Portrait of a Gentleman
Portrait of a Gentleman
Portrait of a Gentleman
Portrait of a Gentleman
Portrait of a Gentleman
Portrait of a Gentleman

Studio of MICHIEL MIEREVELD (worked from c.1750)

Portrait of a Gentleman

c. 1600 to c. 1625 Netherlands

Offered by Titan Fine Art

£9,250 gbp
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This magnificent portrait depicts a handsome gentleman wearing an elaborate lace collar and sumptuous embroidered black satin coat. The extraordinary costume with its shimmering quality and costly fabric is of the highest quality and de rigueur for the upper class. This is indicative of the sitter’s wealth and speaks of the status of this gentleman in Dutch society. The demand for portraits in the Netherlands was great in the 17th century and Michiel Jansz van Mierevelt was the most productive and successful portraitist in Delft. This portrait was painted circa 1620 when Mierevelt was working in Delft and in The Hague at the request of the Court. It is a fine example in its decription of the sitter’s character and is very engaging.

Dutch society during this period were very conscious of material excesses and the attire in portraits reflected this - black was a predominant colour for clothing (although it has to be said that this was not the dominant colour for everyday apparel). Artists could therefore not rely solely on striking colours to create excitement. What they did have was an array of stunning black fabrics and a wide range of textures and so the turned their attention to this. Black may have been dominant but clothing was far from boring and was often intricately detailed, had various sumptuous fabrics often contrasting against each other and with all manner of designs and patterns. The attire was completed with elaborate lace collars, varying considerably within certain patterns (and were prized possessions and were often listed in inventories of estates) depending on current trends.

The Dutch Golden Age of painting was a period in Dutch history, roughly spanning the 17th century, in which Dutch trade, science, military, and art were among the most acclaimed in the world. Dutch explorers charted new territory and settled abroad. Trade by the Dutch East-India Company thrived, and war heroes from the naval battles were decorated and became national heroes. During this time, The Dutch Old Masters began to prevail in the art world, creating a depth of realistic portraits of people and life in the area that has hardly been surpassed. The Golden Age painters depicted the scenes that their discerning new middle class patrons wanted to see. This new wealth from merchant activities and exploration combined with a lack of church patronage, shifted art subjects away from biblical genres. Still lifes of items of everyday objects, landscapes, and seascapes reflecting the naval and trade power that the Republic enjoyed were popular. The large group portrait is also a standard subject often of a civic organisations. The new wealthly class were keen to have their portraits commissioned and thus many artists worked in this lucrative genre.

Michiel Van Mierevelt was one of the most successful Dutch portraitists of the 17th century. The son of a goldsmith, he was born in Delft and was a pupil of artist Anthonie Blocklandt of Utrecht. After a two-year apprenticeship, he returned to his native Delft. From 1590 he devoted himself entirely to the art of portraiture. In 1607, he was appointed official painter to the Prince of Orange-Nassau and his court in The Hague and he also gained important commissions from other members of the Orange family and other wealthy families and diplomats. His role as court painter also emphasised his status as the most fashionable portrait painter of his day and he received commissions not only from noble families of the Dutch Republic and but also from visitors abroad. His foreign sitters included many eminent English clients who sat for him whilst on their travels to the Netherlands. To meet the demand, Van Miereveld employed assistants, including his sons Pieter and Jan.
Very good
Private UK collection
Dimensions
External Height 84.00 cm (33.07 inches)
External Width 68.00 cm (26.77 inches)
External Depth 6.00 cm (2.36 inches)
Medium
Oil on panel
Titan Fine Art

Titan Fine Art
London

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