Samuel Dirksz van Hoogstraten

Samuel Dirksz van Hoogstraten (2 August 1627, Dordrecht – 19 October 1678, Dordrecht) was a Dutch painter, eraser and art theorist of the Golden Age, who was also the author of numerous well-known mourning games and poems. He devoted himself to portrait painting as well as genre, landscape and historical painting, as well as animal pictures and still life.

Samuel Dirksz van Hoogstraten trained first with his father Dirk van Hoogstraten and stayed in Dordrecht until about 1640. On the death of his father, he moved to Amsterdam where he entered the workshop of Rembrandt. A short time later, he started out on his own as a master and painter of portraits.

Samuel van Hoogstraten was the son and pupil of the painter Dirck van Hoogstraten and entered the workshop of Rembrandt around 1641, where he was trained together with Carel Fabritius and Furnerius. In The Hague, he was first concerned with portrait painting.

In 1648 he returned to Dordrecht. In 1651 he returned to his brother, the Viennese historian and genre painter Jan van Hoogstraten, and was also found there by Ferdinand III. , Which later gave him an honorary medal, which the artist portrayed in numerous of his works (still life, books). He spent the year 1652 in Rome, returned to Vienna in 1653, and finally returned to Dordrecht the following year. There he remained, with the exception of the years 1662-1666, which he spent in London, and 1668-1671, where he was staying in The Hague.

He later made several travels which took him (1651) to Vienna, Rome and London, finally retiring to Dordrecht. There he married in 1656, and held an appointment as provost of the mint.

In the Hague, van Hoogstraten was already mentioned in the Pictura-Fraternity in 1638 and was mentioned in 1671. He died in 1678 at the age of 51 in his birthplace Dordrecht. In his year of death, his most important work was Inleydingh tot de Hooge Schoole of the Schilderkonst.

Samuel van Hoogstratens’s early work, as the Selbstbildnis (1644) shows, is influenced by Rembrandt. Very soon, however, he turned his attention to the way he painted it, and to the intimate genre painting in the style of Pieter de Hooch (1629-1684), Jan Steen (1626-1679) and Gabriel Metsu (1629-1667) Of perspectives and Trompe-l’œil motifs, but remains in the finesse behind Pieter de Hooch.

Today, he is known for his irreplaceable introduction to the Dutch Painting School (1678) on Dutch painting of the 17th century, which includes the works of Karel van Mander (1548-1606), Gerard de Lairesse (1640-1641- 1711) and Arnold Houbraken (1660-1719) among the classics of the art literature.

A sufficient number of Van Hoogstraten’s works have been preserved to show that he strove to imitate different styles at different times In a portrait dated 1645, currently in the Lichtenstein collection in Vienna, he imitates Rembrandt He continued in this vein until as late as 1653 when he produced the wonderful figure of a bearded man looking out of a window This, one of the more characteristic examples of his style, is exhibited in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna He was especially skillful in his Tromp-l’oeil still lifes, where the reality of the scene of apparently haphazard objects often has deeper meanings

A view of the Vienna Hofburg, dated 1652, displays his skill as a painter of architecture In contrast, a piece at the Hague representing a “Lady Reading a Letter as she crosses a Courtyard” (Mauritshuis) or a “Lady Consulting a Doctor,” (in the Rijksmuseum at Amsterdam), imitates de Hooch One of his last remaining works is a portrait of Mathys van den Brouck, dated 1670

Hoogstraten also employed his skill with perspective to construct “peepshows”, or “perspective boxes” For example, A Peepshow with Views of the Interior of a Dutch House is a box with convincing 3D views of the interior of a Dutch house when viewed through peepholes on either end of the box One of his perspective boxes is on show at the National Gallery in London It shows the interior of a typical Dutch house of his time

He produced many etchings as well, and some of his plates are still preserved His self-portrait, engraved by himself at the age of fifty, still exists

His pupils were his younger brother Jan van Hoogstraten, Aert de Gelder, Cornelis van der Meulen, and Godfried Schalcken

Art theoretician:
Van Hoogstraten’s fame derives from his versatile career as a painter, poet and zealous social climber Besides painting and directing a mint, he devoted some of his time to literary labours His ‘magnum opus’ is a book on painting, the Introduction to the Academy of Painting, or the Visible World (original title: ‘Inleyding tot de hooge schoole der schilderkonst: anders de zichtbaere werelt’, Rotterdam, 1678) which is in length and theoretical scope one of the most ambitious treatises on the art of painting published in the Dutch Republic in the seventeenth century It covers issues such as pictorial persuasion and illusionism, the painter’s moral standards and the relation of painting to philosophy, referring to various ancient and modern authors While reacting to international, mainly Southern European ideas on painting which Van Hoogstraten may have encountered during his travels, the treatise also reflects contemporary talk and thought on art from Dutch studios He wrote it as a sequel to Karel van Mander’s early 17th century book on painting and painters entitled Het Schilder-Boeck One of van Hoogstraten’s many students, Arnold Houbraken, later wrote the book entitled The Great Theatre of Dutch Painters, which included a biography of his teacher This biography is the basis of most of the information that we have about van Hoogstraten today

Samuel Dirksz van Hoogstraten’s paintings
Portrait of Mattheus van den Broucke (1620-85), Governor of the Indies, with the gold chain and medal presented to him by the Dutch East India Company in 1670
The anemic lady, c 1667
Mother with a Child in a Wicker Cradle, second half of 17th century
View of a Corridor, c 1670
Hoogstraten’s Man at a Window, 1653 (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna)
Adoration of the Shepherds, 582 x 708 cm, 1647
Vanitas, 87,6 × 89,5 cm, 1640