Gerard de Lairesse1640 - 1711
Born: September 11, 1640, Liege
Died: July 28, 1711
In the eighteenth century, Gerard de Lairesse was the leading decorator in Holland. He studied art under Bertholet Flemnale in Liege and his father, Renier Lairesse. Lairesse decorated many palaces and homes in Amsterdam and The Hague with classical paintings of allegorical and religious subject matter. Lairesse also created many engravings of wildlife. In 1690, he went blind and devoted the rest of his life to art theory. Lairesse wrote and illustrated the Great Painting Book and the Foundation of Drawing. The National Museum of Wildlife Art's nine etchings of solitary animals were created for art students who did not have access to draw from live animals.
Lairesse's work is recognized in many private collections and museums, including the Rijksmusuem, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Tate Gallery, the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen, the National Gallery of Art, and the National Museum of Wildlife Art.