A masterful example of Dutch portraiture, this exceptional oil on canvas comes alive with luminous color, a dramatic composition, and extraordinary detail. The portrait, which dates to circa 1820, is executed in the 17th-century style, complete with the elaborate costuming and richness of detail that makes works from the Dutch Golden Age so highly sought after. Intricately composed, Portrait of a Lady offers a dramatic glimpse into a bygone age, composed with the same artistry and painstaking detail of the best works from the period.
The work joins a long tradition of Dutch portraiture that began in the Netherlands in the 17th century. A thriving middle class provided ample clientele for portraitists of the age. Unlike the Baroque swagger of 17th-century portraits from other areas of Europe, Dutch portraits possessed a sense of luxurious austerity and superior technical quality that set them apart. The present work, executed in the 17th-century style, is imbued with all of these same attributes. The unknown artist of the Dutch School makes a painstaking study of his subject’s costume and accessories. It is these – the delicate, complex lace collars and exquisite, glistening jewels – that underscore the importance and prosperity of the wealthy client.
Yet, it is the rendering of the subject’s face that truly brings this portrait to life. Painted with a more naturalistic touch, her ivory skin is exquisitely shaded in peach and pink tones, while her expression is both friendly and reserved. Truly timeless, she is direct, personal and warmly human – all attributes that make this work so compelling.
Canvas: 40 1/8″ high x 32 1/4″ wide
Frame: 44 7/8″ high x 36 5/8″ wide