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Famous Dutch Painters from Dordrecht, Ancient Capital of Holland

Part 17

The Scheffer family

44. Johan Bernard Scheffer
45. Cornelia Scheffer-Lamme
46. Ary Scheffer


Note : Please do not email me with technical questions about paintings and their age and origin because I am not an expert but I only have gathered information about the Painters from the Netherlands and specially from Dordrecht.

Dordrecht is not only known as the oldest city and ancient capital of Holland but also for the many famous painters who were born or lived in Dordrecht during the late Middle ages and later centuries.

On the next pages you can find many works from these famous painters who were responsible for many styles of paintings and they immortalized the daily life and landscapes in the 15th to 19th century. Most of their masterpieces are nowadays part of collections in museums all over the world and of which many can be seen in the local Dordrechts Museum.

Johan Bernard Scheffer

Hamburg 1765 - Dordrecht 1809

Artist Johan Scheffer Bernard is the father of the famous Ary Scheffer. He was born in Germany near Hessen-Kassel and received his training from the famous portrait painter JFA Tischbein.

In 1790 he moved to Dordrecht where he, four years later, married Cornelia Lamme, a painter of miniatures. They had three children of which Ary was their oldest son. King Louis Napoleon appointed Johan Scheffer as court painter. Because of the early death of Bernard Johan Scheffer little work of him is known. He died in Amsterdam during his work in the palace of king Louis Napoleon at the palace on the Dam in Amsterdam.


Portrait of Ary Scheffer

Johan Bernard Scheffer c. 1806
Oil on panel 40 x 33 cm
Dordrechts museum

Cornelia Scheffer-Lamme

Dordrecht 1769 - Paris 1839

Cornelia Lamme was probably trained by her father Arie Lamme (1748-1801). She married the painter Bernard Johan Scheffer (1765-1809). After the dead of her husband in 1809 she moved to Paris in 1811, where her sons Henry (1798-1862) and Ary Scheffer received their training as painters. Scheffer-Lamme made many portrait miniatures. When the work of her son Ary became popular, she made several copies for him of his paintings.


The women of Souli

Cornelia Scheffer-Lamme
Oil on canvas 95 x 112 cm
Dordrechts museum

This painting is a small copy of Scheffers mother to an original work from 1827 of her son, Ary Scheffer. Shown is a dramatic event in the Greek struggle for freedom. In 1803 Souli Greeks revolted against the Turks. The women from the region waited on a rock platform and watched the battle. When the Greeks lost, their wives decided to commit collective suicide, rather than fall into the hands of the enemy. The choice of this topic Scheffer referred to the great Greek revolt that erupted in 1821 and received many international sympathies'.


Miniature portraits of her family

Cornelia Scheffer-Lamme
Watercolor and gouache on ivory
Dordrechts museum

Top left: Johanna van Es (overl.1801) - her mother
round, ø 6.6 cm
Bottom left: Ary Scheffer at around 15-year-old age - the oldest son
oval, 7.8 x 6.3 cm
Central (above): Ary Scheffer at around the age of 2
oval, 8 x 7.3 cm
Central (middle): Self Portrait from 1795
oval, 7.8 x 6.3 cm
Central (below): Arnoldus Charles Scheffer at around the age of 2 - the second son
oval, 5.5 x 3.9 cm
Right: Arie Lamme (1748-1801) - her father
oval, 8 x 7.3 cm
Bottom right: Johan Bernhard Scheffer (1765-1809) - her husband - 1795
oval, 7.5 x 6.7 cm

Ary Scheffer

Dordrecht 1795 - Argenteuil (near Paris) 1851

He was born in Dordrecht, to a German father and Dutch mother. After his father's death the family moved to Paris in 1809, where he trained with Prud'hon (1810) and at the École des Beaux-Arts under Guérin (1811). He exhibited at the Salon from 1812. His early work was Neoclassical in style (e.g. Hannibal Swearing to Avenge his Son's Death, 1810, Dordrecht) but by 1814 he had introduced colour and drama into his work (e.g. Orpheus and Eurydice , 1814, Blois). He was highly popular in Paris during the 1830s for his sentimental merging of a highly finished technique and Romantic subject-matter. He worked in a range of genres from portraiture to exotic and literary themes (e.g. Leonora, 1828, Lille). He was a supporter of Greek independence, an enthusiast for English and German literature and a friend of Gautier, and therefore could be seen as representing the acceptable face of Romanticism.

