Caspar Netscher

The Man Writing a Letter

27 x 18.5 cm.
Gemaldegalerie Alte Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen,
The Man Writing a Letter,  Caspar Netscher

Heidelberg 1639–The Hague 1684

The date and place of Netscher's birth is not certain, but most probably it was in Prague in 1635 or 1636. According to one report he was taken, as a child, to Arnhem, where he first began his training as a painter with Herman Coster, and then went to Deventer, to study with Gerrit ter Borch. He certainly painted small genre scenes in the manner of ter Borch. At the age of twenty-one he left for Rome but got no further than Bordeaux, where he married in 1659. By 1662 he had moved to The Hague, where he spent the rest of his life. From then on he specialized in small, elegant, half-length portraits of the aristocracy. He died in The Hague on 15 January, 1684.

The Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer, John Nash, London, 1972