Interested in a copy for yourself? Poster or canvas.
Where? Room 621 of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Commissioned by? Cardinal Francesco Maria del Monte, the patron of Caravaggio.
What do you see? Four boys dressed in semi-classical costumes. Three of the boys are playing music. The central figure is holding a lute and is thought to be Mario Minniti, a friend of Caravaggio. His eyes are moist and full of tears. The second boy from the right is a self-portrait of Caravaggio, who is playing a cornetto (a horn-like wind instrument of about two feet long; you can see the end of the instrument on the top right of the painting). The boy on the right is studying the musical score. The boy on the left is representing Cupid and is reaching for some grapes. In the foreground are two open books with musical scores as well as an unused violin. These elements seem to invite the viewer to participate with the musicians.
Backstory: This painting is also known as the Concert of Youths. The boys are practicing madrigals, which are a secular (as opposed to religious) vocal music composition from the Renaissance. The song they are practicing deals with the sorrows of love.
Symbolism: The boy on the left represents Cupid. The gathering of grapes by Cupid represents love. The grapes are also representing the fact that music should make the spirits light. Cupid has wings and arrows. The arrows are the main symbol of Cupid (together with the bow). Cupid typically has two kinds of arrows. Arrows with a sharp golden tip, which can fill someone with uncontrollable desire, and arrows with a blunt tip of lead, which can fill someone with aversion and the desire to flee. Cupid seems to have the latter type of arrows here.
Why musicians? Musical scenes became popular during Caravaggio’s time, mainly due to the Church that started supporting various forms of music. Hence, the inspiration for this theme came from Cardinal Del Monte, who was heavily involved with the Church. Del Monte also organized various concerts at his palace. However, interestingly, the music that is played in this painting is nonreligious.
Who is Francesco Maria del Monte? At age 24, Caravaggio entered the household of the Italian cardinal, diplomat, and art connoisseur, Francesco Maria del Monte (1549-1627). Del Monte paid Caravaggio for his work. Del Monte was an important art collector during his time in Rome and left a collection of about 600 paintings at his death. He commissioned more paintings from Caravaggio, including Bacchus (in the Uffizi Museum) and The Fortune Teller (in the Louvre). In addition to his love for paintings, Del Monte was also a big fan of music which explains the musical theme in The Musicians. In his large house, the Palazzo Madama, the cardinal hosted both artists like Caravaggio and various musicians. He paid for their musical education and gave them a place to stay.
Who is Caravaggio? Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610) was trained by Simone Peterzano, who was in turn trained by Titian. He used a realistic painting style, paying both attention to the physical and emotional state of the subjects he painted. He combined this with a brilliant contrast between light and shadow in his paintings. Caravaggio had a tumultuous life and was accused of murder, assault, many fights, and has served in prison. However, his sheer brilliance as an artist has given him a place in the history books. His painting style has had a big influence on the development of Baroque painting (which includes drama and an intense contrast between light and dark). Some well-known paintings by Caravaggio are his Medusa in the Uffizi Museum and Sleeping Cupid in the Palazzo Pitti.
Fun fact: This painting has been missing for centuries. While many artists in the 17th century mentioned this masterpiece, it only turned up in 1952, when the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that the painting had been found and they included it in their museum. Less than two decades before, the painting had been sold for 100 pounds in England, where both the buyer and seller did not recognize that this was the missing painting of Caravaggio (mainly due to the bad state in which the painting was).
Written by Eelco Kappe
Where? Room 97 of the Uffizi Museum
Commissioned by? Cardinal del Monte, who gave it as a present to Ferdinando I de’ Medici, the Grand Duke of Tuscany.
What do you see? A young Bacchus is holding a glass of wine in his left hand. He has a wreath of vine leaves and grapes on his head. It seems that he is wearing some makeup on his face. With his right hand, he is playing with the drawstrings of his half-opened robe. Bacchus is sitting on a chaise longue (a Roman type of chair/bench – also called a triclinium). On the stone table in front of him are a ceramic bowl of fruit and a jug of wine. The bowl of fruit contains both healthy and spoiled fruits as well as fresh green leaves and spoiled yellow leaves. Bacchus already seems a bit drunk and extends an invitation to the viewer to join him for a glass of wine and maybe something more… If you look carefully, you can see the ripples in the glass of wine to indicate the movement of the left arm of Bacchus towards the viewer.
Backstory: This painting was created when Caravaggio was staying with his first patron, Cardinal del Monte. True to his unconventional style, Caravaggio painted an imperfect, limited, earthly version of Bacchus. This may be close to some of the figures he met in the many taverns and brothels that he liked to visit. Cardinal del Monte gave it away in 1608 to the Grand Duke of Tuscany on the occasion of the marriage of the Grand Duke’s son Cosimo II. The painting has long been unknown to the public as it stayed for centuries hidden in some of the private quarters of its owners. It was rediscovered in 1913 in the storage of the Uffizi Museum after which it was attributed to Caravaggio.
Symbolism: The bowl with spoiled fruit is an example of a vanitas, which means ‘emptiness’. Vanitas refers in the traditional Christian view to the emptiness and worthlessness of all earthly goods and ambitions. Spoiled fruit is one common way to present this. It was appropriate to depict this fruit with Bacchus as he was associated with fertility and agriculture. Notice also the dirty fingernails of Bacchus. Some interpret this as a warning of the consequences of earthly pleasures, while other just attribute this to the style of Caravaggio (he painted in great detail what he saw, including dirty fingernails). The vine leaves in Bacchus’ hair are one of his sacred symbols, and that is how we can easily recognize him. Finally, it seems that Bacchus is wearing some makeup on his face, which is often associated with sexuality and strengthens the idea that he is inviting the viewer for more than a glass of wine.
Who is Bacchus? Bacchus (in Greek Dionysus) is the god of the wine, fertility, madness, theatre, and religious ecstasy. He is the son of god Zeus and the mortal Semele.
Why Bacchus? Bacchus was a chronic alcoholic and was a good subject to depict the misery of the common people (or as some people think, the miserable state of Caravaggio at the time of the painting). Bacchus was also the inspiration for popular festivals, called Bacchanalia, which were introduced to Rome in the second century before Christ. These festivals contained a lot of alcohol and nudity and were a popular theme in Renaissance art. The fact that Bacchus was associated with drinking and other crazy activities made him a popular subject for some less religious artists. Caravaggio has created more paintings in which Bacchus was the subject. For example, around 1593, he created the painting Young Sick Bacchus which is considered to be a self-portrait of Caravaggio. This painting is now in the Galleria Borghese in Rome.
Who is Caravaggio? Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610) was trained by Simone Peterzano, who was in turn trained by Titian. He used a realistic painting style, paying both attention to the physical and emotional state of the subjects he painted. He combined this with a brilliant contrast between light and shadow in his paintings. Caravaggio had a tumultuous life and was accused of murder, assault, many fights, and he served in prison. However, his sheer brilliance as an artist has given him a place in the history books. His painting style has had a big influence on the development of Baroque painting (which includes drama and an intense contrast between light and dark). Among his many famous works are his Medusa in the Uffizi Museum and The Musicians in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Fun fact: Many experts believe that Caravaggio used a mirror to draw this painting such that he did not have to make the drawing first, but could immediately work on the painting. This means that the model for this painting offered the wine with his right hand, instead of the somewhat awkward way in which Bacchus is using his left hand. Another reason to believe that Caravaggio was using a mirror for this painting is that after a cleaning of the painting a very small self-portrait of Caravaggio working on a painting was revealed in the reflection of the jug of wine (but it is difficult to see).
Interested in a copy for yourself? Poster.
Where? Gallery 7 of the Legion of Honor Museum
When? About 1773
Commissioned by? Unknown
What do you see? A young Mary comfortably leans back against her mother, Saint Anne, who teaches the Virgin Mary about the Bible. Mary has her finger on the Bible questioning her mother about a certain aspect. However, Mary seems confident as well and enjoys this activity with her mother. Fragonard included strong contrasts between mother and daughter. Mary is tiny and has a pale, doll-like face. Her oversized mother looks like a wise and experienced woman. On the left, they are accompanied by two small angels hovering next to the Bible to give them divine inspiration. On the right, they are joined by a white cat. Fragonard paints a mysterious light source in the background giving this painting a magical feel. The bottom left of the painting probably has been damaged over time, but, interestingly, the vaguely applied pink and brown paints add to the magical feeling of this work.
Background: Fragonard got the inspiration for this painting from earlier works on this theme by Peter Paul Rubens and Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. Rubens painted the theme between 1630 and 1635 and this work is on display in The Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Antwerp. Between 1730 and 1732, Tiepolo painted the theme multiple times, including a version in the Santa Maria della Fava Church in Venice. Fragonard first copied the works of these artists but then created his own, unique composition of this theme. However, when he finished the work, it was not received well by the art critics of that time. It inspired him to create some other versions of this work.
The youth of Mary: The youth of the Virgin Mary is described in the apocryphal Gospel of James. Mary is the daughter of Saints Anne and Joachim. They were wealthy people, but Anne was infertile. After a desperate prayer to God, an angel appeared to her promising a child that would become famous. Anne became pregnant without intercourse with her husband. When Mary was three years old, her parents brought her to the Temple where she would be raised by the priests and received food from the hand of an angel. When she was 12 years old, God picked Joseph, a widower with older children, to be Mary’s guardian and to become her husband when she was old enough. And when Mary was 16 years old, she became pregnant without having intercourse. Joseph actually only discovered her pregnancy when he came back from a house-building trip when she was already six months pregnant.