After receiving his earliest artistic education in his native town Dordrecht, he moved in 1811 with his family to Paris where he possibly attended the studio of Prud'hon before joining that of Pierre-Narcisse Guérin (1774-1833). At first his paintings were Neo-classical in style and subject, but in the 1820s he established himself as a painter of medieval history and genre scenes. He also painted portraits, notably of the leaders of the liberal opposition to Bourbon rule, towards whose cause he was sympathetic. During the July Monarchy of Louis-Philippe he received important commissions for royal portraits and history pieces for Versailles. Until the end of his career he also enjoyed success with sentimental religious and literary scenes which were frequently the subject of popular engravings. His daughter bequeathed many of his works to the city of Dordrecht where they can now be seen in the Dordrechts Museum.

He was a supporter of Greek independence, an enthusiast for English and German literature and a friend of Gautier, and therefore could be seen as representing the acceptable face of Romanticism. He had a close friendship with Chopin, Gounod, List and Rossini.

Museums in The Netherlands


Lenore - The dead drive fast

Ary Scheffer, 1830
Oil on canvas 56 x 72,3 cm
Dordrechts Museum

This oil sketch was a preliminary study for a painting inspired by the ballad Lenore (1774) of the German poet Bürger. It is Scheffers most romantic work. Lenore saw that her Wilhelm was not returned from the war. She cursed God and wished to die. In the evening she heard clop and a rider appeared. She thought that Wilhelm was distraught and went with him. On the way the rider made her afraid to tease: "Hurra! They addressed "Die Toten Reiten schnell! " They rode to the cemetery, which showed that with Lenore was ride along with Death. The graves opened themselves and the dead locked them in.


The three brothers Scheffer in a landscape

Ary Scheffer, 1824
Oil on canvas 32,4 x 40,4 cm
Dordrechts Museum


Self portrait

Ary Scheffer, 1838
Oil on canvas 81,5 x 57 cm
Dordrechts Museum

At the height of his fame Scheffer painted this portrait. It was a gift for his mother to mark her birthday on April 23, 1838. Another portrait, painted two years earlier, bears the inscription 'Ary April 23, 1836. Both self, the artist had a strong relationship with his mother Cornelia Scheffer-Lamme.


Mignon desires her fatherland

Ary Scheffer, 1836
Oil on canvas 171 x 87 cm
Dordrechts Museum

At the Salon of 1839 Scheffer exhibited two paintings with Mignon, the Italian girl from the famous book Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre (1795) of the German poet Goethe. The other painting was called Mignon Anxious to heaven. Scheffers daughter Cornelia was probably a model for the girl. The work shown here was not at the Salon. Scheffer painted more than one version of both Mignons.


Portrait of Cornelia with dog

Ary Scheffer, 1840
Oil on canvas 55,5 x 39 cm
Dordrechts Museum

Scheffers daughter Cornelia was born in 1830. About her mother nothing is unknown. Initially, she was raised in the Countryside. From 1837 Scheffers mother took care of the girl itself. When this portrait was painted, Cornelia was only ten years old. Five years later she married the much older doctor Rene Marjolin. Cornelia donated in 1862 a large part of the legacy of her father's studio to the Dordrechts Museum. When she died in 1899, the Dordrechts Museum came in possession of a unique collection: over 100 paintings, 300 drawings and 200 engravings and lithographs.


Cornelia Scheffer-Lamme on her deathbed

Ary Scheffer, 1839
Oil on canvas 59,5 x 43,5 cm
Dordrechts Museum

With the death of Cornelia Scheffer-Lamme on July 4, 1839 Scheffer lost not only his mother, but also a woman with whom he could talk of art and literature and an employee in his art-company. In a letter to his uncle Arnoldus Lamme, he wrote: 'My gansche leeven was zooals u wel weet, gansch en al verknogt aan het weezen van mijn lieve moeder " (My whole life was, as you know, Scheffer made the portrait of two sections, so it could be closed.


