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Artemesia Gentileschi Clio-detail.png This user is a member of
WikiProject Women's History.
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Me during a presention I gave during the Wikmedia Netherlands Conference, November 2013
Picture of Haarlem on the Spaarne riverfront, taken from the "Milk bridge" looking North. The gray building in the center is the old weighing (customs) house, now a café.
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I enjoy historical museums and reading local history. I have a special fondness for Haarlem.

I keep a total list of artists referenced in Arnold Houbraken's "Schouburgh" (3 volumes, published in 1718, 1719, and 1721) here, and a rough measure of progress is here. I also try to keep the interwiki links up to date between the Engish Wikipedia and Commons for these artists. Now and then I update this list as I untangle more artist names (Houbraken's spelling and use of nicknames can be very confusing). In my opinion this entire book could be indexed on Wiki source, and I have already started to do this, but I could use some help.

The interesting thing about this project is that it is a project without borders, since paintings and associated engravings by these artists are spread today all over the world. As such it has helped me learn about the power of wikipedia collaboration.

How I got started on Houbraken[edit]

I started becoming interested in the Haarlem art of the Frans Hals Museum about 10 years ago, and started reading about Frans Hals and earlier Dutch master painters from the Haarlem area, such as Geertgen tot Sint Jans, Jan van Scorel, Maerten van Heemskerck, and Goltzius. This lead to me reading up on art history, starting with Giorgio Vasari, which led me to the Haarlem art historian Karel van Mander. When I saw his original books in the archives I was hooked. My first steps in sorting out the art biography pages on Wikipedia was looking up his Schilder-boeck sketches in the Digital library for Dutch literature ( This led me to the later art biographers Cornelis de Bie (Gulden Kabinet), Joachim von Sandrart (Teutsche Akademie) and Arnold Houbraken's Schouburg. Since then I have been busy adding artists from the Houbraken book, based mostly on his order of importance (Page title = very important, Upper case = important, Lower case = notable). Today every artist mentioned in Houbraken is considered notable, with some of these artists' work reaching ridiculous prices on the international art market.

Women painters[edit]

Houbraken called women painters "paintresses" and intended to feature them in his books. There were several women active in the painting industry of Haarlem in the 1600s. Today only Judith Leyster is still famous, and that is mostly due to her works being confused with those of Frans Hals. Ironically, Houbraken did not mention her at all. As the forensic study of 17th century paintings evolves, it is interesting to see how often reattributions can be made to female members of a painter's family. Unfortunately, these women signed with their husband's name in their own time, as the work of a man brought a higher price than the work of a woman. As a result, only in those cases where the woman continued her husband's shop after his death can the attribution be made with any certainty. These attributions are most often done for engravings, rather than paintings, but it still helps to uncover the work of female artists.