Gerard ter Borch the Elder

Gerard ter Borch the Elder

(Zwolle 1582/83 – 1652 Zwolle)

How to cite:

McCarthy, Alexa J. "Gerard ter Borch the Elder." In The Leiden Collection Catalogue. Edited by Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. New York, 2017.
https://www.theleidencollection.com/archive/.

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Gerard ter Borch the Elder began his artistic training in his native Zwolle, likely under Arent van Bolten (fl. 1580–1600). At the age of 18, in 1600 or 1601, Gerard the Elder traveled to Southern Europe, where he would stay until about 1612. 1 During this period, the artist lived in Rome and Naples, producing the atmospheric vedute, or carefully rendered depictions of Italian landscapes and architectural monuments, for which he is best known. These drawings, most of which are dated between 1607 and 1610, comprised a sketchbook that Gerard the Elder brought back with him to the Netherlands, where it was later disassembled. 2

By mid–1612, Gerard the Elder had returned to Zwolle. There, he married Anna Bufkens, the mother of artist Gerard ter Borch the Younger (1617–81)3 Gerard the Elder’s drawings from the 1610s represent expressive depictions of Old and New Testament subjects, as well as mythological scenes, which depart from the carefully executed draftsmanship of his Italian period. By the early 1620s, Gerard the Elder’s artistic output began to decrease. In 1621, he assumed the role of his aged father, the Licencemaster of Zwolle, a position Gerard the Elder would hold for about 40 years. 4 That same year, he married his second wife, Geesken van Voerst (1599–in or before 1628). With Van Voerst, Gerard the Elder had two daughters, Sara, born in 1622, and Anna, born in 1624. 5 In addition, he would have nine children with his third wife, Wiesken Matthias, among them Gesina, who was born in 1631. 6 Despite his professional responsibilities, Gerard the Elder continued to pursue some artistic activity, focusing his attentions on the talents of his offspring and capturing them in a group of figure studies from the 1630s, to which the Leiden Collection’s Little Girl at a Table Holding a Slice of Melon (GB-110) belongs. 7

-Alexa J. McCarthy

  1. On Gerard ter Borch the Elder’s biography, see Alison McNeil Kettering, Drawings from the Ter Borch Studio Estate, 2 vols. (The Hague, 1988) and Alison McNeil Kettering, “Gerard [Gerhard] ter Borch (i),” Grove Art OnlineOxford Art Online, accessed 28 October 2016.

  2. Alison McNeil Kettering, Drawings from the Ter Borch Studio Estate, 2 vols. (The Hague, 1988) 1:5. See also J. M. Blok, “Romeinsche teekeningen door G. Terborch, Sr. en W. van Nieulandt II in ’s Rijksprentenkabinet te Amsterdam,” Meded. Ned. Hist. Inst. Rome, 5 (1925): 128–129 and I. Q. van Regteren Altena, Vereeuwigde Stad Rome door Nederlanders Getekend (Wormerveer, 1964).

  3. Gerard ter Borch the Younger’s work is well-represented in the Leiden Collection, including his Musical Company of ca. 1642–1644 (GB-105), and his portraits of the four older Craeyvaenger children (GB-111a-d) executed in ca. 1658.

  4. Alison McNeil Kettering, Drawings from the Ter Borch Studio Estate, 2 vols. (The Hague, 1988) 2:5: Appendix II, A I.

  5. Alison McNeil Kettering, Drawings from the Ter Borch Studio Estate, 2 vols. (The Hague, 1988), 1: GSr 107.

  6. Gesina (1631–90) would preserve the family estate, which included her own drawings and poetry books, as well as drawings by her father and her siblings.

  7. See Peter Schatborn’s essay in this catalogue on Gerard the Elder’s Little Girl at a Table Holding a Slice of Melon (GB-110).

  • Bertolotti, Antonino.  Artisti begli ed olandesi a Roma nei secoli XVI e XVII.  Florence, 1880.
  • Egger, Hermann.  Römische Veduten: Handzeichnungen aus dem XV.– XCIII. Jahrhundert.  2 vols.  Vienna, 1911.
  • Blok, J. M.  “Romeinsche teekeningen door G. Terborch, Sr. en W. van Nieulandt II in ’s Rijksprentenkabinet te Amsterdam.”  Meded. Ned. Hist. Inst. Rome, 5 (1925): 128–36.
  • Van Regteren Altena, I. Q.  Vereeuwigde Stad Rome door Nederlanders getekend 1500–1900.  Wormerveer, 1964.
  • Snoep, D.P.  “Een 17de eeuws liedboek met tekeningen van Gerard ter Borch de Oude en Pieter en Roeland van Laer.”  Simiolus 3 (1968/69): 77–134.
  • Judson, J. Richard.  “Jacob Isaacz. van Swanenburgh and the Phlegraean Fields.”  Essays in Northern European Art Presented to Egbert Haverkamp Begemann.  Doornspijk, 1983: 119–22.
  • Kettering, Alison McNeil.  Drawings from the Ter Borch Studio Estate.  2 vols.  The Hague, 1988.
  • Kettering, Alison McNeil.  “Gerard [Gerhard] ter Borch (i).”  Grove Art Online: Oxford Art Online.  Accessed 28 October 2016.

On Gerard ter Borch the Elder’s biography, see Alison McNeil Kettering, Drawings from the Ter Borch Studio Estate, 2 vols. (The Hague, 1988) and Alison McNeil Kettering, “Gerard [Gerhard] ter Borch (i),” Grove Art OnlineOxford Art Online, accessed 28 October 2016.

Alison McNeil Kettering, Drawings from the Ter Borch Studio Estate, 2 vols. (The Hague, 1988) 1:5. See also J. M. Blok, “Romeinsche teekeningen door G. Terborch, Sr. en W. van Nieulandt II in ’s Rijksprentenkabinet te Amsterdam,” Meded. Ned. Hist. Inst. Rome, 5 (1925): 128–129 and I. Q. van Regteren Altena, Vereeuwigde Stad Rome door Nederlanders Getekend (Wormerveer, 1964).

Gerard ter Borch the Younger’s work is well-represented in the Leiden Collection, including his Musical Company of ca. 1642–1644 (GB-105), and his portraits of the four older Craeyvaenger children (GB-111a-d) executed in ca. 1658.

Alison McNeil Kettering, Drawings from the Ter Borch Studio Estate, 2 vols. (The Hague, 1988) 2:5: Appendix II, A I.

Alison McNeil Kettering, Drawings from the Ter Borch Studio Estate, 2 vols. (The Hague, 1988), 1: GSr 107.

Gesina (1631–90) would preserve the family estate, which included her own drawings and poetry books, as well as drawings by her father and her siblings.

See Peter Schatborn’s essay in this catalogue on Gerard the Elder’s Little Girl at a Table Holding a Slice of Melon (GB-110).