The sorrows of the earth is rising to heaven and turned into hope and happiness

Ary Scheffer, 1847-1858
Oil on canvas 219 x 141,5 cm
Dordrechts Museum

Ary Scheffer painted mainly romantic history pieces, often based on episodes from the Bible or German poems by Goethe. A commonly recurring theme is the consolation that religion can offer, as in this painting. But unlike most religious works Scheffers is not Christ, but Maria's comfort of the sad. The painting was commissioned in 1847. Scheffer kept the composition until his death in his studio and improved it Countless times. Some figures from earlier paintings, such as Paolo and Francesca, Dante and Beatrice and Mary Magdalene, is again shown. This painting can be seen as a summary of Scheffers oeuvre.


The heavenly and earthly love

Ary Scheffer, 1850
Oil on canvas 175 x 104 cm
Dordrechts Museum

This is the first work of Scheffer that was exhibited in Dordrecht. The painting bore in 1854 many sensational reactions. So wrote an uncle of the artist in a letter: "A priest came to see it with his pious true friend, when he came in to the exhibition room he saw it from far and gave a terrible scream. With both hands before his eyes he cried, it is a disgrace and flew away. Her husband looked so appalled because Eve was was completely naked. " The two women personalize a contemplative and a materialistic lifestyle. One woman, the heavenly Venus, the other the terrestrial Venus. The theme refers to the Symposium of Plato.


Portrait of Mrs. Place

Ary Scheffer, 1852
Oil on canvas 132,5 x 90 cm
Dordrechts Museum

In this particular portrait of Mrs. Place, the wife of the diplomat Victor Place, Scheffer showed a great societssy painter. Scheffer painted portraits on commission, but was - remarkably enough - turn them in his possession. The reason appears in a letter to Scheffer in 1856 to his nephew where he wrote: "Mr. Place has suddenly lost all his fortune and I had left the money in his hands, there is chance that the paintings will come back in my possession.


Jacob and the Angel

Ary Scheffer
Oil on canvas 217 x 141 cm
Dordrechts Museum

The fight between Jacob and the angel is described in Genesis. Scheffer focused entirely on the two figures. Left the Angel and right Jacob. The scene has a long tradition in art. In the romance theme symbolizes the struggle of the artist with his vocation. Probably imagined Scheffer in this work the struggle of man with his faith. Because Scheffer never completed the painting is easy to see how he went to work. About a primer of chalk, glue and linseed oil he outlined the performance. For the shadow he painted the thin and the flesh-color slightly thicker.


Christ in Gethsemane

Ary Scheffer, 1839
Oil on canvas 140 x 98 cm
Dordrechts Museum

This painting brought Scheffer at the Salon Exhibition less success than other works on previous Salons. The criticism was that Christ was depicted suffering as a human. Another critic felt that the presence of an angel is detrimental to the expression of sorrow.


Portrait of Frédéric Chopin

Ary Scheffer
Oil on canvas 55 x 45,8 cm
Dordrechts Museum

The famous musician Frédéric Chopin was born in 1810 in Poland. In 1831 he came to Paris. He had a close friendship with the composer Liszt and the French painter Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863), both acquaintances of Scheffer. In April 1847 Chopin posed for Scheffer. Scheffer portrayed him as an aristocrat and a sensitive intellectual. He made several versions of the portrait. The principal he gave to Chopin. The work shown here is a copy, which the painter probably made himself.


Portrait of Marie Princess of Orléans

Ary Scheffer, 1837
Oil on canvas 118,3 x 73,5 cm
Dordrechts Museum

From her childhood Princess Marie of Orleans got drawing lessons from Scheffer. Later he accompanied her to the sculpture, which was better. Scheffer made a sober, penetrating portrait of his pupil. He did not painted her as Marie King's daughter, but as an artist, sitting in an unfinished sculpture. The portrait is an important asset, especially because in the museum's collection alongside the work of Scheffer a number of sketches and plaster models from the hand of Marie is in possession of the museum.