The Education of the Virgin: The story of Saint Anne teaching her daughter Mary about the Bible only developed in the 11th century AD. It is not mentioned in the Gospel of James, which is the main source of information about Mary’s youth. In contrast, the Gospel of James mentions that Mary lived with the priests at the Temple between her third and twelfth year. The only skill of Mary mentioned in the gospel is that she was good at weaving. But 11th-century logic told priests and scholars that, as the Mother of Jesus, Mary also had to be able to read and be knowledgeable about the Bible. And so, artists in the next centuries started to depict Saint Anne teaching Mary about the Bible.
Multiple versions: Fragonard created multiple versions of The Education of the Virgin. The version in the Legion of Honor Museum was probably the first version and painted around 1773. After that, he made two drawings of the painting for which he used the same composition but experimented with different lighting effects. During the second half of the 1770s, Fragonard created a second series on this topic. In these later paintings, Mary is no longer looking at the Bible but at her mother instead. The education of the virgin was a theme that multiple artists have used over time. Besides Rubens and Tiepolo, Guido Reni painted between 1640 and 1642 a version in the Hermitage Museum. And between 1842 and 1852, Eugene Delacroix also painted a couple of versions of this theme, one in The National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo, and another one is owned by the Louvre.
Who is Fragonard? Jean-Honoré Fragonard was born in 1732 in Grasse in the Southeast of France and died in 1806 in Paris. He started his career as a fairly traditional artist, but during a trip to Italy in his late twenties, he started to become interested in more theatrical works. He got inspired by the works of artists like Hals, Rembrandt, Rubens, and Tiepolo, and decided to create colorful, chaotic paintings about love and happiness. Among these paintings is his best-known work, The Swing in the Wallace Collection in London. However, his new style of painting was not well-received by everybody, and he still continued to paint some more traditional religious works on commission. After the French Revolution in 1789, Fragonard continued to paint, but his name was forgotten quickly.
Fun fact: The theme of the education of the virgin has contributed significantly to the development of female literacy. Whereas in the early Middle Ages only men were depicted holding a book, the increasing popularity of Saint Anne teaching Mary how to read the Bible was a sign to people that it was also important for women to learn how to read. Images of Mary being able to read the Bible did not remain restricted to Saint Anne teaching her. The Annunciation by Leonardo da Vinci in the Uffizi Museum shows that Mary is reading the Bible when the Archangel Gabriel announces to her that she will be the Mother of Jesus.
Where? Room 17 of the San Diego Museum of Art
When? c. 1636-1638
Commissioned by? King Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria
What do you see? A portrait of Henrietta Maria, the Queen of England. She sits on a chair wearing an elaborate blue satin dress which is decorated with jewelry, including a large brooch at her chest and several pieces of jewelry in the form of a fleur-de-lis (a Catholic symbol especially popular in Henrietta Maria’s birth country of France. She also wears a very expensive pearl necklace, earrings, and a diadem. She had received these pearl jewelry from her mother when she married. In her left hand, she has two pink roses. This was her favorite type of flower, and she wanted roses to be included in many of her portraits. On the left, her crown stands on a table. Finally, notice the long pointy fingers of Henrietta Maria, an aesthetic feature considered beautiful during that time.
Backstory: Anthony van Dyck painted many portraits of Queen Henrietta Maria. However, the queen did not pose extensively for each of these portraits. Usually, she posed briefly for Van Dyck such that he could draw the outline of her portrait. The queen was then replaced by a stand-in model who would wear the same clothes as the queen. Van Dyck idealized the portrait of the queen. In reality, she was less pretty than she appears on these portraits. In reality, she was a short woman, but Van Dyck makes her appear as rather tall. The willingness of Van Dyck to idealize his sitters is one of the reasons that the royal family of England kept coming back to him with more commissions.
Who is Queen Henrietta? She was born in 1609 as the daughter of King Henry IV of France. Henrietta Maria of France was 15 years old when she married Charles I who had, months before, become the King of England, Ireland, and Scotland. This made her a queen. She was not very popular in England as she did not master the language well and she was Catholic in a Protestant country. However, she formed a strong bond with King Charles I. Henrietta Maria and Charles I were both art collectors. They commissioned works from some of the leading artists of the day, including Guido Reni, Peter Paul Rubens, and Anthony van Dyck. In 1632, Van Dyck made a family portrait of them which is on display in Windsor Castle.
Other portraits of Queen Henrietta: On August 8, 1632, Charles I commissioned Anthony van Dyck for the first time to paint a portrait of Queen Henrietta Maria. After this first portrait, numerous other portraits of her followed. Most of these portraits were painted by Van Dyck, but for some of them, he got the help of his assistants. Many of the portraits show Henrietta Maria by herself. For example, in 1638, Van Dyck painted the Portrait of Queen Henrietta Maria in the Hermitage Museum. In some other portraits, she is depicted together with some members of her family or entourage. One example is Queen Henrietta Maria with Sir Jeffrey Hudson in the National Gallery of Art. In total, about 88 portraits of Henrietta Maria are known. These portraits are not only painted by Van Dyck, but also by other painters like Hendrik Gerritsz. Pot and Johannes Vorstermans.
Who is Van Dyck? Anthony van Dyck was born in 1599 in Antwerp. He was a very talented painter who started his training as a painter at age 10 and became an independent artist when he was 16 years old. He became the most important assistant of the leading painter of the day, Peter Paul Rubens, who painted a portrait of Anthony van Dyck in 1627/1628. While he never surpassed Rubens in terms of popularity, he achieved international fame with his work. In 1632, Van Dyck was invited to the court of King Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria. That same year, he was knighted by the royal couple. They commissioned numerous portraits from him, not only from members of their own family but also for foreign friends and ambassadors.
Fun fact: Van Dyck painted an almost identical portrait of Queen Henrietta Maria of England in the Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen. There are a few differences between both paintings. Most noticeable are the brighter colors in the Copenhagen version which are clearly visible when comparing the dress and the crown in both versions. It also seems as if the version in the San Diego Museum of Art has been cut off on all four sides. Moreover, the Copenhagen version shows a bigger cleavage, earrings on both sides, and a curtain in the background that matches with Henrietta Maria’s dress.
Interested in a copy for yourself? Poster.
Where? Room 15 of the Mauritshuis
When? Around 1665
What do you see? An unknown girl is painted against a black background. The girl is shown from the side but turns her brightly lit face towards the viewer. She is wearing a large, pear-shaped, shining pearl earring. On the top left of the pearl, the light is reflected, while at the bottom there is a less visible reflection of her white collar. The size of the pearl is similar to the size of her eye, which means that it is a very large pearl compared to the pearls we commonly see in contemporary pearls used for jewelry. Vermeer painted similar earrings in Girl with a Flute and Girl with a Red Hat, which are both displayed in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. The girl in this painting is wearing exotic clothes. She wears a brown-yellow jacket with a white collar and a blue turban around her head with a yellow cloth that hangs down. Her mouth is slightly open, and her red lips contrast nicely with the color of her face. She is looking mysteriously at us. People do not agree on what emotions she expresses. For example, is she happy or is she sad? Notice also the technique of Vermeer in this painting. You can see his brush strokes in her clothing, but her face consists only of invisible brush strokes which adds to the tranquility of this painting. Vermeer included the famous reflection of light in the pearl earring, but when you look carefully, the light also reflects in her eyes and her lower lip.
Backstory: After the death of Vermeer in 1675, the painting was probably owned by Pieter van Ruijven, the patron of Vermeer. After that the ownership of the painting is unclear. However, in 1881, this painting reappeared and was sold at an auction in The Hague for two Dutch guilders and thirty cents to the art collector Arnoldus Andries des Tombe. This amount is equivalent to a bit more than $1 at that time, and this amount would be worth about $28 nowadays. The painting was in a bad state at that moment, and the painter of it was unknown. While restoring the picture, it was discovered to carry the signature of Vermeer. In 1902, Des Tombe died, and his collection of paintings was donated to the Mauritshuis. It stayed there until 2014, but when the Mauritshuis was remodeled, the painting went on a world tour. After it came back, the Mauritshuis swore that the painting would never leave the museum again, just as, for example, The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli in the Uffizi Museum. Nowadays, the painting is also known as the Mona Lisa of the North because of the curious expression of the girl.
What is a tronie? This painting is a so-called tronie. A tronie is a study of a face that stands out, a particular expression of the face, or the expression of a particular character. To create a tronie, an anonymous model was used. In the case of this painting, it is indeed unknown who the model was. The word tronie comes from the Dutch language and means ‘face’. Tronies were particularly popular in the 17th century in The Netherlands and were popularized by Rembrandt. Another example of a tronie is Gypsy Girl by Frans Hals, which is in the Louvre in Paris.
Girl with a Pearl Earring in popular culture? In 1999, the author Tracy Chevalier wrote a fictional book entitled Girl with a Pearl Earring (Amazon link). This book has been inspired by Vermeer’s painting and has been sold over three million times. In 2003 the book was made into a similarly-entitled movie (Amazon link) with Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth.
