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Original works of art

Abraham Hondius
(Dutch, ca. 1638 -1695 )

The Dutchman, Abraham Hondius, was to have an important influence on English dog painting. He is of particular importance to the later development of English dog painting, for through him, the influence of such earlier Flemish artists as Frans Snyders and Jan Fyt was brought directly to England. Indeed, he was living in England at the same time as Francis Barlow, England’s first native born animal artist.

From the point of view of subject matter, he was ground breaking, for before him, few artists used the dog as the primary subject matter. He was also important from the point of view of style, for he depicted animals realistically, seemingly without idealization. This was an important precedent for subsequent Dutch and Flemish artists, and eventually for the French 19th century artist, Gustav Courbet, whose cry of “Realisme” was to effect many of his contemporaries.

Born Daniel Abramsz de hundt in Rotterdam (ca. 1625-1630), Hondius moved to Amsterdam in 1659 and to London in 1666. While much of his work depicting dogs and animals are of hunting scenes, he also produced what are among the first portraits of dogs, typically un-idealized and engaging in everyday activities.

Abraham Hondius was the son of a city stone mason in Rotterdam. He studied first under Pieter de Bloot (1601-58) and later under Cornelius Softleven. The artist lived in Rotterdam until 1659, when he moved to Amsterdam, but even before this, his work appears to have been influenced by earlier Flemish artists, in particular in his animal work, which is more animated and vibrantly colored than that of his contemporaries in Holland. Where he saw the work of Snyders and Fyt, for instance, is uncertain, but he would have had access to etchings and perhaps their drawings. Prior to moving to London in 1666, his work was comprised of landscapes, genre, religious and mythological scenes, as well as animals fighting and individual animal portraits

 

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29 West 15th Street 4th floor
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Tel. 212-249-0075
212-249-0896
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