The women of Souli

Ary Scheffer
Oil on canvas 23 x 30 cm
Dordrechts Museum

Since the late Middle Ages, Greece had been part of the Turkish Empire, but in 1821 a rebellion broke out. Not long before the Greek people, Soulioten, resisted themselves against the Turkish sultan. Their army was defeated by destroying one of the vassalsof the sultan. The Souliotic women were on a rock from which they had seen the battle. They faced a desperate dilemma, coming in the hands of the enemy or put an end to their lives. They committed collective suicide by singing and dancing into the abyss. Scheffer depicted two moments from the story. Some women looks in the distance how their men are being slaughtered and how the Turks come closer. At the right side of the painting the time has already passed a little, since women are already at the point jumping into the abyss. The composition leads the eye to the right, to the women who nearly jumped down. Many of them cover their arms to the left. Left is the life which they are attached, to the right is death which they have chosen.


Count Eberhard von Würtemberg cuts the table-linen in two parts

Ary Scheffer, 1848
Paper, pencil and paintbrush in brown 27,5 x 36,5 cm
Dordrechts Museum


Christ Consolator

Ary Scheffer, 1837
Oil on Canvas, 184 x 248 cm
Historisch Museum, Amsterdam

The Dutch artist Ary Scheffer depicted Christ in his role as consolator, or comforter, surrounded by the oppressed (right) and those suffering pain or grief (left). The painting is based on a biblical passage, which is rendered on the frame in French. The work received considerable praise in 1837 at the Paris Salon. Scheffer's smoothly executed artworks were usually well received at this annual exhibition of academic art.

Museums in the United Kingdom

Mrs Robert Hollond

Ary Scheffer, 1851
Oil on canvas Dimensions: 82 x 60 cm
National Gallery London

Ellen Julia Teed (1822 - 1884), married Robert Hollond, MP for Hastings, in 1840. She was an authoress and philanthropist, and held a salon in Paris which attracted the leading Liberalsof the day. She presented Boucher's 'Pan and Syrinx' to the National Gallery in 1880.


The Sister of Mercy

Ary Scheffer, c. 1830/31
Oil on canvas 31 x 39 cm
Wallace collection, London


Mother and Child

Ary Scheffer, c. 1830
Watercolor and body color with some gum varnish on paper 20.3 x 15.5 cm
Wallace collection, London


Margaret at the Fountain

Ary Scheffer,1852
Oil on canvas
Wallace collection London


Portrait of a Child

Ary Scheffer, 1829
Oil on canvas 40.7 x 28 cm
Wallace collection, London


The Return of the Prodigal Son

Ary Scheffer, 1857
Oil on panel 60.8 x 49.6 cm
Wallace collection, London


Charles Dickens

Ary Scheffer, 1855
Oil on canvas 94,3 x 62,9 cm
National Portrait Gallery, London


The Holy Women at the Sepulichre

Ary Scheffer, 1845
Oil on canvas
Manchester City Art Gallery, UK

Scene depicting the dead body of Christ wrapped in a shroud by grieving women. The Virgin Mary lies across the body of Christ with her arms about his shoulders to right, Mary Magdalen to left holds up the edge of the white shroud. Two more women in the background to right, one clasping her hands in prayer, the other with her hand over her face. Dark background.

Museums in France

Abel Francois Villeman

Ary Scheffer, 1855
Oil on canvas 109 x 99.7 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris


Félicie de Fauveau

Ary Scheffer, 1829
Oil on canvas 103 x 72 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris


The Souliot Women

Ary Scheffer, 1827
Oil on canvas 248 x 354 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris


Saint Augustine and his mother, St Monica

Ary Scheffer, 1846
Oil on canvas 147 x 114 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

The subject is taken from Saint Augustine's 'Confessions' (Book 10), and depicts Saint Augustine and his mother Saint Monica discussing the Kingdom of Heaven. Shortly afterwards Saint Monica died. This is one of several replicas of Scheffer's most popular picture. The original, finished about 1845, showed the painter's own mother as the model for Saint Monica. In this version the model is said to have been Mrs Hollond


Géricault's death

Ary Scheffer, 1824
Oil on canvas 36 x 46 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

After a long agony, Géricault died after a fall from his horse on 26 January 1824. At his bedside are his friends Colonel Bro de Comère and the painter Pierre-Joseph Dedreux-Dorcy. The wall of the chamber is lined with sketches of the master.


The temptation of Christ

Ary Scheffer
Oil on canvas 345 x 241 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

This large canvas has occupied the last ten years of the life Scheffer. Numerous expansions and repentirs clearly show the continuous changes that the artist has made to its composition. Only the face of Christ, a soft loan metaphysics, has never been touched by the painter.


