Elias vd Broek
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Hidden delights: small animals in 17th C Dutch paintings

Elias van den broek, detail of Still Life with Roses (1670 - 1708) Rijksmuseum (click to zoom right in on the museum's website)   The 17th century saw a keen interest in science and naturalism and empirical research of the natural…
Nicolaes Gillis
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Bread on the 17th century table

I love going back to my books on 17th C paintings time and time again: just looking at pictures provides such inspiration. I have a few books on paintings of food: while they show beautiful paintings they also provide great insight into the…
Floris van Dijck 1620
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Strange things in old Dutch paintings

Osias Beert. Still life of porcelain vessels containing sweets, pewter plates bearing sweets and chestnuts, three pieces of glassware and a bread roll on a table draped with a mauve cloth. 1600-1619, private collection.   In…
Rembrandt detail
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Old Masters: painting tricks

Rembrandt van Rijn Portrait of a Woman, Possibly Maria Trip (1639) Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam I often paint dark backgrounds. Learning about old techniques, I aspire to approximate those incredible backgrounds of 17th…
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Jan van Eyck: giant of the Northern Early Renaissance

Portrait of a Man (assumed to be a self portrait), 1433. National Gallery London   Jan van Eyck was born in Maaseik, a town in east Belgium, around 1390. He painted for John III the Pitiless, then-ruler of Holland and Hainaut…