which are such a striking characteristic of his work. He would wait until his painting was dry before taking it up again for further work; then he would cover it with a new glaze of transparent bistre into which he would build up his rough impastos for the light while leaving the shadows thin and luminous. Rembrandt was the outstanding master of chiaroscuro.

     The commissions that were obtainable from the corporations were not plentiful; they seemed to be the prerogative of only a few of the painters. The other artists, in order to earn their living, were obliged to paint such amiable subjects as would please the clientele of rich merchants who were now among the most influential inhabitants of these flourishing Dutch towns. Genre painting made its appearance and took the theme of its compositions from the life of the times.

     This style of painting was the practice of the "Little Masters," so called, possibly, either because the scenes and figures represented in their pictures were considerably under life size, and their panels were correspondingly small, or be- cause, having abandoned the earlier style of the grandiose "battle piece," they confined themselves to intimate subjects of everyday life. They too used a rather subdued palette. Some of them painted freely, with a sort of truculent verve, like Adrian Brouwer (1606-1638)and Jan Steen (1626-1679), but most of them elaborated their works with infinite care and patience. Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675), see page 111, often painted over a grisaille, which he later covered with velaturas and glazes. This delicate work has, alas, been too often obscured by the restorers for us to be able to see the artists' exact original work.

    Considering the small size of these works, the finish in the detail is as incredible as the extreme care which the artists exercised in preparing for their work. The minutest details were considered. It is related of Gerard Dou (1613-1675) that he had his studio down in a basement. This studio had to be entered by a trap do or which Dou raised just at the time of entering, and then very gently closed behind him. He would install himself before his easel, open his paint box, and remain immobile for a time before uncovering his picture

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