Gerard Terborch

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.
References in periodicals archive ?
The subject had been popular with aspiring Dutchwomen when they commissioned portraits from such painters as Gerard Terborch, since it advertised that they could write.
A new pictorial practice entered Holland through the art of Gerard Terborch, marking in effect a cultural decision to stop developing the group portrait as a genre.
Vermeer replicated Barburen's Procuress in the background of two paintings: The Concert (Gardner Museum, Boston) and Lady seated at a Virginal (London National Gallery); strange juxtapositions in these scenes, although the scenes are matched in their equivocal opulence by the paradoxically sedate boordeeltjes by Gerard Terborch.