jacob Vander Does, the elder, or some other eminent painter in that line.
J. RONTBOUTS. His pictures, in subject, sometimes partake of the manner of Ruisdael, sometimes of Hobbema, and also of Dekker; they are generally of the cabinet size, and painted on panel. When he signs with his monogram only, an inexperienced amateur may be deceived thereby, as it very much resembles that of Ruisdael. Though there is no account of the time, or place, of his birth, he must have flourished at the same period as the before-named artists.
SIMON DE VLIEGER, though an older marine painter, may in his storms and gales at sea be considered as an analogist to Ruisdael. He exhibits in them the same grandeur of conception, knowledge of appearances, and vigour of execution; he is only inferior in the colour, which time or accident has materially injured, and in some instances totally destroyed, he having used, like many other artists of the period, the deceitful Haerlem blue.
GERARD VAN NIMEGUEN, or NIMEGEN, who was born
at Rotterdam in 1735, and died there in 1808, made the pictures of Ruisdael his models on several occasions, particularly in his representations of mountainous landscapes with forest scenery, he also made copies of that master's works, and of those of Hobbema and Wynants. Their more modern appearance is a guarantee against being attributed to either of these masters without detection.
MINDERHOUT HOBBEMA. NEITHER the place nor date of the nativity of this great artist has been clearly ascertained. Some say he was born in the village of Coeverden in Guelderland, others in Middelharnis ; at all events it is now generally admitted that he was a native of Holland. The supposed year of his birth is 1629. It is not known under whose instruction he studied; but it is quite certain that he was on intimate terms with Jacob Ruisdael. This does not prove that he was Ruisdael's scholar, for there was but little difference in their ages ; indeed, on the supposition that he was born in 1629, he was one year older. Some have said that he pursued the art as an amateur; if so, he may have formed an intimacy with Ruisdael in studying the same scenes in the vicinity of Haerlem, and profited by observing the artistic methods of his friend. But this is only conjecture. There are, however, many pictures of both that approximate, and only differ in the handling peculiar to each. The earlier views that employed his pencil are probably scenes in Guelderland; such as rustic hamlets, and humble cottages of peasants in retired spots, sheltered by trees, or on the verge of a forest; a water-mill; the sluices of a canal; the ruins of a castle; or a bird's-eye view of an open flat country. All these are represented with the greatest truth and attention to nature. His grander works, it is probable, were executed after his thirtieth year, and when he was on intimate terms with Ruisdael, and the several excellent artists by whom they are embellished with figures and cattle. No description can convey an idea of the superlative beauty of these, for their absolute truth. The colouring in his best works is exceeding fresh, full, and brilliant, and the handling free and masterly. In his earlier productions, a brown tint prevails, and perhaps too much of a cold, humid grey. But the same may be said of several of his eminent contemporaries. His death is supposed to have occurred in 1670. For a description of one hundred of his pictures, see Smith's Catalogue Raisonné.
ANALOGISTS AND IMITATORS OF HOBBEMA.
JACOR RUISDAEL and HOBBEMA were on such intimate terms of friendship, and had such admiration of each other's talents as painters, that they mutually imitated their respective styles, not servilely as copyists, but as complimentary homages from rivals in affection. There are, therefore, compositions of each, that remind the amateur of both; but there is a perceptible difference, (as Mr. Nieuwenhuys observes,) the pencil of Ruisdael being lighter, and the touch of his foliage more defined by his triangular handling, and there is greater variety of tone; Hobbema is richer in colour, and his style of execution more solid, and the union of his tones perhaps produces more harmony. This difference of manner and execution was the result of their different selection of objects from nature; Hobbema chose the rural and placid for the exercise of his pencil even in the grandest of his productions; Ruisdael the wilder and more romantic, such as permitted freedom in the details, as more congenial to his high poetic feeling.
DEKKER, though classed with the analogists of Ruisdael, also imitated the manner of Hobbema, perhaps with more success than he did that of the former.
EDWARD DUBOIS, (born at Antwerp in 1622, and died in England in 1699,) painted landscapes that have considerable resemblance to the manner of Hobbema.
JAN VAN KESSEL, mentioned as an imitator of Ruisdael, also imitated the manner of Hobbema, but not with equal success. As pictures by him appear in sales under the name of Hobbema, it is necessary to put amateurs on their guard.
J. RONTBOUTS reminds the amateur of Hobbema, but wants variety of tone and luminous effect. His subjects, though well chosen, have from these deficiencies a monotonous appearance that betrays the imitator.
WILLIAM TOMKINS, an English landscape painter, (born at London in 1730, died in 1792,) was an associate of the Royal Academy. He was employed by noblemen and gentlemen to paint views of their country-seats. He also made copies of Hobbema's pictures, and of other Dutch landscape painters, but they are too feeble to deceive without further assistance.
JACOB VAN STRY made some copies of Hobbema, one of which, a large water-mill, is a good imitation. For further account of his works, see Imitators of Albert Cuyp.
GERARD VAN NIMEGUEN, copied and imitated Hobbema; but his best imitations are those of Ruisdael, Everdingen, and Pynacker.
PHILIP REINAGLE, who was a general imitator and copyist of the Dutch landscape and animal painters, copied both Hobbema and Ruisdael in some of their smaller pieces. He was an adept in counterfeiting, and time has now assisted the forgeries, so that an unexperienced amateur may be deceived at first sight by his clever imitations.
JAN WYNANTS. THE only information we have of this eminent landscape painter is, that he was born at Haerlem in the year 1600, and that in process of time he established a school in that city, and taught drawing. He was fortunate in his pupils, if it be true that he numbered Philip Wouwerman, Adrian Van de Velde, and Jan Lingelbach, among them. No mention is made of the master by whom he himself was instructed. His landscapes are in all respects original; they bear no resemblance to the style of any previous painter with whose works we are acquainted, nor to any of his contemporaries ; neither have they been imitated or copied with success. In his early works he represents rustic habitations, or the di. lapidated walls of ancient mansions, with a view of the adjacent road, and part of the surrounding country. Such scenes he finished with great care and neatness. As he progressed he became more excursive, and took a wider expanse of hill and dale, wood and water, and a variety of picturesque objects. With his clusters of richly foliated umbrageous trees, he loved to introduce one, or more, in a state of natural de