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NOTICE

OF

GÉRARD DE LAIRESSE.

Gérard de Lairesse born at Liège in 1640, was a pupil to his father, he acquired such a high reputation that he was looked upon as the Poussin of his country. This is doubtless a very flattering praise, but may be said, it was very often deserved for the accuracy of his compositions and his deep thoughts; his design is certainly less pure than that of the french artist, but his colour is truer and more brilliant.

Lairesse came at an early time to Amsterdam, where his talent was greatly valued; he might have lived in easy circumstances had he not given himself up to such a low, mean way of living, but not the least order in his affairs, his only regularity was spending every day what he had gained without saving any thing at all. He was very soon severely punished for his want of foresight, for he was blind hardly turned of fifty.

Although he was deprived of the faculty of exercising painting, he neither lost the taste, nor the genius; his only comfort was speaking and dogmatizing about the rules of an art which he had excelled in. He created a tachygraphy to himself which he traced on a large canvass; his son who knew the meaning of it, penned down the rules. It was only after his death that his work entitled the painters' Great book, 2 vol. 4°. was published.

Gérard de Lairesse died in 1711 aged 71.

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GÉRARD DE LAIRESSE.

Gérard de Lairesse naquit à Liège en 1640. Élève de son père, il acquit une telle réputation qu'il fut regardé comme le Poussin de sa patrie. Cet éloge est bien grand sans doute, mais on peut dire qu'il fut souvent mérité, par la sagesse de ses compositions et la profondeur de ses pensées; son dessin sans doute est moins pur que celui de l'artiste français, mais sa couleur est plus vraie et plus brillante.

Lairesse vint de bonne heure à Amsterdam, où son talent fut bien apprécié ; et il aurait été dans l'aisance si la vie crapuleuse qu'il menait lui eût permis d'avoir un peu d'ordre; mais la seule régularité qu'il eût était de dépenser chaque jour ce qu'il avait gagné sans jamais rien réserver. Bientôt il fut grandement puni de son imprévoyance, puisqu'il perdit la vue, ayant à peine atteint sa cinquantième année.

Privé de la faculté d'exercer la peinture, il n'en perdit ni le goût, ni le génie; toute sa consolation fut d'en parler et de dogmatiser sur les principes d'un art, dans lequel il avait excellé. Il se créa une tachigraphie, qu'il traçait sur une grande toile; son fils, en connoissant la signification, mettait ses principes par écrit. Ce n'est qu'après sa mort que fut publié son ouvrage intitulé: le Grand livre des peintres, 2 vol.

in 4°.

Gérard de Lairesse mourut en 1711 âgé de 71 ans.

NOTICE

OF

JEAN LE DUC.

Jean le Duc born at the Hague, in 1636, was a pupil of Paul Potter, he imitated his master's manner; but through a singularity hard to be comprehended, and which doubtless can be explained only from the broils which desolated Holland at that period, le Duc took up arms, became a captain, and was known by the name of brave.

It is however to be thought he did not entirely forsake the arts, as, in 1671 he was named Director of the Academy of painting at the Hague.

The year of his death is unknown.

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JEAN LE DUC.

Jean le Duc naquit à La Haye en 1636. Élève de Paul Potter, il imita la manière de son maître; mais par une singularité difficile à comprendre, et qui sans doute ne peut s'expliquer que par les troubles qui désolèrent la Hollande, à cette époque, le Duc prit le parti des armes, devint capitaine, et reçut le nom de brave.

Il est à croire cependant qu'il n'abandonna pas entièrement les arts, puisque en 1671 il fut nommé directeur de l'académie de peinture à La Haye.

On ignore l'année de sa mort.

NOTICE

OF

ANTOINE CLAESSENS

Antoine Claessens was perhaps born at Bruges about 1540. But all the circumstances of his life are unknown.

He painted according to the style of Van Eyck and Quentin Metsys; the heads of his personages are full of ingenuousness, and perfectly well performed, but there reigns a dryness in his works; the accessories are painted as carefully as the flesh; his compositions are cold, the prospect in his pictures is not exact, and his attires are nothing else but those of his contemporaries.

Besides his two pictures of the prevaricator judge, which have been given under the numbers 705 and 706, Antoine Claessens has made another picture, representing the banquet of Esther and Mardochée.

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