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Justus de Gelder

A Town Square with an old Woman selling Vegetables at a Market Stall

Justus de Gelder

Oil on canvas, 31¼ x 40⅞ ins. (79.3 x 103.8 cm)



George Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont (1751-1837), at Egremont House, 94 Piccadilly, London, by 1837 (Inventory of Paintings, Sculpture and Books at Petworth House, Property of the Late George, 3rd Earl of Egremont), and later at Petworth House, Sussex
And by descent
The Earl of Egremont, Petworth House, Sussex, until 2014


C. H. Collins Baker, Catalogue of the Petworth Collection of Pictures in the possession of Lord Leconfield, London, 1920, p. 102, no. 626a, as “Rembrandt School”
W. Robinson, The Early works of Nicolaes Maes, 1653-1661, Phil. Diss., Cambridge (Mass), 1996, no. C-25, as “Nachfolger von Maes”
L. Krempel, Studien zu den datierten Gemälden des Nicolaes Maes (1634-63), Fulda, 1999,
p. 364, no. E7, fig. 410 as “Maes (?)”. 


Only fragments of the life story of Justus de Gelder have come down to us.  The son of Adriana Brouwers and the preacher Arnoldus de Gelder, he was baptised in Dordrecht on 20th July 1650.  Following his father’s death in 1652, his mother was remarried to the painter Nicolaes Maes (1634-1693) on 21 January 1654.  He must have received his artistic training from his stepfather, whose influence is evident in his work, but he probably did not become a professional painter. He is mentioned in documents as a merchant in Dordrecht in 1678 and as an Alderman in Vianen from 1685 onwards.  He is further documented in Dordrecht in 1671, in Delft in 1677 on the occasion of his marriage, in Dordrecht again in 1678, in Amsterdam in 1679 and in Vianen between 1685 and 1707.  His date of death is not recorded, but Maria Prep is mentioned as the widow of Justus to Gelder in Amsterdam in 1724. 

There is only one known signed painting by Justus de Gelder, which is in a Dutch private collection.  A number of other paintings are attributed to him.  The attribution of the present painting to Justus de Gelder was first suggested by Dr. Fred G. Meijer.  Drs. Peter Schoon, Director of the Dordrecht Museum, is of the same opinion. 

Justus de Gelder painted genre scenes strongly influenced by those of Nicolaes Maes.  Maes was born in Dordrecht in 1634 and received his initial training there, before becoming a pupil of Rembrandt in Amsterdam.  His period of tuition in Rembrandt’s studio probably took place from around 1648-1650 and was certainly concluded by 1653, when he returned to Dordrecht and married Adriana Brouwers.  In his early career, Maes painted mainly domestic genre scenes, but from 1659 onwards he increasingly turned his attentions to the more lucrative field of portraiture.  In 1673, Maes settled permanently in Amsterdam, where he developed a highly successful practice painting portraits of Amsterdam’s wealthy citizens. 

Justus de Gelder

(Dordrecht 1650 - 1707/1724 Vianen)

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