Oud Holland

Review of: 'Jacob Campo Weyerman' (2020)

August 2023


Review of: Lyckle de Vries, Jacob Campo Weyerman and his collection of artists’ biographies. An art critic at work, Leiden [Brill] 2020

Jacob Campo Weyerman (1677-1747) has received ample attention among literary and cultural-historical scholars with an interest in the Dutch eighteenth century.1 Yet, art historians have been more frugal with their interest, as the belief has been strong that Weyerman’s Levens-beschryvingen (1729-1769) was an unreliable, plagiarising and even superfluous publication. Especially his image as a mere copyist of Houbraken’s (1660-1719) De groote schouburgh (1718-1721) and an author of scabrous stories is persistent.2 In his new book Lyckle de Vries does not challenge this image, but he simultaneously takes Weyerman seriously as a painter, art dealer and gentleman journalist who wrote artists’ biographies and formulated opinions about art. He is not primarily concerned with the reconstruction of the biography of Weyerman himself, the correctness of information provided in the artists’ lives, or the reception of the author.

Rather, De Vries highlights Weyerman as ‘an art critic at work’. He foregrounds Weyerman as an expert who gives “his opinion on the qualities and shortcomings of the [art] works”, involving the creative process of making paintings and above all, the use of pictorial means such as form, colour, light, or expression.3 De Vries argues that, more than any other artists’ biographer before him – among them Van Mander (1648-1606), Sandrart (1606-1688), De Bie (1627-1712/5) and Houbraken – Weyerman is concerned about the evaluation of artworks and passes on judgements about their strengths and weaknesses. An example of this, are Weyerman’s remarks about Charles Emanuel Biset (1633-1707), a painter “with a charming brush and a beautifully glowing colouring, who knew how to give his figures great elegance, his compositions being copiously enriched with accessories.”4(fig. 1). Valuable insights into the nature of these judgements are provided by the terminology used by Weyerman, which plays an important role in De Vries’ analysis of the text. Moreover, De Vries suggests that the practice of evaluating a was increasingly necessitated by the context of a booming art market within which paintings were exchanged through selling and collecting.5

In his new book, De Vries adopts an approach that he had also applied in earlier publications devoted to Johan van Gool (1685-1763) and Gerard de Lairesse (1641-1711), which, taken together, form a cohesive body of work on some of Dutch art literature from the late-seventeenth and early-eighteenth centuries.6 He selects text passages from Weyerman’s Levens-beschryvingen and presents them by means of an elaborated commented anthology, in chapters devoted to various topics singled out by De Vries (which will be discussed below). Although he does not provide an explanation, it seems De Vries concentrates on those passages Weyerman invented or adapted, and not so much on those he copied from published sources written by Houbraken, Bainbrigg Buckeridge (1668-1733) or others. De Vries pays close attention to the specificity of Dutch vocabulary about art and provides art-historical context by referring to artistic developments and art literature in the seventeenth and early-eighteenth centuries. In the appendices, he added translations in English of two single chapters from the Levens-beschryvingen, the biography of Willem de Fouchier (1674-1736/8) and the adaptation of Pliny’s (23/4-79) Historia naturalis. These translations support De Vries’ arguments that Weyerman was a literary author and genre artist (chapter 1), that he was fascinated with failed artists (chapter 2) and that his art criticism was grounded in classical art theory (chapter 6). The book's design and format is academic; it is well-edited and made attractive with full-colour image.

Cover of: Jacob Campo Weyerman and his collection of artists’ biographies. An art critic at work

Left: fig. 1 Charles Emmanuel Biset (attributed to), Trictrac players, canvas 64.3 x 88.3 cm., Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

Center: fig. 2 Daniel Boone, Men playing cards in a tavern, canvas 19.6 x 23.1 cm., Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Middle right: fig. 3 Abraham Mignon, The Ooverturned bouquet, canvas 89,5 x 71,5 cm, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Right: fig. 4 Adriaen van der Werff, The expulsion of Hagar and Ismael, panel 77 x 61.5 cm., Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen – Alte Pinakothek Munich

The following discussion will first survey the chapters in De Vries’s book and subsequently specify some potential trails for further research.

