This site accompanies the National Gallery of Art exhibition on Gerrit Dou running April 16-August 6, 2000. A seventeenth-century Dutch painter, Dou was "considered the founder of the Leiden school of fijnschilders (fine painters)." The site is divided into three sections: Paintings, Life and Times, and Resources. Life and Times is a good place for visitors unfamiliar with Dou to start, as it helps to place his work in context. The Paintings section focuses only on twelve works, but the presentation of these works is impressive and interesting. Each painting is accompanied by explanatory text that helps interpret the work and calls the viewer's attention to significant techniques, influences, and the like. Clicking on the Detail Images button below the painting allows viewers to enlarge certain sections for closer viewing, and these images are also accompanied by text often explaining symbolic meanings that may be lost to contemporary viewers (an open bird cage represents immorality, for example). All in all, a concise but worthwhile site. Visitors who want to learn more can check out the References section, which features both online and print resources on Dou and Dutch and Flemish painting in general.
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