Who is Vermeer? Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) was born in Delft in The Netherlands. He lived there his whole life. He married in 1653 with Catharina Bolenes and they got 15 children together. Vermeer took a lot of time to complete a painting, on average about four months. While he was perceived as a good painter by his contemporaries in Delft, he was largely unknown outside his hometown. Vermeer was familiar with the works of some other Dutch painters, but his work has almost not at all been influenced by foreign artists. Other well-known works of Vermeer include The Milkmaid in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and View of Delft, which is also in the Mauritshuis.
Fun fact: Pearls can be found inside the shell of a mollusk. Most pearls come from oysters, but they can also come from snails. The biggest pearl in the world is about 34 kilos (75lbs). So, even though large pearls do exist, it is very likely that the girl in this painting is not wearing a pearl earring, but an earring made of some metal. The reason is the reflection of the light in the earring which would only be possible if it is made of a metal object such as tin or a mix of tin and silver. The painting was initially known under several names, such as Girl with a Turban, but none of these names included the word pearl. However, in 1995, the Mauritshuis changed the name of the painting to the Girl with a Pearl Earring, and despite the doubt about whether it is really a pearl the Mauritshuis decided not to change its name again.
Interested in a copy for yourself? Poster.
Where? Second floor, room 846 of the Richelieu wing in the Louvre
When? Between 1626 and 1628
What do you see? A prostitute smiling provocatively. She has half of her breasts exposed. The use of light emphasizes her expression and cleavage. She wears a white linen garment with a salmon-colored bodice on top of it. She has rosy cheeks and looks to her left (our right). It seems that she is seducing a potential client. By 17th- and 21st-century standards, the woman is not very pretty. She has a somewhat big nose, not a very smooth skin, and her hair is somewhat unkempt. However, her facial expression is so intriguing that this work leaves a lasting impression on those who view the painting. Frans Hals used loose and rough brush strokes for this painting. While Hals is known for his loose brush strokes, in this painting he used them more than in most of his other works. The style used for this work helps to make The Gypsy Girl very memorable.
Backstory: Louis La Caze owned this painting in the 19th century. He was a doctor from Paris and an avid art collector. He gave the name The Gypsy Girl to this painting. This title is not very accurate as he did not recognize that Frans Hals actually painted a prostitute. La Caze left this painting for the Louvre after his death in 1869, together with 568 other paintings. When the Louvre received the painting, the influential newspaper Gazette des Beaux-Arts praised Hals as the best painter ever.
Malle Babbe: This painting is also sometimes referred to as Malle Babbe. However, this name is incorrect as Hals has another painting entitled Malle Babbe. This painting is in the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin. The confusion can be explained as a popular Dutch song, entitled Malle Babbe, was written in 1970. This song was inspired by the Gypsy Girl. However, the writer of the song, Lennaert Nijgh, mistakenly thought that The Gypsy Girl painting was called Malle Babbe.
Who is Hals? Frans Hals the Elder was born in 1582 or 1583 in Antwerp, Belgium, and died in 1666 in Haarlem, The Netherlands. When Hals painted The Gypsy Girl, he was inspired somewhat by the works of Caravaggio. However, Hals differed substantially from Caravaggio as he left out many (distracting) details in his paintings and focused on the composition and the expression of his subjects. This allowed Hals to give his subjects a personality. While Hals was a popular local painter during his life, his works were largely forgotten after his death. The Impressionist painters rediscovered his work in the 1860s. Artists like Manet and Monet were inspired by the lack of detail, beautiful composition, and the loose brush strokes of Hals. The work of Hals has only gained in popularity since. Some beautiful works of Hals include his series on the four evangelists, of which Saint John the Evangelist is in the Getty Museum, and the Portrait of Tieleman Roosterman in the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Fun fact: Radiographic analysis of this painting revealed that Frans Hals initially wanted to paint a less provocative version of this woman. Her breasts were smaller and less exposed. However, Hals decided to make the painting more provocative. This painting shows more cleavage than any other painting by Hals. The open mouth of the woman is also a telltale sign. Decent women from the 17th century would never be depicted with a smile or open mouth in a portrait as that was considered indecent.
Where? Room 6 of the Prado Museum
When? Around 1600
Commissioned by? Unknown
What do you see? David is tying the hair of Goliath with a rope after he beheaded him. This would allow him to carry the head with him and show it as proof that he killed Goliath. David wears a white fabric that he tucked into his beige pants. He bends down with his left knee on top of the shoulders of the beheaded body of Goliath. David is concentrated on his task and does not show any sign of triumph. It seems a serious and necessary task that he is completing. On the left, we can see the large right hand of the giant. Goliath has thick curly hair and a black beard. We can also see the wound on his forehead where the stone from David’s sling hit him. Caravaggio created a strong contrast between light and dark to emphasize the important body parts in this painting. The right leg, back, and arms of David are in the light, as are the head, shoulders, and right hand of Goliath.
Backstory: The exact date that Caravaggio painted this work is unclear, but experts believe that he created this between 1596 and 1600. The painting was taken to Spain after Caravaggio completed it. There, it had a big impact on the Spanish artists of that time. This painting is based on the Biblical story of David and Goliath in 1 Samuel 17. However, this story does not mention that David used a rope to tie the hair of Goliath. This is just a free interpretation of the Biblical story by Caravaggio.
Other versions by Caravaggio: Caravaggio painted David with the Head of Goliath a total of three times at different stages of his career. In 1607, he painted his second version, which is on display in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. In this version, David grabs the hair of Goliath to hold his head in his hand. The third version from 1610 is in the Galleria Borghese in Rome. The second and third versions are quite similar. The main differences are the age of the head of Goliath and the way in which David holds his sword.
David and Goliath: 1 Samuel 17 describes the story of David and Goliath. Israel was at war with the Philistines. The Philistines had a hero called Goliath who was over 9 feet (2.75 meters) tall. Goliath proposed every day to the Israelites that instead of letting the armies fight each other, they should send one man to fight him. If Goliath would win the fight, the Israelites would become slaves of the Philistines, and if Goliath would lose, the Philistines would become slaves of the Israelites. David convinced King Saul that he should fight Goliath. He went out of the army camp to meet Goliath, wearing no armor but bringing a walking stick, a sling, and a bag with five smooth stones. He put a stone in his sling and threw it at Goliath, hitting him between his eyes. Goliath fell, and David took Goliath’s sword to kill him by cutting off his head. He took the head of Goliath back to Jerusalem but kept his sword and spear for himself.
Who is Caravaggio? Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610) was born in Caravaggio near Milan, Italy. In 1592, he fled to Rome to escape a conviction in Milan. Around 1600, he became very popular and was probably the most sought-after painter in Rome. He received the most prestigious commissions, and many people enjoyed the contrasts, drama, and emotions he included in his works. In the years after he painted the first version of David with the Head of Goliath, Caravaggio painted several other masterpieces, including The Entombment of Christ between 1602 and 1604 in the Vatican Museums and Death of the Virgin between 1601 and 1606 in the Louvre.
Fun fact: X-ray analysis revealed that Caravaggio initially wanted to paint a much more expressive version of Goliath. Underneath the canvas are traces of another design of the head of Goliath. In that design, Goliath has a much more terrifying expression on his face and his eyes almost pop out of his head. This version was more like the painting of Medusa of which Caravaggio painted two versions. The first version from 1596 is in a private collection and the second version, from 1597, is in the Uffizi Museum. However, the unknown commissioner of David with the Head of Goliath in the Prado Museum probably rejected this initial design after which Caravaggio settled on a more conservative version of Goliath’s head.
Where? Gallery 14 of the Legion of Honor Museum
Commissioned by? Joris de Caullery
What do you see? The portrait of a confident, 32-year old member of the civic guard in The Hague. Joris de Caullery is dressed in the costume of a civic guard member. He holds a type of musket (called a caliver) in his right hand and has his left hand on his hip. He wears a shiny shoulder-belt (called a bandolier) in which his sword hangs. Above the shoulder-belt, he wears a gorget, a piece of armor that covers the neck. But we can still see the purple-grey sleeves of his jacket and the sleeveless yellow doublet made of soft leather that he wears on top of the jacket. When he would get into action as a civic guard member, he would add a big piece of armor over that to protect himself. The cords of the doublet near his shoulders were used to attach the arm and shoulder pieces of his armor.
Use of light: The young Rembrandt, only 26 years old, is already revolutionary in the way he incorporates light into his paintings. The contrast between light and dark allows him to emphasize the important elements of this portrait. Rembrandt illuminates parts of the armor and the tunic, as well as the face of Joris de Caullery. The ability to paint the soft flesh and detailed muscles and wrinkles around De Caullery’s eyes sets Rembrandt’s portraits apart from most of his contemporaries. However, this painting is not considered one of Rembrandt’s masterpieces. Over time, he would get even better in incorporating light in his paintings. For example, in this work, it is not so clear where the source of light is located. In later works, Rembrandt would incorporate the light more naturally, and we can understand better where the light is coming from.
Backstory: In 1632, Rembrandt went to The Hague to create several portraits, among which the portrait of Joris de Caullery and a portrait of his son (which has not been identified with certainty yet). The painted came officially in possession of the museum in 1966 through a gift from the Roscoe and Margaret Oakes Foundation.
