Jan Lievens: A Dutch Master Rediscovered

Overview

Jan Lievens (1607–1674) was one of the most fascinating and enigmatic Dutch artists of the 17th century. Daring and innovative as a painter, printmaker, and draftsman, he created powerful character studies, genre scenes, landscapes, formal portraits, and religious and allegorical images that were widely praised and valued during his lifetime. This beautiful book, the first overview of the full range of Lievens’ career, features more than 50 paintings—many of them newly discovered in private collections—and more ...

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Overview

Jan Lievens (1607–1674) was one of the most fascinating and enigmatic Dutch artists of the 17th century. Daring and innovative as a painter, printmaker, and draftsman, he created powerful character studies, genre scenes, landscapes, formal portraits, and religious and allegorical images that were widely praised and valued during his lifetime. This beautiful book, the first overview of the full range of Lievens’ career, features more than 50 paintings—many of them newly discovered in private collections—and more than 75 prints and drawings, providing a reassessment of his place in the history of art.

Lievens began his career in his native Leiden, where he worked closely with his compatriot Rembrandt, who admired and collected Lievens’ works. Lievens then moved to London, Antwerp, and Amsterdam, and his peripatetic career and multitude of working styles, say the authors of this book, may explain why his reputation today is not as high as it should be. This book offers a necessary corrective, returning to Lievens the esteem he deserves.

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Editorial Reviews

Art & Antiques

"This comprehensive illustrated study . . . brings Lievens out from under the shadow of his close friend and associate Rembrandt. . . . Wheelock argues that in some ways, Lievens was the leader and Rembrandt the follower during the early phase of their careers."— Art & Antiques

Renaissance Quarterly - Jacquelyn N. Coutr�
"Jan Lievens: A Dutch Master Rediscovered . . . takes a major step forward in acknowledging the artist as a self-aware, creative mind. . . . This catalogue is comprehensive in its synthesis of past and recent scholarship, thus rendering itself indispensable in the recovery of this son of Leiden."—Jacquelyn N. Coutré, Renaissance Quarterly
Library Journal

Perhaps Lievens would have been a pop star in this century. It is said that he was self-confident; he used strong brush strokes and a lot of impasto when painting and was associated with the likes of Rembrandt. But there seems to be more than meets the eye with this Dutch artist, who has fallen out of favor. Through a comprehensive look into his burgeoning skills and the development of his artistic style, esteemed and prolific author Wheelock (art history, Univ. of Maryland; Gerard ter Borch), curator of northern baroque painting at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, gives us a full-bodied and flavorful account of the artist and returns him to a respectable place in art history. Lievens's early works possess inconsistent use of color and unique proportions, but his rapid development, probably in response to patron requests, shows Lievens to have been an astute student of psychology and a bold creator of strong portraits, landscapes, and still lifes. A good advancement in scholarship, Wheelock's book is recommended for libraries specializing in art history and Dutch culture.
—Nadine Dalton Speidel

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300142136
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2008
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 9.50 (w) x 11.80 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Arthur K. Wheelock, Jr., is curator of Northern baroque painting at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and professor of art history at the University of Maryland.

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Table of Contents

Directors' Foreword

Acknowledgments

Lenders to the Exhibition

Notes to the Reader

Essays

Jan Lievens: Bringing New Light to an Old Master Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. Wheelock, Arthur K., Jr. 1

Patronage for Lievens' Portraits and History Pieces; 1644-1674 Jaap van der Veen van der Veen, Jaap 28

Lievens' Technique: "Wonders in smeared paint, varnishes, and oils" E. Melanie Gifford Gifford, E. Melanie 40

Jan Lievens and Printmaking Stephanie S. Dickey Dickey, Stephanie S. 54

The Drawings of Jan Lievens Gregory Rubinstein Rubinstein, Gregory 68

Catalogue

Paintings 82

Prints 188

Drawings 226

Appendix

"I believe I have already mentioned Lievens' character in passing...": Personality as the Key to the Career and Artistic Vision of Jan Lievens Lloyd DeWitt DeWitt, Lloyd 282

Constanijn Huygens on Lievens and Rembrandt 286

Jan Jansz Oriers on Lievens 288

Notes to the Catalogue 289

Select Bibliography 299

Index 305

Credits 308

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