Rus Articles Journal

Cornelis Trost, “Regents of Catholic orphanage“. What were these people engaged in?

Among pictures of the Dutch artist Cornelis Trost there is a group portrait of regents of Catholic orphanage. The enormous portrait - heroes nearly to the utmost - imprinted not only people, but also an ambition: it as if glorified them, put over all (it is necessary to consider that on a cloth it was necessary to pay the payment for each place). But the objectives are achieved: they are absent for a long time, very few people know about their acts and remembers, and the portrait made by the first-class artist lives.

Cornelis Trost (Cornelis Troost, 1697-1750) is the Netherlands artist of times of the Golden Age of the Dutch painting. Among its works there is a group portrait of regents of Catholic orphanage.

On a portrait - ten adults and one child. Names of these important husbands remained, but, unfortunately, except names there is nothing available about their activity, except for Cornelis Kommelin - the famous botanist, the specialist in mushrooms, on a portrait he - the third on the right.

The chairman of meeting - on the right, in a hand at it the hammer (it is necessary to understand that the hammer not the instrument of punishment or joiner`s - metalwork, and the accessory allowing to put the end to discussion). The child, probably, serves as a symbol of occupations of high meeting.

Before speaking about regents who are they and what they were engaged in, a couple of words about position of children - orphans in the Netherlands during Modern times. Historians write that they in the Middle Ages left without parents sometimes accepted families, sometimes - monasteries. Orphanages per se appear in the sixteenth century. Such shelter was based in Amsterdam by the woman by the name of Hasya Klaas (Haasje Claas, 1475-1544) who in 1520 bought seven houses and presented them to the city for the organization of a shelter.

Of course, life in orphanages was not too joyful: identical clothes, tough schedule, work, restriction of freedom of movement. There was also a cruelty: corporal punishments and punishment cells for too mobile and prokazlivy. Nevertheless children were not absolutely deprived of civil rights, they were protected by laws on child labor and laws on inheritance of property (which they could receive from parents or relatives).

Children without parents were considered as orphans before achievement 25 - summer age. The city authorities provided financing, training, adaptation of such children. The general education till 12 years was day. After 12 years boys went for training to masters, girls - in sewing workshops, the senior girls got a job of servants. Receiving a profession happened as follows: guilds gave the order for the number of pupils which was necessary for them, and shelters directed to them children.

Relationship of children and masters was regulated by normative documents which worked in the city. First of all, the labor relations between the pupil and the master had to be issued documentary, the oral arrangement did not admit. As researchers specify, “the inspector of a justice had to be convinced not only that the child during training will bring in the income to orphanage, but also that the orphan upon termination of training will be capable to earn a living to himself, to a family and to yield some revenue to a justice“.

In Amsterdam the relations of the pupil and the teacher were stipulated especially in the instruction of town council of 1634: “For prevention of transfer of pupils from one master to another without training in craft or without transfer of the income in management of shelters, orphans can work for members of guilds provided that masters are respectively instructed by employees of department of an orphanhood“.

Besides, employees of department of an orphanhood watched that the master in training had so many pupils how many it can train during the time caused by the contract.

Precisely about duties of regents to learn from available sources it was not possible. But the logic prompts that they were elected parishioners of church to monitor providing orphanage, behind a condition of training, and also distribution of the means arriving from donors from a justice and from masters at whom children were trained. It is possible that they determined the size of “severance pay“ in a monetary and natural form when the pupil left orphanage.

We will return to a portrait. One more option is known. Apparently, it was the sketch which turned into a monumental cloth after coordination of all details: clothes, interior, hairdresses, boy. The clothes became prazdnichny, black hats disappeared, the interior became richer and deeper, the space and from above, and on a background was added. And the boy does not look a caricature any more, he is more living though his face of pleasure does not radiate.

The order, probably, was rather serious: Cornelis Trost executed it in the best traditions of the Dutch school of painting.

The enormous portrait - heroes nearly to the utmost - imprinted not only people, but also an ambition: it as if glorified them, put over all (it is necessary to consider that on a cloth it was necessary to pay the payment for each place). But the objectives are achieved: they are absent for a long time, very few people know about their acts and remembers, and the portrait made by the first-class artist lives. And the audience, looking at it, will reflect for a long time: what are these people famous for?