What is the civic guard? Most cities in the 17th-century Dutch Republic had a civic guard. This was a voluntary organization consisting of citizens of the city to safeguard the city. A civic guard was typically led by one colonel, one provost, and a few captains, lieutenants, and sergeants. These people came from the upper class and taking such a leadership role was an honorary job. These people liked to be portrayed in this role. Frans Hals made several group portraits of the civic guard in Haarlem, including The Banquet of the Officers of the St George Militia Company in 1639 in the Frans Hals Museum. And in 1642, Rembrandt made the most famous of these group portraits. The Night Watch in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam shows the leaders of the Amsterdam civic guard. The bulk of the civic guard members, however, consisted of middle- and lower-class citizens of the city. There are few portraits of those people as they did not have the money to commission a portrait.
Who is De Caullery? Joris de Caulerij (or Caullery) lived between 1600 and 1661 in The Hague, close to the Mauritshuis, where he was a member of the civic guard. In 1635, he listed as one of the lieutenants in the civic guard. In his daily life, he worked in the navy where he became a captain and was praised for his courage. After his military career, he became a successful wine merchant. During his life, Joris de Caullery commissioned several well-known artists to make portraits of him and his wife. According to records, these artists included Anthony van Dyck and Jan Lievens. However, these other portraits – possibly except for one – have not been recovered yet.
Who is Rembrandt? Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was born in 1606 in Leiden and died in 1669 in Amsterdam. Together with Frans Hals and Johannes Vermeer, he is considered to be the best painter from the Dutch Golden Age. Rembrandt was very productive during his career and was an excellent draughtsman, etcher, and painter. He painted a large variety of themes, including biblical, mythological, and contemporaneous subjects. Among them is The Return of the Prodigal Son in the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg. Rembrandt also loved to paint portraits of himself, other individuals, and group portraits. Besides his famous The Night Watch, The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp in the Mauritshuis in The Hague is also a highly-admired work by Rembrandt.
Fun fact: On Christmas Eve of 1978, thieves stole four 17th-century paintings from De Young Museum (which is together with the Legion of Honor Museum part of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco). In 1999, three of the four stolen paintings were recovered when they were left anonymously in a box at an auction house in New York. Among the recovered paintings was the Portrait of a Rabbi that was attributed to Rembrandt, though there was (and is) doubt about this attribution. The value of that painting at the time of the theft was estimated at $1 million, and the combined value of the other three paintings was about $75,000. The thieves were not that smart though as during the theft they did not take the portrait Joris de Caullery which hung in the same room and was unequivocally attributed to Rembrandt. The value of this painting was estimated to be $25-40 million in 1989.
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Where? Gallery 50A of the National Gallery of Art
When? Between 1662 and 1665
Commissioned by? Possibly, Pieter Claesz. van Ruijven, the patron of Vermeer.
What do you see? A pregnant woman stands in front of a table while holding a balance. She wears a blue winter jacket with white fur, a white head covering, and a long yellow/orange skirt. Her head is slightly tilted to the left, and she looks down at the balance in her right hand. On top of the table are two jewelry boxes, a pearl necklace, a gold chain, and some coins. The balance in the painting is empty but will be used to weigh the coins on the table. In the left foreground is a large blue cloth. The woman stands in front of a mirror. To the right of the mirror, we can see a yellow curtain that lets in a bit of light. On the wall in the back hangs a painting from The Last Judgment. The floor is covered with black and white tiles.
Use of Light: The light that enters on the top left helps us to better identify the colors of the different items in the room. For example, look at the color of the woman’s skirt. If we just look at the color below her waist, it seems yellow-brown, but looking at her belly, it seems that the skirt has a much more cheerful color, more like orange-yellow. Also, look at the color of the tiles. Below the table, the colors and contrasts are vague, but on the right side, in the light, the black and white contrast in the tiles is very clear. Finally, the blue cloth in the bottom left makes it very clear how much effort Vermeer put in accurately incorporating the effects of light into his work.
Backstory: This painting has also been referred to as “Woman Weighing Gold” or “Woman Weighing Pearls.” The Last Judgment painting in the background has not been identified yet, but it is probably a mannerist painting from the late 16th or early 17th century. An interesting detail here is that the bottom of that painting on the right side of the woman is lower than on the left side of the woman. Vermeer more often included works of art, like paintings or maps, from other artists in the background of his paintings. For example, The Astronomer in the Louvre has a painting of The Finding of Moses in the background, and in the background of Young Woman with a Water Pitcher in the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a known map of Hapsburg Netherlands.
Symbolism: Vermeer paints a pregnant woman with in the background a painting of The Last Judgment. This painting shows the apocalypse, the time when Jesus comes back to weigh all people on a ‘balance’ of good and bad to decide who goes to Heaven. One the left side of that painting (from our point of view) are the blessed people and on the right side are the damned people. At the same time, the woman is about to weigh some coins to judge their value. The message of this painting is that one needs to be careful with the earthly pleasures, like jewelry and money, because after you die everyone will be judged by God. The mirror in front of the woman should remind her that she should look in the mirror to evaluate her actions based on the Christian religion.
Who is Vermeer? Johannes Vermeer was born in Delft, The Netherlands, in 1632, and died there in 1675. He was the son of an art dealer and a silk weaver. Vermeer took a long time to complete each painting and was very precise. Because of this, he only produced a limited number of paintings. As a result, and in combination with raising his many children, he never got rich. Vermeer is classified as a genre painter (painting simple scenes from everyday life). While less than 40 known paintings are attributed to him, most of his works are of very high quality and very popular nowadays. Some great examples of his work are The Milkmaid in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and Girl with a Pearl Earring in the Mauritshuis in The Hague.
Fun fact: The woman in this painting seems pregnant. This is best visible by looking at her belly, which is accentuated by the colorful part of the skirt. Other signs of her pregnancy are the pale color on her face and some hints of edema (which is a swelling in the legs, feet, and arms). The swelling in her hands is hard to see for the average person, but not for medically trained professionals. While it is not known who the woman in the painting is, it is not unlikely that she is the wife of Johannes Vermeer, Catharina Bolnes, as they got 15 children together.
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Where? Room 17 of the Frans Hals Museum
Commissioned by? Jacobus Hendricksz. Zaffius
What do you see? A life-size portrait of the 77-year old Jacobus Hendricksz. Zaffius. Frans Hals portrays Zaffius with his grey beard and mustache. Zaffius wears dark clothes with a fur cloak on top, a white collar, and a black cap. Hals paints him with a fairly serious expression. Zaffius looks to the left, which is the area where the light is coming from. Most of the face of Zaffius is illuminated by the light, and Hals uses darker colors to paint the left side of the face that is not in the light. Hals applies the paint smoothly and pays careful attention to the details in the portrait. However, compared to his colleagues, Hals somewhat broader brush strokes.
Backstory: Frans Hals was 28 years old went he created this painting. He had only started as an independent artist the year before and was primarily working as an art restorer for the local guild of painters. This was the first commission that he received, and it was a great opportunity for Frans Hals to kickstart his desired career as a painter. He paints the portrait of 22 x 16 inch (55 c 41 cm) on a wood panel, which is the most popular medium for portraits of relatively small size.
Who is Zaffius? Jacobus Hendricksz. Zaffius is a rich Catholic pastor, miniature painter, and environmental activist. Two years before he commissions Frans Hals to paint his portrait, Zaffius had donated a considerable sum of money to expand an almshouse in Haarlem with five rooms. Jacobus Zaffius asks Hals to paint his portrait for the regent’s room of the almshouse. Zaffius is the official for the Catholic Church in Haarlem, even though the Catholic Church was officially forbidden.
Who is Hals? Frans Hals was born in 1582/1583 in Antwerp, but his parents moved to Haarlem when Frans was about four years old. He would stay all his life in Haarlem where he would die at age 84. Frans Hals was a revolutionary painter. His broad and loose brush strokes were very different from other Baroque painters, and he was considered as one of the best painters in Haarlem during his life. He primarily focused on portraits, and about 80% of his surviving oeuvre consists of portraits of upper-class people. Among his more famous portraits are his Portrait of René Descartes in the Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen and the Portrait of Tieleman Roosterman in the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Fun fact: During his career, Frans Hals constantly struggled with the tradeoff between following his revolutionary artistic ideas and fulfilling the wishes of his commissioners. Hals liked to use loose brush strokes and omit some traditional details from his portraits. By doing this, he was better able to bring out the personality of his sitter. However, his commissioners were often not ready for Hals’ innovative approach, and Hals also had to make some money to support himself and his family. Early in his career, Hals was more willing to listen to the demands of his commissioners and thus make more traditional portraits.
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Where? Second floor, room 837 of the Richelieu wing in the Louvre
What do you see? A seated man with long hair inspects an astronomical globe in front of him. Next to the globe lays an astrolabe, an instrument to make astronomical measurements. In front of the astronomer is an open book on astronomy on the table. The book is opened on a section on the stars. There are also some other books on the table, as well as a divider tool. The table is covered with a blue-green, thick tapestry with yellow flower decorations. The astronomer wears a voluminous blue cloak and gently touches the globe with his right hand. He is in the middle of his activities and Vermeer captures a frozen moment in time. It seems that he is making a discovery. The astronomer is the same person as the man in Vermeer’s The Geographer, which he painted one year later. In the background is a large closet with books on top of it. In front of the closet hangs a drawing of a chart with radial lines on it (a celestial planisphere). Below this chart is the inscription of Vermeer’s name and the date of the painting. On the right side of the wall hangs a painting on The Finding of Moses, which may be another painting by Vermeer that has gone missing. The Finding of Moses is also used in the background of Vermeer’s Lady Writing a Letter with Her Maid in the National Gallery of Ireland. The light is coming through the window on the left and Vermeer masterfully incorporates this light into the painting. The light illuminates the globe, the face and hands of the astronomer, and part of the tapestry of the table.
