Gerard de Lairesse (1641-1711)
Originally from Liege, artist Gerard de Lairesse came to Amsterdam in 1667. Rembrandt was a major influence at first; later, he became interested in French neoclassical art. He applied these new ideas to his work, mainly painting themes from Antiquity in a clear style. De Lairesse produced numerous wall hangings and ceiling paintings on canvas featuring deceptively realistc trompe-l'oeil scenes. After De Lairesse lost his sight around 1690, he concentrated on art theory. The blind artist gave lectures, which he published in two volumes: Grondlegginge der teekenkonst (1701; translated as A Treatise of the Art of Drawing) and Het groot schilderboeck (1707; translated as The Principles of Drawing). Lairesse’s writings had considerable impact in the 18th century, not least on artist Jacob de Wit.