Bitesize Blog: Van der Helst

Van der Helst’s portrait of cloth merchant Abraham del Court and his wife is all about her stunning white silk dress. Van der Helst was a true master of painting drapery and this painting is no exception. Despite the painterly brush marks the effect is extremely realistic.

Jan Steen, The merry family,

Dogs in Dutch Genre Painting

Dutch 17th century art is full of dogs. The highly popular (then and now) and numerous genre paintings feature our furry friends so often, they seem part of the furniture. Not only were dogs useful, loved and popular companions, they also made fabulous painting models. Spaniels especially feature repeatedly in these beautiful little art works. Spaniel-biased as I am I would totally agree they are the best looking dog all round, yet in these 17th century pictures they are not always featured for their positive traits…

Judith Leyster, Self Portrait, National Gallery of Art Washington

Bitesize Blog: Judith Leyster

Judith Leyster, Self Portrait, oil on canvas, 74.6×65.1cm, c. 1630. National Gallery of Art, WashingtonJudith LeysterSelf PortraitOil on canvas, 74.6 x 65.1 cm, c. 1630 One of the most well known female painters from the Dutch Golden Age, Judith Leyster (1609-1660)…

Sophie Ploeg Oil Studio thumbnail

A Study After Ter Borch

Copying the Old Masters is as old a technique as the old masters themselves. For as long as artists have existed they learned from their masters or the works they left behind. It is a wonderful and fun way to…

17th Century Dutch Dress

If you look at early 17th century Dutch portraits, such as by Rembrand and Frans Hals you might be wondering what on earth these people are wearing. Those crazy ruffs are just the top of the iceberg and below there…

Hobbema, Avenue in Middelharnis

Let’s Take a Walk in a Dutch Landscape

The Dutch 17th century is a famous period in the history of art because of its prolific production of art.  It is not withouth reason  that the century is called the ‘Golden Age’ as the small country lived through one…