Backstory: This painting was sold several times together with The Geographer by Vermeer. The two paintings were probably companion pieces given the many similarities between the two (the same man, tapestry, and closet, as well as the similarity in the size and fabric of the paintings). The two professions often went together. A geographer was often also an astronomer at that time, as geography was related to the positioning of the stars. Globe makers at that time usually made both a celestial and a terrestrial globe. The terrestrial globe can be seen in Vermeer’s The Geographer. The Astronomer was considered the better of the two paintings. For example, in 1797, The Geographer was sold for an equivalent of $53 and The Astronomer for $108, both at the same auction. The painting has been in the Louvre since 1983.
Who is Vermeer? Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) was a perfectionist in his paintings and did not quickly produce his works to earn money. However, because of this, and the eleven surviving children that he had, he died as a poor man suffering from depression. He often took multiple months to finish a painting and regularly completely repainted big parts of a painting. He is known for his brilliant use of light in his works and may have been inspired by Caravaggio for that. Vermeer had a preference for females in his paintings, and this is only one of two paintings in which a solitary man was depicted (the other one being The Geographer in the Städel Museum in Frankfurt). No known image of Vermeer has ever been painted. He is mainly remembered for his genre pieces, which include The Lacemaker in the Louvre and The Milkmaid in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
Fun fact: Jacob Hondius created the celestial globe in this painting in 1600. It is the oldest known celestial globe in the world and is currently on display in the Scheepvaart Museum in Amsterdam (a great picture of the globe can be found on their website). The Dutch book in front of the astronomer is the second edition of Basic Volume on Geography and Astronomy (Google Books link) by Adriaan Metius (which means Adriaan the Measurer) from 1621. It is opened to the first two pages of the Third Book (pages 108 and 109), entitled On the Investigation or Observation of Stars. On the left page of the book is a cartwheel astrolabe invented by Metius, while the right page is full of text. The text describes that measurement tools, geometry, and inspiration from God are necessary for astronomical research.
Where? Gallery 6 of the Legion of Honor Museum
When? About 1642-1644
Commissioned by? Unknown
What do you see? An idyllic view of the landscape around the Italian town Tivoli. In the center of the painting is the outline of Tivoli on top of a hill. The city can be entered via the bridge in the middle. The city is full of big houses and ancient ruins. On top of the hill in the foreground is the ruin of the Temple of Vesta, which was built in the first century BC. Lorrain paints the city during sunset, causing some beautiful light effects. The sky is somewhat hazy and orange, the edges of the clouds are illuminated, and the landscape is largely in the shadow. In the foreground, Lorrain paints the Aniene River, including a small waterfall. The river is shallow and allows the group of cows and goats to cross the river to have a drink in a safe place. The three young men and the dog at the back of the herd follow suit. They are surrounded by some very large trees.
Backstory: Compared to earlier landscape painters, the 17th-century landscape painters in Italy were interested in depicting the grandeur and the emotion that the landscape evoked. To convey these elements, they did not create completely realistic views but played around with the effects of light to create a more dramatic view. Tivoli and its countryside was a particularly popular spot for 17th-century painters in Rome. The beautiful hills, river, and numerous ancient and medieval ruins and buildings were an inspiring sight. As a landscape painter, Claude Lorrain visited this area frequently. His paintings not only provided idyllic scenes but also made some local clients remember of Rome’s magnificent past.
Why Tivoli: The town of Tivoli is about 30 kilometers East of Rome next to the Aniene River. It is located in a hilly area from where Rome can be seen when visibility is good. Tivoli and the area around it were full of ancient and medieval ruins. Tivoli is also the home of the beautiful Villa d’Este, famous for its Renaissance-style garden and many fountains. Lorrain loved the landscape of Tivoli and painted more than 30 works of it. Among them is his Imaginary View of Tivoli in the Courtauld Institute of Art and Ideal View of Tivoli in the New Orleans Museum of Art. He also created several works on the countryside around Rome as seen from Tivoli. Among them is A View of the Roman Campagna from Tivoli, Evening which is part of the British Royal Collection and is on display in Buckingham Palace.
Who is Lorrain? Claude Lorrain (birthname Claude Gellée) was born around 1600 in Chamagne in the Northeast of modern-day France. At the end of his teenage years, he moved to Italy where he would stay for the rest of his life until his death in 1682 in Rome. He was a draughtsman, etcher, and painter and specialized in landscape paintings. Lorrain was particularly fond of including the effects of the sun into his works. He liked the effects that the sunrise and sunset have on the sky and the surrounding landscape. Lorrain was not a Realist painter and idealized his landscapes by adding or removing certain elements that he observed. Sometimes, he combined his landscapes with some mythological or historical elements. Lorrain was a successful artist during his life and received plenty of commissions, including several from the Pope. An example of another landscape by Lorrain is the View of La Crescenza in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Fun fact: Claude Lorrain led a somewhat solitary life. He never married, though he did adopt a daughter that he possibly got with one of his servants. While he did have some friends and family, he did not interact much with the other landscape artists that were active in Rome. However, he did have a good relationship with one other famous French landscape painter, Nicolas Poussin, who also lived in Rome. He kept a book with drawings of all his 195 paintings. He created this book to prevent other artists to sell fake landscape paintings under Lorrain’s name. The book – Liber Veritatis – has survived, and the original is in possession of the British Museum of Art.
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Where? Second floor, room 837 of the Richelieu wing in the Louvre
What do you see? A young woman is leaning forward and is making lace on a blue pillow. She concentrates on her work and holds two pins and two small cylinders with threads around them. She uses a lacemaking technique in which the threads on the cylinders are unrolled onto the pillow. The threads are tied into knots, each stitch is pinned temporarily, and the pins move forward as new knots are made. She wears a yellow dress with a white lace collar. Her hair has a couple of splits, with a braid on top, and, so-called, lovelock on her left (our right). A blue tablecloth with a large flower pattern is on top of the table. You can identify large green leaves and the yellow and red paint is part of the flowers. On top of the table is a blue pillow, which serves as a workbox for making lace. White and red threads, probably from silk, come out of the cushion on the bottom left. To the right of the pillow is a yellowish book, which is probably a Bible.
Backstory: The Louvre bought this painting in 1870 for 1,254 French francs (which is equivalent to $254 at that time). It is the smallest among all paintings by Vermeer. The painting seems out of focus (even a bit abstract at places), something that Vermeer did on purpose to draw us closer to the painting to observe its details. Combined with its small size, this is indeed what many people do when looking at the painting. Salvador Dalí has made a copy of The Lacemaker which is owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Lacemaker by Vermeer is painted on a canvas with coarse fiber of 12 x 12 threads per square centimeter. Vermeer used the weave of the canvas as the wall in the background of this painting. The canvas for The Lacemaker is identical to the one Vermeer used for his Lady Seated at a Virginal in the National Gallery in London. In fact, the similarity in the canvas has helped to identify that painting as being made by Vermeer.
Who is Vermeer? Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) was born in Leiden, The Netherlands. He was a very precise and slow-working artist, which led to paintings with great attention to detail, especially with regards to light effects, and great compositions. The light effects can also be found in this painting. Look, for example, at the sleeve on her right arm where he used simple shadows to paint the folds. He used expensive pigments for his paintings, but only used a limited number of colors (only a total of 20 pigments have been identified across his paintings). He is well-known for using the very expensive ultramarine color in his paintings, including in this painting. Some of his most famous works include his Girl with a Pearl Earring in the Mauritshuis in The Hague and The Milkmaid in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
Fun fact: Until the 19th century, lace was very expensive and was a great way to signify wealth and fashion. Its status was comparable to owning tapestries and jewelry. Lace was often depicted in white and painters used the whitest paint to include lace in their paintings. Making lace was not easy and was often a profession which required long working hours. Alternatively, it was a way for housewives to make some extra money. There were even quite some schools for lacemakers where two different techniques were taught. One technique was to make lace using the cylinders (called bobbins) as seen in this painting. Another technique was called needle lace where lace was created using a needle to sew the lace. The courts in many countries included lace elements in the attire of the judges, and this practice has been ongoing for centuries, though many countries have now modernized the attire of the judges.
