Houbraken Translated

RKD STUDIES

Volume 1, Title page etc.









The

GREAT THEATRE

of the

Netherlandish

PAINTERS

and

PAINTRESSES.

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On the

TITLE PRINT.

The goddess of art transported by
Represents the passion for art of the writer
Who spared himself neither effort nor application;
To bring to light anew the name and fame of artists,
Who had been obscured by time:
Nor could he deny this to the youthful learners
Who climb the mountain of art in their footsteps.
One sees the fire of her passion

Break the handle of the scythe of TIME
And hinder its movement,
And restrain its rapid progress,
By the trimming of its fleet wings.
The portraits pitched upside down
Quietly secured from the gnawing of worms;
So that youthful artists may decorate them,
With palm and greening bay leaves,

Or carry them to eternity.
Then Envy may vomit its bile.
Blind ignorance try to avenge this,
A fixed radiance is prepared for her,
So that previously descended into darkness,
She will always shine with renewed lustre.

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The
GREAT THEATRE

of the
Netherlandish

PAINTERS

and

PAINTRESSES

Of which many appear with their portraits on stage, and their behaviour and art-works are described: being a continuation of the Schilder-boeck van KAREL van MANDER.

By
ARNOLD HOUBRAKEN

PART I





In AMSTERDAM,

Printed for the Author, with whom the same may also be obtained, 1718.

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[Title Page 1753 Edidtion]

The
GREAT THEATRE

of the
Netherlandish

PAINTERS

and

PAINTRESSES

Of which many appear with their portraits on stage, and their behaviour and art-works are described: being a continuation of the Schilder-boeck van KAREL van MANDER

THE FIRST PART

Which has its beginning in the year 1466, and continues with the painters whose birth occurred in the interim up to the year 1613.

By
ARNOLD HOUBRAKEN

The second printing

With many printing errors expunged and provided with new indices

In The Hague
By J. SWART, C. BOUQUET, M. GAILLARD

1753

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The
NOBLE AUSTERE
MISTER
JOHAN van SCHUILENBURCH,
COUNCILMAN, SECRETARY,

and

REGISTRAR

OF THE BEQUETHED DOMAINS
OF HIS LATE ROYAL
MAJESTY OF GREAT BRITAIN
MOST COURTEOUS REMEMBRANCE;
ETC. ETC.

GREAT LOVER
of the
ART OF PAINTING

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The first volume

of the

GREAT THEATRE

of the

PAINTERS
and
PAINTRESSES

is repectfully

dedicated

By
His noble eminence’s
humble servant.

ARNOLD HOUBRAKEN.

#


To the

LOVERS

Of the

ART OF PAINTING, ART-
PRACTITIONERS and STUDENTS

Maecenasses of art
Nurturers of art by whose favour
Art and artists live:
Nourishers of this treasure,
Which contains a precious substance
Which that practice has to offer,
Since she, living in the intellect,
Plants a correct concept of things:

Did your art-loving eye,
When it weighed and weighed once more,
Find pleasure in an artwork
According to reason; since the brush
Competes with nature in the picture,
And sees the heaven’s marvels
Distributed in the creatures,
Spread by the art brush;

You have further reason now
That this work of the diligent man
A harvest of scenes
In which the maker’s spirit plays
Displays for you with his pen;
To caress your taste thereby,
Since each one created
Is displayed in full power.

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Artist who daily invest
Effort and sweat in your work
To carry your art to the top;
Appear here in a row
Artists, side by side
In their portraits, with laurels
Of unperishable fame on the head,
Which neither time nor envy steals.

This must be a trail for you, to
In the sanctuary of lady Pallas
Where no indolent wretches
But the diligent true offspring,
Burnished by that fire of diligence
Enter with eager faces;
Where the generosity of her throne
Extends deserved rewards to everyone.

Climb the mount of art steadily,
In your diligence. At the top
Stand the shining laurels;
Which, secured by effort and sweat,
Will with the passage of time
Grace the head of the victor.Invest your hope in this.
Art is sold for sweat only.

And thou painting youth who likes the taste
Of the fruit of art, take heart.
Should the fruit sometimes be bitter
To obtain, do not give up;
No one will ever regret
Wanting to become possessor
Of his target and his wish,
The aim of mortal man.

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Stretch the bow of your intellect
Always turn with tireless hand,
To work with desire and diligence,
Following the track and example of
Many a commendable and alert man,
In art; who by the writer
Is shown on his stage,
Crowned with honour and fame.

The one provides a beacon in the sea:
The other points to a good harbour,
Since they follow one after another,
In the theatre, small and large,
Each with his contemporary,
To follow the example of Van Mander:
In which is told who, by way of art,
Entered the favour of rulers.

Do you have passion and curiosity?
Each stage is equipped
Between the acting, instead of lists,
With digressions which certainly lead
The intellect by the hand,
To the steep mountain of art,
By a smooth and even track,
First trodden by the guide.

Are you inexperienced
In the world’s changes
In the theatre you will learn,
How on the world’s tides
You must undergo adversity:
And control your passions.
So that if fortune like a ball
Rolls your way, think, it is an isolated instance.

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Do not allow lazyness or delusion
Cling to you by force of habit.
Do not let your lodestar slip
Out of sight on open sea
When you float towards the harbour.
Avoid these two feared reefs
On which you could be shipwrecked
And see your hope run aground.

He who with his own eyes
Sees himself as small never fooled himself:
But those who, too vain, believe themselves
To understand art and direction,
Will, when push comes to shove
Scandilously display their ignorance.
All who rely on delusion
Build on weak ground.

Gather like the diligent bee,
From all this verbal delicacy
Supplies for winter days:
Or as ants are wont to do,
In the earliest days of the season.
Do not avoid effort or work,
Before you will have stored
The usefulness to your advantage.

ONE LEARNS BY DOING.

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The
GREAT THEATRE

Of the
PAINTERS
And
PAINTRESSES

Founded by the Cultivated Mister
ARNOLD HOUBRAKEN

Oh student of painting who is led by the hand
Of the master to sharpen your
Understanding and learn art,
Who can defy noble
nature
And render creatures in the light,
To the pleasure and nurture of sight:
Oh student of painting, read the pages,
In which you see the
commendable deeds
Of artists, here named,
And
renowned in all the world.
Here stand your examples described
After life and
by the diligent pen
The painting heroes, whose names
Provided material to Fame.
Here one sees Rubens and Van Dyck
Displaying their
scenes,
In courts of rulers highly honoured,
Where neither hate nor envy harms them,

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No matter how malicious or outraged.
One sees how later spirits follow
On that renowned heroic
track.
Their names thwart death and grave,
And live on in spite of time.
Here
gravity and bucolic farce
Make for a mixture of sweet and sour,
As relaxation for the mind,
Which
delights in one thing or another.
Thus
Houbraken holds to the path of Van Mander
And of Sandrart, and of De Bie,
And provides us
with a choice of delicacies.
He also gives lessons worth hearing,
For those who have been chosen by art
As her beloved protégé,
Who received food from her hand.
But no matter how
much his quill is to be praised
It is
still outstripped by his brush.

David van Hoogstraten

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