EVERDINGEN, Caesar van
(b. 1617, Alkmaar, d. 1678, Alkmaar)

Four Muses and Pegasus on Parnassus

c. 1650
Oil on canvas, 340 x 230 cm
Huis ten Bosch, The Hague

Besides Flemish masters (among them Jacob Jordaens), eight Dutch artists were selected to participate in the decoration of the royal villa - the Huis ten Bosch - at The Hague. All of them were either familiar with classicistic trends or had close contact with Flemish art. Among them, the most attractive and original was Caesar van Everdingen, brother of the landscapist Allaert van Everdingen. The refined, generalized forms, clear outlines, and sensitivity to the effects of light of his Four Muses with Pegasus shows what sets him apart. Everdingen acquired his interest in representing idealized female and male nudes and classical subjects from his connections with artists in Utrecht and Haarlem.

The beautiful still-life in the foreground is made up of eleven lifelike musical instruments. From left to right they are a shawm, a vielle, a portative organ, a trombone, a trumpet, a harp, a recorder, a second shawm, a bass gamba, an alto or tenor gamba and a tambourine.

This painting is one of the nine large canvases covering the walls in the Oranjezaal in Huis ten Bosch. It is displayed at a height of over five metres above an even larger painting with a high wainscot beneath it.