Aert de Gelder was first trained by Samuel van Hoogstraten, and then by Rembrandt himself.
Gelder was the last and most devoted pupil of Rembrandt. He studied in his studio in 1661-67. The style of Rembrandt’s late works profoundly influenced him. Gelder worked mostly with the subjects from Old Testament, the favorite subjects of his master and friend. He liked, just as Rembrandt did, rich accessories, and his studio remind of the old curiosity shop: it was full of old weapons, antiques, bright fabrics. He used dummies in his work and dressed them up and designed the scene as the subject demanded. He painted with broad brushes, to put paint on canvas he used a brush handle and a palette-knife, to smooth the paint on canvas he used his fingers and scratched it with the brush handle.
Born in Dordrecht, he spent all his life there. Being a wealthy man, Gelder never sold his pictures, and during his life-time was not known outside his town.
Looking at Gelder’s canvases, one can easily recognize Rembrandt’s influence, as well as appreciate Gelder’s individual response to the subject.
Painting of Europe. XIII-XX centuries. Encyclopedic Dictionary. Moscow. Iskusstvo. 1999.
1685. Oil on canvas. Städelsches Kunstinstitut mit Städtischer Galeria, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.