the superiority Classisism as preached by De Lairesse was not undisputed:
Many theorists found athe art of painting was reaching far beyond ‘realistic’ genres
like landscape, still-lives and genrepieces, but halfway the 18dth century other views started to surface.
Especially from Engeland and later on fromGermany critique rose against the academic ideal of beauty.
Instead of the rational way of imitating and improving on nature, 
the artist should be led by the incomprehesible forces of nature itself. 
In that idea lie the first steps towards a new art understanding,
where it's not so much about technical perfection,
but abut following the rules of beauty as good as possible,
because of the eastetic force of the original.
This new romantic concept of art announced a rift with the (neo)classic school,
that had dominated Europe for some centuries.

That was good news for the Durch art world op the 17th century, or rather:
for elements within Dutch art, that wuld leter be marked as 'typically Dutch
Simmering through all genres, but put down by classicists as anti-intellectual, down to earth, and low,
but during the 18th century still found more appreciation and recognition,
just because of its ‘simplicity’ and alledged ‘honesty’.

Despite of this tendency Gerard de Lairesse was still celebrated during the 18de century.
at home and abroad.

while he started to fall from grace, Rembrandt started his rise as national hero.
A status cofirmed by the erction of his statue in 1852 on what is now Rembrandtplein.
30 years later, in 1882-84, The publication 'land van Rembrand" by Conrad Busken Huet was published.
In this study about life's sensitivities and sensibilities during the Golden Age he brings Rembrandt to the front
as thé face of national cultural identity. Nobody could go around him.
De Lairesse had to endure the storm.
Various art critics burned his work downto the ground
and held him personally responsible for the artistic downfall
that took place after the passing aweay of Rembrandt in 1669.


For De Lairesse the worst was yet to come:
Critics of the 1st halve of the 20st century were shamelessly destructive in their verdict.
As with their 19th century predecessors, their critique tied together
the negative verdict on De Lairesses and the alledged ‘anti-Dutch’ character.
Thus spoke the then ceo of Rijksmuseum Schmidt-Degener in 1919 scorning about
De Lairesse's ‘international decorative gimmick’ and called him a ‘nijdassige Wallonian’.
‘a stranger, who very exactly should know how to paint in Holland.’
His xenofobic rhetoric frm our current perspective feels, at-least, uneasy.
‘More of the same’ is is a remark by literairy professor Gerard Brom,
who in 1957 wrote that De Lairesse ‘by introducing academic art (Groot Schilderboek)’
repaired the teachings of Carel van Mander, ‘squarely opposed to our Dutch peoples' nature’.


Thus it could happen that the greatest painter of his days was completely forgotten 3 centuries later.
The opposition between realism and idealism, in the 17de still mainly an art-theoretical discussion,
over time got more of a juxtaposition of Nederlands and un-Nederlands.
Thiss in the end led to a narrow view on the Dutch Golden Century.
continuing until today and cultivated over recent years.
Rijksmuseum Amsterdam (maybe un-intended) added coal to this fire with their recent Late Rembrandt exhibition
and the (partial) purchace of his portraits of Marten en Oopjen.

The ‘on-Hollandse’ Gerard de Lairesse des not fit in that picture.
But could we not just as well look at this from the other side?
De Lairesse in his hayday was by far the most popular and wanted painer of Amsterdam:
Half of the 'grachtengordel' had his work in their salons and halls.
And we could also argue that the international aspect he brought
was the exact characteristic of Dutch 17th century school of painting.
Most art historians now agree De Lairesse deserves a prominent place in the canon of 'Hollandse schilderkunst'.

don't hesitate to suck it to me with questions or suggestions / submissions.
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