The fridge magnet
At a very low price, this little accessory depicts a small part of the famous picture by the Dutch artist Gerrit Dou 'Woman Playing the Clavichord' of the year 1665. As the small scene shows, the lady was not only able to play the piano, and also the Cello - an indication that she was highly musical, as both instruments demand an enormous skill of the player, and also dedication in terms of practising time. Likewise, the fridgemagnet celebrates the Golden Dutch Age of Painting, the long 17th century. It will be an item of your favourite accessories in the kitchen, particularly for those who themselves enjoy music, play the violin or cello, or simply want to see an enjoyable item together with the children. Think, when your son or daughter opens the fridge and looks at this historic item.
The painter Gerrit Dou (7 April 1613 – 9 February 1675)
Although a master pupil of the famous Rembrandt, Douw or Dow was soon forgotten until a bid came up in the later 70th of the 20th century, and his paintings were rediscovered again. As amongst the great Dutch Golden Age painter, he excelled in realistic painting of timeless interiors, genre scenes and trompe d'oeil, editors started to collect his picks and put lists of works of art together. Ever since, museums are fighting for getting their hands to his originals.
Dou stems from the city of Leiden, born into a family of stained-glass makers. At the age of twentyone, he joined Rembrandt in his workshop. No surprise, therefore, when many of his paintings play with light and shadow, reflections and other forms well known by Rembrandt too. Colouring and subtle chiaroscuro effects made himself a master of portraits and self-portraits. To our very days, he is famous in the british art scene, in the country's collections, present on purchase bags in museumshops, yet also the subject of many learned studies.
A Woman playing a Clavichord, c. 1665
With his subjects displaying musical scenes, candle light subjects, depicting them with finesse, freshness and transparency, we notice the wonderful tone and touch, a harmony which works on the interplay between the muses, music and art. As we can see from his pictures, he must have regularly used the aid of a concave mirror, in order to obtain an exact look at his subjects, perhaps even structured by a frame crossed with squares of silk thread, a form of artist's practice which was known in the workshops of these days. The formats of his pictures indicate his life's circumstances. Just like his master, he had to live rather modestly, as most of the artworks are small in size. And yet, he also had a few rich patrons, such as Pieter Spiering, the Swedish Ambassador. He paid him a good sum each year in order to have the purchase right for new paintings. Many of his best works are found around the world, and particularly in Britain, France and the Netherlands with The dropsical woman of the year 1663, and The Dutch Housewife of the year 1650, both held in the Louvre at Paris, France. Another important picture is The Evening School which you can see at the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum, a wonderful example of a candlelight scene. The Poulterer's Shop is held at the National Gallery in London together with a self-portrait.
The Dulwich Picture Gallery
is an art gallery in the South of London (Dulwich). The building of the gallery was created by the great architect Sir John Soane (10 September 1753 – 20 January 1837) to whom is dedicated a special museum in London. As an English architect he had specialised in the Neo-Classical style. As so many of his profession, he grew up in the craftmanship's trade of his father who was a bricklayer, but having learned the details of how to build houses, he perfected his knowledge in planning and designing those. After studying at the Royal Academy he became an official architect to the Office of Works. One of his specialities - something which makes him a heir of Dou is his use of light and illumination. Opened in the year 1817, the gallery is the oldest public art gallery in England, although it was first part of a private charitable foundation, namely of the philanthropist, actor and businessman Edward Alleyn. Due do his wealth, and also his taste, the Dulwich Picture Gallery houses certainly a fine collection. It is outstanding amongst those of the country with a particular focus on the Old Masters.
Rectangular, Solid Fridgemagnet
Dimensions: 5,5 cm x 8 cm