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A family, by Brower.
The Greffier has likewise a large and choice collection of drawings, many of which were bought in England, as appears from the marks of Sir Peter Lely and Richardson ; and those are in general much superior to what he purchased from Baron Stosck.
THE CABINET OF M. VAN HECHEREN.
Two pictures, by Ostade.
Birds small, mushrooms and weeds.-Hoonderkooter.
Flowers by Huysum, Mignon, and De Heem; the last is the best.
A skirmish, where there is a mill on fire; admirable.--Wouvermaus.
A Landscape, by Paul Potter; the animals admirably painted, the trees too much like wire.
A Du Jardin.
The Stadthouse.—The best picture in this house is painted by Vander Helst. It represents a company of trained bands, about thirty figures, whole-length; among which the Spanish Ambassador is introduced, shaking hands with one of the principal figures. This is perhaps the first picture of portraits, in the world, comprehending more of those qualities which make a perfect portrait, than
other I have ever seen: they are correctly drawn, both heads and figures, and well coloured ; and have great variety of action, characters, and countenances, and those so lively, and truly expressing what they are about, that the spectator has nothing to wish for. Of this picture I had before heard great commendations ; but it as far exceeded my expectation, as that of Rembrandt fell below it. So far indeed am I from thinking that this last picture deserves its great reputation, that it was with difficulty I could persuade myself that it was painted by Rembrandt; it seemed to me to have more of the yellow manner of Boll. The name of Rembrandt, however, is certainly upon it, with the date, 1642. It appears to have been much damaged, but what remains seems to be painted in a poor manner. There are here many more large pictures of the same kind, with thirty or forty heads in each ; they are as old as the time of Holbein, in his
manner, and many of them nearly as well painted. I wished to learn the names of the artists, as they are doubtless the works of painters well known in the history of the art; but I could get no information.
A frieze over one of the doors in chiaro-oscuro, by De Witt, is not only one of the best deceptions I have seen, but the boys are well drawn; the ceiling and side of the room in colours are likewise by him, but a poor performance. The academy of painting is a part of this immense building : in it are two admirable pictures, composed entirely of portraits : one by Rembrandt, and the other by Bartholomew Vander Helst. That of Rembrandt contains six men dressed in black; one of them, who has a book before him, appears to have been reading a lecture; the top of the table not seen, The heads are finely painted, but not superior to those of his neighbour. The subject of Vander Helst is, the Society of Archers bestowing a premium : they appear to be investing some person with an order. The date on this is 1657; on the Rembrandt 1661.
THE WHARF OFFICE.
At the office of the Commissary of the Wharfs, is one of Vandervelde's most capital pictures : it is about twelve feet long; a view of the Port of Amsterdam, with an infinite quantity of shipping.
SURGEONS' HALL. The Professor Tulpius dissecting a corpse which lies on the table, by Rembrandt. To avoid making it an object disagreeable to look at, the figure is but just cut at the wrist. There are seven other portraits coloured like nature itself, fresh and highly finished. One of the figures behind has a paper in his hand, on which are written the names of the rest: Rembrandt has also added his own name, with the date, 1672. The dead body is perfectly .well drawn (a little foreshortened), and seems to have been just washed. Nothing can be more truly the colour of dead flesh. The legs and feet, which are nearest the eye, are in shadow : the principal light, which is on the body, is by that means preserved of a compact form. All these figures are dressed in black.
Above stairs is another Rembrandt, of the same kind of subject; Professor Deeman standing by a dead body, which is so much foreshortened, that the hands and the feet almost touch each other : the dead man lies on his back with his feet towards the spectator. There is something sublime in the character of the head, which reminds one of Michael Angelo ; the whole is finely painted, the colouring much like Titian,
THE CABINET OF MR. HOPE. Two Swans, Ducks, and Peacocks; admirable. -Hondekoeter.
Merry-making, two of the figures dancing:-Jan Steen.
A Dead Swan, and Dead Hare, by Weeninx : perfect every way; beyond Hondekoeter.
An excellent Vanderheyden.
A Du Jardin ; like Potter, but better than that which hangs below it.
Two little beautiful Vanderveldes.
A Woman asleep; a figure tickling her nose; a Man lighting his pipe; a lantern, and a Woman with a candle, behind.-Gerard Douw.
The Virgin in the clouds, surrounded with angels, by Vandyck.
Cattle and a Shepherd, by Albert Cuyp, the best I ever saw of him; and the figure is likewise better than usual: but the employment which he has given the shepherd in his solitude is not very poetical: it must, however, be allowed to be truth and nature : he is catching fleas, or something worse,
A Terburg. A Lady playing on a Guitar, dressed -as usual in a white sattin petticoat, and a red gown edged with ermine.
A Wouvermans.--A Gabriel Metzu.-A Berghem.-A Metzu.
Dead Game, small, by P.Gyzen ; highly finished, and well coloured.