Dutch Artwork Essay, Research Paper
During this last semester I enjoyed learning about the Dutch and their ideas within their
artworks. The best part of the Dutch artwork is the genre paintings. These paintings are
like a story or a picture book that show s the lifestyle of the people during that period.
These paintings depicts their environment, entertainment, lifestyle, cloths, work, and
society; in other words the everyday life style. The two paintings which I have chosen
are Dutch paintings from the 17th century. These two paintings are also genre paintings
which depicts their lifestyle. I wanted to compare the two Dutch genre paintings and
contrast the style (color, light, style) of the two painters. Both paintings were Dutch
genre paintings of the 17th century, Joost-Cornelisz Droochsloot s Village Merrymaking
was done in oil on wood panel that dated back in 1586-1674 and Adriaen Van de Velde s
Pastoral Landscape was done in oil on canvas dated back around 1660-1670.
Despite the active tradition of Dutch paintings of the seventeenth century, the
realistic characteristics of art from this period can be reconciled with its possible
meanings. These artists created some of the most beautiful and luminous paintings of the
Dutch Genre Period, the cultural and economic flourishing of the Dutch from the time.
Paintings epitomizes the best elements of European baroque art, combining Italian
theatricality and innovative lighting effects with Dutch sensitivity to nature. These
splendid works of art reveal a warm, light-filled art that celebrates the senses from the
setting of the paintings. The many delightful secular scenes as well as the dramatic
paintings on traditional themes that are executed with a remarkable vivacity and surface
beauty characteristic period. These, Dutch artists turned a portraitist’s eye onto the
society around them, scrutinizing the natural, architectural, and social topography of the
Dutch society. At the expense of traditional religious and historical subjects, entirely new
categories of painting gained popularity, including landscape, cityscape, architectural
views, and genre scenes that depicted every level of society. The characteristics of
individual citizens, the activities of their daily lives, and their urban natural environment
were catalogued in painted images.
Apparently more realistic, this scene is nevertheless also a concoction of the
artist’s imagination. The tradition of paintings scenes of everyday life began as a social
entertainment or the depiction of the people s everyday life. These 17th century genre
painting developed into social realism, with subjects often taken from the lives of
As I look upon these two Dutch paintings my eyes focuses on the subject of each
painting. Usually the subject is the depiction of everyone and everything. The subject is
everything or in other words what the people are doing in the scene, since it is a genre
painting. In Joost-Cornelisz Droochsloot s painting, Village Merrymaking, the subject is
basically the whole village. The village of merchants, spokesmen, shops, bars, and
people playing makes it seem to be a busy place to be. Lots of people talking and kids
yelling. Looking at the painting our sense gets involved with the village. As you look at
the painting your eyes jump from here to there due to the commotion of the people.
There isn t a main subject, but your eyes do follow a certain pattern. Looking at the
painting for a moment I noticed there are certain red area s on the painting. These
certain red area s are on the people in every group. I believe that this red is intentionally
set to make you move to one group to another. It doesn t cause your eyes to say in one
spot, but make s you look upon everything. In the painting there is a foreground,
middle-ground, and background. As you look in the foreground you can see a couple
close together holding each other, a man on the ground, and a family chasing after a dog.
Looking close to this foreground, the detail of the faces and clothes are superb. You can
see the expression of their faces in great detail. As you start moving back to the
middle-ground the detail of the painting is still controlled. The detail is so direct, you
can see what of the merchants are selling in his hand and the scroll in the spokespersons
hands. The commotion of the merchants, spokesperson, and salesmen cause your sense
of hearing come in. It makes you just want to listen to want they have to share and sell.
Moving back to the background the detail seems to get lighter but still good enough to
make out things. You can still see in the background the groups of people still gathering
around the merchants. Even the sense of the blowing flag causes us to feel the wind and
makes us wonder what the weather is like. The one point perspective cause our eyes to
move from the foreground back to the left middle of the painting. Our eyes seem to
focus on everything and everyone because of this perspective. The wide angle view also
makes us see the activities, commotion, and movement of the people in the village.
Droochsloot uses brown, reds, and yellows in the painting. The darker and red values of
the painting cause us to think it s dusk. Not only this but the hint of pink in the sky
causes us to think this. The low key colors and geometric shapes are similar to Jan
In the next painting By Adriaen Van De Velde he used a different color scheme
from Droochsloot. Velde uses more of a darker green , blue s, and yellow. Looking at
the painting, also a genre painting, there isn t much action going on. the animals are
playing, some are sleeping, and the boy petting the dog. Looks as if the boy is resting
from a walk with the animals. His back rest against a tree in what looks like a woody
area of the pastor. Pastoral Landscape, seems like a peaceful painting rather than
Village Merrymaking. In this painting your sense also plays a part, you can hear the
animals and the stillness of nature. The foreground I believe is to the most dominant
because of the whiteness of the cow. Not only because of the white in the cow jumps out
more due to the dark background but, the size of the cow. The cow seems to be larger
than any of the other figures in the painting. Looking close at the cow, the cow seems to
be like back at you with it s dark eyes.
The dark mixture of green are used, making it seem to be late in the day. But, it
is probably midday because of the opening to the upper right of the painting. The yellow
and blue sky gives this sense and tells us it s not late. Looking at the painting the
darkness dominates the painting and with that bright opening our eyes what to escape to
that. Detail in this painting is as great as the last one. A close look, the texture of the
trees and fur are represented. It makes us what to just reach out and touch the softness of
the animals and the tree s.
The colors of both paintings are different due to the time of day and what you
want the viewer to feel. Droochsloot uses reds to cause excitement within the painting.
He wants us to feel the action and excitement in the village. In the other hand Velde
used darker colors to tone down the mood and soften the setting. The use of the colors
give a peaceful setting and not so chaotic scene. The lighting of the two paints seem
similar due to the color used to make the light. In both paintings the light source seem to
be coming from the left side and shine down to the subject(s). In Velde s painting it s
hard to see the light source because of the trees but if u look close enough and look at the
yellow highlights u can make out the source. The source comes from the left and shining
through the trees, which causes it to highlight.
These two paintings are similar to the Dutch genre paintings we have studied in
the class. Droochsloot has a similar style to Vermeer, with the use of colors and
geometric shapes. Looking at Vermeer s View of Deft, you can notice the great detail on
the buildings and his use of color. Droochsloot also use great detail in his painting and
the use of colors to state the time of day. The classes study has a similar theme or
thought put into these lovely paintings. The thought is of culture and lifestyle of the
Dutch people. Paintings from class and paintings from museums has showed the
similarities among artist of this time. These paintings teaches us the culture, society, and
a look into a persons life. The study of the other genre painters give s us a better sense to
the genre paintings from the Mint.