Where? The Nachtwachtzaal in the Eregallerij on the second floor of the Rijksmuseum
Commissioned by? The Guild of the Sharp Shooters under the command of Captain Frans Banning Cocq
What do you see? The Amsterdam Guild of the Sharp Shooters which consists of eighteen people. The painting is full of action and movement. In the center, you can see Captain Frans Banning Cocq (the man with the black hat) and his lieutenant Ruytenburch (dressed in white) stepping into the light. The captain is dressed in an elegant black outfit with a red sash. He holds a cane and a glove in his right hand and stretches his left arm forward to indicate that the guild members should start marching. The lieutenant indicates with the lance in his left hand the direction in which they should march. On the right, the drummer confirms that the guild should start marching by hitting the drum. The other men are grabbing their weapons, which include muskets, lances, and pikes. Behind the young girl to the left of the captain is the flag carrier. On the complete left of the painting is the sergeant who is carrying a, so-called, halberd. The man in red is filling his musket with gunpowder. In between the captain and the lieutenant is a man firing his weapon (you can just see the smoke to the left of the hat of the lieutenant). In addition to the members of the guild, some other figures are included. For example, on the right of the painting is a somewhat unfinished dog barking and on the left of the captain are a young boy and a girl running excitedly. The young girl has a dead chicken hanging from her belt (which probably symbolically refers to the emblem of the guild). On the middle top, a shield is included with the names of all the members of the guild.
Backstory: This painting is more formally known as The Shooting Company of Frans Banning Cocq and Willem van Ruytenburch or Militia Company of District II under the Command of Captain Frans Banning Cocq. The city of Amsterdam owns it and the current value is estimated to be over $500 million. Over the years, the paint in this work became darker, and that is the reason that in the 18th century the painting was called The Night Watch. However, there is no clear evidence that this scene is set in the night. This is the largest painting by Rembrandt. It cost the guild at least 1600 guilders and each member contributed their share of money to pay Rembrandt. Not all members of the guild were happy with the final painting. The captain and his lieutenant were obviously happy with their prominent position, but the other members were not as happy as they were shown in the dark. In 1715, the painting was moved from its original location, and pieces from each side of the painting were cut off, whereby the painting lost about 20% of its original size. A copy of the Night Watch by Gerrit Lundens provides an indication of the missing pieces.
Who is Banning Cocq? Frans Banning Cocq (1605-1655) is best known as the Captain of the Guild of the Sharpshooters. This guild protected the city against attacks and uninvited guests. However, Banning Cocq was also the Lord of Castle Ilpenstein and became the mayor of Amsterdam in 1650 (just like his father-in-law had been before).
Who is Rembrandt? Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was born in Leiden in The Netherlands in 1606 and died in 1669 in Amsterdam. He was a very talented drawer, etcher, and painter. His talent for incorporating light and shadow allowed him to drag the viewer into his often dramatic paintings. In his personal life, Rembrandt suffered a lot of setbacks. For example, around the time that this painting was finished, the wife of Rembrandt died. However, this did not affect his productivity as in the following years he seemed more productive than ever. He also lost three children shortly after birth. Rembrandt was able to create a wide range of different paintings, including genre paintings, biblical paintings, mythological paintings, landscapes, and even animal paintings. Some other well-known works by Rembrandt include Saul and David and The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, which are both in the Mauritshuis in The Hague.
Fun fact: The painting has been damaged on several occasions over time. In 1913, a man attacked the painting with a knife. In 1945, the director of the Rijksmuseum fell on top of the painting, though this did not damage the painting. The most significant damage was caused in 1975 when a man hit the painting twelve times with a knife. The damage can be seen in the picture below. In 1990, a man sprayed acid on the painting, but the damage could be limited by an alert security guard who immediately applied demineralized water to the painting.
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CC BY-SA 3.0 NL Nationaal Archief
Where? First floor, room 712 of the Denon wing in the Louvre
When? Between 1595 and 1598
Commissioned by? Cardinal Francesco Maria Del Monte
What do you see? On the left is a gypsy woman. She is wearing a white shirt, a blanket fastened around her shoulder, and a wrap around her head. On the right is a young man from the upper class. The nobleman is dressed in an expensive brown and black jacket, a feathered hat, and a glove on his left hand (and in that same hand he is holding the glove of his other hand). He is also wearing a sword with a rounded knob (called a pommel) on the top, which seems to almost stick out of the painting. Caravaggio is depicting a scene that could have been observed at that time in the streets of Rome. The gypsy woman is reading the right-hand palm of the young man to tell him his about this future. The woman is looking directly at the young man, who is looking back and is distracted by her beauty. In the meantime, the woman is stealing an expensive ring from his finger. You cannot see the ring, but we know that this is what the girl is doing based on another version of this painting which is shown below.
Backstory: Caravaggio probably used his roommate, Mario Minniti, a painter himself, as the model for the young man and he probably asked a gypsy from the streets as the model for the woman. In 1665, the Italian Prince Camillo Doria Pamphili gave this painting to Louis XIV, and this is how it eventually got to the Louvre. This painting is the second version of this subject by Caravaggio. Around 1594, Caravaggio had painted the original version of this subject which is in the Capitoline Museums in Rome. Caravaggio painted more often multiple versions of a painting, such as, for example, with his Medusa paintings of which one is in the Uffizi Museum in Florence. In this painting, Caravaggio differentiates himself from his contemporary and earlier Italian painters by not focusing on biblical or classical themes, but by creating a, so-called, genre painting. This is a painting based on scenes observed in everyday life. Genre paintings would become quite popular during the 17th century among painters like Vermeer and Rembrandt.
Differences between the two versions: The second version of this painting in the Louvre seems to be an improvement over the first version as Caravaggio made several changes that are not obvious at first sight. First of all, he changed the background, which is a wall in the Louvre version. Second, he added the impact of light to the Louvre version. Third, in the Louvre version, the young man is bending forward a little bit less towards the woman, and the woman is standing straighter and seems to be more in control of the situation. It seems a more natural setting where both people are at ease in this situation. Fourth, in the Louvre version, the young man is wearing a glove on his left hand. Fifth, in the Louvre version, the feather on the young man’s head, his hair, and his garments, are more detailed and beautiful. Look, for example, at the folds in his jacket and the collar of his shirt.
What lessons can we learn? In this painting, Caravaggio expresses the bad reputation of the gypsies at that time as they were known to be untrustworthy and known for stealing things from the richer people. Also, he expresses the lesson that female beauty easily deceives young men. Caravaggio was one of the first artists to depict the theme of the fortune teller, and this topic has been the subject of quite some future artworks. For example, George de La Tour painted around 1630 his version of The Fortune Teller which is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Who is Caravaggio? Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610) was born in Milan, but when he was five years old, his family moved to Caravaggio (which explains his surname). After some trouble with the police, he left for Rome in 1592. There, he developed a unique style which combined a realistic depiction of the physical and emotional state of his subjects with an innovative way to include light in his paintings. His work was the basis for the Baroque movement, and he has influenced many future, well-known painters, including Rubens and Rembrandt. Two other well-known works by Caravaggio that he created around the same time as the above painting are Bacchus (in the Uffizi Museum) and The Musicians (in the Metropolitan Museum of Art).
Fun fact: During the time that Caravaggio painted this work, he lived together with another painter, Mario Minniti. His roommate served as a model for quite some of Caravaggio’s paintings around that time, including the current painting, Bacchus, The Musicians, and The Lute Player. In paintings after 1600, he does not serve as a model anymore for Caravaggio as Minniti moved out to get married. This marriage got Caravaggio very angry. However, later on, their paths crossed again, and they allegedly were both involved in the killing of a man during a street fight in 1606. After this incident, both fled to Sicily to escape the police.
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Where? The Eregallerij on the second floor of the Rijksmuseum
When? Between 1657 and 1661
What do you see? A milkmaid is pouring milk from an earthenware jug into an earthenware cooking pot. The table is covered with a greenish cloth, and a blue cloth is hanging down from the table. The table further contains various pieces of bread, a basket with bread, and a blue stoneware jug (note the use of small bright dots by Vermeer on the bread baskets and the bread – also referred to as the pointillé technique). The girl is possibly making bread pudding in the cooking pot. She is focused on her task, and her face is expressionless. She is dressed in a white linen cap, a yellow jacket of wool, rolled-up green and blue sleeves that are not part of her jacket, a blue apron, and a red skirt. The sunlight is entering through the window on the left. Note that one piece of the glass on the right is broken. To the right of the window hangs a basket with bread on the wall. Above the basket hangs a small painting with unknown content and to the right of the basket hangs a metal container. The large wall in the back is white (with some stains) and lit up by the sunlight which enters through the window. At the bottom of this wall is a series of typical Delft Blue tiles. In front of these tiles is a foot stove to warm the feet with nine holes on the top and a bowl inside of it. The tile on the left of the stove depicts Cupid. The tile on the right of the stove depicts a man with a long walking stick.
Treatment of Light? The way that Vermeer included the effects of the sunlight in this painting is particularly noteworthy. The light is most visible when looking at the walls. The wall on the left is in the shadow, and the back wall is largely lit up. You can also see various shadows on the back wall. An obvious one is the shadow of the metal container on the left of the back wall. While the window is only partially included, we can get a good idea of its real size by looking at the presence of the shadows or the lack thereof. For example, we do not see the shadow of the milkmaid, indicating that the window does not extend much to the left. However, we can see the shadow of the nail on the top of the painting (above the right shoulder of the milkmaid) indicating that the window is quite tall.
Backstory: About twenty years after the death of Vermeer, 21 of his paintings were sold at an auction. This painting was sold for 175 guilders in 1696 (which is roughly equivalent to $90 at that time). After the View of Delft painting (which is now in the Mauritshuis in The Hague), it was the second most expensive painting sold during that auction and considered to be a great piece of work. The next most expensive painting was Woman Holding a Balance which is now in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. The painting was acquired in 1908 by the Rijksmuseum. Recent x-ray examinations have shown that Vermeer removed a couple of items from the painting. First, Vermeer initially included a painting on the back wall. However, as paintings were quite expensive at that time, he removed it to create an empty wall to simplify the room. Second, he also initially included a clothing basket next to the bottom right of the woman’s red skirt, but he also removed this later on. He probably removed this basket to put more emphasis on the main theme of this painting and not to distract the viewer too much.
