Gerard ter Borch (1617–81) remains one of the most beloved
painters of the 17th-century Dutch "Golden Age."
Although he began his career representing rustic genre scenes,
he shifted his interests to portraiture and refined scenes
from everyday life. Ter Borch focused on subjects set in formal
aristocratic interiors. He was an acute observer of the world
around him and developed a unique ability to render the shimmering
effects of fabric, especially the satin dresses worn by the
elegantly dressed women who populate his genre subjects. Although
his subjects outwardly seem realistic, they project a sense
of mystery. What really transpires in his paintings remains
unknown and hauntingly provocative. Herein lies the enduring
appeal of Ter Borch, an artist who, like Vermeer, brings Dutch
genre painting to its highest level of perfection.
Explore Ter Borch’s early paintings to the portraits
he painted at the end of his career through the exhibition
preview. Featured in each section are images shown in detail
— “take a closer look.”
A Horse Stable, ca. 1654; Oil on panel. The J. Paul
Getty Museum, Los Angeles. Photo: © Courtesy of the J.
Paul Getty Museum.