In the first chapter, ‘Painted and written genre scenes’, De Vries deals with a textual complication in the biographies before he examines art-critical aspects of Weyerman’s work. Weyerman did not evoke genre paintings by means of precise visual descriptions – as he often did not have the paintings or their reproductions at hand and worked from memory. He rather invented ‘paintings in prose’, which often take the form of amusing stories of everyday life. De Vries explains that these funny stories are related to the tradition of genre scenes going back to the paintings of Pieter Breugel (c. 1525/30-1569) and Jan Steen (1626-1679), and to the literary texts of Erasmus (c. 1466/69-1536), Constantijn Huygens (1596-1687), Jacob Cats (1577-1660) and theatrical comedies from the same period. Works from both the painterly and the literary tradition possess a so-called moralising character, which entails critique of the artist’s social group and patrons on the customs and manners of the social groups represented in painted or literary works. Furthermore, De Vries argues that this correlation between written and painted genre scenes is expanded by Weyerman to the lives of artists themselves. Thus, the amusing stories in the biographies freely blend the genre character of painted (and literary) works with anecdotes from the lives of artists.7

In several sections of the first chapter De Vries subsequently discusses various forms of genre painting, such as urban, low life, Italianate, large scale and fine-painted genre, in which he traces Weyerman’s artistic assessment of genre paintings. Especially in the case of low life painting – a section largely devoted to Egbert van Heemskerck (1634-1707) and Adriaen Brouwer (1605-1638) – De Vries illustrates Weyerman’s appreciation of the drawing of the figures, the expressiveness of the physiognomies, and the lifelikeness of the paintings.8 Interestingly, in the section on fine painting Weyerman’s particular dislike of fine painting comes to the fore, although he makes an exception for Gerrit Dou (1613-1675) and Frans van Mieris (1635-1681).9 In these cases, indeed, Weyerman hardly discusses any identifiable paintings, and De Vries’ selection of illustrations of paintings mostly serve as possible examples of the kind of works Weyerman had in mind, such as a low life genre piece by Daniël Boone (1630/1632-1692), a follower of Brouwer (fig. 2).

The second chapter, on ‘Failed artists’, is not concerned with the critical evaluation of a, but of artists. De Vries fully elaborates Weyerman’s interest for bad examples of artists in the biographies. Weyerman was highly moralising about artists: he urged them to live their lives in accordance with the dignified status of art, and abused those whose careers eventually failed, and those who drank too much. According to him, the successful artist was a hard-working gentleman painter-merchant, of which he discussed various examples, such as Allart van Everdingen (1621-1675), Paulus Potter (1625-1654), Nicolaas Maes (1634-1693) and Carel de Moor (1655-1738). Yet, Weyerman was as much concerned with what he called the ‘apocryphal painters’: the house painters, art dealers and middlemen, among them the unsuccessful painters and fraudulent art dealers. He even announced a separate volume about them, which never materialised, likely because Weyerman was imprisoned for fraud in the Gevangenpoort, in The Hague, from 1738 to 1747. However, many biographies of these painters ended up in the last volume of the Levens-beschrijvingen.10

The rich picture Weyerman painted of the failures artists ran into, is astonishing, and De Vries dishes them up with gusto.11 He examines artists who pretended nobility, lacked the right social skills, chose the wrong marriage partner, lived bohemian lifestyles, or had mental health problems. Moreover, painters sometimes fell victim to art dealers or painted copies for fraudulent purposes, which were then sold at the Antwerp Vrijdagsmarkt, among others. On the lowest rung of the career ladder; artists became street vendors and travelling painters. De Vries relates these artists’ failures to what Weyerman, and Houbraken, perceived as the decline of Dutch art at the time. An example of a failed artist is Willem de Fouchier (1674-1736/9), whose life is recorded in documents but whose biography is mostly compiled with ‘paintings in prose’. As indicated above, this is the only artist’s biography De Vries translated into English and added in the appendix.12

In chapters three and four De Vries mines Weyerman’s text to uncover views about various genres of art, which are often based on eye-witness observations of the author. The chapter on ‘Portraiture’ is of interest because text passages are related to the biography of Weyerman himself, who worked as an assistant for the portrait painter Godfrey Kneller (1646-1723) in London at the beginning of the eighteenth century. For other Anglo-Netherlandish artists’ biographies he not only relied on publications such as ‘An essay towards an English school of painting’ (1706), written by Buckeridge; but also on his own observations about the various specialties in which painters often worked; the necessity to build relations with high-placed patrons; and the need for flattery to satisfy sitters.13 ‘Art in the public space’ is a somewhat less solid chapter, as De Vries brings together a range of disparate remarks on various kinds of public a with mostly historical subject matter, which are often now lost. It entails comments on altarpieces by De Moor and De Wit for clandestine Catholic churches; about the declining art form of glass painting; the production of imitations of wall paintings in the form of doekschilderijen; a commission by Matheus Terwesten (1670-1757) for Honselaersdijck; or a kamerschildering by Cornelis Troost (1696-1750) with life-size mythological figures.14

