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Fine Art/Caravaggio and Gerard van Honthorst


My question concerns the reputations of the two artists towards the end of the nineteenth century. I'm interested in how an art connoisseur 1870-1900-ish would have regarded the two painters in terms of technical expertise and value.
Van Honthorst was once thought to have painted a copy of The Taking of Christ - now in the National Gallery of Ireland and considered to be an original Caravaggio.
I wonder, if he really had copied the Taking, would he have 'corrected' Judas' somewhat stubby arm?!
Thank you for any help you can offer,
Mike Hogan

Re; the artists.
A very difficult question to answer, in just a few lines.

As to value, that all depends on your own country of origin and cultural background, while living in the late Victorian period.

Artist's in the  17th century  were often fond of "imitating/copying" each other’s paintings, either in the whole, or in part. (much as today#
I would not confuse the geographical and cultural identities of the 17th century configuration of, "Pays Bas" and Italy.
As with Calvin and the Jesuits;  the idea of a "bridge too far" springs to mind in making such comparisons.
However, concerning artistic, cultural, political and also of trading; of course - cross pollination, did widely occur during the 17th century.
Copying, is too crude an explanation.
Even an outsider such as Rembrandt, used elements of his #worldly) contempories when he sketched the  poor condemned and hanging body of a crucified girl called "Elsje" anno 1664 in Amsterdam.

Honthorst and Caravaggio – artistically speaking, are like comparing "apples and pears".

Caravaggio being the utter master of shadow and light - a genial vagabond, rake, womaniser and non-conformist; as compared to the more bourgoise Honthorst.
Hondthorst and his plush group; such as, Jan lieven, Pieter de Grebber etc, all of whom were members of the "golden coin club" called the Gulden.
I mean Honthorst, was very well heeled indeed, he even had his own coach and dabbled in all sorts of different trading ventures.
No, life's very own - wear and tear - "makes the man".
It is that very mould, whicht sculpts the mind and shapes one’s attitude to one’s own personal view of the world.
Therefore, the only true answer would be; you yourself must get inside the minds of the two quite different artists and analyse both minds and their output; which they as individuals - created.
Then, make your own mind up.
That perhaps, is far more important when "push come to shove" and possibly, even far more important that any opinion I, or any other person, or expert may have.
Ps, we live today in "anno" 2011 with images of a perfectly shaped; but airbrushed Britney Spears.
Nobody, in the 17th century thought anything especially untoward, with regard to physical deformities.
Most probably, neither did Rembrandt when he stood on a summers day and sketched away; while making an impression of a crucified girl; hanging like a rag doll  - on her very own cross.
That took place, just a stone’s throw away from the bustling financial Bourse and the jovial taverns; with flowing glasses of wine and tankards of beer.
In the 17th century - deformities, or ideas concerning human anatomy; were very different than ours today!!!
Very good luck, with finding your own solution!
Take care and please leave some feedback, if you so feel inclined.

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D. E. Lombardo


I am unable to answer enquiries concerning objects, which are NOT related to the areas of Fine Art and Antiques. Nor will I; on the sole basis of any photographic images be willing to give any definitive monetary valuations, or monetary opinions. In such cases I would always advise on getting “real time” valuations and opinions from reputable and qualified auction houses, or third parties. In some applicable cases, I may perhaps give general indications of value, based on the presented materials. True valuations always need a direct “hands on” approach, with perhaps also the necessary research and verifications. Broadly open to almost all questions, regarding the majority of both European, American quality objects, which are related to both Antiques and Fine Art. This also includes modern 20th century designer objects such as furniture etc. My own particular comfort zone areas would be; The decorative Arts, marble, stone, furniture, ivory, bone, amber, ceramics and porcelain, sculpture, glass, silver and metal objects etc. I will also answer inquiries, and give opinions concerning Dutch 17th, 18th and 19th century paintings. Please note that I do have limitations and cannot possibly answer all questions, as the field is very extensive. VERY IMPORTANT and PLEASE NOTE: Please note that; providing > GOOD CLEAR and Preferably High Resolution < photo's of the object(s)in question, is vital. Pics taken with a cell/mobile phone, are of a poor quality and best avoided. Posting signatures only, or just fragments of an artifact - will only provide me with insufficient information and it is often quite misleading. So please; Do post good clear overall images, with your question(s). Failing to do so, may cause rejection, which is also a great pity.


Since the early 90’s I lead a team of very enthusiastic staff at a business, where have the following disciplines; Restoration and refurbishment of historical buildings and gardens, including interior design. The restoration and care of Fine Art and Antiques at our restoration studio We are also Fine Art and Antique dealers, besides being collectors ourselves for a great number of years.

The main professional organization of which I am a member is the BNA, or Association of Dutch Architects, which is equivalent to the US; American Institute of Architects. Affiliated to the Art Loss Register in London and the International Cites Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.

Villa Rufolo; The forgotten paradise on earth. Published by the University of Aarhus, Denmark Book reviews and articles for International Archis Magazine, in the Netherlands.

Since I wished to become a Restoration Architect, firstly I took my BA degree in Art History. Then after graduation, I followed this immediately by studies to graduate and become a Restoration Architect. Ever since then, I have been an established Restoration Architect and Antiquarian. Since a great number of buildings are also inhabited by Fine Art fixtures and furnishings, I also became absorbed by all the artifacts, which go to fill them and not only the edifices themselves. This and much more, was the reason for gaining an advisory post on the City Commission; For The Protection and Care of Historic Monuments of Amsterdam - Amstelveen.

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Citations and gratitude; “From the Town of Amalfi” for the groundwork achieved in order bring back the Historical past to the Medieval Villa Rufolo and its vital role in the region. BA in Art Hisory. Graduation Diploma as an Architect & Antiquarian; and also practicing as such. I have also completed a 3 year course in antiques, at the VHOK in Amsterdam VHOK is translated as; ( "The Association of Fine Art Dealers In The Netherlands.")

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