Lyckle de Vries, born in Franeker, the Netherlands, in 1937. Ph.D. from the University of Groningen. Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Groningen.
Fellow (1 September 1994 – 30 June 1995)
During my stay at NIAS, I wrote a book on the Dutch painter Gerard de Lairesse (1640-1711). The manuscript is almost completed but it still needs to be “polished”. The book will have three parts. Part I discusses the artist’s place in the tradition of history painting in the Netherlands. There is no reason at all to consider him a foreign artist who introduced an “alien”, new style into the Dutch Republic, although this idea is still widely accepted among art historians. Part II discusses the painter’s art theory, published in his Schilderboek of 1707 and an earlier treatise on the art of drawing. Much of his seemingly neutral and matter of fact advise turns out to have an art critical bias. De Lairesse advocates a complete integration of painting into its architectural surrounding, with the purpose of reaching an effect of illusionism. Part III treats De Lairesse’s bonds with the theatre in Amsterdam. His writing was strongly influenced by the work of the literary society Nil Volentibus Arduum. He also made a number of stage sets. One of these remained in use for over 90 years and was famous in and outside the Dutch Republic. It made all of De Lairesse’s ideals come true in one Gesamtkunstwerk. The Aloude Hof-Gallery is an example of perspectival illusionism and a complete integration of real and make believe architecture with painting, acting and music.