Museums and Art

“Receiving a letter”, Gerard Terborch - description of the painting

“Receiving a letter”, Gerard Terborch - description of the painting

Receiving a letter - Gerard Terborch. 70 x 54 cm

The paintings of Gerard Terborch attract with their classical simplicity, which, in general, was also famous for the Dutch painters of the 16-17th centuries.

Terborch achieved great skill in writing the life of wealthy families - calm and measured, characters - in the splendor of silk and clothes made of fine cloth, interiors - modest or rich, immersed in twilight.

The painting “Receiving a Letter” is an example of an elegant painting by the artist Terborch. At first glance at the canvas - all the same burgher life and the feeling that nothing is happening. But this is misleading. It would seem a simple plot, but it was built by a master with a subtle psychologism characteristic of Gerard Terborch.

The center of the canvas is the figure of a girl near a table covered with a carpet. She just received a letter. The girl is depicted with her back to the viewer, only her bowed neck and high hairstyle, laid out in the latest fashion, are visible. The background is the darkened corner of the room.

Amazing with its luxury satin dress. Terborch brilliantly knows how to write overflows of a brilliant dress, he makes it possible to "hear" his soft rustling and enjoy the entire texture of the fabric, its folds and kinks.

The second character is the postman in the background. Above him, a portrait of a man in a gilded frame. It can be assumed that it was from that man depicted in the portrait that the letter was received, which the girl printed with such haste, without even waiting for the postman to leave.

Amazing play of chiaroscuro, and, it would seem, a modest gamut of colors - gray, pearl, ocher. But it is they who create that elusive atmosphere of the whole composition, which gives the charm and recognition of the author’s works.

As in almost all Terborch’s works, one feels some subtle connection, invisible threads between the characters, some elusiveness and understatement, mystery and significance. And, perhaps, contemporaries are not given to know the secret of the artist. But maybe that's why, and not just for the technique of performance, the works of Gerard Terborch have been impressing the viewer for more than three centuries.


Watch the video: Edwin Buijsen: Behind the Scenes of Everyday Life: Dutch Genre Painting (June 2021).