This exhibition is no longer on view at the National Gallery. Please follow the links below for related online resources or visit our current exhibitions schedule.This is the first monographic exhibition in the United States of works by Gerard ter Borch (1617–1681), one of the finest Dutch genre and portrait painters. Some fifty of his best works, including his celebrated group portrait, The Swearing of the Oath of Ratification of the Treaty of Münster, 15 May 1648 (1648), from the National Gallery, London, and his renowned genre scene, the so-called Paternal Admonition (c. 1654) from the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, have been brought together from public and private collections.
The paintings of Ter Borch are remarkably varied, and the selection represents each phase of his career—the early pictures of the 1630s, the mid-career genre paintings, and the small portraits distinctive for their psychological intensity. Ter Borch was unrivaled in his ability to capture the elegance and grace of wealthy burghers and to express with subtlety the interactions between figures. He is renowned for his refined interior scenes, which typically depict two or three elegantly clad, full-length figures engaged in activities such as writing letters or making music. In addition to capturing the psychology of the sitters, the paintings show Ter Borch's mastery in rendering materials, particularly satins, which are notoriously difficult to paint. Accompanying the exhibition is the first major English-language publication on the artist, a significant contribution to the study of seventeenth-century Dutch art.
Sponsor: This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.