On Gerard de Lairesse’s “Frenchness,” His Liège Roots, and His Artistic Integration in Amsterdam

Gerard de Lairesse,  The Marriage of Alexander and Roxane, 1664,  Copenhagen, Statens Museum

This article demonstrates how Lairesse’s style, his knowledge of contemporary Italian art and ideas, and his understanding of the art of antiquity was fully developed by 1670 and had been shaped by the Romanist-classicist tradition in Liège and through confrontation with the art in Amsterdam, without any significant intervention of French painting and art theory.

DOI: 10.5092/jhna.12.1.2

Acknowledgements

I am grateful to Jacquelyn Coutré, Jasper Hillegers, Alison Kettering and Nicolette Sluijter-Seijffert for their helpful comments and corrections.

Gerard de Lairesse,  Mercury Seeing Herse,  ca. 1662,  Riga, The Latvian Museum of Foreign Art
Fig. 1 Gerard de Lairesse, Mercury Seeing Herse, ca. 1662, oil on canvas, 53 x 69 cm (originally about 66 x 80 cm). Riga, The Latvian Museum of Foreign Art, inv. 172 (artwork in the public domain) [side-by-side viewer]
Bertholet Flénal,  The Illness and Healing of Ezekias, 1651,  Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Museum of Art
Fig. 2 Bertholet Flémal, The Illness and Healing of Ezekias, 1651, oil on canvas, 93 x 133 cm. Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Museum of Art, inv. no. 1973-SL-1.708 (artwork in the public domain) [side-by-side viewer]
Wenzel Hollar, after Adam Elsheimer;  Mercury Seeing Herse
Fig. 3 Wenzel Hollar, after Adam Elsheimer, Mercury Seeing Herse, etching, 8.4 x 4.0 cm [side-by-side viewer]
Anonymous, after Hendrick Goltzius,  Mercury Seeing Herse, 1589,
Fig. 4 Anonymous, after Hendrick Goltzius, Mercury Seeing Herse, 1589, engraving, 17.4 x 25.5 cm [side-by-side viewer]
Gerard de Lairesse,  The Marriage of Alexander and Roxane, 1664,  Copenhagen, Statens Museum
Fig. 5 Gerard de Lairesse, The Marriage of Alexander and Roxane, 1664, oil on canvas 77 x 89.5 cm. Copenhagen, Statens Museum, inv. KMS sp306 (artwork in the public domain) [side-by-side viewer]
Jacopo Caraglio, after Raphael,  The Marriage of Alexander and Roxane,  ca. 1525–35,
Fig. 6 Jacopo Caraglio, after Raphael, The Marriage of Alexander and Roxane, ca. 1525–35, engraving, 21.9 x 31.2 cm [side-by-side viewer]
Sodoma,  The Marriage of Alexander and Roxane,  ca. 1517,  Rome, Palazzo Farnesina
Fig. 7 Sodoma, The Marriage of Alexander and Roxane, ca. 1517, fresco, 370 x 660 cm. Rome, Palazzo Farnesina [side-by-side viewer]
Anonymous, after Hendrick Goltziuis,  Mercury Visits Herse’s Bedroom, 1589,
Fig. 8 Anonymous, after Hendrick Goltziuis, Mercury Visits Herse’s Bedroom, 1589, engraving, 17.6 x 25.5 cm [side-by-side viewer]
Hendrick Goltzius, after Bartholomeus Spranger,  Mars and Venus, 1588,
Fig. 9 Hendrick Goltzius, after Bartholomeus Spranger, Mars and Venus, 1588, engraving, 44.3 x 33.1 cm [side-by-side viewer]
Bertholet Flémal,  Heliodorus Chased from the Temple,  ca. 1655–60, Brussels, Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique
Fig. 10 Bertholet Flémal, Heliodorus Chased from the Temple, ca. 1655–60, oil on canvas, 146 x 174 cm. Brussels, Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, inv. 1299 (artwork in the public domain) [side-by-side viewer]
Gerard de Lairesse,  Minerva and Mercury Arming Perseus,  ca. 1666,  Leipzig, Museum für Bildenden Künste
Fig. 11 Gerard de Lairesse, Minerva and Mercury Arming Perseus, ca. 1666, oil on canvas, 111 x 139 cm. Leipzig, Museum für Bildenden Künste, inv. G 1631 (artwork in the public domain) [side-by-side viewer]
Jan Muller, after Bartholomeus Spranger;  Minerva and Mercury Arming Perseus
Fig. 12 Jan Muller, after Bartholomeus Spranger, Minerva and Mercury Arming Perseus, engraving, 56.6 x 40.1 cm [side-by-side viewer]
Ferdinand Bol, Venus Giving Armor to Aeneas, ca. 1660–63
Fig. 13 Ferdinand Bol, Venus Giving Armor to Aeneas, ca. 1660–63, oil on canvas, 408 x 413 cm. The Hague, Vredespaleis (on loan from the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, inv. A 1576) (artwork in the public domain) [side-by-side viewer]
Gerard de Lairesse, Venus Giving Armor to Aeneas, 1668
Fig. 14 Gerard de Lairesse, Venus Giving Armor to Aeneas, 1668, oil on canvas, 162 x 166 cm. Antwerp, Museum Mayer van den Bergh, inv. MMB.0097 (artwork in the public domain) [side-by-side viewer]
Gerard de Lairesse, 1667, Allegory of Abundance (? Allegory of the Blessings of the Peace of Breda)
Fig. 15 Gerard de Lairesse, 1667, Allegory of Abundance (? Allegory of the Blessings of the Peace of Breda), oil on canvas, 150 x 135 cm. The Hague, Haags Historisch Museum, inv. 13-1870 (artwork in the public domain) [side-by-side viewer]
Pietro Testa, Allegory in the Honor of the Arrival of Cardinal Franciotti as Bishop of Lucca, 1637
Fig. 16 Pietro Testa, Allegory in the Honor of the Arrival of Cardinal Franciotti as Bishop of Lucca, 1637, etching, 37.9 x 30.3 cm [side-by-side viewer]
Pietro Testa,  Venus Giving Armor to Aeneas,  ca. 1640,
Fig. 17 Pietro Testa, Venus Giving Armor to Aeneas, ca. 1640, etching, 36.2 x 40.4 cm [side-by-side viewer]
Nicolas Poussin,  Venus Giving Armor to Aeneas, 1639,  Rouen, Musée des Beaux Arts
Fig. 18 Nicolas Poussin, Venus Giving Armor to Aeneas, 1639, oil on canvas 107 x 146 cm. Rouen, Musée des Beaux Arts, inv. 866.1 (artwork in the public domain) [side-by-side viewer]
Gerard de Lairesse, The Anointing of Salomon, probably 1668, Bradford, England, Cartwright Hall
Fig. 19 Gerard de Lairesse, The Anointing of Salomon, probably 1668, oil on canvas 130 x 200 cm. Bradford, England, Cartwright Hall (artwork in the public domain) [side-by-side viewer]
Gerard de Lairesse, The Anointing of Salomon,
Fig. 20 Gerard de Lairesse, The Anointing of Salomon, 1668, etching, 39 x 52 cm [side-by-side viewer]
Anonymous, after Lambert Lombard (published by Hieronymus Cock), Pedilavium, ca. 1557,
Fig. 21 Anonymous, after Lambert Lombard (published by Hieronymus Cock), Pedilavium, ca. 1557, engraving, 35.2 x 36.1 cm [side-by-side viewer]
  1. 1. This occurred at first among non-Dutch authors writing on Dutch art in particular. For a good survey of this phenomenon from Hegel, Blanc, Bode and Fromentin through authors in the 1980s, see Melinda K. Vander Ploeg Fallon, “Gerard de Lairesse (1640–1711) and the Audience for the ‘Antyk’” (PhD diss., University of Delaware, 2001), 42–62. As she rightly notes (p. 56), this argument was still used in the Marxist art history of Hauser in the early 1950s and Larssen in the late 1970s, respectively.

  2. 2. In W. Martin’s valuable survey, Lairesse represented “the dictatorship of the French taste” (W. Martin, De Hollandsche Schilderkunst in de zeventiende eeuw, vol. 2, Rembrandt en zijn tijd [Amsterdam: Meulenhoff, 1936], 475). Seymour Slive is more objective about Lairesse’s classicism and his following of the “set of rules, laid down by seventeenth-century French academic artists and theorists” (Seymour Slive, Dutch Painting 1600–1800 [New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1995], 301). In Bob Haak, The Golden Age: Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century (New York: Abrams, 1984), 502, we find the rather peculiar statement that Lairesse changed his style drastically in Amsterdam when he came into contact with French classicist ideas.

  3. 3. Rudi Fuchs, Schilderen in Nederland. De geschiedenis van 1000 jaar kunst (Amsterdam: Prometheus, 2003), 77. This is a second, revised edition of his Dutch Painting (Thames and Hudson, The World of Art Library) of 1978. Though the text on Lairesse had grown in length since the first edition, no revisions were made to this assessment of Lairesse.

  4. 4. For example J. J. M. Timmers, Gérard Lairesse (Amsterdam: H. J. Paris, 1942); Derk P. Snoep, “Gerard Lairesse als plafond- en kamerschilder,” Bulletin van het Rijksmuseum 18, no. 4 (1970): 159–220; Arno Dolders, “Some Remarks on Lairesse’s Groot Schilderboek,” Simiolus 15 (1985): 197–220 https://doi.org/10.2307/3780693; Lyckle de Vries, Gerard de Lairesse. An Artist between Stage and Studio (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 1998) (in which, in part I, De Vries extensively describes a tradition of northern classicism, from Maarten de Vos up to Van Everdingen, Bol, Flinck, and finally Lairesse).

  5. 5. Vander Ploeg Fallon, “Gerard de Lairesse” (this dissertation was written under supervision of H. Perry Chapman). Regrettably the author never published anything about Lairesse after completing her dissertation.

  6. 6. Ekkehardt Mai, “De Lairesse, Poussin und Frankreich: Einige Aspekte zu Theorie und Thematik im Vergleich,” in Holland nach Rembrandt: Zur niederländischen Kunst zwischen 1670 und 1750, ed. Ekkehard Mai (Cologne: Böhlau Verlag, 2006), 151–74. See also below, notes 30 and 81.

  7. 7. Remarkable is the overblown way in which Jacques Hendrick claims Lairesse as a Walloon artist, while placing him entirely in a French context. He approvingly quotes Alfred Michiels’s Historie de la peinture flamande (1868) that Lairesse was an adept of Vouet, Le Brun and Le Sueur: “il marcha toute sa vie sous leur bannière” (Jacques Hendrick, La peinture au pays de Liège. XVIe, XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles [Liège: Perron-Wahle, 1987], 166–72).

  8. 8. Alain Roy, Gérard de Lairesse (1640–1711) (Paris: Arthena, 1992), 101: “an artist belonging to French culture, educated in the French taste, and whose preferences and theoretical notions brought him as a matter of course towards French writings.” On the other hand Roy considers the French artistic influence on Lairesse’s art “une enigma” (p. 112) and sees little of Poussin and Le Brun in his work (p. 113). He rightly states that Lairesse found his own style through his “faculté d’assimilation,” without, however, writing anything about this assimilation. It is understandable that francophone authors would see Lairesse’s theoretical work as proof of his dependence on French art theory, for they read his Groot Schilderboek in the late eighteenth-century French translation. In this version, the translator, naturally, employed the familiar vocabulary of late seventeenth- and eighteenth-century French art theoretical writings, which makes the text sound like a French theoretical treatise.

  9. 9. In a paper at the Lairesse symposium in January 2017, Paul Knolle demonstrated that even in the late eighteenth century, such authors as Descamps (1753–64), Van Eynden (1787) and even Fiorillo (1815–20) never refer to French art, but always related Lairesse to Italian art.

