- Neer, Aert van der
- Dutch, 1603/1604 - 1677
- Neer, Aernout van der
Aert [Aernout] van der Neer was probably born in Amsterdam. Documents from later in his life indicate that he was born in 1603 or 1604; the names of his parents are not known. Van der Neer spent his youth near Gorinchem in the south of the Netherlands, where he most likely trained with the landscape painter Rafel Govertsz. Camphuijsen (1598-1657). By 1632 Van der Neer had returned to Amsterdam, a move following shortly after his marriage to Lysbeth Goverts. The couple's children, including the painter Eglon van der Neer (1634-1703), were all born in Amsterdam.
Because Van der Neer did not receive high prices for his pictures, he was forced to supplement his income as the proprietor of an Amsterdam tavern, "de Graeff van Hollant," in 1659. His career as a wyntapper failed three years later, and on December 12, 1662 Van der Neer declared bankruptcy. The inventory of his possessions made at the time indicates the low prices his paintings fetched; most were appraised at five guilders or less. After living in impoverished conditions during the last years of his life, Aert van der Neer died in Amsterdam on November 9, 1677.
His earliest known painting, dating 1632 (Národní Galerie, Prague), is a genre scene, a type of subject he did not depict again. During the early years of his career, Van der Neer painted realistic tonal landscapes and winter scenes inspired by Rafel Camphuijsen (1598-1657) and others, including Esaias van de Velde (1587-1630) and Hendrick Avercamp. By the 1640s he had begun to specialize in nocturnes, the earliest known of which is dated 1643. With his representations of moonlit landscapes Van der Neer distinguished himself as one of the most important and innovative Dutch landscape painters. While the Dutch cities and villages found in his evocative nocturnal scenes appear extremely realistic, these views, as well as his woodland and winter scenes, are fanciful recreations of the Dutch countryside. [This is an edited version of the artist's biography published, or to be published, in the NGA Systematic Catalogue]
- Houbraken, Arnold. De Groote Schouburgh der Nederlantsche Konstschilders en Schilderessen. 3 vols. in 1. The Hague, 1753 (Reprint: Amsterdam, 1976): 3:172.
- Hofstede de Groot, Cornelis. A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century. 8 vols. Translated by Edward G. Hawke. London, 1907-1927: 7(1923):323-473.
- Bachmann, Fredo. Die Landschaften des Aert van der Neer. Neustadt, 1966.
- Stechow, Wolfgang. Dutch Landscape Painting of the Seventeenth Century. National Gallery of Art Kress Foundation Studies in the History of European Art, no. 1. London, 1966: 96-98, 176-182.
- Bachmann, Fredo. "Die Brüder Rafel und Jochem Camphuysen und ihr Verhältnis zu Aert van der Neer." Oud Holland 85 (1970):243-250.
- Bachmann, Fredo. Aert van der Neer. Bremen, 1982.
- Sutton, Peter C., et al. Masters of Seventeenth-Century Dutch Landscape Painting. Exh. cat. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Philadelphia Museum of Art. Boston, 1987: 381-387.
- MacLaren, Neil. The Dutch School, 1600-1900. Revised and expanded by Christopher Brown. 2 vols. National Gallery Catalogues. London, 1991: 1:275.
- Wheelock, Jr., Arthur K. Dutch Paintings of the Seventeenth Century. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1995: 181-182.