Caspar Netscher Girl arranging flowers

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Artwork Overview

One of the founding paintings in the Gallery's collection, this work was a favourite of its donor, former Governor of New Zealand, Sir George Grey. The New Zealand Herald editorial on 17 February 1888, when the Gallery was officially opened, described Grey as 'old soldier, statesman, scholar, man of history and man of heart, he has a lasting place in the history and gratitude of this people'. The same day, the Herald's anonymous art critic saw this painting as 'an entirely delightful picture of a very young lady, bright and piquant, and of the most joyous expression, in the midst of the loveliest flowers. The whole action is of surpassing grace and elegance, the drawing and colouring remarkably fine, and the artist's meaning realised with brilliant success'. 'Surpassing grace and elegance' in portraiture were qualities required by Netscher's clients at the Dutch Court. After training with famous portraitist Gerard Ter Borch, Netscher had a successful career in The Hague, producing numerous half-length, small-scale portraits. His contemporaries praised the fashionable French style of his work, and as his popularity grew he introduced the workshop practice in which sitters chose from a repertoire of standard poses. Other subjects included ladies at music parties, love affairs, children blowing bubbles or parental advice. He was assisted by his son, Constantin, who painted totally in his father's style. (from The Guide, 2001)

Caspar Netscher 
Girl arranging flowers 
Production Date:
oil on canvas 
Size (hxw):
479 x 393 mm 
"Gaspard Netscher 1683" (lower left) 
Credit Line:
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of Sir George Grey, 1883 
Accession No:
No known copyright restrictions 
International Art 

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