Gerard Dou

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Dou, Gerard


Born Apr. 7, 1613, in Leiden; buried there Feb. 9, 1675. Dutch painter.

An ardent follower of Rembrandt in his earlier years (The Astronomer, c. 1628, the Hermitage, Leningrad), Dou studied under him from 1628 to 1631 in Leiden. He is known for his small genre paintings depicting cooks, market-women, doctors, and musicians. Two of these small paintings, The Violinist and The Dentist, hang today in the Picture Gallery in Dresden. Dou’s work exhibits a miniature style, a painstaking and pedantic reproduction of nature, and a fineness of brush stroke; at the same time it is characterized by a superficial prettiness, entertaining characters as models, and standard techniques such as placing the subject in a niche, near a window opening, or under artificial light (such as candlelight). It was these features that brought Dou success with the bourgeoisie. His long but undeserving fame as a major Dutch genre painter lasted into the 19th century.


Martin, W. Gerard Dou: Des Meisters Gemälde. Stuttgart-Berlin, 1913.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
"There is not just one genre of humour," Tummers said."You see it also in the high-end paintings; some of the topics are just jokes, and some of these paintings were incredibly expensive." She added,"They were not just laughing at the other, peasants or people from a different social class, but they were increasingly laughing at people from their own or similar social class." For example, a work by Gerard Dou, De Kwakzalver, (The Quack), on loan from the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam, is a comical portrayal of a charlatan doctor at a city fair, which sold for a few thousand guilders.
Rembrandt van Rijn Martin Freeman Saskia Uylenburgh Eva Birthistle Geertje Jodhi May Hendrickje Stoeffels Emily Holmes Gerard Dou Toby Jones Marieke Natalie Press With: Michael Teigen, Christopher Britton, Agata Buzek, Harry Ferrier, Adam Kotz, Adrian Lukis, Maciej Marczewski, Richard McCabe, Rafal Mohr, Fiona O'Shaughnessy, Andrzej Seweryn, Maciej Zakoscielny.
Though he achieved fame and fortune in his lifetime and had many students, among them Gerard Dou, Ferdinand Bol, and Carel Fabritius, the artist came to know personal tragedy.
Chapters 2, 3, and 4 are organized around works representing the different conventions of Gerard Dou, Nicolaes Maes, and Pierer de Hooch, respectively.
Thus Gerard Dou is divorced from the tradition of "fine" painting he inaugurated, although that mode receives more notice.