Dutch Realist Artists
Genre Painters, Portraitists, Landscape and Still Life Artists.

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Portrait of Jan Six (detail) (1654)
The Six Collection, Amsterdam. One
of the greatest portrait paintings
by Rembrandt.

For biographies and paintings
of the greatest artists in Europe
from the Renaissance to 1800,
see: Old Masters: Top 100.

Dutch Realist Artists (c.1600-1700)


Netherlandish Braroque Art
The Golden Age of Dutch Realism
A-Z List of Dutch Realist Artists
Greatest Dutch Realist Paintings

Netherlandish Baroque Art of the 17th Century

Mainstream Baroque art (architecture, painting and sculpture) was closely associated with the Counter-Reformation efforts of the Roman Catholic Church to reestablish its influence across Europe, in the wake of the Protestant Revolt. Funded by the Church, most 17th century Baroque art was therefore religious in subject-matter and largely, but not exclusively, confined to non-Protestant countries. Supreme exponents of Catholic art included the sculptor Bernini (1598-1680), the Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640), the portraitist Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641) and the Spanish painters Francisco Zurbaran (1598-1664) and Diego Velazquez (1599-1660).

The Milkmaid (c.1658) by Jan Vermeer
one of the greatest exponents of
Dutch Realist genre painting.

For a list of the Top 10 painters/
sculptors: Best Artists of All Time.

See: Definition of Art.

For details of art movements
and styles, see: History of Art.
For the chronology and dates
of key events in the evolution
of visual arts around the world
see: History of Art Timeline.

The Golden Age of Dutch Realism

Meantime, Holland - newly independent of Spain and making notable advances in trade and science - developed its own tradition of Dutch Baroque art, known as Dutch Realism (fl.1600-80). This Protestant art was based on easel painting and catered for the new Protestant bourgeoisie. Indeed, a mini-Renaissance occurred in Dutch painting of the 17th century, as a number of artistic movements sprang up in towns like Haarlem, Delft, Leiden, Utrecht, Dordrecht and Amsterdam. This Golden Age of oil painting was responsible for a huge number of masterpieces across all the painting genres, and featured virtuoso portraitists like Frans Hals (1580–1666) and Rembrandt (1606–69), as well as genre-painters like Jan Vermeer (1632–1675) - who along with his contemporaries produced some of the world's greatest genre paintings of the century - plus landscape artists like Jacob van Ruisdael (1628–1682) and still life masters such as Frans Snyders (1579–1657). Oil paintings by many of these artists can be seen at the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam and at the Mauritshuis in The Hague.


A-Z List of Dutch Realist Artists

Among the Dutch Realist masters of portraiture, landscape art, genre-painting and still lifes, many of whom were studied by those on the Grand Tour, are the following:

Brouwer, Adriaen (1605-38)
Noted for his tavern genre-pictures.
Pieter Claesz (1597-1660)
Specialist in breakfast still lifes (ontbijtjes)
Cuyp, Aelbert (1620-91)
Dordrecht school landscape artist.
Hals, Frans (1582-1666)
Dutch portrait artist second only to Rembrandt.
Heda, Willem Claesz (1594-1680)
Still life master from the Haarlem school.
Heem, Jan Davidsz de (1606-83)
Still life painter, Utrecht School.
Hobbema, Meindert (1638-1709)
Last of the great Dutch Realist landscape painters.
Honthorst, Gerrit van (1592-1656)
Follower of caravaggism; Utrecht school; noted for genre painting, portraits.
Hooch, Pieter de (1629-83)
Noted member of Delft school.
Hoogstraten, Samuel van (1627-78)
Genre painter of interiors, peep-show pictures, trompe l'oeil illusionism.
Kalf, Willem (1619-93)
Amsterdam still life artist, noted for Pronkstilleven paintings.
Metsu, Gabriel (1629-67)
Painted intimate small-scale genre scenes.
Ostade, Adriaen van (1610-85)
Peasant scene artist, Haarlem school.
Rembrandt (1606-1669)
The world's greatest portrait artist, master of chiaroscuro technique.
Ruisdael, Jacob Van (1628-82)
Landscape painter from the Haarlem school. Known for The Jewish Cemetery.
Ruysch, Rachel (1664-1750)
Greatest flower painter of the Late Baroque era.
Saenredam, Pieter (1597-1665)
Architectural painter of churches active in Haarlem.
Snyders, Frans (1579-1657)
Undisputed master of Baroque still life: Antwerp school.
Steen, Jan (1626-79)
Member of Leiden school, noted for his tavern genre scenes.
Steenwyck, Harmen van (1612-56)
Arguably the greatest exponent of vanitas still life painting.
Teniers, David the Younger (1610-90)
Best known for his guardroom scenes.
Terborch, Gerard (1617-81)
Haarlem school genre painter.
Terbrugghen, Hendrik (1588-1629)
Genre-painter, Utrecht school.
Vermeer, Jan (1632-1675)
Delft school Dutch genre-painter; went unrecognized in his own lifetime.
Witte, Emanuel de (1615-92)
Alkmaar architectural painter noted for whitewashed church interiors.

Other famous painters of the Dutch Baroque style of painting in the Protestant Netherlands included: Ferdinand Bol, Gerard Dou, Carel Fabritius, Jacob Jordaens, Nicolaes Maes, and Paulus Potter.