After four chapters of commenting on selected text passages from Weyerman’s book about artistic genres and the social life of artists, De Vries provides a more theoretical framework for Weyerman’s art criticism in the two final chapters. De Vries acknowledges that Weyerman was unsystematic and inconsistent in his approach, and was not the kind of author who would justify his art criticism by means of an art-theoretical treatise.15 In the chapter entitled ‘Art criticism’ he focuses on Weyerman’s use of notions relating to the pictorial means, such as subject matter, composition, human figures, pictorial space, chiaroscuro, colouring and style. He thereby pays attention to the specifics of Dutch artistic terminology, such as ‘schikking’, ‘houding’, ‘reddering’, ‘handeling’ and ‘welstand’. It is through the application of these terms that Weyerman’s art criticism is expressed, for which De Vries often uses passages on flower still-lives, the specialty in which he himself had worked. For example, the flower painter Gaspar Peeter Verbruggen (1667-1730) applied colours, “without discernment or ‘houding’…. We can compare Pedro’s flower pieces with nothing better than… a toppled bookcase: something good here and there, but who would be prepared to go and find it in such a state of disorder?” In contrast, the painter Abraham Mignon (1640-1679) was admired for a beautiful ‘houding’, in his still-life with a cat (fig. 3).16

Because it is difficult to deduce Weyerman’s art-theoretical ideas from his art criticism, De Vries uses an indirect source, namely, Weyerman’s translation of book xxxv of Pliny’s Historia naturalis, which was incorporated in the Levens-beschryvingen.17 In the last chapter, ‘Pliny, Durand and Weyerman’, De Vries analyses the Dutch translation based on David Durand’s (1680-1763) French version of the original text and added annotations (1725), to which Weyerman freely added some of his own observations. From De Vries’s analysis Weyerman appears as a classicist who did not differ much in his opinions from Gerard de Lairesse, even though he hardly assessed any classicist art in the biographies, and was also not an advocate of classicism.18 He favored decorum and realism in painting and demanded a moral standard and status of artists. Concerning beauty, he adhered to the idea that the most beautiful elements should be selected from nature to reach perfection in art.19 For the aspect of grace, Weyerman adopted Dutch words such as ‘air’, ‘zwier’, or ‘bevalligheid’, and mentioned Adriaen van der Werff (1659-1722) as an example (fig. 4).20 Moreover, he seems to have had a sense of the hierarchy of genres.21

Weyerman updated Pliny’s text by referring – more than 50 times – to modern artists from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. But, he mentioned the classical author only twice in the artists’ biographies. According to De Vries, it remains unclear how Weyerman related the translation of Pliny to his own artists’ biographies and his assessment of their works. For example, he does not evoke examples of artistic competition from the classical past when he discusses cases of competition between Netherlandish painters.22 Yet, Weyerman’s many references to modern artists in his adaptation of Pliny’s text, and those to the writings of Charles Perrault (1628-1703) and Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux (1636-1711) suggests that the late-seventeenth-century French controversy about the ancients and the moderns was also a valuable frame of reference for Weyerman within this context.23

In the conclusion, De Vries gives a short overview of the modern history of the art-historical discipline since the nineteenth century, and how it resulted in studies devoted to the idiom of art and artists in early modern art literature – such as those by Jan Emmens (1924-1971), Hessel Miedema (1929-2019) and earlier studies of his own. Based on those, and on the present study, De Vries argues that Weyerman contributed to an increased attention for art criticism, and even inspired a shift away from art theory towards art criticism in Dutch art literature in the first half of the eighteenth century.24 According to De Vries, that is a feature that Weyerman shares with Houbraken and Van Gool, and he notes that this transformation can be explained by changes of taste and consumers in the art market.25

De Vries’s useful commented anthology of Weyerman’s Levens-beschryvingen raises various clues for further research.

