Witte, Emanuel de

Witte, Emanuel de

Witte, Emanuel de (āmäˈno͞oĕl də vĭtˈə), 1617–92, Dutch painter. Witte's paintings of architecture, genre scenes, seascapes, and portraits were influenced by the work of Elsheimer. Witte excelled at moody, majestic paintings of church interiors (e.g., Interior of a Gothic Church; Rijksmus.). He possessed a melancholy nature that ultimately drove him to suicide.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Witte, Emanuel De

 

Born circa 1617, in Alkmaar; died 1692, in Amsterdam. Dutch painter. Worked in Rotterdam, Delft, and Amsterdam.

De Witte developed under the influence of C. Fabritius. He painted church interiors, impressive in their profound and serious moods and poetic sense of light and space (Interior of a Catholic Church, 1668, Mauritshuis, The Hague; The Inside of a Church, the Hermitage, Leningrad), and also fish-market scenes in port squares (The Market in the Port, circa 1668-69, Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow; Market, 1679, Museum of Fine Arts, Leipzig). De Witte’s crowded market scenes are distinguished by the breadth and dynamism of treatment of space, fusing elements of genre, landscape, and still-life painting. The cold gray tone of De Witte’s paintings is enriched by color contrasts, strong high-lights, and subtle reflexes. De Witte’s work (he is one of the last Dutch realists of the 17th century), with its democratic feeling and dramatic tensions, was in sharp contrast with the tastes of bourgeois society; conflicts with bourgeois society ended in the suicide of the artist, who had become a pauper.

REFERENCE

Manke, I. Emanuel de Witte. Amsterdam, 1963.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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