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Vosmaer, Carel

    Full Name: Vosmaer, Carel

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1826

    Date Died: 1888

    Place Born: The Hague, South Holland, Netherlands

    Place Died: Territet, Vaud, Switzerland

    Home Country/ies: Netherlands

    Subject Area(s): biography (general genre)

    Career(s): lawyers


    Dutch lawyer and author; wrote biographies of artists. Vosmaer graduated from law school in Leiden in 1850 and began a law practice in 1853. Throughout his professional career, he wrote novels, cultural essays and biographies of artists. His first foray into art writing came in 1856 when he published a small aesthetics, Een studie over het schoone in de kunst. In 1858 he founded and edited the periodical De tijdstroom (“Time’s Steam”). Vosmaer left that periodical in 1860 to found a second, culturally-based journal, De Nederlandsche spectator, which he also edited until 1888. In 1863 he published the first of two popular books on Rembrandt (both in French), Rembrandt Harmens van Rijn: ses pécurseurs et ses années d’apprentissage. In 1868 his two-volume Rembrandt: sa vie et ses œuvres appeared. Upon his retirement from his law practice in 1873, he began contributing to De Nederlandsche spectator (1874-76) and editing the prestigious Kunstkronijk. During his final year, Vosmaer wrote brief biographies of contemporary Dutch and English artists in a series called Onze hedendaagsche schilders. He died in Territet, near Montreux, Switzerland. After his death, his Rembrandt life appeared in English in 1892.

    Selected Bibliography

    Rembrandt Harmens van Rijn: ses pécurseurs et ses années d’apprentissage. The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1863; Rembrandt, sa vie et ses œuvres. 2 vols. The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1868, English, Rembrandt. London: S. Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington, 1892; Onze hedendaagsche schilders. 24 numbers. The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1881-85; Een studie over het schoone in de kunst. Amsterdam: Kruseman, 1856; De schilderschool: levensschetsen en kunstwerken van eenige meesters uit de Hollandsche en andere scholen. Haarlem: A. C. Kruseman, 1865.


    De verzameling van mr. Carel Vosmaer, 1826-1888. Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, 1989; Borger, Riekele. Drei Klassizisten, Alma Tadema, Ebers, Vosmaer: mit einer Bibliographie der Werke Alma Tadema’s. Leiden: Ex Oriente Lux, 1978; Bastet, F. L. Mr. Carel Vosmaer: Zijn achtergronden, zijn reizen, zijn tijdgenoten, zijn invloed. The Hague: Bert Bakker/Daamen, 1967, 2nd ed., Met Carel Vosmaer op reis. Amsterdam: Em. Querido, 1989; Maas, Nop, and Bastet, F. L. and Heijbroek, Jan Frederik. De literaire wereld van Carel Vosmaer: een documentaire. ‘s-Gravenhage: SDU, 1989; “Carel Vosmaer.” (mirrored from) [non extant]; Rappard, Willem F. “Vosmaer, Carel.” Dictionary of Art 32:713.


    "Vosmaer, Carel." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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