Gerrit Dou: Der Zahnarzt aus unserer Rubrik: Gemälde Alter Meister
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Gerrit Dou

1612 Leiden - 1675 Leiden

Alte Kunst am 28.06.2001, Los 1263


Dou, Gerrit
Leiden 1612 - 1675

"Der Zahnarzt". Öl auf Eichenholz. 36,8 x 26,6cm. Signiert oben am Boden des Korbes: G. (ligiert) Dou. Rahmen.

Rückseitig:
1) Auf der Holztafel handschriftlich bezeichnet: "Proveniant du Cabinet / de Bourguemaitre Six (original?) acheté (?) / en (7?) 03 par S.B. Colers".
2) Auf dem Rahmen alter Klebezettel, handschriftlich: "Jhr. W. Six".

Provenienz:
(Sammlung Six, Amsterdam, vor 1703(?), Sammlung S.B. Coclers?); Sammlung Mme Hoffmann, Haarlem, 1827; Verkauf Sammlung Goll van Frankenstein, Amsterdam, 7. Juli 1833, Los 15, Fl. 7375,- an Brondgeest (für Six); Sammlung Six, Amsterdam; Verkauf Sammlung Six, Amsterdam, F. Muller, 10. Juli 1923, Los 25, Fl. 20400,- an Cassirer; seit 1929 Privatsammlung Mittelrhein.

Literatur:
J.Smith, "A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch, Flemish and French Painters",Vol I, London 1829, Nr. 133; Vol 4 (Ergänzung); London, 1842, Nr. 26; W. Martin, "Het leven en de werken van Gerrit Dou", Leiden 1910, Nr. 321; C. Hofstede de Groot, "Beschreibendes und kritisches Verzeichnis der Werke der hervorragendsten holländischen Maler des XVII. Jahrhunderts", Esslingen am Neckar, 1907, Vol. I, Nr. 214; W. Martin, "Gerard Dou: Des Meisters Gemälde" (Serie Klassiker der Kunst), Stuttgart und Berlin, 1913, S. 169 (Abb.)

Ausstellungen:
"Verzamelde schilderijen en familieportretten van de heren Jhr. P.H. Six van Vromade, Jhr. J. Six en Jhr. W. Six, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 1900, Katalognr. 25.

Begutachtung RKD Den Haag, Fred. G. Meijer, 16. Mai 2001:
"This painting is a fine example of Gerard Dou's "nachtstukken", scenes by cadlelight. With it's sparse warmly glowing lighting, the artist has obtained a maximum effect of intimacy. The dentist is holding a candle to his patient's open mouth, and seems to inspect it carefully. The patient is lovingly soothed by an old woman, doublessly his wife, who holds his hand and looks attentively and somewhat disquieted at the dentist's proceedings. The spatial depth of the image is enhanced by the "still life" on the ledge in the foreground, which is lit from within, as it were, by the semi-openend lantern which is part of it. The physician's stopped (medicine?) bottle, cloth, and surgeon's bowl, together with the lantern and the basket - put there by the patient's wife? - separate the viewer from the scene behind. The surgeon's bowl, as well as the stuffed crocodile identify the dentist as a barber-surgeon, a village doctor. Often in 17th-century art, such physicians were charachterised as charlatans, but in this case the artist seems to portray the doctor as a serious professional. His attentive gaze into the patient's open mouth, as well as the fact that he is working by night seem to emphasize his assiduousness. The accuracy with which the facial expressions of suppressed fear and submission (the patient), careful and inquisitive attention (the dentist), and loving compassion (the wife) have been rendered, like the meticulously painted details of the objects and clothing, as well as the intricate play of light, give full account of Dou's mastery.
The figures in this painting appear to be models whom Dou employed for several of his works. The dentist appears to be the same man as, for instance, the "Astronomer by Candlelight" in the J.P. Getty Museum, Los Angeles (inv. 86, PB, 732), while the same old man may have been the model for the "Praying Hermit" in the Minneapolis Institute of Art (inv. 87.11). The old woman shows a marked resemblance with the "Old Woman Winding Thread" in Dresden (inv.1714).
Martin (1913) dated this painting to c. 1660, which appears to be quite valid. Dou did not date many of this paintings but the candlelight scenes, which appear to be the artist's very personal evolution from the Caravaggist candle-light images painted on much larger formats by artists earlier in the century, seem to concentrate around the early 1660's, and this belongs securely within that group.
Condition: The Painting appears to have remained virtually untouched at least since it entered the Six collection in 1833. The pattern of the fine craquelure of the (now darkened) varnish is identical to when the painting was photographed on the occasion of the exhibition in 1900. The grey borders show some filling-in of a wider craquelure, which appears to be a common feature in dark areas in Dou's works, and there appear to be some very minor old retouches in the beard and hair of the men and on the dentist's shoulder. Otherwise, judging from close inspection under daylight and artificial light, the painting appears to have been extremely well preserved."



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206. Alte Kunst,
28.06.2001, Los 1263,
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