Saturday, March 12, 2016

European Portraits, 1620-1630

Anthony van Dyck
Portrait drawing of Orazio Gentileschi
ca. 1627
British Museum

The Flemish painter Anthony van Dyck met (and drew) the Italian painter Orazio Gentileschi in London in the late 1620s. Both were there, far from home, to participate in the rich painting culture established under Charles I. Later in the century William Aglionby looked back to this era as a sort of lost golden age: "King Charles the First was not only the greatest Favourer, but the truest Knower of all those Arts; and by his Countenance, the whole court gave themselves up to those Refined Pleasures; there being hardly a Man of Great Quality, that had not a Collection, either of Pictures or Antiques: Artists flowed in upon us from all parts: And had not the Bloody-Principled Zealots, who are Enemies to all the Innocent Pleasures of Life, under the pretext of a Reformed Sanctity, destroyed both the Best of Kings, and the Noblest of Courts, we might to this day have seen these Arts flourish amongst us; and particularly, this of Painting, which was the Darling of that Vertuous Monarch." 

The lace ruffs and gold chains of the 1620s, the stiff brocades and stiff poses, enforced an elaborate artificiality, but the artifice never extended to faces. From behind the heaped-up conventions of fashion and privilege, idiosyncratic personalities with unidealized faces became objects of scrutiny.

Paulus Moreelse
Portrait of Johanna Martens

workshop of Jan van Ravesteyn
Portrait of Johann Conrad von Salm
ca. 1622-25

Michael Janz van Mierevelt
Portrait of Dudley Carleton
ca. 1620
National Portrait Gallery (U.K.)

Spanish painter
Portrait of Isabel de Borbón, Queen of Spain
ca. 1620

Unknown painter
Portrait of James Hay, 1st Earl of Carlisle
National Portrait Gallery (U.K.)

Michael Janz van Mierevelt
Portrait of an unknown woman
ca. 1628
Wallace Collection, London

Unknown painter
Portrait of Sir Heneage Finch
National Portrait Gallery (U.K.)

Marcus Gheeraerts
Portrait of Margaret Layton
ca. 1620
Victoria & Albert Museum

Thomas de Keyser
Portrait of three children and a man

studio of Michael Janz van Mierevelt
Portrait of Anne, Lady Carleton
ca. 1625
National Portrait Gallery (U.K.)

Willem Cornelisz Duyster
Portrait of a man
oil on copper

Ottavio Leoni
A Cardinal's Procession, Rome
Metropolitan Museum of Art

Juan van der Hamen
Offering to Flora
ca. 1627