First, De Vries characterises Weyerman as an art critic who wrote artists’ biographies, yet, he does not adequately place him in the history of art criticism. After all, he is not the Dutch counterpart of Denis Diderot (1713-1784), who started to write distinct art critiques about salon exhibitions from 1756 onwards, and who is generally regarded as the founding father of the genre.26 Nevertheless, in the history of art criticism, it is acknowledged that (critical) judgments about artworks were made in early-modern art literature, such as compendia of artists’ biographies. Such early critical judgments are framed as part of a long run-up to the rise of modern art criticism as a distinct genre, in the middle of the eighteenth century.27 De Vries does not raise the question of what Weyerman’s place was in this history. Another issue that remains untouched, is whether the rise of art-critical remarks in Dutch compendia of artists’ biographies by Weyerman, Houbraken and Van Gool, requires a revision of existing views on the early history of art criticism, in which Dutch art literature currently hardly plays any role.

Although De Vries explains the rise of art criticism with changes in the art market around 1700, he does not explore how they interrelate. He briefly indicates that a shift in appreciation from contemporary to older art, together with an increase in demand from international collectors, gave a boost to art criticism concerned with issues such as attribution and authenticity.28 A term that is more often used in this context by recent scholars of art is that of connoisseurship, which was indeed concerned with authenticity and attribution, but also the quality of artworks.29 To understand how the art market linked up with connoisseurship (and art criticism), a deeper analysis is needed of the formation of judgments about artworks through sociable interaction among those who were active in the art market, and how such judgments made their way to art literature (and such an analysis should also include the descriptions of paintings in auction catalogues). Weyerman provides many instances of artists, dealers and art lovers who meet in artists’ studios, art cabinets, inns, coffeehouses, auction houses and the Antwerp Friday Market to discuss art and shape opinion about them. A nice example is the conversation Weyerman had with the host of a Breda coffeehouse, who owned a painting by Rembrandt (1606-1669) and one by Jacob van Campen (1596-1657), which were both executed in a contrasting dark and bright manner.30 This also potentially broadens a field, which often limits art criticism to the public domain of the salon exhibition.

According to De Vries, Weyerman’s critical assessment of artists in the biographies should be explained by the so-called moralising character of genre painting in the Low Countries in the early modern period.31 Although this explanation is very interesting, it does not take into account an important goal of the biographical genre itself; namely, to teach by virtuous example. Since classical times, the rationale of writing biographies was the celebration of outstanding men and women, as much as the condemnation of their inferior counterparts, and they were published with the intention to provide good examples and inspire virtue. At least since Vasari, the models for biographies of artists were adopted from those of emperors and saints, whose major achievements of battles won and miracles performed, were replaced for high-ranking patronage and outstanding artworks.32 In the case of Weyerman, and possibly relevant for Dutch art literature  at large, the question is how he transformed the moralising nature of the biographical genre by using genre painting as a means to tell stories about exemplary, as well unworthy, Netherlandish artists.

Furthermore, the substantial incorporation of international art literature in Weyerman’s Levens-beschryvingenseems to have borne little weight on De Vries’ overall interpretation of Weyerman’s work. He devotes a chapter to Weyerman’s version of Durand’s translation and commentary of Pliny’s Disquisition on the art of the ancients, and further makes short references to Buckeridge, William Aglionby (1642-1705) and the Abbé Dubos (1670-1742), as published sources of Weyerman.33 Yet, he does not explain, for example, that Buckeridge was the author of ‘An essay towards an English school of painting’, which was inspired by, and added to, the English translation of Roger de Piles’ (1635-1709) Abregé de la vie des peintres (1699).34 Buckeridge had included Netherlandish or Anglo-Netherlandish artists in the English school. Yet, by plundering Buckeridge, Weyerman redistributed Netherlandish or Anglo-Netherlandish artists from Buckeridge’s English school, back to the group of Netherlandish artists that compose the Levens-beschryvingen. This indicates that claims made on certain groups of artists as English or Netherlandish were contested, like many other schools, which increasingly determined the Western-European geography of art.35 Furthermore, no connection is drawn between the heightened attention for art connoisseurship in De Piles’s Abregé and the increased number of art-critical remarks perceived by De Vries in Weyerman, Houbraken and Van Gool.36 In a similar vein, no further argument is made about the circulation of ideas about artistic mobility, school formation, or art connoisseurship in Western-Europe.

