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Lot 139: Thomas de Keyser , Amsterdam (?) 1596/7 - 1667 Amsterdam Portrait of a Gentleman and His Son, Possibly Dirck Van Der Wissel and his Son, Jacob oil on copper

Est: $60,000 USD - $80,000 USD
Sotheby'sJanuary 29, 2009New York, NY, US

Item Overview


Traces of monogram tDK (?) and date 16 .. on the table leg oil on copper


measurements note 19 1/2 by 16 3/8 in.; 50 by 42 cm.

Artist or Maker


W. Liedtke, Dutch Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. I, New York 2007, pp. 402 and 403 (as Portrait of a Gentleman and his Daughter and as 'slightly later?' than the Pasadena portrait).


Anonymous sale, Saint-Germain-En-Laye, Loiseau, Schmitz, Digard, June 30, 1996, lot 11.


The present painting is one of several small-scale full-length portraits of a gentleman and a child set in a contemporary interior that De Keyser painted in Amsterdam during the late 1620s and early 1630s. Most likely inspired by the small-scale replicas of King Charles I of England and his court then circulating The Hague, as well as by contemporary genre painting such as the Merry Companies by Dirck Hals,υ1 the format of this double portrait reflects the demand for small cabinet paintings, which would have been well-suited to the more modest dimensions of Dutch homes in the 17υth century. Thomas de Keyser portrayed the same gentleman and his son in another double portrait on panel, dated 1631, now in the Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, California, inv. no. F.1968.11.09.P. In each picture, the gentleman's attire, pose, and physiognomy are virtually identical, and the same folding armchair with the cushioned seat appears at far left in each picture. The most noticeable differences between the two pictures are the age of the child - in the present picture he is almost a baby, in the Norton Simon picture he is a boy of seven - and the interior - in the present picture it is a rather stark room, while in the Norton Simon composition the room, with its elaborate gilt leather wall coverings and wood-paneled moldings, is more sumptuous. This comparison of the two paintings suggests a date of circa 1626/27 for our portrait. The coat-of-arms in the background of the Norton Simon composition identifies the sitter as Dirck Van Der Wissel and his son, Jacob, and it is therefore reasonable to assume that the artist has painted the same father and son in this portrait. Another example of De Keyser's copying a figure and reusing him in a later portrait are the portraits Frederick van Velthuysen and his Wife, signed dated 1636, now in the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, and Frederick van Velthuysen and his son, Dirck, signed and dated 1660, now in a private collection. In the latter portrait, as opposed to the Pasadena double portrait, the artist has changed the costume of the then dead subject to reflect contemporary fashion.υ2

We are grateful to Amy L. Walsh for her assistance in the cataloguing of this portrait, which will be included in the forthcoming publication, A.L. Walsh, Northern European Paintings at the Norton Simon Museum, in press. 1. W. Liedtke, Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 2007, p. 402.
2. See E. Devapriam, "A Double Portrait by Thomas De Keyser in the National Gallery of Victoria," in The Burlington Magazine, vol., 132, pp. 710-713.

Auction Details

Important Old Master Paintings, Including European Works of Art

January 29, 2009, 12:00 PM EST

1334 York Avenue, New York, NY, 10021, US