Albertus Gerardus (Gerard) Bilders

Albertus Gerardus (Gerard) Bilders
09.12.1838 (Utrecht) - 08.03.1865 (Amsterdam)

Nationality: Dutch


Albertus Gerardus, shortly ‘Gerard’, Bilders is considered as one of the forerunners of the Dutch Hague School. The Hague School is a group of artists who lived and worked in The Hague between 1860 and 1890. Their work was heavily influenced by the realist painters of the French Barbizon school and is characterized by a gray tonality. The hard and somber life of the local fishermen and farmers, with their daily activities and family, were the main subjects.

Bilders was artistically trained at the Academy in The Hague, where he drew after female (nude) models. In his spare time, he was often to be found in the Mauritshuis Museum, where he studied the paintings of animals and cattle. Later on, this would become his specialty.

In 1860, Bilders travelled to Brussels with his father. His father - Johannes Warnardus Bilders (1811-1890) - was a landscape painter and introduced him to the arts as a child, giving him his first drawing and painting lessons. During the journey with his father, Bilders was introduced to the work of the Barbizon painters. He was inspired by the tonality in their work or as he put it "the impression of a warm, fragrant gray". In this way, Bilders played an important role of the influence of Barbizon finding its way into the work of the young Hague School painters. In 1865, Bilders passed away at the very young age of 26.


A.G. Bilders, Brieven en dagboek, Leiden 1876;
H.F.W. Jeltes, 'Gerard Bilders', Elsevier's Geïllustreerd Maandschrift 89 (1935), p. 73-96; idem 93 (1937), p. 81-97 en idem 21 (1944), p. 1-11;
N.H. Wolf, 'Gerard Bilders, een 'vergeten' schilder', De Kunst 30 (1938), p. 180-183;
Cat. tent. Gerard Bilders, 1838-1865. Enkele voorgangers en tijdgenoten, Amsterdam (Museum Fodor) 1938-1939;
H.F.W. Jeltes, 'Nadere mededeelingen over Gerard Bilders', Maandblad voor Beeldende Kunsten21 (1944), p. 1-11;
H.F.W. Jeltes, Gerard Bilders. Een schildersleven in het midden der 19de eeuw, Den Haag 1947;
J. Hoogervorst, 'Een vurig verlangen. Brieven van Gerard Bilders aan zijn mecenas', Jong Holland 13 (1997), p. 7-12;
T. Figee, 'Gerard Bilders', Kunstbeeld 22 (1998), p. 45-47;
J. Hoogervorst, cat. tent. Gerard Bilders en het Geldersch Barbizon, Arnhem (Historisch Museum Het Burgerweeshuis/Gemeentemuseum ) 1998;
B. Tempel, 'Nieuwe aanwinst. Gerard Bilders, Bosrand', Van Gogh Bulletin 13 (1998), p. 12.


'Gerard Bilders, 1838-1865. Enkele voorgangers en tijdgenoten', Amsterdam (Museum Fodor) 1938-1939;
'Het vaderlandsch gevoel', Amsterdam (Rijksmuseum) 1978;
'De Haagse School - Hollandse Meesters van de 19de eeuw', Paris (Grand Palais), London (Royal Academy), The Hague (Haags Gemeentemuseum) 1983;
'De Haagse School - de collectie van het Haags Gemeentemuseum', The Hague (Haags Gemeentemuseum) 1988;
'Langs velden en wegen. De verbeelding van het landschap in de 18de en 19de eeuw', Amsterdam (Rijksmuseum) 1997-1998;
'Gerard Bilders en het Geldersch Barbizon', Arnhem (Historisch Museum Het Burgerweeshuis/Gemeentemuseum) 1998;
'Poëzie der werkelijkheid. Nederlandse schilders van de negentiende eeuw', Amsterdam (Rijksmuseum) 2000;
'Tussen realisme en impressionisme. Aquarellen van meesters van de Haagse School', Eindhoven (Museum Kempenland) 2000-2001.


Selection of museums with work by Bilders in the collection: Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Haags Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, Museum Kempenland, Eindhoven.

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Study of a Cow

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