  10. 10. Joachim von Sandrart, Teutsche Academie der Bau-, Bild un Mahlerey Künste (Nuremberg: Johann-Philipp Miltenberger, 1675, 1679, 1680 (scholarly online edition, eds. Thomas Kirchner ,et al. 2009–12: http://ta.sandrart.net), 3:79 (1679) (http://ta.sandrart.net/-text-1094). It is, of course, quite striking that on the basis of Lairesse’s prints Sandrart assumed that he came from France and seemed to be a follower of Bourdon, since there are certainly similarities with the latter’s style. For Sandrart’s Latin edition of 1683 (Academia picturae eruditae), see Joachim von Sandrart, Academia Picturae Eruditae: Lateinische Ausgabe der teutschen Academie von 1683, in Joachim von Sandrarts Academie der Bau-, Bild- und Mahlery Künste von 1675, ed. A. R. Peltzer (Munich: Hirth’s Verlag, 1925), 364–66; and for a French translation, see Roy, Gérard de Lairesse, 169–70. For Tideman’s remark, see Claus Kemmer, “Bespreking van Alain Roy, Gérard de Lairesse (1640–1711), Paris 1992,” Simiolus 23 (1995): 192 https://doi.org/10.2307/3780829; see also below, note 83.

  11. 11. For the “nationalization” of Poussin, beginning in the course of the 1660s, from an internationally renowned Roman painter to a symbol of French painting, see Olivier Bonfait, Poussin et Louis XIV: Peinture et monarchie dans la France du Grand Siècle (n.p.: Éditions Hazan, 2015), passim.

  12. 12. Abry recorded that Lairesse had penetrated the beauty of antiquity so well that it seemed as if he had studied in Italy, while he also calls a certain work “d’un goût italien” (for Abry, see Roy, Gérard de Lairesse, 172–78, quoting the edition of H. Helbig and S. Borman of Abry’s text, Les hommes illustres de nation Liègeoise, published in 1867, 239–61; for the passages mentioned, see Roy, Gérard de Lairesse, 175 and 177). Houbraken writes that De Lairesse learned “the understanding of what one calls Antiek which gives Italian painting such high esteem” from Bertholet Flémal in Liège (Arnold Houbraken, De Groote Schouburgh der Nederlantsche Konstschilder en Schilderessen [The Hague: Houbraken 1718–21], 3:106–33; the quoted passage is on p. 107).  

  13. 13. Alain Mérot, French Painting in the Seventeenth Century (New Haven and London: Thames & Hudson, 1995), 11.

  14. 14. About the series by Hieronymus Cock (1572), Hendrick Hondius (1610), and Anthony van Dyck (ca. 1630), see, among others, Hans-Joachim Raupp, Untersuchungen zu Künstlerbildnis und Künstlerdarstellung in den Niederlanden im 17. Jahrhunderts (Hildesheim/Zürich/New York: Georg Olms Verlag, 1984), chapt. 1 and 2. For an online publication of the sixty-eight portraits of Hondius’s series, with translations of the Latin texts, see http://www.courtauld.org.uk/netherlandishcanon/index.html

  15. 15. Thijs Weststeijn, Art and Antiquity in the Netherlands and Britain: The Vernacular Arcadia of Franciscus Junius (1591–1677) (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2015), 199–202.

  16. 16. Apart from less than a handful exceptions, no French paintings are found in Dutch inventories, and the only French names in early eighteenth-century collections are those of Nicolas Poussin, Claude Lorrain, Gaspar Dughet, and Sebastien Bourdon, specifically in the collection of Jacques Meyer. He must have acquired these paintings shortly after 1700 (about Meyer, see Koenraad Jonckheere, The Auction of King William’s Paintings (1713): Elite International Art Trade at the End of the Dutch Golden Age (Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2008) https://doi.org/10.1075/oculi.11). One exception is Claude Lorraine’s landscape in Sandrart’s own collection in Amsterdam by 1637, which was purchased in 1645 by Adriaen Pauw.

  17. 17. Vander Ploeg Fallon, “Gerard de Lairesse,” 109–10. She refers to the study of Anne Frank-Van Westrienen, De Groote Tour (1983), and the travel account of Coenraat Willem Droste.

  18. 18. Thomas Puttfarken, The Discovery of Pictorial Composition: Theories of Visual Order in Painting 1400–1800 (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2000), 229–31; and Mérot, French Painting, 22–30.

  19. 19. Puttfarken, Discovery, 231. See also Bonfait, Poussin et Louis XIV, for the history of Poussin’s appropriation by the academy. During his lifetime Poussin was not even invited to join the academy.  

  20. 20. Even Sandrart has, in his 1675 edition, very little to say about French painters, including Le Brun (this was repaired in his Latin edition of 1683), apart from those who worked in Rome, like Valentin, Poussin, and Claude.

  21. 21. Samuel van Hoogstraten, Inleiding tot de hooge schoole der schilderkonst (Rotterdam: François van Hoogstraten, 1678), 75.

  22. 22. Van Hoogstraten, Inleiding, 137 (Claude), 46, 212 (Fréminet), 256 and 314 (Le Brun).

  23. 23. Van Hoogstraten, Inleiding, 256.

  24. 24. See the introductions of Jan de Bisschop in his Icones (1679) and Paradigmata (1681). Jan de Bisschop seems to have been an exception, though he was never in Paris as far as we know (Jan van Gelder, “Jan de Bisschop 1628–1671,” Oud Holland 86 [1971]: 212 https://doi.org/10.1163/187501771×00120 ). His information likely came from Christiaan and Constantijn Huygens the Younger; he dedicated his Icones (1669) to the latter. In this dedication, De Bisschop praised very highly contemporary art in France because it paid close attention to antique statues in Rome “and received and esteemed Poussin, the imitator of statues.” (Jan van Gelder and I. Jost, Jan de Bisschop and His Icones and Paradigmata: Classical Antiquities and Italian Drawings for Instruction in Seventeenth Century Holland [Doornspijk: Van Coevorden, 1985], 1:89) In his dedication of the Paradigmata Graphices to Jan Six, published in 1671, Jan de Bisschop extols the present-day art education in France “being nurtured through the favor and generosity of a noble king,” which will make French art great because its artists will profit from the teachings of Poussin and from looking at good examples. Apart from foregrounding the exemplary status of Poussin, it is above all the way art is taught through the example of antiquity and Italian art that he admires. He probably knew little about French painting. In the Paradigmata itself, there are no French examples.

  25. 25. Lairesse mentions nineteen Italian and five Netherlandish masters in the Grondlegginge der Teekenkonst (see note 50 below).

  26. 26. The only time that French painters are mentioned as a group is in a negative context, when he comments that French academicians unjustly do not allow more than one light source (Gerard de Lairesse, Groot Schilderboek [Haarlem: Johannes Marshoorn, 1740] [first ed. 1707], 1:284). Lairesse does mention, however, that French architecture has climbed high through the study of Vitruvius, Serlio, Delorme, Palladio, Cataneo, Santorini, Vignola and Scamozzi (Lairesse, Groot Schilderboek, 1:54).

  27. 27. Lairesse, Groot Schilderboek, 1:17, 57, 98, 135, 138, 200, 256, 284, 304, 334, 394, 419, 420, 434; 2:70, 166, and 332.

  28. 28. Bonfait, Poussin et Louis XIV, 190. It is likely that Poussin was not even viewed as a Frenchman by foreigners visiting Rome. After a brawl in 1625 he took care to rid himself of French habits; after 1631, he is never mentioned as French in the city’s parish archives, and he seems to have had no ties with the French church in Rome. His wife spoke only Italian, and his correspondence indicates that he had a better command of Italian than French (Bonfait, Poussin et Louis XIV, 31). According to Sandrart, he liked the company of Italians and Flemings better than that of his own countrymen (Sandrart, Teutsche Academie, vol. 2, book 3, p. 367: http://ta.sandrart.net/-text-597).

  29. 29. Lairesse, Groot Schilderboek, 1:125, 138, and 419 (twice with Raphael, Carracci, Domenichino and Poussin, and once with Raphael, Correggio and Poussin).

  30. 30. Lairesse, Groot Schilderboek, 2:81. Mai claimed that Le Brun figured as important example in the Groot Schilderboek, but that is highly exaggerated (Mai, “De Lairesse,” 161, without any references). Mai even asserts that Lairesse mentions Le Sueur and Bourdon (Mai, “De Lairesse,” 169).

  31. 31. Lairesse, Groot Schilderboek, 2:153 and 377. He certainly knew prints after Vouet at an early stage, as his etching of the Death of Dido of 1668 attests (see below, note 126). He also mentions that Vouet was renowned for painting reflections (1:264).

  32. 32. Lairesse, Groot Schilderboek, 1:17.

  33. 33. For Lairesse’s knowledge of Charles-Alphonse Du Fresnoy’s text when writing his Teekenkonst, see Timmers, Gérard Lairesse, 46–50. This volume had appeared in a French translation in 1668; the original Latin version was written in Italy around 1640, at the time that Flémal was also there. Lairesse records that he read Abraham Bosse’s Peintre converty (published in 1667), Lairesse, Groot Schilderboek, 1:17. About Nil Volentibus Arduum, see below, note 80.

  34. 34. About Lairesse’s sources, see De Vries, How to Create Beauty, chapt. 3; see also Lyckle de Vries, Artist between Stage and Studio, part 2, chapt. 1.

  35. 35. To this can be added, as Arno Dolders rightly remarked, that Lairesse’s Groot Schilderboek is solidly situated within the tradition of Dutch art literature of Van Mander, Van Hoogstraten and Goeree (Dolders, “Some Remarks,” 200–202). See also Hessel Miedema, Theorie en praktijk: Teksten over schilderkunst in de Gouden Eeuw van de de Noordelijke Nederlanden (Hilversum: Verloren, 2017), 12–128.

  36. 36. Also see de Vries, How to Create Beauty, 20: “there is no notable change or development in his oeuvre that can be assigned to increasing influence of classicist theories.”

  37. 37. Houbraken, Groote Schouburgh, 3:107.

  38. 38. See below, note 67.

  39. 39. For Pietro Testa, see Elizabeth Cropper, Pietro Testa 1612–1630: Prints and Drawings (Philadelphia: Aldershot, 1988).

  40. 40. See Abry’s biography of Renier de Lairesse, quoted in Roy, Gérard de Lairesse, 172.

  41. 41. See Abry’s biography of Gerard de Lairesse, quoted in Roy, Gérard de Lairesse, 175.

  42. 42. See the French translation of Sandrart’s Latin biography, quoted in Roy, Gérard de Lairesse, 169.

  43. 43. Sandrart, Teutsche Academie, 3:83: http://ta.sandrart.net/-text-1099.

  44. 44. Johan van Gool, De nieuwe schouburg der Nederlantsche kunstschilders en schilderessen (The Hague: Johan van Gool, 1750–51), 1:155–56.

  45. 45. Lyckle de Vries described Lairesse’s art within the context of a tradition of classicism in the north, beginning with Maerten de Vos (De Vries, Gerard de Lairesse, part 1). Remarkably, he ignores Lombard completely, considering his oeuvre “too small and inconsistent to serve as stylistic example for later classicists” (De Vries, Gerard de Lairesse, 17n38). He does mention the importance of his ideas, referring to Müller Hofstede (below notes 56 and 57). Pierre-Yves Kairis already noted that De Vries unjustly minimalizes the importance of Lombard (Pierre-Yves Kairis, “De Luikse schilders in de voetsporen van Lambert Lombard,” in Lambert Lombard: Renaissanceschilder Luik 1505/6–1566, ed. Godelieve Denhaene [Brussels: Koninklijk Instituut voor het Kunstpatrimonium, 2006], 315–26, 326n 49).

  46. 46. Lairesse, Groot Schilderboek, 1:137.

  47. 47. Arno Dolders, “Some Remarks, ” 214: “Elsewhere the distinction goes no further than the obvious contrast between art in ancient times and the products of contemporary artists.”

  48. 48. Lairesse, Groot Schilderboek, 1:175.

  49. 49. Lairesse, Groot Schilderboek, 1:172.

  50. 50. Gerard de Lairesse, Grondlegginge der Teekenkonst (Amsterdam: Willem de Coup, 1701), 47: “Wy moeten het Antik aanmerken, als een Boek diemen in een anderen taal overzet, in de welke voor al de regte zin, des Schrijvers moet zoeken gehouden te worden, en een vloeijende stijl in te brengen, zonder hem slaafachtig aan de woorden te binden.”  

