Thursday, December 29, 2011

Aert van der Neer

A Frozen River Near a Village, With Golfers and Skaters
National Gallery - London

This picture was among those on my Jacquie Lawson London Advent Calendar this year. 
I thought it was so beautiful, I had to look it up and find out something about the artist. 
So, from 

Aert van der Neer 

b. 1603 Amsterdam, d. 1677 Amsterdam

"A master at representing light, Aert van der Neer painted moonlit river views that embody the principles of Dutch landscape painting in the 1600s. Those principles included isolated figures on meandering paths that cut through a wooded forest, and cloud-filled skies. Van der Neer used a restricted palette of earthy colors and, like most artists during this period, painted indoors. Although he did not receive much attention in his own time, modern scholars praise his ability to create a sense of space and atmosphere.

Van der Neer first worked as a steward and then became a painter, possibly as a result of contact with his wife's brothers, both of whom were painters. His first known painting, which dates to 1632, shares stylistic similarities with those of his brother-in-laws. Later in his life, between 1659-1662, Van der Neer and his son were the keepers of a tavern. After then declaring bankruptcy, his property--including his paintings--were appraised at little value. He continued to paint, residing in a state of extreme poverty, until his death fifteen years later."

I remember that famous line from the movie Gettysburg, when Aert said, in his Georgian drawl, 'My people were Dutch.'  (Sorry, that's just a little inside joke for my family, great fans of James Longstreet.)

By the way, if you haven't yet seen the Jacquie Lawson London Advent Calendar, be sure to visit her site. You won't be sorry. I know Christmas is over, but the calendar is worth looking at anytime.

I plan to be back reading your blogs next week.


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Denise said...


~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I hope you're having a fabulous week! Happy New Year! ♥♥♥

Unknown said...

The girls truly loved their advent calendar! Thanks again! Now go enjoy your family!

J_on_tour said...

I didn't take a lot of interest in art styles like this until I saw the real thing hanging up in the galleries of London and possibly only saw it as a technical Christmas day jigsaw challenge in my past. However one can become captivated by the subject, details and composition. Your text helps interpret some of the elements albeit tinged with later sadness. Thanks once again for that amazing advent calendar.

chief gabril said...

Compared to the early European painting, a period notable feature is the small number of religious paintings. Dutch Calvinism, the religious paintings in the church ban, although the Bible subjects acceptable in private homes, a relatively small production.

Van and a Man London

Cranberry Morning said...

The Calvinists focused on the preaching of the Word and believed art to be idolatrous and distracting. You'll notice the difference between the Roman Catholic churches even in small villages in South America today (lots of gold, lots of statuary), and churches that are descended from the Reformation which look stark by comparison. But the Word of God is central.


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