Finally, it is no doubt, in reaction to the increased awareness about inclusion and diversity in society today, which De Vries defends Weyerman as an author who “should not be judged too harshly on statements that twenty-first-century readers may find controversial”, and “it would not be difficult to compile a long list of the author’s prejudices about social, cultural, gender and national differences.”37 Indeed, quack doctors and their public of burghers and farmers in Lingelbach’s (1622-1674) market scenes are ridiculed, Frenchmen are accused of their conceitedness, an innkeeper’s appearance is compared with the ebony colour of a ‘moor’ and women are characterised as ripe melons, or precocious sweet pears.38 De Vries leaves most of these remarks for what they are, except for the moralisations about genre paintings, which he places in the tradition of humorous critique on the customs and manners of social groups. However, further contextualisation of such prejudices in the history of national thought, colonial history, or feminism (added to his interest in female artists) – would undoubtedly increase today’s interest in and understanding of, Weyerman’s, and his readers’, art world.

Ingrid R. Vermeulen
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


1 T. J. Broos, Tussen zwart en ultramarijn. De levens van schilders beschreven door Jacob Campo Weyerman (1677-1747), Amsterdam 1990. See the publications in: 'Mededelingen van de stichting Jacob Campo Weyerman'.

2 L. de Vries, Jacob Campo Weyerman and his collection of artists’ biographies. An art critic at work, Leiden 2020, p. 1. See also: Broos 1990 (note 1), pp. 207-236.

3 De Vries 2020, pp. 1, 90. Broos already characterized Weyerman as a ‘remarkable art critic’, but he does not analyze this particular aspect of the Levens-beschryvingen. He does examine the terminology Weyerman used in discussions of painters and their work, also with reference to De Vries’s Johan van Gool als kunstcriticus (1983). Broos 1990, pp. 165-176.

4 De Vries 2020 (note 1), pp. 15-16.

5 De Vries 2020, pp. 1, 3.

6 L. de Vries, How to create beauty. De Lairesse on the theory and practice of making art, Leiden 2011; L. de Vries, Diamante gedenkzuilen en leerzame voorbeelden. Een bespreking van Johan van Gools ‘Nieuwe schouburg’, Groningen 1990.

7 De Vries 2020, pp. 11-15.

8 De Vries 2020, pp. 19-25.

9 De Vries 2020, pp. 29-36.

10 De Vries 2020, pp. 37-38.

11 De Vries is annotating the anecdotes in this chapter only with references to the text by Weyerman, and does not indicate to what extent he adopted them from Houbraken. A small sample indicates that many anecdotes represented here are originally from Weyerman (Charles Emanuel Biset, Zeger Jacob van Helmont, Jean Baptist Morel, Peter (‘Jan’) Ykens), some expand on Houbraken (Abraham Diepraam, Simon van der Does), and some are merely copied from Houbraken (Johannes Vorstermans). De Vries 2020, pp. 39-42. For this sample, a comparison has been made between J.C. Weyerman, De levens-beschryvingen der Nederlandsche konst-schilders en konst-schilderessen: met een uytbreyding over de schilder-konst der ouden, 4 vols., The Hague 1729-1769 and A. Houbraken, De groote schouburgh der Nederlantsche konstschilders en schilderessen, 3 vols., Amsterdam 1976 (facsimile of the second edition, The Hague 1753).

12 For the decline of Dutch art: De Vries 2020, p. 64; for De Fouchier: De Vries 2020, pp. 14-15, 38, 143-191.

13 De Vries 2020, pp. 65-76. Bainbrigg Buckeridge, ‘An essay towards an English school of painting’, in R. de Piles, The art of painting, with the lives and characters of above 300 of the most eminent painters, translated by J. Savage, London, 1706.

14 De Vries 2020, pp. 79, 81, 83, 84, 89.

15 De Vries 2020, p. 90.

16 De Vries defines ‘houding’ as ‘the contribution of colours and their arrangement to the suggestion of three-dimensionality’. De Vries 2020, pp. 98, 100, 101-102. De Vries illustrates a version of Mignon’s painting in the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lyon.

17 De Vries translated Weyerman’s adaptation of Pliny’s and Durand’s ‘Disquisition on the art of the ancients’ in English. De Vries 2020, pp. 192-355.

18 De Vries 2020, pp. 120-123. Broos already discussed Weyerman’s classical sources, such as Pliny, but did not characterize him as a classicist. Broos 1990, pp. 156-158.