  51. 51. Karel van Mander, Het Leven der Doorluchtighe Nederlantsche en Hoogduytsche Schilders, in Het Schilder-Boeck, by Van Mander (Haarlem: Passchier van Wesbusch, 1603–4), fol. 220r: “een Vader van onse Teycken en Schilder-const gheworden, die de rouw en plompe Barbarische wijse wech genomen, en de rechte schoon Antijcksche in de plaetse opgerecht, en tevoorschijn gebracht heeft: waerom hy niet weynigh dank en roem verdiende.”

  52. 52. Van Mander records that Lombard was even able to discern in which time and place antiquities had been made. Before he visited Rome to study antiquity, he had investigated antique sculpture that had been made in Germany and France during the period that the art in Rome had been declining.

  53. 53. Karel van Mander, Het Leven der Doorluchtighe Nederlantsche en Hoogduytsche Schilders, fol. 220v: “in t’ stelsel der beelden, ordineren der Historien, en uytbeeldinghen der affecten, en ander omstandicheden” and “dat Lambert wel mach gherekent worden onder de beste Nederlandtsche Schilders, des voorleden en teghenwoordigen tijts.”

  54. 54. Jochen Becker, “Zur niederländischen Kunstliteratur des 16. Jahrhunderts: Domenicus Lampsonius,” Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek 24 (1973): 46.

  55. 55. On the art theory of Lampsonius and Lombard, see the important article by Jochen Becker: Becker, “Lampsonius,” passim.

  56. 56. Justus Müller Hofstede, “Rubens und die nierländische Italienfahrt: Die humanistische Tradition,” in Rubens in Italien: Gemälde, Ölskizzen, Zeichnungen, exh. cat., ed. Justus Müller Hofstede (Cologne: Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, 1977), 23: “Rubens’s artistic, diplomatic, antiquarian and humanist achievements.” Rubens’s thorough knowledge of Lampsonius’s text is evident from the fact that in his own little treatise, De imitatione statuarum, Rubens takes over, in almost the same wording, the notion that paintings making use of antique sculpture should not look like colored sculptures but rather living people (Müller Hofstede, “Rubens und die nierländische Italienfahrt,” 24).

  57. 57. Müller Hofstede, “Rubens und die nierländische Italienfahrt,” 25.

  58. 58. Lampsonius himself called it “canones artes,” the rules of art (Miedema, Theorie en praktijk, 32).

  59. 59. Becker, “Lampsonius,”47.

  60. 60. See J. A. Emmens, Rembrandt en de regels van de kunst, vol. 2, Verzameld Werk (Amsterdam: Van Oorschot, 1979), chapt. 2. Emmens’s study (originally his dissertation of 1967), which was extremely influential for art historical views on Dutch art theory, ignored Netherlandish art theory published in Latin, omitting both Lampsonius and Vossius. The only related work that he cites is Junius’s treatise (also published in English and Dutch versions), which he maintained was virtually unknown until the French art theorists and Goeree made use of it. For an entirely different view, see Weststeijn, Art and Antiquity.  

  61. 61. Becker, “Lampsonius,” 49 and n. 44. Also Müller Hofstede, “Rubens und die nierländische Italienfahrt,” 22–23. Becker notes the difference between Lombard’s academy and that in Haarlem around Van Mander: Lombard’s academy had a much stronger relation to the literary world, and therefore, to liberal arts and philology, based on the Italian academic concept (Becker, “Lampsonius,” 49).

  62. 62. Kairis, “Luikse schilders,” 320–21. According to Kairis, Abry was the first who used the word academie for Lombard’s teachings, while Lampsonius only used schola. See, however, Becker, “Lampsonius,” n. 44.

  63. 63. Becker, “Lampsonius,” 49. For the great contrast with the situation in Paris, see above, note 18 and 19.

  64. 64. Kairis, “Luikse schilders,” 323.

  65. 65. See Lairesse, Groot Schilderboek, 2:77; Sandrart’s biography, Sandrart, Teutsche Academie, part 2, book 3, p. 361 (http://ta.sandrart.net/-text-591). Timmers, Gérard Lairesse, 6 and 86; Kairis, “Luikse schilders,” 325.

  66. 66. Pierre-Yves Kairis, Bertholet Flémal (1614–1675): Le “Raphaël des Pays-Bas” au carrefour de Liège et de Paris (Paris: Arthena, 2015), 47. There are, however, no documents about Flémal’s contacts with other artists in Italy (Kairis, Bertholet Flémal, 46).

  67. 67. Houbraken, Groote Schouburgh, 3:107 records this explicitly: “Daar benevens heeft hy de printkonst van Pietro Test al vroeg, eer de zelve by andren in Nederland gezien waren, getekent, en inzonderheid in zyne wyze van teekenen zig daar van bedient, als klaarlyk in zyne eerste teekeningen te bespeuren is.”

  68. 68. Mérot, French Painting, 124.

  69. 69. Kairis, Bertholet Flémal, 44–52; Mérot, French Painting, 133–46.  

  70. 70. See Roy, Gérard de Lairesse, 59. Etching, 39.3 x 52 cm (signed: R. Lairesse le Père pinxit/M.Pool sculp. Et excud Amsterlod.). This print must have been published in the last years of the seventeenth or the first years of the early eighteenth century. The painting itself was mentioned by Abry and Sandrart. One wonders if it, or a copy or oil sketch, remained in Gerard’s possession.

  71. 71. See above, note 60.

  72. 72. On Vossius’s treatise, see Weststeijn, Art and Antiquity, chapt. 4, 195–242). An English translation of the main topics of Vossius’s text is included in Weststeijn’s volume, 315–26.

  73. 73. Weststeijn, Art and Antiquity, 204.

  74. 74. Weststeijn, Art and Antiquity, 197–201 and 235–41 (quote on 236).

  75. 75. Becker,”Lampsonius,” 49. See also Weststeijn, Art and Antiquity, 227–35.

  76. 76. Weststeijn, Art and Antiquity, 324.

  77. 77. Weststeijn, Art and Antiquity, 234.

  78. 78. No paintings by Lombard would have been known to them, which makes the fame of this Liège painter of the same generation as the renowned Jan van Scorel and Maaten van Heemskerck, all the more intriguing.

  79. 79. Houbraken, Groote Schouburgh, 3:110–11.  

  80. 80. See Andries Pels, Gebruik én misbruik des toneels, ed. M. A. Schenkeveld-Van der Dussen (Culemborg: Tjeenk Willink/Noorduijn, 1978). About Lairesse and Nil Volentibus Arduum, see De Vries, Gerard de Lairesse, part 2, chapt. 3. About Nil Volentibus Arduum in general, see, among others, Mieke Smits-Veldt, Het Nederlandse renaissancetoneel (Utrecht: H&S Uitgevers, 1991), 118–21; and Tanja Holzhey, “‘Als gy maar schérp wordt, zo zyn wy, én gy voldaan.’: Rationalistische ideeën van het kunstgenootschap Nil Volentibus Arduum 1669–1680” (PhD diss., University of Amsterdam, 2014).

  81. 81. According to Mai, “De Lairesse,” 169, it is evident that Lairesse applied French art theory, such as the Entretiens from the Paris Academy under Le Brun, Poussin’s modi, and the summaries of Testelin and Félibien. Tellingly, Mai came to this conclusion using the late eighteenth-century translation of Lairesse’s Groot Schilderboek (see above, note 8). He is right, however, in emphasizing (though not fleshing out) the importance of Lairesse’s Liège background.

  82. 82. “Ik zag daar onder anderen een stukje van G. Laires, gewisselijk geschildert in zijn eerste tijd van welke sommige met weinig lof spreken. Ik zag daarin zulken deftigheid der actien en kleedingen dat ik oordeelde ’t zelfde groote gemeenschap met het werk van Poussin te hebben. ’t Was daar Mercurius Herse ziet wanneer dezelfde neffens ander gezelschap van Juffrouwen den Tempel gaat bezoeken.” Quoted by Kemmer, “Bespreking van Alain Roy,” 192, from V. de la Montagne, “Philips Tideman en Gerard de Lairesse,” Amsterdams Jaarboekje (1900): 17–28, esp. 22. The fact that in the late eighteenth century, when it was engraved in the Galerie of J. B. Lebrun, the painting was thought to be a work by Bertholet Flémal demonstrates a perceived affinity with Flémal’s style, even though no such compositions by the latter are known.

  83. 83. “Den tempel was daarin vrij kloek verbeeld in geheel licht en wit, ’t welk indien ik ’t zo had zullen maken zoude hebben gemeent dat zulk licht de beelden zoude bederven.” He adds: “maar ik zag hier dat ’t zelve met de beelden een schoone verligt partij voortbragte en dat het licht zo aangenaam voor den mans onze konstukken een zonderlinge bevalligheid toenbrengt.” (Instead I saw that, in combination with those figures, it created a beautifully lit passage, and that the light that is so pleasing to mankind gives our painting a rare charm).

  84. 84. See Eric Jan Sluijter, De ‘heydensche fabulen’ in de schilderkunst van de Gouden Eeuw: Verhalen uit de klassieke mythologie in de Noordelijke Nederlanden, circa 1590–1670 (Leiden: Primavera Press, 2000), 45. The basic schemes of these illustrations were created by Bernard Salomon in 1557 and repeated with minor variations by Virgil Solis, Pieter van der Borcht, Antonio Tempesta, and Chrispin de Passe I.

  85. 85. This print by Wenzel Hollar (Keith Andrews, Adam Elsheimer: Paintings, drawing, prints (Oxford: Phaidon, 1977), no. A 19) was also the source for painters such as Jacob Pynas, Cornelis van Poelenburch, Claes Moyaert, and others. The basic scheme had been established by Bernard Salomon in his Metamophoses illustrations of 1557. The print after Goltzius by an anonymous engraver is from the first series engraved in 1590 (no. 17). On this series, see Eric Jan Sluijter, Seductress of Sight: Studies in Dutch Art of the Golden Age (Zwolle: Waanders, 2000), chapt. 2. Later he would fulminate against artists who only used illustrations and did not read the original text (Lairesse, Grooot Schilderboek, 1:50, 123, and 124. Sluijter, De ‘heydensche fabulen,’” 97–98). This is precisely what he did in this painting, however, by showing the girls going to, instead of returning from, the temple: Metamorphoses, II, verses 708–29 (Loeb edition, 110–11): “That day chanced to be a festival of Pallas when young maidens bore to their goddess’ temple mystic gifts in flower wreathed baskets on their heads. The winged god saw them as they were returning home and directed his way towards them, not straight down but sweeping in such a curve . . . he circles around in the air and on his flapping wings greedily hovers over his hoped-for prey.”

  86. 86. See Cropper, Pietro Testa, xiv-xv, figs. 1a and 1b (probably engraved by Reinier Persijn). See also Lambert Lombard: Renaissanceschilder Luik 1505/6–1566 (note 45 above), 412, cat. 60, ill. 369 (formerly attributed to Cornelis Cort).

  87. 87. Interestingly, though the motif of Mercury pointing seems to derive from Goltzius, the addition of the large mantle, the exposed breast, and the supporting cupid recall Michelangelo’s God the Father in the Creation of Adam (Sistine Ceiling).

  88. 88. Lairesse, Groot Schilderboek, 1:50–51. He starts by saying that most painters misuse prints, just taking pieces and fragments (stukken en brokken). He recommends that one first sketch his own invention, and then study prints to see how great masters have thought about the same issues. And if one finds useful motifs in these prints, they should then be studied in real life.

  89. 89. About this composition, Lairesse himself wrote that he made mistakes in this early version and would later produce a much better interpretation (Lairesse, Groot Schilderboek, 1:66). The second version, Lairesse writes, is in the house of burgomaster Witsen. This cannot be the work cited in Roy, Gérard de Lairesse, cat. P. 189 (dated 1687), as Roy assumed, because that painting does not represent Alexander and Roxanne, but some Allegory of Government, with putti handing a scepter and fasces to a woman seated on a throne. Also not very likely is cat. P. 132, which does represent Alexander and Roxanne but does not follow Lucianus’s ekphrasis, as it leaves out the putti playing with Alexander’s armor. It does, however, show Hymen with a torch and a thin golden crown. I am not sure, however, that this is indeed a work by Lairesse; apart from that, it seems to me a portrait historié.

