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Gerard ter Borch the Younger
(Zwolle 1617 – 1681 Deventer)

“Portrait of a Gentleman aged 39, in a dark dress” & “Portrait of his Wife aged 39, in a dark dress”

a pair, both oil on panel
39,7 x 28 cm
both inscribed and dated: AETATIS 39./.1654
More info

Notes

The Zwolle-born artist Gerard ter Borch, also known as Terborch, is a Dutch painter from the seventeenth century. He painted genre scenes and portraits. Between 1633 and 1635 he was apprenticed to the Haarlem landscape painter Pieter de Molijn (1595-1661). During this period he provided the landscapes of his master with figures.

After his apprenticeship with Molijn, Ter Borch traveled through Europe. He visited England, France, Spain and Italy. He stayed in Rome in 1640, but returned to the Netherlands that same year. A few years later, around 1645, he settled in Amsterdam. There he primarily focused on painting genre pieces.

Gradually his compositions became calmer and more sober, with fewer figures. See, for example, the Portrait of Helena van der Schalcke, which is in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. An exception to the aforementioned austerity, however, is the painting he made in 1648 on the occasion of the end of the Thirty Years’ War, entitled The Peace of Münster between the Netherlands and Spain, which is in the collection of the National Gallery in London.

Many of Ter Borch’s compositions are situated in a compact space, see for example A young lady at her toilet with a maid from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. In 1654 Ter Borch settled in Deventer, the city where he also died. This is where his best-known paintings were created, including The Fatherly Admonition from 1654-55. From 1660, the artist mainly painted portraits. He prefers to place the sitter in a prosperous middle-class interior, with which he combines the art of portraiture and painting genre pieces, as it were.

Provenance

– (Probably) Gerard Godfried, Baron Taets van Amerongen, Seigneur d’Oud Amelisweerd;
– sale, Amsterdam, 3 July 1805, lot 46, Pendant Portraits of a Gentleman and a Lady in Old-Fashioned Dress, panel, 41.2 x 28.3cm. (90 florins to L. Bakker).
– Colonel Stephenson R. Clarke (1862-1948), by 1929, and by descent to the late owner;
– Christie’s London, 1996;
– with Douwes Fine Art, Amsterdam/London;
– private collection, The Netherlands

Exhibition

– London, Royal Academy, Dutch Art 1450-1900, 4 Jan.-9 March 1929, nos. 235-6, both illustrated in the Illustrated Souvenir, p. 80, pl. 97.
– Bristol, 1946, nos. 8-9.

Literature

– (Probably) C. Hofstede de Groot, A Catalogue Raisonné, etc., V, London, 1913, p. 105, no. 337b, and p. 126, no. 412c.
– K. Bauch, Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst, 1929, p. 16.
– S. J. Gudlaugsson, Gerard Ter Borch, I, The Hague, 1959, both illustrated p. 263, and II, 1960, p. 114, nos. 105-6.

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