Study day: Dutch Art in Museums
‘Boertigheden?’ Gerrit Dou’s ‘Interior with a Young Violinist’ close up
Tico Seifert, Senior Curator (Northern European Art), Scottish National Gallery
An in-depth look at one of Gerrit Dou’s most famous paintings, ‘Interior with a Young Violinist’.
Dr Seifert readdressed the issue of whether it might be a self-portrait, concluding that it was unlikely as the figure shows little likeness to known portraits of Dou. Also, the instrument is a viola rather than a violin. The painting was compared to other similar compositions as well as copies.
There are a few areas of ‘pentimenti’, for example, where the artist changed the shape of the window and the size of the book which was once a large folio. The book has been identified as Jan Jansz. Starter’s ‘Friesche lust-hof’ but the image on the left hand page does not correspond to the print used in the original songbook. The source for this picture has yet to be identified but seems important to the narrative of the painting.
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Conserving a work by Wtewael on loan to the National Gallery
Jill Dunkerton, Restorer, National Gallery, London, and Betsy Wieseman, Curator of Dutch Paintings, National Gallery, London
Jill Dunkerton described a new restoration with which the National Gallery has become involved, that of Joachim Wtewael’s ‘The Raising of Lazarus’. Jill described the project, from its 2006 beginnings when Betsy was alerted to the possibility of a Wtewael (‘The Raising of Lazarus’) being at the small museum of High Wycombe, through to its current restoration at the National Gallery.
The cleaning of the painting was described, and Jill’s progress removing the incredibly thick and discoloured varnish from the surface was charted through a series of images. It is hoped that the restoration of ‘The Raising of Lazarus’ will help illuminate the issue of repainting and production of copies by Old Master painters.