  90. 90. It is doubtful, however, whether Lairesse was acquainted with Lucianus’s text itself: the motifs that he used seem to be an original elaboration on elements in Raphael’s invention and on those in Sodoma’s work (which he must have known through an oral or written description). Other motifs mentioned by Lucianus are lacking, such as the cupid dragging Alexander by the mantle towards Roxanne, Hephaestion holding a blazing torch, and the garland in Alexander’s hand (which becomes a crown in the interpretations by Raphael and Sodoma). Lairesse has Hymenaeus, the figure who accompanies Alexander, hold a thin golden fillet in his hand. He likely would have added those elements (and he might have done so in his later, “corrected” version) if he had read the ekphrasis.

  91. 91. He might have seen a drawing of a Roman sarcophagus relief with The Raising of a Herm of Dionysus (Princeton University Art Museum), from which Rubens obviously appropriated several motifs of pushing and pulling (see John Rupert Martin, Rubens: The Antwerp Altarpieces; The Raising of the Cross and the Descent from the Cross [London: Thames & Hudson, 1969], fig. 34). Lairesse would also have known the print by Jan Witdoeck, dated 1638, after Rubens’s Raising of the Cross.

  92. 92. See Sluijter, De ‘heydensche fabulen,’” 33, fig. 15 (anonymous, after Hendrick Goltzius, first Metamorphoses series, 1590, no. 19). The Venus and Mars of 1588 was engraved by Goltzius himself, after Bartholomeus Spranger.

  93. 93. See Kairis, Bertholet Flémal, cat. P. 38; see also nos. P. 2 and P. 14. Lairesse brilliantly emulated Flémal’s painting in 1674 (Cologne, Wallraf-Richarz-Museum). See Eddy Schavemaker, “De verdrijving van Heliodorus: verheffende vertelkunst in optima forma,” in Eindelijk! De Lairesse: Klassieke schoonheid in de Gouden Eeuw, exh. cat., ed. Josien Beltman, Paul Knolle, and Quirine van der Meer Mohr (Enschede: Rijksmuseum Twenthe/Zwolle: Waanders, 2016), 64–67. The depiction of huge columns dominating the right part of the painting might have been inspired by a sketch of, or a conversation about, Sodoma’s painting.

  94. 94. For example Kairis, Bertholet Flémal, cats. P. 2 and P. 22.

  95. 95. Roy, Gérard de Lairesse, cat. P. 27.

  96. 96. See Eric Jan Sluijter, “Artistieke integratie van een jonge immigrant: Gerard de Lairesses vroege Amsterdamse werk,” in Eindelijk! De Lairesse (see note 97 above), 42–45.  

  97. 97. See Sluijter, “Artistieke integratie,” 39–42.

  98. 98. Roy, Gérard de Lairesse, cat. P.15; for the strings of climbing, falling, and flying cupids, see Cropper, Pietro Testa, cats. 11, 12, and 14.

  99. 99. Lairesse’s painting has always been called Allegory of the Peace of Breda, because of its date of 1667. It is not impossible that it refers to this important peace treaty, which was very profitable for Dutch commerce. However, nothing points specifically to this peace treaty. Even the personification of peace is missing. The allegory is more generally about abundance attained by the industrious use of nature.  

  100. 100. Cropper, Pietro Testa, cat. 36 (Allegory in the Honor of the Arrival of Cardinal Franciotti as Bishop of Lucca).

  101. 101. Cesare Ripa, Iconologia of Uytbeeldinghe des Verstandts, ed. Dirck Pietersz Pers, (Amsterdam: Dirck Pietersz Pers, 1644), 347.

  102. 102. Lairesse, Groot Schilderboek, 1:6.  

  103. 103. About the history paintings of the late Flinck and Bol, see Eric Jan Sluijter, “Out of Rembrandt’s Shadow: Flinck and Bol as History Painters,” in Ferdinand Bol and Govert Flinck: Rembrandt’s Master Pupils, exh. cat., ed. Norbert Middelkoop (Amsterdam: Amsterdam Museum and Museum Het Rembrandthuis/Zwolle: W-Books, 2017), 106–31. For Bol’s Venus, see fig. 13 in this essay.

  104. 104. On Duquesnoy and the Greek ideal, see Estelle Lingo, Francois Duquesnoy and the Greek Ideal (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2007); about “Greek” putti, 42–63. About the importance of the “Greek” style in Poussin’s circle, see Charles Dempsey, “The Greek Style and the Prehistory of Neoclassicism,” in Pietro Testa 1612–1630: Prints and Drawings, by Elizabeth Cropper (Philadelphia: Aldershot, 1988), xxxvii–lxv. Later Lairesse recommends the example of Duquesnoy: Schilderboek, 1:59.

  105. 105. About the ensemble of paintings of which the Venus and Aeneas was a part, see Margriet van Eikema Hommes, Art and Allegiance in the Dutch Golden Age: The Ambitions of a Wealthy Widow in a Painted Chamber by Ferdinand Bol (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2012). This painting was originally ca. 260 x 280 cm, before it was enlarged twice and became finally 400 x 407 cm.

  106. 106. About this print, see Cropper, Pietro Testa, cat. 59. Bol must have known this print too, as the position of Venus on her chariot and the Cupid holding weapons demonstrate.

  107. 107. Wildenstein dates the print to the “third quarter of the 17th century” (Georges Wildenstein, “Les Graveurs de Poussin au XVIIe siècle,” Gazette des Beaux-Arts 46 [1955]: cat. 124). Lairesse’s painting is dated 1668, which means that the print would be an early work by Alexis Loir. The painting by Poussin was made for Jacques Stella (Mérot, Poussin, 84–86 and cat. 165).

  108. 108. Cropper, Pietro Testa, cat. 61.

  109. 109. In the Groot Schilderboek (1:332) Lairesse writes that he made a mistake by painting Aeneas with a Greek helmet. It should have been a Roman helmet because Aeneas had arrived in Italy (!). He points out that the esteemed Testa and Poussin made the same kind of mistakes (referring to Testa’s Achilles with a Roman helmet, and Pousin’s Germanicus with both Roman and Greek helmets), but this should never be an excuse, he maintains.

  110. 110. Bol even used the type of shield that Rembrandt already used in his Leiden period (The Leiden History Painting, 1626, Leiden, Museum De Lakenhal) and which we also know from paintings of his pupils.  

  111. 111. About these terms, see the excellent discussion by Lyckle de Vries (De Vries, “Gerard Lairesse: The Critical Vocabulary of an Art Theorist,” Oud Holland 117 [2004]: 79–98 https://doi.org/10.2307/751425; see also De Vries, How to Create Beauty, esp. 127–37). The concept of harmony (of the entire composition), houding and koppeling, in particular, must have been in use among Dutch painters for some time, but they were not current concepts among Italian painters. According to Puttfarken, Van Mander was the first to discuss notions of the harmony of a composition as a whole, something that must have been in accordance with the practices of northern artists but was alien to Italian art; see Puttfarken, Discovery, chapt. 7. Sandrart’s beautiful description of houding as a Dutch specialty, naming Rembrandt and Van Laer as the greatest in this field, makes clear that he was recording what he learned between 1637 and 1645 while living in Amsterdam (Sandrart, Teutsche Academie, part 1, book 3, p. 327: http:/ta.sandrart.net/-text-172); see also Eric Jan Sluijter, Rembrandt’s Rivals: History Painting in Amsterdam 1630–1650 (Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2015), 61. About houding, see the groundbreaking study by Paul Taylor, “The Concept of Houding in Dutch Art Theory,” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 55 (1992): 210–32 https://doi.org/10.2307/751425. Koppeling was used by Van Hoogstraten and must already have been in use in, at least, Rembrandt’s studio (Van Hoogstraten, Inleiding, 192–93; also see Sluijter, Rembrandt’s Rivals, 45–46).

  112. 112. See also the description of the characteristics of Flémal’s style by Pierre-Ives Kairis: Kairis, Flémal, 61–70, as well as in the introduction to this volume by Alain Mérot (p. 7).  

  113. 113. Timmers, Lairesse, cat. 9. The painting recently surfaced in the collection of the Cartwright Hall Art Gallery in Bradford (England), where it had been described as an anonymous French painting. See François Marandet, “‘The Anointing of Solomon’ by Gerard de Lairesse Discovered in the Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, Bradford,” Burlington Magazine 158 (February 2016): 101–2.

  114. 114. The pineapple cone, symbol of the prince-bishopric of Liège, is represented three times in the painting: as a dark silhouette on the balustrade in the foreground (this balustrade more would have been visible in the painting’s original format), on the pedestal above the heads of the main group (only the lower part of it is left), and on the roof of the building on the right.

  115. 115. Denhaene, ed., Lambert Lombard, 461–62, cat. 100. Lairesse would have known this print. Lairesse’s central group, albeit seen from below and clustered together, even shows some affinities with Lombard’s group in the center.

  116. 116. Denhaene, ed., Lambert Lombard, 319, fig. 273. The painting is still in the cathedral of Hasselt.

  117. 117. Roy, Lairesse, cat. P 8. Roy dates this painting very early (ca. 1663) and it was also presented as an early work in the Lairesse exhibition in Enschede (Eindelijk! De Lairesse, ed. Beltman, Knolle, and Van der Meer Mohr et al., C5). I would date this painting to his early Amsterdam period.

  118. 118. For example, in several paintings of his cycle of the Batavian Revolt (Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum), Otto van Veen used this compositional device: Brinio Raised on the Shield, The Beheading of Julius Paulus, and The Peace Negotiations between Claudius Civilis and Cerealis

  119. 119. In the latter painting the reference to Lombard’s use of intricately constructed architecture “all antica” is also striking (see the essay by Schillemans in this volume). Compare the rather unlikely combination of a half-circular apse next to a coffered barrel vault resting on pilasters (each of which can be traced back to Roman examples: see Denhaene, ed., Lambert Lombard,499) in St. Dionysius before Fescennius, one of the predella paintings from the Saint Dionysius altarpiece, originally in the St. Dionysius church in Liège, attributed to Lambert Lombard and studio (Denhaene, ed., Lambert Lombard, 127–30 and 489–512). This was undoubtedly one of the altarpieces in the churches of Liège that Lairesse studied carefully at an early age, as Sandrart emphasized (see above note 42).

  120. 120. See above, note 90.

  121. 121. Timmers, Lairesse, cats. 61–64. Many elements of The Death of Dido recall Michel Dorigny’s prints after Simon Vouet. Ferdinand Bol also painted a Death of Dido in 1668–69, which, as Ilona van Tuinen demonstrated, clearly refers to Pels’s drama. Lairesse and Bol would have known each other through Pels (see Ilona van Tuinen, “The Tragic Gaze: Ferdinand Bol, The Death of Dido and Late Seventeenth-century Theatre,” in Ferdinand Bol and Govert Flinck: New Research, ed. Stephanie Dickey (Zwolle: W-Books, 2017), 98–113).

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Sluijter, Eric Jan. De ‘heydensche fabulen’ in de schilderkunst van de Gouden Eeuw: Schilderijen met verhalende onderwerpen uit de klassieke mythologie in de Noordelijke Nederlanden, circa 1590–1670. Leiden: Primavera Pers, 2000.

Sluijter, Eric Jan. “Out of Rembrandt’s Shadow: Flinck and Bol as History Painters.” In Ferdinand Bol and Govert Flinck: Rembrandt’s Master Pupils, exh. cat., edited by Norbert Middelkoop, 106–31. Amsterdam: Amsterdam Museum and Museum Het Rembrandthuis/Zwolle: W-Books, 2017.

Sluijter, Eric Jan. Rembrandt’s Rivals: History Painting in Amsterdam 1630–1650. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2015.

Sluijter, Eric Jan. Seductress of Sight: Studies in Dutch Art of the Golden Age. Zwolle: Waanders, 2000.

Smits-Veldt, Mieke. Het Nederlandse renaissancetoneel. Utrecht: H&S Uitgevers, 1991.

Snoep, Derk P. “Gerard Lairesse als plafond- en kamerschilder.” Bulletin van het Rijksmuseum 18, no. 4 (1970): 159–220.

Taylor, Paul. “The Concept of Houding in Dutch Art Theory.” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 55 (1992): 210–32. https://doi.org/10.2307/751425

Timmers, J. J. M. Gérard Lairesse, Amsterdam: H. J. Paris, 1942.

