A portrait of a young boy holding a hunting spear and carving words into a tree and A portrait of Johanna van den Brande (1668-1691)
Dordrecht 1634 - Amsterdam 1693
Oil on canvas
The composition of our portrait of a young boy, holds a close resemblance to two other portraits painted by Maes. The first one was to be seen at Woolley and Wallace, in august 2021. It portrayed a young man, older than our boy, in a Japanese rok, also holding a hunting spear and carving words into a tree. The second one is a portrait of Christiaan van de Bloqcquery (1647-1713) which was sold by Christie’s Amsterdam in 2014.
In the other works the inscription on the three referred the sitters identity, or to a vanitas-subject. In our work he is inscribing: “Adele,”
The portrait of the woman shows similarities with other portraits were the sitter is identified as Johanna van den Brande (1668-1691). Johanna was the first wife of Daniël Radermacher II (1664-1708), they married in 1689 in Middelburg. They had no children, so the identity of the boy remains unknown for the moment. He does however show similarities in dress and hairstyle. So do their noses and lips.
The other portraits by Maes of Johanna show similarities in dress, jewelry and facial structure. When comparing them to each other we were convinced that the sitter was one and the same person.
From the 1660s Maes’ work shows the influence of Van Dyck’s Flemish style portraiture, which had been introduced into the Dutch Republic in the previous decade. During this time, he started using staging and accessories as seen in Flemish portraiture. This Flemish influence can be explained by his travels to Antwerp ca. 1665-1667. Where he, according to Arnold Houbraken, studied and worked with artists such as Rubens, Jordaens and van Dyck.
Later on, during the 1670s and 80s his works will emphasize the gestures and poses of the sittters. The emphasis on their clothing, hairstyles show the influence and developments in Flemish and French portraiture. His darker backgrounds and austere manner will be replaced elegant gardens painted in lighter tones and with a free brushstroke.
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