Scholarly Essays

Leiden Fijnschilders and the Local Art Market in the Golden Age

The year 1631 marked a turning point for painting in Leiden. An abrupt end came to a period during which, sustained by a favorable economy, the number of painters had grown without interruption. This growth began in all of the cities in the Dutch Republic  around 1610 and lasted until around mid-century in most of them. This was also true in Leiden, although it ground to a temporary halt in 1631 with the sudden departure of ... Read More

-Piet Bakker

Gerrit Dou and his Collectors in the Golden Age

Gerrit Dou (1613–75) apprenticed with Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–69) between 1628–31, when he likely executed this early Self-Portrait at an Easel (GD-112) .  A mere eighteen years old, Dou established himself as an independent artist shortly after Rembrandt’s departure, electing to stay in his native Leiden, where he resided continuously until his death in 1675. Painting in Leiden entered a critical period beginning in 1631 when several of the city’s leading artists, including Rembrandt and Jan ... Read More

- Piet Bakker

Rembrandt and The Leiden Collection

Rembrandt’s artistic origins in Leiden and early successes in Amsterdam, seen through the lens of The Leiden Collection. The range of impressive paintings from the 1620s and 1630s in The Leiden Collection shows how Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–69) became so tremendously successful in his day, and why he ranks among the greatest, most admired artists of all time. Born in Leiden in 1606, Rembrandt moved to Amsterdam in the early 1630s, where he soon became the ... Read More

- H. Perry Chapman

Frans van Mieris the Elder and His Four Leiden Patrons

After Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–69) moved to Amsterdam in 1631, his pupil Gerrit Dou (1613–75) soon took over his master’s prominent position as Leiden’s leading painter. Dou’s meticulous and detailed manner of painting exerted a great influence on scores of young and ambitious local artists. Only one of them, however, ever attained his high level: Frans van Mieris the Elder (1635–81), “the prince of his pupils,” who, according to Dou, “carried off the crown from them all” ... Read More

- Piet Bakker