19 De Vries 2020, pp. 123-125.

20 De Vries included the pendant piece of fig. 4 in his book: A. van der Werff, The Expulsion of Hagar, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister Dresden. De Vries 2020, p. 127, fig. 39.

21 De Vries 2020, p. 135.

22 De Vries 2020, pp.  118, 137-138.

23 De Vries 2020, p. 285; Broos 1990, p. 86; J.C. Weyerman, De levens-beschryvingen der Nederlandsche konst-schilders en konst-schilderessen: met een uytbreyding over de schilder-konst der ouden, 4 vols., The Hague 1729-1769, vol. 1, p. 109.

24 L. de Vries, ‘Jacob Campo Weyerman und Johan van Gool’, Mededelingen van de stichting Jacob Campo Weyerman 12 (1989), pp. 1-7; L. de Vries 1990; L. de Vries, ‘‘De gelukkige Schildereeuw’, Opvattingen over de schilderkunst van de Gouden Eeuw in Nederland’, in F. Grijzenhout e.a. (eds.), De gouden eeuw in perspectief. Het beeld van de Nederlandse zeventiende-eeuwse schilderkunst in later tijd, Nijmegen 1992, pp. 55-77.

25 With reference to P. Taylor, ‘The birth of the connoisseur’, Nuncius 31 (2016), pp. 499-522. The title of the article should be ‘The birth of the amateur’, in my own opinion.

26 Diderot wrote salon critiques from 1756 to 1781, which were published only in 1795. Broos states that Weyerman’s prepublications of the Levens-beschryvingen in the weekly magazine, the Echo, made him the first art critic of a weekly in the Low Countries. Broos 1990, p. 166. In the Dutch context, the genre of art criticism has been studied among others by: A. Ouwerkerk, Tussen kunst en publiek: een beeld van de kunstkritiek in Nederland in de eerste helft van de negentiende eeuw, Leiden 2003. The series of P. de Ruiter and J. Jobse (eds.), Kunstkritiek in Nederland (1885-2015), 11 vols., Rotterdam 2014-2017, begins in 1885.

27 G. G. Lemaire, Histoire de la critique d’art, Paris 2018, pp. 29-45.

28 De Vries 2020, pp. 1, 3, 141.

29 Roger de Piles formulated a theory of art connoisseurship in his Abregé de la vie des peintres, Paris 1699, pp. 93-106. Weyerman was familiar with De Piles’ text through Savage’s translation published in 1706. De Piles 1706. See also the reference to De Piles in the context of the connoisseurship of Dutch art in Anna Tummers, The eye of the connoisseur. Authenticating paintings by Rembrandt and his contemporaries, Amsterdam 2011, pp. 58-60. De Vries associates connoisseurship to art criticism. De Vries 2020, p. 10.

30 De Vries 2020, p. 104.

31 De Vries 2020, pp. 11-15.

32 P.L. Rubin, Giorgio Vasari. Art and history, New Haven 1995, pp. 151-156.

33 De Vries 2020, pp. 3-9, 117-138. With further references to Broos, Fuchs and Karst.

34 Dutch artists feature both in the section De Piles devoted to the German and Flemish school in the English translation of his Abregé and in Buckeridge’s ‘Essay’. Bainbrigg Buckeridge, ‘An essay towards an English school of painting’, in R. de Piles, The art of painting, with the lives and characters of above 300 of the most eminent painters, translated by J. Savage, London 1706, pp. 398-480.

35 See: I. R. Vermeulen (ed.), Art and its geographies 1550-1815. Configuring schools of art in Europe (forthcoming). Unlike his Italian, French, and English predecessors Weyerman did not use the notion of a national school.

36 De Piles innovated artists’ biographies by adding novel sections called ‘Reflexions sur les Ouvrages’ in which he discussed the artistic qualities of artists’ works on the basis of the pictorial means. Weyerman’s ‘Aanmerkingen over de Werken’ were an imitation of the ‘Reflections on the Works’ in the English translation of De Piles and not of Buckeridge. De Vries 2020, p. 4.

37 De Vries 2020, pp. 10, 120.

38 De Vries 2020, pp. 13, 120, 174-175, 150-151.


Ingrid Vermeulen, 'Review of: Jacob Campo Weyerman and his collection of artists’ biographies. An art critic at work', Oud Holland Reviews, August 2023.