Tuinen, Ilona van. “The Tragic Gaze: Ferdinand Bol, The Death of Dido and Late Seventeenth-century Theatre.” In Ferdinand Bol and Govert Flinck: New Research, edited by Stephanie Dickey, 98–113. Zwolle: W-Books, 2017.

Vander Ploeg Fallon, Melinda K. “Gerard de Lairesse (1640–1711) and the Audience for the ‘Antyk.’” PhD diss., University of Delaware, 2001.

Vossius, Gerardus. The Art of Painting (De gaphice, sive de arte pingendi) Amsterdam, 1650. Translation of main parts by Thijs Weststeijn in Art and Antiquity in the Netherlands and Britain: The Vernacular Arcadia of Franciscus Junius (1591–1677), 315–26. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2015.

Vries, Lyckle de. How to Create Beauty: De Lairesse on the Theory and Practice of Making Art. Leiden: Primavera Press, 2011.

Vries, Lyckle de. Gerard de Lairesse: An Artist between Stage and Studio. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 1998.

Vries, Lyckle de. “Gerard Lairesse: The Critical Vocabulary of an Art Theorist.” Oud Holland 117 (2004): 79–98. https://doi.org/10.1163/187501704×00296

Vries, Lyckle de. Review of Gérard de Lairesse (1640-1711) by Alain Roy (Paris: Arthena, 1992). Oud Holland 109 (1995) :113–14.

Weststeijn, Thijs. Art and Antiquity in the Netherlands and Britain: The Vernacular Arcadia of Franciscus Junius (1591–1677). Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2015.

Wildenstein, Georges. “Les Graveurs de Poussin au XVIIe siècle.” Gazette des Beaux-Arts 46 (1955): 81–371.

List of Illustrations

Gerard de Lairesse,  Mercury Seeing Herse,  ca. 1662,  Riga, The Latvian Museum of Foreign Art
Fig. 1 Gerard de Lairesse, Mercury Seeing Herse, ca. 1662, oil on canvas, 53 x 69 cm (originally about 66 x 80 cm). Riga, The Latvian Museum of Foreign Art, inv. 172 (artwork in the public domain) [side-by-side viewer]
Bertholet Flénal,  The Illness and Healing of Ezekias, 1651,  Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Museum of Art
Fig. 2 Bertholet Flémal, The Illness and Healing of Ezekias, 1651, oil on canvas, 93 x 133 cm. Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Museum of Art, inv. no. 1973-SL-1.708 (artwork in the public domain) [side-by-side viewer]
Wenzel Hollar, after Adam Elsheimer;  Mercury Seeing Herse
Fig. 3 Wenzel Hollar, after Adam Elsheimer, Mercury Seeing Herse, etching, 8.4 x 4.0 cm [side-by-side viewer]
Anonymous, after Hendrick Goltzius,  Mercury Seeing Herse, 1589,
Fig. 4 Anonymous, after Hendrick Goltzius, Mercury Seeing Herse, 1589, engraving, 17.4 x 25.5 cm [side-by-side viewer]
Gerard de Lairesse,  The Marriage of Alexander and Roxane, 1664,  Copenhagen, Statens Museum
Fig. 5 Gerard de Lairesse, The Marriage of Alexander and Roxane, 1664, oil on canvas 77 x 89.5 cm. Copenhagen, Statens Museum, inv. KMS sp306 (artwork in the public domain) [side-by-side viewer]
Jacopo Caraglio, after Raphael,  The Marriage of Alexander and Roxane,  ca. 1525–35,
Fig. 6 Jacopo Caraglio, after Raphael, The Marriage of Alexander and Roxane, ca. 1525–35, engraving, 21.9 x 31.2 cm [side-by-side viewer]
Sodoma,  The Marriage of Alexander and Roxane,  ca. 1517,  Rome, Palazzo Farnesina
Fig. 7 Sodoma, The Marriage of Alexander and Roxane, ca. 1517, fresco, 370 x 660 cm. Rome, Palazzo Farnesina [side-by-side viewer]
Anonymous, after Hendrick Goltziuis,  Mercury Visits Herse’s Bedroom, 1589,
Fig. 8 Anonymous, after Hendrick Goltziuis, Mercury Visits Herse’s Bedroom, 1589, engraving, 17.6 x 25.5 cm [side-by-side viewer]
Hendrick Goltzius, after Bartholomeus Spranger,  Mars and Venus, 1588,
Fig. 9 Hendrick Goltzius, after Bartholomeus Spranger, Mars and Venus, 1588, engraving, 44.3 x 33.1 cm [side-by-side viewer]
Bertholet Flémal,  Heliodorus Chased from the Temple,  ca. 1655–60, Brussels, Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique
Fig. 10 Bertholet Flémal, Heliodorus Chased from the Temple, ca. 1655–60, oil on canvas, 146 x 174 cm. Brussels, Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, inv. 1299 (artwork in the public domain) [side-by-side viewer]
Gerard de Lairesse,  Minerva and Mercury Arming Perseus,  ca. 1666,  Leipzig, Museum für Bildenden Künste
Fig. 11 Gerard de Lairesse, Minerva and Mercury Arming Perseus, ca. 1666, oil on canvas, 111 x 139 cm. Leipzig, Museum für Bildenden Künste, inv. G 1631 (artwork in the public domain) [side-by-side viewer]
Jan Muller, after Bartholomeus Spranger;  Minerva and Mercury Arming Perseus
Fig. 12 Jan Muller, after Bartholomeus Spranger, Minerva and Mercury Arming Perseus, engraving, 56.6 x 40.1 cm [side-by-side viewer]
Ferdinand Bol, Venus Giving Armor to Aeneas, ca. 1660–63
Fig. 13 Ferdinand Bol, Venus Giving Armor to Aeneas, ca. 1660–63, oil on canvas, 408 x 413 cm. The Hague, Vredespaleis (on loan from the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, inv. A 1576) (artwork in the public domain) [side-by-side viewer]
Gerard de Lairesse, Venus Giving Armor to Aeneas, 1668
Fig. 14 Gerard de Lairesse, Venus Giving Armor to Aeneas, 1668, oil on canvas, 162 x 166 cm. Antwerp, Museum Mayer van den Bergh, inv. MMB.0097 (artwork in the public domain) [side-by-side viewer]
Gerard de Lairesse, 1667, Allegory of Abundance (? Allegory of the Blessings of the Peace of Breda)
Fig. 15 Gerard de Lairesse, 1667, Allegory of Abundance (? Allegory of the Blessings of the Peace of Breda), oil on canvas, 150 x 135 cm. The Hague, Haags Historisch Museum, inv. 13-1870 (artwork in the public domain) [side-by-side viewer]
Pietro Testa, Allegory in the Honor of the Arrival of Cardinal Franciotti as Bishop of Lucca, 1637
Fig. 16 Pietro Testa, Allegory in the Honor of the Arrival of Cardinal Franciotti as Bishop of Lucca, 1637, etching, 37.9 x 30.3 cm [side-by-side viewer]
Pietro Testa,  Venus Giving Armor to Aeneas,  ca. 1640,
Fig. 17 Pietro Testa, Venus Giving Armor to Aeneas, ca. 1640, etching, 36.2 x 40.4 cm [side-by-side viewer]
Nicolas Poussin,  Venus Giving Armor to Aeneas, 1639,  Rouen, Musée des Beaux Arts
Fig. 18 Nicolas Poussin, Venus Giving Armor to Aeneas, 1639, oil on canvas 107 x 146 cm. Rouen, Musée des Beaux Arts, inv. 866.1 (artwork in the public domain) [side-by-side viewer]
Gerard de Lairesse, The Anointing of Salomon, probably 1668, Bradford, England, Cartwright Hall
Fig. 19 Gerard de Lairesse, The Anointing of Salomon, probably 1668, oil on canvas 130 x 200 cm. Bradford, England, Cartwright Hall (artwork in the public domain) [side-by-side viewer]
Gerard de Lairesse, The Anointing of Salomon,
Fig. 20 Gerard de Lairesse, The Anointing of Salomon, 1668, etching, 39 x 52 cm [side-by-side viewer]
Anonymous, after Lambert Lombard (published by Hieronymus Cock), Pedilavium, ca. 1557,
Fig. 21 Anonymous, after Lambert Lombard (published by Hieronymus Cock), Pedilavium, ca. 1557, engraving, 35.2 x 36.1 cm [side-by-side viewer]

Footnotes

  1. 1. This occurred at first among non-Dutch authors writing on Dutch art in particular. For a good survey of this phenomenon from Hegel, Blanc, Bode and Fromentin through authors in the 1980s, see Melinda K. Vander Ploeg Fallon, “Gerard de Lairesse (1640–1711) and the Audience for the ‘Antyk’” (PhD diss., University of Delaware, 2001), 42–62. As she rightly notes (p. 56), this argument was still used in the Marxist art history of Hauser in the early 1950s and Larssen in the late 1970s, respectively.

  2. 2. In W. Martin’s valuable survey, Lairesse represented “the dictatorship of the French taste” (W. Martin, De Hollandsche Schilderkunst in de zeventiende eeuw, vol. 2, Rembrandt en zijn tijd [Amsterdam: Meulenhoff, 1936], 475). Seymour Slive is more objective about Lairesse’s classicism and his following of the “set of rules, laid down by seventeenth-century French academic artists and theorists” (Seymour Slive, Dutch Painting 1600–1800 [New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1995], 301). In Bob Haak, The Golden Age: Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century (New York: Abrams, 1984), 502, we find the rather peculiar statement that Lairesse changed his style drastically in Amsterdam when he came into contact with French classicist ideas.

  3. 3. Rudi Fuchs, Schilderen in Nederland. De geschiedenis van 1000 jaar kunst (Amsterdam: Prometheus, 2003), 77. This is a second, revised edition of his Dutch Painting (Thames and Hudson, The World of Art Library) of 1978. Though the text on Lairesse had grown in length since the first edition, no revisions were made to this assessment of Lairesse.

  4. 4. For example J. J. M. Timmers, Gérard Lairesse (Amsterdam: H. J. Paris, 1942); Derk P. Snoep, “Gerard Lairesse als plafond- en kamerschilder,” Bulletin van het Rijksmuseum 18, no. 4 (1970): 159–220; Arno Dolders, “Some Remarks on Lairesse’s Groot Schilderboek,” Simiolus 15 (1985): 197–220 https://doi.org/10.2307/3780693; Lyckle de Vries, Gerard de Lairesse. An Artist between Stage and Studio (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 1998) (in which, in part I, De Vries extensively describes a tradition of northern classicism, from Maarten de Vos up to Van Everdingen, Bol, Flinck, and finally Lairesse).

  5. 5. Vander Ploeg Fallon, “Gerard de Lairesse” (this dissertation was written under supervision of H. Perry Chapman). Regrettably the author never published anything about Lairesse after completing her dissertation.

  6. 6. Ekkehardt Mai, “De Lairesse, Poussin und Frankreich: Einige Aspekte zu Theorie und Thematik im Vergleich,” in Holland nach Rembrandt: Zur niederländischen Kunst zwischen 1670 und 1750, ed. Ekkehard Mai (Cologne: Böhlau Verlag, 2006), 151–74. See also below, notes 30 and 81.

  7. 7. Remarkable is the overblown way in which Jacques Hendrick claims Lairesse as a Walloon artist, while placing him entirely in a French context. He approvingly quotes Alfred Michiels’s Historie de la peinture flamande (1868) that Lairesse was an adept of Vouet, Le Brun and Le Sueur: “il marcha toute sa vie sous leur bannière” (Jacques Hendrick, La peinture au pays de Liège. XVIe, XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles [Liège: Perron-Wahle, 1987], 166–72).

  8. 8. Alain Roy, Gérard de Lairesse (1640–1711) (Paris: Arthena, 1992), 101: “an artist belonging to French culture, educated in the French taste, and whose preferences and theoretical notions brought him as a matter of course towards French writings.” On the other hand Roy considers the French artistic influence on Lairesse’s art “une enigma” (p. 112) and sees little of Poussin and Le Brun in his work (p. 113). He rightly states that Lairesse found his own style through his “faculté d’assimilation,” without, however, writing anything about this assimilation. It is understandable that francophone authors would see Lairesse’s theoretical work as proof of his dependence on French art theory, for they read his Groot Schilderboek in the late eighteenth-century French translation. In this version, the translator, naturally, employed the familiar vocabulary of late seventeenth- and eighteenth-century French art theoretical writings, which makes the text sound like a French theoretical treatise.

