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  • Design Credit: Elizabeth Roberts Architec̦ture & Design, Photo Credit: Dustin Aksland. Dimensions: H 43.51 in. x W 36.62 in.
  • Design Credit: Timothy Godbold, Photo Credit: Karl Simone. Dimensions: H 43.51 in. x W 36.62 in.
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Portrait of a Gentleman in Three-Quarter-Length

Unknown

Price Upon Request

About

The 39-year-old gentleman had himself portrayed as an aristocrat in an idyllic landscape. At the time, parks and forests were environments associated with the lands and pastimes of the nobility. The sitter’s social position is also evident from his fashion-conscious look. He has put on a reddish-brown justacorps (a knee-length coat) with gold-colored buttons. Under this vest, he seems to be wearing a simple white cravat. The blue sash with gold trim around the man’s waist can mark (high) military rank. This accessory was usually part of formal military attire. In some cases, the sash could also indicate a militia guild membership (like the “Kolveniers”). The provenance of the portrait is difficult to trace. On an old photograph of one of the rooms of the castle ‘Ter Meeren’ in Zaventem, the painting is clearly visible. At the time, the estate owned Auguste Braun, a lawyer at the Cassation Court in Belgium. Did the portrait belong to Mr. Braun’s family property, or did he purchase it? Would it be possible that the portrait was bought together with the castle that noble families owned for centuries? The gentleman’s long, curled locks fall on his red cloak. This is again another element that gives the portrayed a distinguished appearance. The slightly twisted pose of the sitter lends depth to the composition. His graceful posture – holding his right hand in his loin and letting his left armrest on a balustrade - clearly breaks with the stiff Dutch portraits of the first half of the 17th century. At the end of the 17th century, the atmosphere could be a bit more playful and frivolous. The work's style and painterly quality seem to indicate that Nicolaes Maes and his studio assistants painted the portrait. Although the master from Dordrecht painted portraits and genre scenes at the beginning of his career, he profiled himself fully as a portrait painter from the late 1650s onwards. From about 1670, Maes chose to portray his clients in an idealized environment with allures referred to as the upper class, as is the case for this gentleman’s portrait. When the artist settled in Amsterdam in 1673, his clientele expanded considerably. In addition to Dordrecht and Utrecht's notables, now also administrators of the VOC, naval officers, professors, and theologians from Amsterdam and other cities knocked on his door to have themselves immortalized on canvas. The increase in orders resulted in Maes’ atelier working very efficiently to meet the high demand. Customers could now choose a portrait-type from several standardized examples of portrait formulas. In other words, they could choose in advance a certain pose, specific gestures and backgrounds, and so on. This elegant gentleman's lively portrait has a balanced composition and certainly appeals through the psychologistic of the sitter’s personality. Despite the excellent quality of the painting, several technical aspects suggest that the portrait is mainly the result of studio work. Nicolaes Maes usually used smooth, powerful, and broad brushstrokes that are less noticeable in this painting. The tactility of the depicted fabrics and the color intensity that immediately catches the eye is completely single-handed paintings by Maes, are less prominent here. Cleaning of the painting and a new layer of varnish can probably restore the painting to its original splendor.

Details

  • Attributed to
    Nicolas Maes (1634 - 1693, Dutch)
  • Creation Year
    Unknown
  • Dimensions
    Height: 43.51 in. (110.5 cm)Width: 36.62 in. (93 cm)Depth: 1.97 in. (5 cm)
  • Medium
  • Movement & Style
  • Period
  • Condition
  • Gallery Location
    brussel, BE
  • Reference Number
    Seller: 19101stDibs: LU150927775202

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Estimated Customs Duties & Taxes to the Continental US: $0.
    Ships From: brussel, Belgium
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 3 days of delivery.

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