Who is Vermeer? Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) spend his full life in Delft in The Netherlands. He is considered to be a genre painter as he uses scenes from everyday life as the theme for his paintings. Vermeer was a perfectionist and worked for months on a single painting. His work is admired because of its great harmony. He was also an expert in incorporating light into his paintings and is sometimes referred to as the ‘Master of Light’. While his work was appreciated during his life, Vermeer was largely forgotten after his death. It took until the second half of the 19th century for Vermeer to be rediscovered. Especially the impressionist painters could appreciate his usage of light, and since then Vermeer has gradually become more popular again. Without a doubt, his most famous work is the Girl with a Pearl Earring in the Mauritshuis in The Hague.
What is genre art? Vermeer is considered to be genre painter. Genre art is the depiction of scenes from everyday life, such as domestic settings, markets, and life on the streets. It evolves around depicting the common people engaged in daily activities. Genre art was popular in the 16th and especially the 17th century in Flanders and The Netherlands. Pieter Bruegel the Elder and Jan Steen are two other examples of well-known genre painters.
Fun fact: The woman in this painting is not really a milkmaid. While she is pouring milk at this particular moment, she is probably a kitchen maid or a servant. A milkmaid was actually someone who milked the cows and used the milk to produce dairy products. The term milkmaid is not to be confused with the milkman, who was someone who would deliver the milk to the houses of people. Some people interpret the milkmaid in this painting in an erotic way. During Vermeer’s time, milkmaids were often considered to be a subject of male desire and they were often sexually available to their employer. These people argue that the open jug of milk, the foot stove to warm up the feet and everything under the skirt of the milkmaid, and a Delft Blue tile depicting Cupid are all subtle signs of eroticism.
Where? First floor, room 712 of the Denon wing in the Louvre
Commissioned by? Laerzio Cherubini for the Carmelite Church of Santa Maria della Scala in Rome
What do you see? This enormous painting (369 x 245 cm) shows the Virgin Mary, who lies reclined wearing a simple red dress. Her head and arm are hanging, and her legs are swollen, which are clear signs that Mary has passed away. The apostles and Mary Magdalene are surrounding Mary, and several of them hide their faces to show their grief. The grieving occurs in silence. Mary Magdalene is sitting in the foreground in front of Mary. The old man on the left is probably Saint Peter and kneeling next to him is probably St. John. It looks like Caravaggio has left open a spot in the circle of grievers (at the place of the copper basin) and invites the viewer to join them in grieving.
Backstory: Caravaggio was an innovator and breaks with past depictions of the death of Mary. There is almost no symbolism used in this painting (except probably the faint halo above Mary’s head). The scene is very down-to-earth. Until this painting, works on the death of the Virgin Mary typically included some reference to Mary’s Assumption into Heaven, like some angels receiving her in Heaven.
Composition: Caravaggio was a master of light and shadows, and he was at the basis of the development of the Baroque. In this painting, the light enters the room from a window on the top left. The light shines unflatteringly on the bald heads of the apostles and Mary’s upper body. The painting is composed such that the viewer immediately pays attention to Mary. The diagonal shape of Mary’s body and the color of her dress with the light on it are ways in which Mary becomes the center of the attention. The large red cloth on the top of the painting makes the scene more dramatic. It also forms a kind of arch and is used to let the viewer focus on Mary.
Why the Death of a Virgin? According to the Catholic religion, the Virgin Mary falls asleep and is taken up into Heaven. This is also referred to as the Assumption of the Virgin Mary into Heaven, or simply the Assumption. The Assumption is a Catholic dogma declared by Pope Pius XII in 1950, but the dogma does not declare whether Mary died first. The day of the Assumption is typically celebrated in churches on August 15 and is a public holiday in many countries (including Italy). It has also been a popular topic for artists since the 18th century.
Who is Caravaggio? Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610) was trained by Simone Peterzano, who was in turn trained by Titian. He used a realistic painting style, paying both attention to the physical and emotional state of the subjects he painted. He combined this with a brilliant contrast between light and shadow in his paintings. Caravaggio was a master of shock in his work, but also had a tumultuous life and was accused of murder, assault, many fights, and has served in prison. His painting style has had a big influence on the development of Baroque painting (which includes drama and an intense contrast between light and dark). Caravaggio painted both religious works, such as this painting and The Entombment of Christ in the Vatican Museums, and mythological paintings such as Medusa in the Uffizi Museum.
Fun fact: When Caravaggio finished this painting for the Church of Santa Maria della Scala in Rome it was very controversial. The Carmelites, a religious order within the Catholic Church, commissioned this painting and did not like it at all. It was thought that Caravaggio used a prostitute as the model for the Virgin Mary (which may have been the case indeed). Moreover, he did not include the religious symbols that were associated with the death of the Virgin Mary. Not only was there no reference to the assumption of Mary into heaven, but Mary was also depicted with bare feet, which was a very uncommon and disrespectful thing to do according to the beliefs at that time. So, the painting was rejected and instead a painting of Carlo Saraceni was used. Peter Paul Rubens, a contemporary of Caravaggio, however, later recognized the brilliance of this painting and contributed to the initial popularity of this work.
Interested in a copy for yourself? Poster or canvas
Written by Eelco Kappe
Interested in a Copy for Yourself? Poster.
Where? Gallery 210a of the Statens Museum for Kunst
Commissioned by? Probably Augustijn Bloemaert, a Catholic priest and friend of Descartes.
What do you see? A portrait of the 17th-century French philosopher René Descartes. Hals paints him in three-quarters view. Descartes looks at the viewer with a confident, thoughtful, and inquisitive expression. The fingers of his left hand are visible in the bottom right. He holds his had in this hand. Someone has scratched this portrait by Hals after he completed it. There are zigzagging scratches in Descartes’ face. Probably this was done by someone who did not agree with some of the revolutionary ideas of Descartes.
Backstory: In 1648, while Descartes lives in the Dutch Republic, Queen Christina of Sweden invites René Descartes to Sweden. Descartes accepts the invitation but does not move right away to Sweden. One of Descartes’ Dutch friends is the Catholic priest Augustijn Bloemaert. He is afraid that he may never see his friend again and invites Descartes to Haarlem where he lives. Being familiar with Frans Hals, Bloemaert commissions Hals to paint a portrait of Descartes. However, Descartes does not have much time to sit, and Hals needs to paint the portrait quicker than he usually does. He decides to use a small wooden panel of 5.5 x 7.5 inch (14 x 19 cm). It is the smallest painting he created during his life that was not on a copper background.
Other Portraits of Descartes: Several versions of Hals’ portrait of Descartes are known, though Hals has painted only one of them and the rest are copies. One of those copies hangs in the Louvre. For a long time, the Louvre thought that they owned the original portrait by Hals, but nowadays the majority of art experts believes that the original is in the Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen. Hals was not the only one who portrayed Descartes. Between 1642 and 1649, the French painter and engraver, Sébastien Bourdon, also painted a portrait of Descartes. Compared to the painting of Hals, Bourdon’s portrait is static and lifeless. It is not surprising that Hals’ portrait of Descartes is the portrait that most people have in mind nowadays when thinking of Descartes.
Who is Descartes? René Descartes (1596 – 1650) is one of the greatest philosophers and scientists ever. He was born in France and lived in the Dutch Republic between 1628 and 1649. In 1641, he published his influential book Meditations on First Philosophy. In this book, he figures out what can be known for sure. Descartes describes that people cannot trust their senses. People acquire knowledge through their senses, but they can be deceiving. Descartes asks himself questions about all sorts of beliefs, and if he even finds the slightest amount of doubt, he removes that belief from his mind. The result of that exercise is that only mathematics is true. Using that base level of knowledge as a starting point, he starts to build up his knowledge again. He argues that a person has to exist by writing “cogito, ergo sum” (I think, therefore I am). Through the publication of this book and his other books, Descartes became one of the most influential philosophers ever.
Who is Hals? Frans Hals was born by the end of 1582 or early 1583 in Antwerp, Belgium. He died in 1666 in Haarlem, The Netherlands. He was a very talented and productive painter. About 80 percent of his works consists of portraits, among which The Laughing Cavalier from 1624 in the Wallace Collection and his 1634 Portrait of Tieleman Roosterman in the Cleveland Museum of Art. Hals had a loose painting style, which means that he used relatively few brush strokes to depict something. You can often see the brush strokes in his paintings and particularly so in his Portrait of René Descartes.
Fun fact: Soon after Hals portrayed Descartes in 1649, Descartes leaves for Stockholm to teach Queen Christina of Sweden. Descartes has to wake up very early there to teach the queen at five in the morning. This made him fairly miserable because Descartes was used to waking up late, around noon, most days. The reason was that he believed that the best thinking could be done while in bed. At a young age, Descartes already convinced his teachers that he should only leave bed very late. He was often sick, and some extra sleep was beneficial to his health. He used this time in the morning to think and reflect on his ideas. Descartes’ time in Sweden was not successful. Besides his early mornings, the Swedish Winter had a negative impact on his health, and he died in February 1650.