  9. 9. In a paper at the Lairesse symposium in January 2017, Paul Knolle demonstrated that even in the late eighteenth century, such authors as Descamps (1753–64), Van Eynden (1787) and even Fiorillo (1815–20) never refer to French art, but always related Lairesse to Italian art.

  10. 10. Joachim von Sandrart, Teutsche Academie der Bau-, Bild un Mahlerey Künste (Nuremberg: Johann-Philipp Miltenberger, 1675, 1679, 1680 (scholarly online edition, eds. Thomas Kirchner ,et al. 2009–12: http://ta.sandrart.net), 3:79 (1679) (http://ta.sandrart.net/-text-1094). It is, of course, quite striking that on the basis of Lairesse’s prints Sandrart assumed that he came from France and seemed to be a follower of Bourdon, since there are certainly similarities with the latter’s style. For Sandrart’s Latin edition of 1683 (Academia picturae eruditae), see Joachim von Sandrart, Academia Picturae Eruditae: Lateinische Ausgabe der teutschen Academie von 1683, in Joachim von Sandrarts Academie der Bau-, Bild- und Mahlery Künste von 1675, ed. A. R. Peltzer (Munich: Hirth’s Verlag, 1925), 364–66; and for a French translation, see Roy, Gérard de Lairesse, 169–70. For Tideman’s remark, see Claus Kemmer, “Bespreking van Alain Roy, Gérard de Lairesse (1640–1711), Paris 1992,” Simiolus 23 (1995): 192 https://doi.org/10.2307/3780829; see also below, note 83.

  11. 11. For the “nationalization” of Poussin, beginning in the course of the 1660s, from an internationally renowned Roman painter to a symbol of French painting, see Olivier Bonfait, Poussin et Louis XIV: Peinture et monarchie dans la France du Grand Siècle (n.p.: Éditions Hazan, 2015), passim.

  12. 12. Abry recorded that Lairesse had penetrated the beauty of antiquity so well that it seemed as if he had studied in Italy, while he also calls a certain work “d’un goût italien” (for Abry, see Roy, Gérard de Lairesse, 172–78, quoting the edition of H. Helbig and S. Borman of Abry’s text, Les hommes illustres de nation Liègeoise, published in 1867, 239–61; for the passages mentioned, see Roy, Gérard de Lairesse, 175 and 177). Houbraken writes that De Lairesse learned “the understanding of what one calls Antiek which gives Italian painting such high esteem” from Bertholet Flémal in Liège (Arnold Houbraken, De Groote Schouburgh der Nederlantsche Konstschilder en Schilderessen [The Hague: Houbraken 1718–21], 3:106–33; the quoted passage is on p. 107).  

  13. 13. Alain Mérot, French Painting in the Seventeenth Century (New Haven and London: Thames & Hudson, 1995), 11.

  14. 14. About the series by Hieronymus Cock (1572), Hendrick Hondius (1610), and Anthony van Dyck (ca. 1630), see, among others, Hans-Joachim Raupp, Untersuchungen zu Künstlerbildnis und Künstlerdarstellung in den Niederlanden im 17. Jahrhunderts (Hildesheim/Zürich/New York: Georg Olms Verlag, 1984), chapt. 1 and 2. For an online publication of the sixty-eight portraits of Hondius’s series, with translations of the Latin texts, see http://www.courtauld.org.uk/netherlandishcanon/index.html

  15. 15. Thijs Weststeijn, Art and Antiquity in the Netherlands and Britain: The Vernacular Arcadia of Franciscus Junius (1591–1677) (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2015), 199–202.

  16. 16. Apart from less than a handful exceptions, no French paintings are found in Dutch inventories, and the only French names in early eighteenth-century collections are those of Nicolas Poussin, Claude Lorrain, Gaspar Dughet, and Sebastien Bourdon, specifically in the collection of Jacques Meyer. He must have acquired these paintings shortly after 1700 (about Meyer, see Koenraad Jonckheere, The Auction of King William’s Paintings (1713): Elite International Art Trade at the End of the Dutch Golden Age (Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2008) https://doi.org/10.1075/oculi.11). One exception is Claude Lorraine’s landscape in Sandrart’s own collection in Amsterdam by 1637, which was purchased in 1645 by Adriaen Pauw.

  17. 17. Vander Ploeg Fallon, “Gerard de Lairesse,” 109–10. She refers to the study of Anne Frank-Van Westrienen, De Groote Tour (1983), and the travel account of Coenraat Willem Droste.

  18. 18. Thomas Puttfarken, The Discovery of Pictorial Composition: Theories of Visual Order in Painting 1400–1800 (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2000), 229–31; and Mérot, French Painting, 22–30.

  19. 19. Puttfarken, Discovery, 231. See also Bonfait, Poussin et Louis XIV, for the history of Poussin’s appropriation by the academy. During his lifetime Poussin was not even invited to join the academy.  

  20. 20. Even Sandrart has, in his 1675 edition, very little to say about French painters, including Le Brun (this was repaired in his Latin edition of 1683), apart from those who worked in Rome, like Valentin, Poussin, and Claude.

  21. 21. Samuel van Hoogstraten, Inleiding tot de hooge schoole der schilderkonst (Rotterdam: François van Hoogstraten, 1678), 75.

  22. 22. Van Hoogstraten, Inleiding, 137 (Claude), 46, 212 (Fréminet), 256 and 314 (Le Brun).

  23. 23. Van Hoogstraten, Inleiding, 256.

  24. 24. See the introductions of Jan de Bisschop in his Icones (1679) and Paradigmata (1681). Jan de Bisschop seems to have been an exception, though he was never in Paris as far as we know (Jan van Gelder, “Jan de Bisschop 1628–1671,” Oud Holland 86 [1971]: 212 https://doi.org/10.1163/187501771×00120 ). His information likely came from Christiaan and Constantijn Huygens the Younger; he dedicated his Icones (1669) to the latter. In this dedication, De Bisschop praised very highly contemporary art in France because it paid close attention to antique statues in Rome “and received and esteemed Poussin, the imitator of statues.” (Jan van Gelder and I. Jost, Jan de Bisschop and His Icones and Paradigmata: Classical Antiquities and Italian Drawings for Instruction in Seventeenth Century Holland [Doornspijk: Van Coevorden, 1985], 1:89) In his dedication of the Paradigmata Graphices to Jan Six, published in 1671, Jan de Bisschop extols the present-day art education in France “being nurtured through the favor and generosity of a noble king,” which will make French art great because its artists will profit from the teachings of Poussin and from looking at good examples. Apart from foregrounding the exemplary status of Poussin, it is above all the way art is taught through the example of antiquity and Italian art that he admires. He probably knew little about French painting. In the Paradigmata itself, there are no French examples.

  25. 25. Lairesse mentions nineteen Italian and five Netherlandish masters in the Grondlegginge der Teekenkonst (see note 50 below).

  26. 26. The only time that French painters are mentioned as a group is in a negative context, when he comments that French academicians unjustly do not allow more than one light source (Gerard de Lairesse, Groot Schilderboek [Haarlem: Johannes Marshoorn, 1740] [first ed. 1707], 1:284). Lairesse does mention, however, that French architecture has climbed high through the study of Vitruvius, Serlio, Delorme, Palladio, Cataneo, Santorini, Vignola and Scamozzi (Lairesse, Groot Schilderboek, 1:54).

  27. 27. Lairesse, Groot Schilderboek, 1:17, 57, 98, 135, 138, 200, 256, 284, 304, 334, 394, 419, 420, 434; 2:70, 166, and 332.

  28. 28. Bonfait, Poussin et Louis XIV, 190. It is likely that Poussin was not even viewed as a Frenchman by foreigners visiting Rome. After a brawl in 1625 he took care to rid himself of French habits; after 1631, he is never mentioned as French in the city’s parish archives, and he seems to have had no ties with the French church in Rome. His wife spoke only Italian, and his correspondence indicates that he had a better command of Italian than French (Bonfait, Poussin et Louis XIV, 31). According to Sandrart, he liked the company of Italians and Flemings better than that of his own countrymen (Sandrart, Teutsche Academie, vol. 2, book 3, p. 367: http://ta.sandrart.net/-text-597).

  29. 29. Lairesse, Groot Schilderboek, 1:125, 138, and 419 (twice with Raphael, Carracci, Domenichino and Poussin, and once with Raphael, Correggio and Poussin).

  30. 30. Lairesse, Groot Schilderboek, 2:81. Mai claimed that Le Brun figured as important example in the Groot Schilderboek, but that is highly exaggerated (Mai, “De Lairesse,” 161, without any references). Mai even asserts that Lairesse mentions Le Sueur and Bourdon (Mai, “De Lairesse,” 169).

  31. 31. Lairesse, Groot Schilderboek, 2:153 and 377. He certainly knew prints after Vouet at an early stage, as his etching of the Death of Dido of 1668 attests (see below, note 126). He also mentions that Vouet was renowned for painting reflections (1:264).

  32. 32. Lairesse, Groot Schilderboek, 1:17.

  33. 33. For Lairesse’s knowledge of Charles-Alphonse Du Fresnoy’s text when writing his Teekenkonst, see Timmers, Gérard Lairesse, 46–50. This volume had appeared in a French translation in 1668; the original Latin version was written in Italy around 1640, at the time that Flémal was also there. Lairesse records that he read Abraham Bosse’s Peintre converty (published in 1667), Lairesse, Groot Schilderboek, 1:17. About Nil Volentibus Arduum, see below, note 80.

  34. 34. About Lairesse’s sources, see De Vries, How to Create Beauty, chapt. 3; see also Lyckle de Vries, Artist between Stage and Studio, part 2, chapt. 1.

  35. 35. To this can be added, as Arno Dolders rightly remarked, that Lairesse’s Groot Schilderboek is solidly situated within the tradition of Dutch art literature of Van Mander, Van Hoogstraten and Goeree (Dolders, “Some Remarks,” 200–202). See also Hessel Miedema, Theorie en praktijk: Teksten over schilderkunst in de Gouden Eeuw van de de Noordelijke Nederlanden (Hilversum: Verloren, 2017), 12–128.

  36. 36. Also see de Vries, How to Create Beauty, 20: “there is no notable change or development in his oeuvre that can be assigned to increasing influence of classicist theories.”

  37. 37. Houbraken, Groote Schouburgh, 3:107.

  38. 38. See below, note 67.

  39. 39. For Pietro Testa, see Elizabeth Cropper, Pietro Testa 1612–1630: Prints and Drawings (Philadelphia: Aldershot, 1988).

  40. 40. See Abry’s biography of Renier de Lairesse, quoted in Roy, Gérard de Lairesse, 172.

  41. 41. See Abry’s biography of Gerard de Lairesse, quoted in Roy, Gérard de Lairesse, 175.

  42. 42. See the French translation of Sandrart’s Latin biography, quoted in Roy, Gérard de Lairesse, 169.

  43. 43. Sandrart, Teutsche Academie, 3:83: http://ta.sandrart.net/-text-1099.

  44. 44. Johan van Gool, De nieuwe schouburg der Nederlantsche kunstschilders en schilderessen (The Hague: Johan van Gool, 1750–51), 1:155–56.

  45. 45. Lyckle de Vries described Lairesse’s art within the context of a tradition of classicism in the north, beginning with Maerten de Vos (De Vries, Gerard de Lairesse, part 1). Remarkably, he ignores Lombard completely, considering his oeuvre “too small and inconsistent to serve as stylistic example for later classicists” (De Vries, Gerard de Lairesse, 17n38). He does mention the importance of his ideas, referring to Müller Hofstede (below notes 56 and 57). Pierre-Yves Kairis already noted that De Vries unjustly minimalizes the importance of Lombard (Pierre-Yves Kairis, “De Luikse schilders in de voetsporen van Lambert Lombard,” in Lambert Lombard: Renaissanceschilder Luik 1505/6–1566, ed. Godelieve Denhaene [Brussels: Koninklijk Instituut voor het Kunstpatrimonium, 2006], 315–26, 326n 49).

