RKD Netherland Institute for art History
Allart van Everdingen, the younger brother of the history painter Caesar van Everdingen, was born in Alkmaar exactly four hundred years ago. While many of his fellow artists made a study trip to Italy, the young Allart travelled through Norway in 1644. He was deeply impressed by the rugged mountain landscape and it would prove to be decisive in the development of his oeuvre. On his return he introduced the Scandinavian landscape as a new theme in Dutch art. He made a great many paintings, drawings and etchings of mountains, waterfalls, pinewoods and log cabins. But he also turned to the flat Dutch landscape as a subject for his work. In the seventeenth century there was a flourishing market for landscape painting and Van Everdingen achieved great success both with his Scandinavian and his Dutch landscapes, first in Haarlem and afterwards in Amsterdam.
Yvonne Bleyerveld, senior curator of Drawings and Prints at the RKD, studied Allart van Everdingen’s drawings. Some 650 drawings from his hand are known; Scandinavian landscapes, but also marines and scenes of Dutch cities and villages. Although seventeenth-century drawings were mostly created as study material for studio use, Allart also made drawings for the market. These are reasonably big (18 x 30 cm) and carefully worked up, often in colour. His motifs are taken from nature or show Dutch peasants, citizens, fishermen, skaters or sailors. Besides these large sheets, he also made miniature landscape drawings measuring about 5 x 8 cm. They were referred to as ‘caerteblaatjes’ (small cards), because they are the size of a playing card. Allart also made a large series of ‘caerteblaatjes’ using oil paint on paper. These miniature landscapes are bound together in a little album with a fascinating history, which was the subject of research by Ellis Dullaart, curator Dutch and Flemish Old Master Painting at the RKD.
The most beautiful paintings, drawings and etchings from Allart van Everdingen’s varied output have now been brought together for the exhibition in Alkmaar, which is organised in collaboration with the RKD. Allart van Everdingen (1621-1675) – The Rugged Landscape is on show from 18 September 2021 until 16 January 2022 at Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar. The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive catalogue with contributions from Christi M. Klinkert, Yvonne Bleyerveld, Ellis Dullaart, Erik Hinterding, Paul Knolle, Cynthia Osiecki and Marjan Pantjes.