Century Magazine/Volume 49/Issue 3/Old Dutch Masters. Govaert Flinck
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Volume 49, Issue 3 (January, 1895)Old Dutch Masters. Govaert Flinck
ovaert Flinck, born at Cleves in 1615, was among the earliest of Rembrandt’s pupils. He had previously served an apprenticeship to Lambert Jacobsz at Leeuwarden, and did not apply to Rembrandt much before the age of seventeen or eighteen. That he was an independent master before he was twenty-one is proved by his earliest pictures, dated in 1636, among which is the "Pyrrhus" in the Brunswick Museum; and furthermore, by the fact that there existed a law in Holland which prohibited a pupil from signing his work during the term of his apprenticeship. Though Flinck was eight years younger than his master, he yet enjoyed an intimate friendship with him, and in 1637 he painted his portrait in return for that which Rembrandt painted of him and his wife. He therefore probably married upon the termination of his apprenticeship with Rembrandt. At this time he dwelt with the cousin of Rembrandt’s wife, Hendrik Ulenburgh; and a year later, in 1638, when only twenty-three, he painted one of his most remarkable works, "Isaac blessing Jacob," to be seen in the Ryks Museum at Amsterdam—executed, in all probability, under the eye of his master. Flinck excelled particularly in portraiture, and this became his chief occupation. His picture of the "Regents," dated 1642, may be noted among many other fine works of the Amsterdam museum. It exhibits admirable taste in arrangement; the heads are living; and it has the breadth of treatment and the glow of color peculiar to Rembrandt. The "Portrait of a Young Girl," which I have engraved, is one of the popular pictures of the Louvre. It is the sweetest face that I have encountered among the Dutchmen, and its expression of innocence is captivating. Her head is decked with flowers. She holds in her hand a trowel, or sand-shovel, of the sort that is popular with children at the watering-places of Holland. It is a life-size bust, 26 inches high by 21½ inches wide, is signed, and is dated 1641. The coloring is rich and mellow, and the treatment of the drapery is peculiarly Rembrandtish. Flinck had a good reputation at Amsterdam, and in 1652 the freedom of the city was conferred upon him. He had a zest for objects of art, especially casts from the finest antique sculpture, and drawings and engravings by the best masters. He died at Amsterdam in 1660.