Famous Paintings By Dutch Realist Painters

17th Century Dutch Realist Genre Paintings

Note: For a guide to this type of art, see: Genre-Painting.

Hendrick Avercamp (1585-1634)
A Scene on the Ice Near a Town (1615) National Gallery, London.

Hendrik Terbrugghen (1588-1629)
Flute Players (1621) Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Kassel.

Adriaen Brouwer (1605-38)
The Operation (1631) Alte Pinakothek, Munich.

Judith Leyster (1609-60)
Carousing Couple (1630) Louvre Museum, Paris.
The Rejected Offer (1631) Mauritshuis, The Hague.

Adriaen van Ostade (1610-85)
Rustic Concert (1638) oil on canvas, Prado, Madrid.
Interior with Peasants (1663) Wallace Collection, London.

David Teniers the Younger (1610-90)
Gambling Scene at an Inn (1649) Wallace Collection, London.

Gerrit Dou (1613-75)
Maidservant at a Window (1640) Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam.
The Mousetrap (1645-50) Musee Fabre, Montpelier.

Gerard Terborch (1617-81)
Parental Admonition (1654-55) Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.
Woman Writing a Letter (1655) Mauritshuis, The Hague.

Samuel Van Hoogstraten (1627-78)
The Slippers (1654-60) oil on canvas, Louvre, Paris.
View down the Corridor (1662) oil on panel, Dyrham Park, UK.

Gabriel Metsu (1629-67)
The Prodigal Son (1640s) oil on canvas, Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg.
The Music Lesson (1658) oil on canvas, National Gallery, London.

Pieter de Hooch (1629-83)
Courtyard of a House in Delft (1658) oil on canvas, National Gallery, London.
The Linen Cupboard (1663) Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

Jan Vermeer (1632-1675)
Soldier and a Laughing Girl (c.1658) oil on canvas, Frick Collection, New York.
The Milkmaid (c.1658-1660) oil on canvas, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
Young Woman with a Water Jug/Pitcher (c.1662) Metropolitan Museum, NY.
Woman Holding a Balance (1662-3) National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.
Woman with a Pearl Necklace (c.1662) SMPK, Gemaldegalerie, Berlin.
The Music Lesson (Lady/Gentleman at the Virginals) (c.1665) Royal Collection.
The Concert (c.1665-1666) Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, MA.
The Art of Painting (c.1666-1673) Kunsthistorisches Museum.
The Lacemaker (c.1669-1670) Louvre, Paris.

Nicolas Maes (1634-93)
The Eavesdropper (1657) Dordrecht Museum, Dordrecht.

For more, see: Dutch Realist School of Genre Painting.

17th Century Dutch Realist Portrait Paintings

Note: For a guide to this type of painting, see: Portrait art.

Frans Hals (1582-1666)
The Laughing Cavalier (1625) Wallace Collection, London.

Rembrandt (1606-69)
The Merchant Nicolaes Ruts (1631) The Frick Collection, New York.
The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Nicolaes Tulp (1632) Mauritshuis.
Portrait of a Young Woman with the Fan (1632) Nationalmuseum Stockholm.
The Shipbuilder Jan Rijcksen and His Wife Griet Jans (1633) Royal Collection.
Danae (1636) Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia.
Mennonite Preacher Cornelis Claesz Ansloo and his Wife (1641) Berlin.
Portrait of Agatha Bas (1641) Royal Collection, UK.
Old Rabbi (1642) Szepmuveseti Muzeum, Budapest.
The Night Watch (1642) Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
Portrait of Hendrickje Stoffels (c.1650) Louvre, Paris.
Aristotle Contemplating the Bust of Homer (1653) Metropolitan Museum, NY.
Portrait of Jan Six (1654) The Six Collection, Amsterdam.
Lady with an Ostrich-Feather Fan (1660) National Gallery, Washington DC.
The Syndics of the Cloth-Makers Guild (1662) Rijksmuseum.
The Jewish Bride (Isaac and Rebecca) (c.1666) Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

Jan Vermeer (1632-1675)
Girl with a Red Hat (1665-6) National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.
Girl with a Pearl Earring (1666) Mauritshuis, The Hague.

17th Century Dutch Realist Still Life Paintings

Note: For a guide to this type of art, please see: Still Life Painting, and also vanitas painting.

Harmen Steenwyck (1612-56)
An Allegory of the Vanities of Human Life (1645) National Gallery, London

Jan Davidsz de Heem (1606-83)
A Table of Desserts (1640) Louvre, Paris

Willem Kalf (1619-93)
Still Life with Chinese Porcelain Jar (1662) Gemaldegalerie, SMPK, Berlin

Jan Steen (1626-79)
Beware of Luxury (1663) Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.
The Christening Feast (1664) oil on canvas, Wallace Collection, London.

17th Century Dutch Realist History Paintings

Note: For a guide to this type of art, see: History Painting.

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-69)
Bathsheba Holding King David's Letter (1654) Louvre, Paris.
The Conspiracy of Claudius Civilis (1661) Nationalmuseum, Stockholm.
Suicide of Lucretia (1666) Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis.
Return of the Prodigal Son (1666-69) Hermitage, St Petersburg.


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