Gerard Terborch

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Terborch, Gerard


(also Ter Borch). Born late December 1617, in Zwolle; died Dec. 8,1681, in Deventer. Dutch painter.

Terborch studied from 1633 to 1635 under P. de Molyn in Haarlem, where he also came under the influence of F. Hals. He also worked in Amsterdam, Zwolle (or Kampen, 1650–54), and Deventer (from 1654). He visited London (1635), Spain and Italy (c. 1640–41), Münster (1646–48), and France.

In his early period—from 1630 to the early 1650’s—Terborch painted scenes of peasant and military life characterized by soft chiaroscuro effects and a delicate style, for example, Knife-grinder’s Family (Dahlem Picture Gallery, Berlin). In his mature period—from 1650 to the 1660’s—he painted scenes from the lives of wealthy burghers, portraying small groups of figures in serene poses, often viewed from the back. His best works of this period include Fatherly Advice (c. 1662, Dahlem Picture Gallery) and Gallant Officer (c. 1662, the Louvre). The severe elegance of the figures in these works was achieved by means of a subdued, rather cold palette based on the combination of white and black clothing with accents of vivid color. His later works also feature subtle rendering of light and air and masterful treatment of fabric textures. Among Terborch’s best-known works are his small-scale exquisitely executed full-length portraits, for example, Portrait of a Man (National Gallery, London).


Gudlaugsson, S. J. Geraert Ter Borch, vols. 1–2. The Hague, 1959–60.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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The role of artists in documenting and defining the notion of home as a private realm devoted to marriage, family and leisure pursuits springs to life with a collection of 17th-century paintings and domestic objects in the exhibit "Art and Home: Dutch Interiors in the Age of Rembrandt." Now on view at the Denver Art Museum, the exhibit includes 50 paintings by artists including Rembrandt van Rijn, Jan Steen, Gabriel Metsu, Pieter de Hooch, Gerard Terborch, Nicolaes Maes and Samuel van Hoogstraeten.
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