Gabriel Metsu

Edited by Adriaan E. Waiboer

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A reevaluation of Gabriel Metsu, one of the leading genre painters of the Dutch Golden Age

Gabriel Metsu (1629–1667) employed an unusual variety of styles, techniques, and subjects, making him a particularly difficult artist to characterize. From his early days in Leiden until his death in Amsterdam at the height of his career, his unparalleled mastery of the brush allowed him to paint a remarkable range of history paintings, portraits, still lifes, but most of all, exquisite genre paintings. And whatever his subject matter, his work reveals an unrivalled talent for imbuing figures with a human and personable character.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, Metsu held a place as one of the most celebrated painters of the Dutch Golden Age, and his works were acquired for noble collections throughout Europe, while his contemporary Johannes Vermeer was almost unheard of. In the 20th century their positions were reversed as Vermeer’s reputation soared. This enlightening book resituates Metsu as one of the leading genre painters of his time. It offers a portrait of the age through his patrons and his wide network of contacts and colleagues in Amsterdam, as well as analysis of Metsu’s technique as a draftsman and as a painter, and it documents the fashions and fabrics of the time through his work.

Adriaan E. Waiboer is Curator of Northern European Art at the National Gallery of Ireland.


National Gallery, Dublin 09/04/10 – 12/05/10

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam 12/16/10 – 03/21/11

National Gallery of Art, Washington 04/17/11 – 07/24/11

"In Adriaan Waiboer's exhibition volume . . . the reader immediately realizes the superb quality of this artist's handling of the brush . . . Additional excellent essays in the volume take up topics relevant not only to Metsu but to Dutch art in general."—Susan Donahue Kuretsky, Historians of Netherlandish Art

     “In the space of such a brief review, it is truly impossible to do justice to Adriaan E. Waiboer/s important book on the seventeenth-century Dutch master, Gabriel Metsu. With this beautifully produced volume, Waiboer provides the most thorough introduction to Metsu’s art to date, along with an exhaustive catalogue raisonné that organises the artist’s complex and protean oeuvre […] Therefore Waiboer’s catalogue will be essential not only for the trade but especially for all future studies of the artist.”

        “The text yields many invaluable observations”—Wayne Franits, Renaissance Journal

ISBN: 9780300167245
Publication Date: October 26, 2010
Publishing Partner: Published in association with the National Gallery of Ireland
244 pages, 9 3/4 x 11 3/4'
160 color illus.
Gabriel Metsu

Life and Work: A Catalogue Raisonné

Adriaan Waiboer

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Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting

Inspiration and Rivalry

Adriaan E. Waiboer, with Arthur K. Wheelock Jr.

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