  46. 46. Lairesse, Groot Schilderboek, 1:137.

  47. 47. Arno Dolders, “Some Remarks, ” 214: “Elsewhere the distinction goes no further than the obvious contrast between art in ancient times and the products of contemporary artists.”

  48. 48. Lairesse, Groot Schilderboek, 1:175.

  49. 49. Lairesse, Groot Schilderboek, 1:172.

  50. 50. Gerard de Lairesse, Grondlegginge der Teekenkonst (Amsterdam: Willem de Coup, 1701), 47: “Wy moeten het Antik aanmerken, als een Boek diemen in een anderen taal overzet, in de welke voor al de regte zin, des Schrijvers moet zoeken gehouden te worden, en een vloeijende stijl in te brengen, zonder hem slaafachtig aan de woorden te binden.”  

  51. 51. Karel van Mander, Het Leven der Doorluchtighe Nederlantsche en Hoogduytsche Schilders, in Het Schilder-Boeck, by Van Mander (Haarlem: Passchier van Wesbusch, 1603–4), fol. 220r: “een Vader van onse Teycken en Schilder-const gheworden, die de rouw en plompe Barbarische wijse wech genomen, en de rechte schoon Antijcksche in de plaetse opgerecht, en tevoorschijn gebracht heeft: waerom hy niet weynigh dank en roem verdiende.”

  52. 52. Van Mander records that Lombard was even able to discern in which time and place antiquities had been made. Before he visited Rome to study antiquity, he had investigated antique sculpture that had been made in Germany and France during the period that the art in Rome had been declining.

  53. 53. Karel van Mander, Het Leven der Doorluchtighe Nederlantsche en Hoogduytsche Schilders, fol. 220v: “in t’ stelsel der beelden, ordineren der Historien, en uytbeeldinghen der affecten, en ander omstandicheden” and “dat Lambert wel mach gherekent worden onder de beste Nederlandtsche Schilders, des voorleden en teghenwoordigen tijts.”

  54. 54. Jochen Becker, “Zur niederländischen Kunstliteratur des 16. Jahrhunderts: Domenicus Lampsonius,” Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek 24 (1973): 46.

  55. 55. On the art theory of Lampsonius and Lombard, see the important article by Jochen Becker: Becker, “Lampsonius,” passim.

  56. 56. Justus Müller Hofstede, “Rubens und die nierländische Italienfahrt: Die humanistische Tradition,” in Rubens in Italien: Gemälde, Ölskizzen, Zeichnungen, exh. cat., ed. Justus Müller Hofstede (Cologne: Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, 1977), 23: “Rubens’s artistic, diplomatic, antiquarian and humanist achievements.” Rubens’s thorough knowledge of Lampsonius’s text is evident from the fact that in his own little treatise, De imitatione statuarum, Rubens takes over, in almost the same wording, the notion that paintings making use of antique sculpture should not look like colored sculptures but rather living people (Müller Hofstede, “Rubens und die nierländische Italienfahrt,” 24).

  57. 57. Müller Hofstede, “Rubens und die nierländische Italienfahrt,” 25.

  58. 58. Lampsonius himself called it “canones artes,” the rules of art (Miedema, Theorie en praktijk, 32).

  59. 59. Becker, “Lampsonius,”47.

  60. 60. See J. A. Emmens, Rembrandt en de regels van de kunst, vol. 2, Verzameld Werk (Amsterdam: Van Oorschot, 1979), chapt. 2. Emmens’s study (originally his dissertation of 1967), which was extremely influential for art historical views on Dutch art theory, ignored Netherlandish art theory published in Latin, omitting both Lampsonius and Vossius. The only related work that he cites is Junius’s treatise (also published in English and Dutch versions), which he maintained was virtually unknown until the French art theorists and Goeree made use of it. For an entirely different view, see Weststeijn, Art and Antiquity.  

  61. 61. Becker, “Lampsonius,” 49 and n. 44. Also Müller Hofstede, “Rubens und die nierländische Italienfahrt,” 22–23. Becker notes the difference between Lombard’s academy and that in Haarlem around Van Mander: Lombard’s academy had a much stronger relation to the literary world, and therefore, to liberal arts and philology, based on the Italian academic concept (Becker, “Lampsonius,” 49).

  62. 62. Kairis, “Luikse schilders,” 320–21. According to Kairis, Abry was the first who used the word academie for Lombard’s teachings, while Lampsonius only used schola. See, however, Becker, “Lampsonius,” n. 44.

  63. 63. Becker, “Lampsonius,” 49. For the great contrast with the situation in Paris, see above, note 18 and 19.

  64. 64. Kairis, “Luikse schilders,” 323.

  65. 65. See Lairesse, Groot Schilderboek, 2:77; Sandrart’s biography, Sandrart, Teutsche Academie, part 2, book 3, p. 361 (http://ta.sandrart.net/-text-591). Timmers, Gérard Lairesse, 6 and 86; Kairis, “Luikse schilders,” 325.

  66. 66. Pierre-Yves Kairis, Bertholet Flémal (1614–1675): Le “Raphaël des Pays-Bas” au carrefour de Liège et de Paris (Paris: Arthena, 2015), 47. There are, however, no documents about Flémal’s contacts with other artists in Italy (Kairis, Bertholet Flémal, 46).

  67. 67. Houbraken, Groote Schouburgh, 3:107 records this explicitly: “Daar benevens heeft hy de printkonst van Pietro Test al vroeg, eer de zelve by andren in Nederland gezien waren, getekent, en inzonderheid in zyne wyze van teekenen zig daar van bedient, als klaarlyk in zyne eerste teekeningen te bespeuren is.”

  68. 68. Mérot, French Painting, 124.

  69. 69. Kairis, Bertholet Flémal, 44–52; Mérot, French Painting, 133–46.  

  70. 70. See Roy, Gérard de Lairesse, 59. Etching, 39.3 x 52 cm (signed: R. Lairesse le Père pinxit/M.Pool sculp. Et excud Amsterlod.). This print must have been published in the last years of the seventeenth or the first years of the early eighteenth century. The painting itself was mentioned by Abry and Sandrart. One wonders if it, or a copy or oil sketch, remained in Gerard’s possession.

  71. 71. See above, note 60.

  72. 72. On Vossius’s treatise, see Weststeijn, Art and Antiquity, chapt. 4, 195–242). An English translation of the main topics of Vossius’s text is included in Weststeijn’s volume, 315–26.

  73. 73. Weststeijn, Art and Antiquity, 204.

  74. 74. Weststeijn, Art and Antiquity, 197–201 and 235–41 (quote on 236).

  75. 75. Becker,”Lampsonius,” 49. See also Weststeijn, Art and Antiquity, 227–35.

  76. 76. Weststeijn, Art and Antiquity, 324.

  77. 77. Weststeijn, Art and Antiquity, 234.

  78. 78. No paintings by Lombard would have been known to them, which makes the fame of this Liège painter of the same generation as the renowned Jan van Scorel and Maaten van Heemskerck, all the more intriguing.

  79. 79. Houbraken, Groote Schouburgh, 3:110–11.  

  80. 80. See Andries Pels, Gebruik én misbruik des toneels, ed. M. A. Schenkeveld-Van der Dussen (Culemborg: Tjeenk Willink/Noorduijn, 1978). About Lairesse and Nil Volentibus Arduum, see De Vries, Gerard de Lairesse, part 2, chapt. 3. About Nil Volentibus Arduum in general, see, among others, Mieke Smits-Veldt, Het Nederlandse renaissancetoneel (Utrecht: H&S Uitgevers, 1991), 118–21; and Tanja Holzhey, “‘Als gy maar schérp wordt, zo zyn wy, én gy voldaan.’: Rationalistische ideeën van het kunstgenootschap Nil Volentibus Arduum 1669–1680” (PhD diss., University of Amsterdam, 2014).

  81. 81. According to Mai, “De Lairesse,” 169, it is evident that Lairesse applied French art theory, such as the Entretiens from the Paris Academy under Le Brun, Poussin’s modi, and the summaries of Testelin and Félibien. Tellingly, Mai came to this conclusion using the late eighteenth-century translation of Lairesse’s Groot Schilderboek (see above, note 8). He is right, however, in emphasizing (though not fleshing out) the importance of Lairesse’s Liège background.

  82. 82. “Ik zag daar onder anderen een stukje van G. Laires, gewisselijk geschildert in zijn eerste tijd van welke sommige met weinig lof spreken. Ik zag daarin zulken deftigheid der actien en kleedingen dat ik oordeelde ’t zelfde groote gemeenschap met het werk van Poussin te hebben. ’t Was daar Mercurius Herse ziet wanneer dezelfde neffens ander gezelschap van Juffrouwen den Tempel gaat bezoeken.” Quoted by Kemmer, “Bespreking van Alain Roy,” 192, from V. de la Montagne, “Philips Tideman en Gerard de Lairesse,” Amsterdams Jaarboekje (1900): 17–28, esp. 22. The fact that in the late eighteenth century, when it was engraved in the Galerie of J. B. Lebrun, the painting was thought to be a work by Bertholet Flémal demonstrates a perceived affinity with Flémal’s style, even though no such compositions by the latter are known.

  83. 83. “Den tempel was daarin vrij kloek verbeeld in geheel licht en wit, ’t welk indien ik ’t zo had zullen maken zoude hebben gemeent dat zulk licht de beelden zoude bederven.” He adds: “maar ik zag hier dat ’t zelve met de beelden een schoone verligt partij voortbragte en dat het licht zo aangenaam voor den mans onze konstukken een zonderlinge bevalligheid toenbrengt.” (Instead I saw that, in combination with those figures, it created a beautifully lit passage, and that the light that is so pleasing to mankind gives our painting a rare charm).

  84. 84. See Eric Jan Sluijter, De ‘heydensche fabulen’ in de schilderkunst van de Gouden Eeuw: Verhalen uit de klassieke mythologie in de Noordelijke Nederlanden, circa 1590–1670 (Leiden: Primavera Press, 2000), 45. The basic schemes of these illustrations were created by Bernard Salomon in 1557 and repeated with minor variations by Virgil Solis, Pieter van der Borcht, Antonio Tempesta, and Chrispin de Passe I.

  85. 85. This print by Wenzel Hollar (Keith Andrews, Adam Elsheimer: Paintings, drawing, prints (Oxford: Phaidon, 1977), no. A 19) was also the source for painters such as Jacob Pynas, Cornelis van Poelenburch, Claes Moyaert, and others. The basic scheme had been established by Bernard Salomon in his Metamophoses illustrations of 1557. The print after Goltzius by an anonymous engraver is from the first series engraved in 1590 (no. 17). On this series, see Eric Jan Sluijter, Seductress of Sight: Studies in Dutch Art of the Golden Age (Zwolle: Waanders, 2000), chapt. 2. Later he would fulminate against artists who only used illustrations and did not read the original text (Lairesse, Grooot Schilderboek, 1:50, 123, and 124. Sluijter, De ‘heydensche fabulen,’” 97–98). This is precisely what he did in this painting, however, by showing the girls going to, instead of returning from, the temple: Metamorphoses, II, verses 708–29 (Loeb edition, 110–11): “That day chanced to be a festival of Pallas when young maidens bore to their goddess’ temple mystic gifts in flower wreathed baskets on their heads. The winged god saw them as they were returning home and directed his way towards them, not straight down but sweeping in such a curve . . . he circles around in the air and on his flapping wings greedily hovers over his hoped-for prey.”

  86. 86. See Cropper, Pietro Testa, xiv-xv, figs. 1a and 1b (probably engraved by Reinier Persijn). See also Lambert Lombard: Renaissanceschilder Luik 1505/6–1566 (note 45 above), 412, cat. 60, ill. 369 (formerly attributed to Cornelis Cort).

  87. 87. Interestingly, though the motif of Mercury pointing seems to derive from Goltzius, the addition of the large mantle, the exposed breast, and the supporting cupid recall Michelangelo’s God the Father in the Creation of Adam (Sistine Ceiling).

