Cornelis van Poelenburch (1594/5–1667)

The paintings

ISBN 9789027249678 | EUR 199.00 | USD 239.00
Cornelis van Poelenburch was one of the very few painters of the Dutch Golden Age to acquire international renown during his lifetime. Only three Dutch artists were honoured with mentions by all of the seventeenth-century biographers who included Netherlandish artists, the others being Rembrandt and Gerrit Dou. His paintings were prized by well-to-do and often aristocratic collectors who were willing to pay high prices for them. Grand-Duke Cosimo II de’ Medici, for example, kept four of Poelenburch’s paintings in his private quarters and Stadholder Frederick Henry and his consort owned more works by him than any other Dutch artist. He was a pupil of the influential Utrecht painter Abraham Bloemaert, worked for eight years in Italy, and except for a period of four years when he lived in London and received an annual stipend from King Charles I, spent the rest of his life in Utrecht.

Poelenburch’s idyllic, mostly small-sized landscapes on copper or panel and done in a highly refined style and technique usually feature a ‘history’: a biblical, mythological or pastoral subject. Nowadays he is known primarily as the leading artist of the first generation of ‘Italianate’ landscape painters, but in his own time he was lauded mainly for his lively figures with their crisp contours and animated gestures.

From the mid-nineteenth century, Poelenburch’s paintings came to be dismissed as ‘un-Dutch’ and were subsequently neglected and forgotten, together with those of many other seventeenth-century painters who did not fit into the mould of ‘Dutch realism’. This first comprehensive monograph on the artist includes a catalogue of his works, along with a discussion of all of his approximately 290 known paintings (all reproduced), and chapters covering his biography, the reception of his art in his own time and in later centuries, and his remarkable position on the seventeenth century art market.

[OCULI: Studies in the Arts of the Low Countries, 15] 2016.  xi, 408 pp., 176 bl/wh ills. + 195 full color ills.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“This authoritative study of the art of Cornelis van Poelenburch marshals a wealth of evidence to show why this 17th-century Dutch painter achieved such status in his own time as well as in later centuries. His “Italianate” landscapes, with their sunny vistas and towering ruins – all executed with fine detail and polished surfaces – evoked an idyllic world lost in time. Written in a clear, informative style, Sluijter’s book explores both Poelenburch’s impressive achievement and his upscale patronage. Mining the trove of information available on his paintings, it also reflects new scholarly interest in the dynamics of the international art market. In sum, this study makes a substantial contribution to our knowledge of the visual culture of the early modern period, north and south of the Alps.”
“Nicolette Sluijter has written a remarkable book about a remarkable artist. Poelenburch, trained in the Utrecht workshop of Abraham Bloemaert, had an extended stay in Italy, during which he worked for Roman cardinals and the Medici in Florence. He returned to Utrecht to enjoy a highly successful career as a painter of elegant, highly finished landscapes with small religious, mythological or genre figures. His art is refined and sophisticated and as such it appealed to that great connoisseur, King Charles I of England, who invited him to London in 1637. (He stayed for four years). Nicolette Sluijter has been adding to our knowledge of this admired and admirable painter since her important dissertation and has now given us a definitive catalogue of his paintings and a profound account of his position in the 17th-century art world in Europe and his subsequent critical fortunes.”
Cornelis van Poelenburch, 1594/5-1667: The Paintings, is an illuminating, clearly structured and definitive monograph on the artist.”
“Die abschließende Würdigung kann nur lobend sein: Es handelt sich um eine umfassende Monografie, in der sich eine langjährige Forschungsarbeit und Erfahrung mit den Gemälden Poelenburchs niedergeschlagen haben. Das Buch ist klar geschrieben, reich an Material und Einsichten und erfasst mit einer enormen dokumentarischen Leistung Poelenburchs Gemälde und ihre Spuren in den Quellen. Methodisch bleibt sie im Rahmen des Bewährten und bietet damit eine solide Grundlage für die weitere Erforschung Poelenburchs, seiner Schule und der Italianisanten.”
“In a lengthy essay, Nicolette Sluijter-Seijffert convincingly demonstrates the high quality and exceptional importance of Poelenburch’s paintings. This text is followed by a fully illustrated and detailed catalogue of no less than 290 authentic paintings. The book is further completed by four appendixes containing complete transcriptions of all relevant written sources up to 1745 and any entries from collections and sales catalogues up to 1750.”

Main BIC Subject

ACQ: History of art & design styles: c 1600 to c 1800

Main BISAC Subject

ART015030: ART / European
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2015043346 | Marc record