Interested in a copy for yourself? Poster.
Where? Gallery 630 of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Commissioned by? Unknown. Possibly a chamber of rhetoric or it was uncommissioned.
What do you see? In the center, a woman dressed in a colorful carnivalesque, embroidered costume raises her right hand. She wears a wreath of laurel on her head and red beads around her neck and arms. Next to her are two comical characters. Six other characters surround the three central figures. Frans Hals painted these surrounding people very loosely. The people celebrate Shrovetide, a kind of Mardi Gras or carnival, in the days before Lent starts. To the left of the woman (from our point of view) is an older man grabbing her shoulder. He tries to say something to her. This man is called Peeckelhaering (which means pickled herring), and he can be recognized by two herrings hanging on a cord around his neck (see the two herrings next to the lower arm of the woman). Other items hanging on this cord are sausages, beans, a mussel, broken eggs, and a pig foot. In his right hand, he holds a foxtail. On the right is a man with a red cap looking at her. He makes a sexual gesture with his hands. The table in the foreground contains various items, including a bowl with fish, an open can, half a loaf of bread, and deflated bagpipes.
Backstory: This painting is also known as “Shrovetide Revellers.” Frans Hals probably depicts a play performed for Carnival. All actors in this play were men, and so the woman in the center is probably a man dressed up as a woman. She wears a wig and makeup. However, her hands are smaller than the hands of the men next to her. This feature either indicates that the man was built in a way that made it easy for him to dress up like a woman, or that she is a woman after all. Hals got inspiration for this painting from the works of Flemish artists like Rubens, Jordaens, and Jan Brueghel the Elder. He had seen their works earlier in 1616 during his 3-month visit to Antwerp. He took the modern Flemish ideas of a very busy composition and colorful figures and applied these to this painting. Hals painted the figures in the background using broad and loose brush strokes. Hals illustrates his trademark brushstrokes perfectly in the painting The Gypsy Girl in the Louvre, which he painted between 1626 and 1628. In 1907, Merrymakers at Shrovetide was bought for 89 thousand dollars by the American art collector Benjamin Altman. He left it for the Metropolitan Museum of Art after his death in 1913.
Symbolism: The two characters next to the woman in the center are two comical characters that played roles in the Baroque theater during that day. The man on the left (from our point of view) is Peeckelhaering. In his right hand, he has a foxtail, the symbol of a fool. A string with items hangs around his neck. On top of the string are sausages and beans, which are a symbol of the male genitals. Next to the sausages is a mussel, a symbol of the female genitals. Below the sausages are two broken eggs. An egg symbolizes manliness. In contrast, a broken egg is a way to make fun of a lack of sex drive of the man. Below the eggs are two herrings as a symbol of ridiculing someone with sharp criticism. At the bottom of the string is the foot of a pig symbolizing gluttony. The man on the right is Hans Wurst. He makes an obscene gesture with his hands to the woman. Some of the items on the table are also sexual references. For example, the deflated bagpipes are another reference to the limited sexual potential of Peeckelhaering.
What is Shrovetide? The Christian period of preparation for the six-week Lent. This period is strongly associated with Carnival. Shrovetide begins on the Septuagesima Sunday, the ninth Sunday before Easter. It lasts for 2.5 weeks and ends on Shrove Tuesday. The day after Shrove Tuesday is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Shrove Tuesday is a day with two different faces. Some people use this day to self-reflect and figure out what sins they regret and how they can grow spiritually. Other people celebrate this day wildly, as it is the last day on which they can indulge in food and drinks. In the 17th century, people would celebrate Carnival by dressing up in funny clothes, play crazy instruments, and perform for each other in the streets and bars. Nowadays, Shrove Tuesday is still celebrated and more popularly known as Mardi Gras.
Copies: The painting was well received, and, over time, several artists copied or made a variation on this painting. The most interesting among these copies is a version painted in 1637 by Dirck Hals, the youner brother of Frans. The painting is known under the title Carnival.
Who is Hals? Frans Hals the Elder was a Baroque painter. He was born in Antwerp, Belgium, by the end of 1582 (or early 1583). At a young age, his family moved to Haarlem, The Netherlands, where Frans would spend the rest of his life. During the year that Hals painted Merrymakers at Shrovetide, he also became a member of a local chamber of rhetoric called ‘De Wyngaertrancken’ (the vine tendrils). He did not participate in the performances of this chamber of rhetoric as he was a “second member,” which means that he merely admired the performances of other members. It shows his interests in depicting these plays even though his real specialty were the portraits that he painted. Among his most famous portraits are the Portrait of Tieleman Roosterman in the Cleveland Museum of Art and The Laughing Cavalier in the Wallace Collection in London.
Fun fact: Hans Wurst, the man on the right of the woman (from our point of view), was a comical character in 17th-century performances. Hans Wurst means John Sausage, and he can be recognized by the sausage dangling from his cap. He waved this sausage in front of his fellow players to make fun of them. Hans Wurst makes an obscene gesture. He puts the thumb of his left hand in between the middle and ring finger of his right hand, which form a circle. This is a gesture suggesting to penetrate the woman. Interestingly, this gesture was not visible in the painting when the Metropolitan Museum of Art received it in 1913. Only after they cleaned the painting, the gesture became visible. During this cleaning in 1951, the six figures in the background were also discovered.
Where? Great Gallery on the first floor of the Wallace Collection
What do you see? A confident 26-year old officer portrayed in three-quarters view. He looks directly at the viewer while his left hand rests on his hip. He wears an expensive silk costume with rich and colorful embroidery. His coat is largely black with white, red, and yellow patterns. Unlike most of his other paintings, Hals put a lot of effort into the details of the costume. Moreover, he painted the elaborate white ruff around his neck and white lace on the sleeves in great detail. Around his waist, the sitter wears a black silk sash. He has a black hat with a broad brim with curly hair underneath. He has a goat patch and an expressive curly mustache. On the top right is an inscription reading “Æ’ TA SVA’ 26 A ͦ1624,” which is Latin for “aetatis suae 26, anno 1624.” This indicates that the sitter was 26 years old and that Hals painted this portrait in the year 1624.
Backstory: There has been much speculation about the identity of the young man in this painting, but no consensus has been reached. Most people agree, based on his costume, that the man is probably an officer in one of the shooting guilds. One interesting theory is that the young man is Tieleman Roosterman, who is also the subject of the 1634 Portrait of Tieleman Roosterman by Hals in the Cleveland Museum of Art. In 1865, Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford, paid £2,040 for this painting, which was the highest price paid for a work of Frans Hals at that time. However, for Seymour-Conway this was just pocket change as he earned about £250,000 per year. His son, Sir Richard Wallace – whose art collection forms the majority of the Wallace Collection – inherited the painting in 1870.
The Laughing Cavalier? The title of this painting is a bit of mystery. It was originally called Portrait of an Officer. In 1871, it was called The Cavalier at an exhibition in London. At an exhibition in 1888, it was listed under its present title, The Laughing Cavalier, but it is not clear why this title was chosen. While the officer has a confident expression, he is certainly not laughing. It is possible that before a cleaning of the painting in 1884 the officer appeared to be laughing more than after the cleaning. Moreover, there is no evidence that the sitter is a cavalier.
Who is Hals? Frans Hals the Elder (1582/1583 – 1666) was a Dutch Baroque painter from Haarlem, The Netherlands. When Hals painted The Laughing Cavalier, he was quite successful and a respected painter in his hometown. While Hals primarily painted portraits, he occasionally liked to paint some happy characters that he met in bars or on the street. This was a great way for him to practice painting the emotions of his sitters which he could then use for his commissioned portraits. Whereas many other painters have a problem painting a genuine smile on the face of their subjects, this was one of the specialties of Hals. Almost effortlessly, he could paint the smile of a young child or a drunk man, the unrestrained smile of a crazy person, or the mischievous smile of a musician. This last kind of smile is nicely illustrated in The Lute Player by Hals in Louvre. Lesser-known about Frans Hals is that he also painted a few religious paintings. During the 20th century portraits of the four evangelists have been discovered. One example of this series of four paintings is Saint John the Evangelist in the Getty Museum.
Fun fact: Frans Hals liked to enjoy a drink in the tavern. In 1718, one of Hals’ first biographers, Arnold Houbraken, wrote the following story about Hals. His students repeatedly picked him up from the bar late at night to prevent any harm from happening to him on his way home. When Hals arrived home, no matter how drunk he was, he prayed and ended by saying “Dear Lord, bring me to Heaven at a young age.” His students were concerned whether he meant this or not and decided to test him out. They drilled four holes in the ceiling above Hals’ bed and put some ropes through the holes which they attached to the bed. The next evening, after Hals had been drinking again, they put him in bed. Hals said the same prayer. After his prayer, his students pulled the ropes and lifted his bed into the air. Hals, who noticed that he was being lifted, proclaimed: “Not so quick, dear Lord, not so quick, not so quick….” Hals fell asleep and the students loosened the ropes such that Hals would not notice anything the next morning. Hals, who was unaware of the prank his students pulled on him, did not use that prayer again. Except for Houbraken’s story, there is no further evidence that Hals was a drunk and most likely this story is just a legend.