Women Souliotis

Ary Scheffer, 1827
Oil on canvas 261 x 359 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

After their husbands were defeated by the troops of Ali, pacha of Janina, they take the desition to rush from the top of the rocks.


The shadows of Francesca da Rimini and Paolo Malatesta appears to Dante and Virgil

Ary Scheffer, 1855
Oil on canvas 171 x 239 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris


Charlemagne (Charles the Great) receives a paderborn submission of Witkind in 785

Ary Scheffer, 1835
Oil on canvas 465 x 542 cm
Versailles, Musée national du château et des Trianons


The Duke of Orleans welcomes the barrier of the throne, 1st Regiment of Hussars, controlled by the Duke of Chartres on August 4, 1830

Ary Scheffer, 1830
Oil on canvas 118 x 88 cm
Versailles, Musée national du château et des Trianons


La Fayette (1757-1834) on his deathbed (20 May 1834)

Ary Scheffer, 1834
oil on canvas 64 x 80 cm
National Museum of Franco-American

Marquis de La Fayette, corpse, lying on his back, place of death Blérancourt.


Frederic Chopin 1810-1849

Ary Scheffer
Versailles musée national du château et des Trianons


The young patient

Ary Scheffer
Oil on canvas 38 x 46cm
Musée Magnin, Dijon

Museums in the USSR

Death of Gaston de Foix in the Battle of Ravenna on 11 April 1512

Scheffer, Ary, c. 1824
Oil on canvas. 38 x 46 cm
The Hermitage St-Petersburg

In this sketch for a painting now in the palace at Versailles, Scheffer took as his subject an episode from French national history, prompted by the Romantic battle against the dominant cult of Classical themes. Nephew to Louis XII, Gaston de Foix (1488-1512) led the French army into Italy and gained fame for his achievements. After decisive victory in the battle near Ravenna, Gaston chased the retreating enemy but received a fatal wound in the process. Unlike Neoclassical artists, who treated the death of the hero as an example of noble self-sacrifice for the sake of one's native land, Scheffer interprets the death of Gaston not as a panegyric to civil virtue, but as the tragic end to the life of a real individual, a chance victim of fate. Scheffer's sketch marvellously conveys the drama of the event, with its temperamental painting style, the daring broad strokes of colour and emotionally intense colouring.

Museums in the USA


Marguerite Leaving Church

Ary Scheffer, 1838
Oil on canvas 215.1 x 137.5 cm
Medium Detroit institute of arts


The Death of Saint Louis

Ary Scheffer, c. 1817
Oil on canvas 146.7 x 179.9 cm
Los Angeles County Museum of Art


The Last Communion of Saint Louis

Ary Scheffer, 1823
Oil on canvas 46.36 x 38.74 cm
Los Angeles County Museum of Art


Dante and Beatrice

Ary Scheffer, 1851
Oil on canvas 180 x 99 cm
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Beatrice, the Italian poet Dante's beloved, serves as his guide through Paradise in his epic poem, The Divine Comedy (1321). The verses from the poem that Scheffer illustrates are written on the frame and translate as follows: "And, of a sudden, meseemed that day was added / unto day, as though he who hath the power, / had adorned heaven with a second sun. Beatrice was standing with her eyes all fixed / upon the eternal wheels, and I fixed my sight / removed from there above, on her."

Museums around the world

Greek Women Imploring at the Virgin of Assistance

Ary Scheffer, 1826
Oil on canvas 65 x 55 cm
The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo Japan


Faust and Marguerite in the Garden

Ary Scheffer, 1846
Oil on canvas 217.8 x 134.6 cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Australia

Private collections around the world

Portrait of General Lafayette (1757-1834)

Ary Scheffer
Oil on canvas 235 x 130 cm
Private collection

Full-length, in a great coat over a stripped waistcoat, holding a hat and a stick.


Macbeth and the Witches

Ary Scheffer
Oil on canvas 65 x 81 cm
Private collection


A Portrait of a young woman

Ary Scheffer, 1841
Oil on canvas 62.4 x 40.8 cm
Private collection


This statue is dedicated to the Dordtsche painter, Ary Scheffer (1795-1851) and is situated on the Scheffers-square in Dordrecht


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