  88. 88. Lairesse, Groot Schilderboek, 1:50–51. He starts by saying that most painters misuse prints, just taking pieces and fragments (stukken en brokken). He recommends that one first sketch his own invention, and then study prints to see how great masters have thought about the same issues. And if one finds useful motifs in these prints, they should then be studied in real life.

  89. 89. About this composition, Lairesse himself wrote that he made mistakes in this early version and would later produce a much better interpretation (Lairesse, Groot Schilderboek, 1:66). The second version, Lairesse writes, is in the house of burgomaster Witsen. This cannot be the work cited in Roy, Gérard de Lairesse, cat. P. 189 (dated 1687), as Roy assumed, because that painting does not represent Alexander and Roxanne, but some Allegory of Government, with putti handing a scepter and fasces to a woman seated on a throne. Also not very likely is cat. P. 132, which does represent Alexander and Roxanne but does not follow Lucianus’s ekphrasis, as it leaves out the putti playing with Alexander’s armor. It does, however, show Hymen with a torch and a thin golden crown. I am not sure, however, that this is indeed a work by Lairesse; apart from that, it seems to me a portrait historié.

  90. 90. It is doubtful, however, whether Lairesse was acquainted with Lucianus’s text itself: the motifs that he used seem to be an original elaboration on elements in Raphael’s invention and on those in Sodoma’s work (which he must have known through an oral or written description). Other motifs mentioned by Lucianus are lacking, such as the cupid dragging Alexander by the mantle towards Roxanne, Hephaestion holding a blazing torch, and the garland in Alexander’s hand (which becomes a crown in the interpretations by Raphael and Sodoma). Lairesse has Hymenaeus, the figure who accompanies Alexander, hold a thin golden fillet in his hand. He likely would have added those elements (and he might have done so in his later, “corrected” version) if he had read the ekphrasis.

  91. 91. He might have seen a drawing of a Roman sarcophagus relief with The Raising of a Herm of Dionysus (Princeton University Art Museum), from which Rubens obviously appropriated several motifs of pushing and pulling (see John Rupert Martin, Rubens: The Antwerp Altarpieces; The Raising of the Cross and the Descent from the Cross [London: Thames & Hudson, 1969], fig. 34). Lairesse would also have known the print by Jan Witdoeck, dated 1638, after Rubens’s Raising of the Cross.

  92. 92. See Sluijter, De ‘heydensche fabulen,’” 33, fig. 15 (anonymous, after Hendrick Goltzius, first Metamorphoses series, 1590, no. 19). The Venus and Mars of 1588 was engraved by Goltzius himself, after Bartholomeus Spranger.

  93. 93. See Kairis, Bertholet Flémal, cat. P. 38; see also nos. P. 2 and P. 14. Lairesse brilliantly emulated Flémal’s painting in 1674 (Cologne, Wallraf-Richarz-Museum). See Eddy Schavemaker, “De verdrijving van Heliodorus: verheffende vertelkunst in optima forma,” in Eindelijk! De Lairesse: Klassieke schoonheid in de Gouden Eeuw, exh. cat., ed. Josien Beltman, Paul Knolle, and Quirine van der Meer Mohr (Enschede: Rijksmuseum Twenthe/Zwolle: Waanders, 2016), 64–67. The depiction of huge columns dominating the right part of the painting might have been inspired by a sketch of, or a conversation about, Sodoma’s painting.

  94. 94. For example Kairis, Bertholet Flémal, cats. P. 2 and P. 22.

  95. 95. Roy, Gérard de Lairesse, cat. P. 27.

  96. 96. See Eric Jan Sluijter, “Artistieke integratie van een jonge immigrant: Gerard de Lairesses vroege Amsterdamse werk,” in Eindelijk! De Lairesse (see note 97 above), 42–45.  

  97. 97. See Sluijter, “Artistieke integratie,” 39–42.

  98. 98. Roy, Gérard de Lairesse, cat. P.15; for the strings of climbing, falling, and flying cupids, see Cropper, Pietro Testa, cats. 11, 12, and 14.

  99. 99. Lairesse’s painting has always been called Allegory of the Peace of Breda, because of its date of 1667. It is not impossible that it refers to this important peace treaty, which was very profitable for Dutch commerce. However, nothing points specifically to this peace treaty. Even the personification of peace is missing. The allegory is more generally about abundance attained by the industrious use of nature.  

  100. 100. Cropper, Pietro Testa, cat. 36 (Allegory in the Honor of the Arrival of Cardinal Franciotti as Bishop of Lucca).

  101. 101. Cesare Ripa, Iconologia of Uytbeeldinghe des Verstandts, ed. Dirck Pietersz Pers, (Amsterdam: Dirck Pietersz Pers, 1644), 347.

  102. 102. Lairesse, Groot Schilderboek, 1:6.  

  103. 103. About the history paintings of the late Flinck and Bol, see Eric Jan Sluijter, “Out of Rembrandt’s Shadow: Flinck and Bol as History Painters,” in Ferdinand Bol and Govert Flinck: Rembrandt’s Master Pupils, exh. cat., ed. Norbert Middelkoop (Amsterdam: Amsterdam Museum and Museum Het Rembrandthuis/Zwolle: W-Books, 2017), 106–31. For Bol’s Venus, see fig. 13 in this essay.

  104. 104. On Duquesnoy and the Greek ideal, see Estelle Lingo, Francois Duquesnoy and the Greek Ideal (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2007); about “Greek” putti, 42–63. About the importance of the “Greek” style in Poussin’s circle, see Charles Dempsey, “The Greek Style and the Prehistory of Neoclassicism,” in Pietro Testa 1612–1630: Prints and Drawings, by Elizabeth Cropper (Philadelphia: Aldershot, 1988), xxxvii–lxv. Later Lairesse recommends the example of Duquesnoy: Schilderboek, 1:59.

  105. 105. About the ensemble of paintings of which the Venus and Aeneas was a part, see Margriet van Eikema Hommes, Art and Allegiance in the Dutch Golden Age: The Ambitions of a Wealthy Widow in a Painted Chamber by Ferdinand Bol (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2012). This painting was originally ca. 260 x 280 cm, before it was enlarged twice and became finally 400 x 407 cm.

  106. 106. About this print, see Cropper, Pietro Testa, cat. 59. Bol must have known this print too, as the position of Venus on her chariot and the Cupid holding weapons demonstrate.

  107. 107. Wildenstein dates the print to the “third quarter of the 17th century” (Georges Wildenstein, “Les Graveurs de Poussin au XVIIe siècle,” Gazette des Beaux-Arts 46 [1955]: cat. 124). Lairesse’s painting is dated 1668, which means that the print would be an early work by Alexis Loir. The painting by Poussin was made for Jacques Stella (Mérot, Poussin, 84–86 and cat. 165).

  108. 108. Cropper, Pietro Testa, cat. 61.

  109. 109. In the Groot Schilderboek (1:332) Lairesse writes that he made a mistake by painting Aeneas with a Greek helmet. It should have been a Roman helmet because Aeneas had arrived in Italy (!). He points out that the esteemed Testa and Poussin made the same kind of mistakes (referring to Testa’s Achilles with a Roman helmet, and Pousin’s Germanicus with both Roman and Greek helmets), but this should never be an excuse, he maintains.

  110. 110. Bol even used the type of shield that Rembrandt already used in his Leiden period (The Leiden History Painting, 1626, Leiden, Museum De Lakenhal) and which we also know from paintings of his pupils.  

  111. 111. About these terms, see the excellent discussion by Lyckle de Vries (De Vries, “Gerard Lairesse: The Critical Vocabulary of an Art Theorist,” Oud Holland 117 [2004]: 79–98 https://doi.org/10.2307/751425; see also De Vries, How to Create Beauty, esp. 127–37). The concept of harmony (of the entire composition), houding and koppeling, in particular, must have been in use among Dutch painters for some time, but they were not current concepts among Italian painters. According to Puttfarken, Van Mander was the first to discuss notions of the harmony of a composition as a whole, something that must have been in accordance with the practices of northern artists but was alien to Italian art; see Puttfarken, Discovery, chapt. 7. Sandrart’s beautiful description of houding as a Dutch specialty, naming Rembrandt and Van Laer as the greatest in this field, makes clear that he was recording what he learned between 1637 and 1645 while living in Amsterdam (Sandrart, Teutsche Academie, part 1, book 3, p. 327: http:/ta.sandrart.net/-text-172); see also Eric Jan Sluijter, Rembrandt’s Rivals: History Painting in Amsterdam 1630–1650 (Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2015), 61. About houding, see the groundbreaking study by Paul Taylor, “The Concept of Houding in Dutch Art Theory,” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 55 (1992): 210–32 https://doi.org/10.2307/751425. Koppeling was used by Van Hoogstraten and must already have been in use in, at least, Rembrandt’s studio (Van Hoogstraten, Inleiding, 192–93; also see Sluijter, Rembrandt’s Rivals, 45–46).

  112. 112. See also the description of the characteristics of Flémal’s style by Pierre-Ives Kairis: Kairis, Flémal, 61–70, as well as in the introduction to this volume by Alain Mérot (p. 7).  

  113. 113. Timmers, Lairesse, cat. 9. The painting recently surfaced in the collection of the Cartwright Hall Art Gallery in Bradford (England), where it had been described as an anonymous French painting. See François Marandet, “‘The Anointing of Solomon’ by Gerard de Lairesse Discovered in the Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, Bradford,” Burlington Magazine 158 (February 2016): 101–2.

  114. 114. The pineapple cone, symbol of the prince-bishopric of Liège, is represented three times in the painting: as a dark silhouette on the balustrade in the foreground (this balustrade more would have been visible in the painting’s original format), on the pedestal above the heads of the main group (only the lower part of it is left), and on the roof of the building on the right.

  115. 115. Denhaene, ed., Lambert Lombard, 461–62, cat. 100. Lairesse would have known this print. Lairesse’s central group, albeit seen from below and clustered together, even shows some affinities with Lombard’s group in the center.

  116. 116. Denhaene, ed., Lambert Lombard, 319, fig. 273. The painting is still in the cathedral of Hasselt.

  117. 117. Roy, Lairesse, cat. P 8. Roy dates this painting very early (ca. 1663) and it was also presented as an early work in the Lairesse exhibition in Enschede (Eindelijk! De Lairesse, ed. Beltman, Knolle, and Van der Meer Mohr et al., C5). I would date this painting to his early Amsterdam period.

  118. 118. For example, in several paintings of his cycle of the Batavian Revolt (Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum), Otto van Veen used this compositional device: Brinio Raised on the Shield, The Beheading of Julius Paulus, and The Peace Negotiations between Claudius Civilis and Cerealis

  119. 119. In the latter painting the reference to Lombard’s use of intricately constructed architecture “all antica” is also striking (see the essay by Schillemans in this volume). Compare the rather unlikely combination of a half-circular apse next to a coffered barrel vault resting on pilasters (each of which can be traced back to Roman examples: see Denhaene, ed., Lambert Lombard,499) in St. Dionysius before Fescennius, one of the predella paintings from the Saint Dionysius altarpiece, originally in the St. Dionysius church in Liège, attributed to Lambert Lombard and studio (Denhaene, ed., Lambert Lombard, 127–30 and 489–512). This was undoubtedly one of the altarpieces in the churches of Liège that Lairesse studied carefully at an early age, as Sandrart emphasized (see above note 42).

  120. 120. See above, note 90.

  121. 121. Timmers, Lairesse, cats. 61–64. Many elements of The Death of Dido recall Michel Dorigny’s prints after Simon Vouet. Ferdinand Bol also painted a Death of Dido in 1668–69, which, as Ilona van Tuinen demonstrated, clearly refers to Pels’s drama. Lairesse and Bol would have known each other through Pels (see Ilona van Tuinen, “The Tragic Gaze: Ferdinand Bol, The Death of Dido and Late Seventeenth-century Theatre,” in Ferdinand Bol and Govert Flinck: New Research, ed. Stephanie Dickey (Zwolle: W-Books, 2017), 98–113).

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DOI: 10.5092/jhna.12.1.2
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Eric Jan Sluijter, "On Gerard de Lairesse’s “Frenchness,” His Liège Roots, and His Artistic Integration in Amsterdam," Journal of Historians of Netherlandish Art 12:1 (Winter 2020) DOI: 10.5092/jhna.12.1.2