Helst, Bartholomew Vander

, a Dutch artist, was born at Haerlem in 1613, and became one of the best portrait painters of his time. He sometimes attempted history, and displayed taste and nature in the landscapes which he introduced, but his chief merit is in his portraits, | which he designed in an agreeable style, with a light, free touch, and a mellow pencil. His most capital performance is in the town-hall of Amsterdam; it represents a company of trained bands, about thirty figures in whole length. Of its merit our readers may entertain a high idea when they are told that sir Joshua Reynolds has given it as his opinion that it is perhaps the first picture of portraits in the world, comprehending more of those qualities which make a perfect portrait, than any other sir Joshua had ever seen. They are correctly drawn, both head and figures, and well coloured; and have great variety of action, characters, and countenances, and those so truly and lively expressive of what they are about, that ttie spectator has nothing to wish for. This artist died in 1670. 1


Argenville. Pilkington. Sir J. Reynolds’s Works, vol. II. p. 3546.