Both, John And Andrew

, were two eminent Dutch painters and engravers; John was born at Utrecht, in 1610, and was the disciple of Abraham Bloemart, who at the same time instructed Andrew; but to perfect themselves in a good taste of design, they went together to Rome, and resided there for a great many years. The genius of | John directed him to the study of landscape, in which he rose almost to the highest perfection, making the style of Claude Lorraine his model; and by many his works are mentioned in competition even with those of Claude. The warmth of his skies, the judicious and regular receding of the objects, and the sweetness of his distances, afford the eye a degree of pleasure, superior to what we feel on viewing the works of almost any other artist. John and Andrew had very different talents, and each of them were admirable in their different way. The former excelled in landscape, the latter inserted the figures, which he designed in the manner of Bamboccio; and those figures are always so well adapted, that every picture seemed only the work of one master. The works of these associate brothers are justly admired through all Europe; they are universally sought for, and purchased at very large prices. Most of his pictures are, for size, between two and five feet long; but in those that are smaller, there is exquisite neatness. They generally express the sunny light of the morning, breaking out from behind woods, hills, or mountains, and diffusing a warm glow over the skies, trees, and the whole face of nature; or else a sun-set, with a lovely tinge in the clouds, every object beautifully partaking of a proper degree of natural illumination. And it is to be observed, that even the different hours of the day are perceptible in his landscapes, from the propriety of the tints which he uses. By some connoisseurs he is censured for having too much of the tawny in his colouring, and that the leafings of his trees are too yellow, approaching to saffron; but this is not a general fault in his pictures, though some of them, accidentally, may justly be liable to that criticism, for he corrected that fault; and many of his pictures are no more tinged with those colours, than truth and beautiful nature will justify; and his colouring obtained for him the distinction which he still possesses, of being called Both of Italy.

Descamps, in the life of Both, after having said that John painted landscapes, and Andrew figures, in the manner of Bamboccio, asserts that Andrew was drowned in a canal at Venice, and John returned to Utrecht; in which account he appears to follow Sandrart; though other writers agree, that it was the landscape-painter who was drowned, and Andrew, returning to his own country, painted conversations and portraits as long as he lived, of which the | other was incapable. The two brothers mutually assisted each other till the death of John in 1650; and then Andrew retired from Italy, settled at Utrecht, and continued to paint sometimes portraits, sometimes landscapes, in the manner of his brother, and also conversations, and players at cards, in the manner of Bamboccio. Both of those masters had extraordinary readiness of hand, and a free, light, sweet pencil; and that they were expeditious, may be evident from the great number of pictures which they finished. Andrew, during the remainder of his life, had as much employment as he could possibly execute; but was so affected by the melancholy death of his brother, that he survived him only a few years, dying in 1656. Strutt mentions a few engravings by both these artists, but neither arrived at any great perfection in the art. 1


Pilkington. —Strutt. D’Argenville. —Descamps, vol. II.