portrait of a gentleman c1670 attributed to jacob huysmans

Portrait of a Gentleman c.1670; attributed to Jacob Huysmans.



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Oil on canvas in black and gilt period frame.
The sitter is probably a Johnstone of Pentefract, a Cudworth, or a Hake of Chatteris and Pilsgate.
The portrait is faintly inscribed, upper right, "Ae 23" (in the 23rd year of his age).
This portrait came from Denston Hall in Suffolk (see image 7) the estate which for centuries belonged to the Robinson family.
Having descended through various branches of the family the different estates became invested in Algernon Dunn Gardner in the early 20th century. Connected to the Robinson family by marriage, Dunn Gardner kept this portrait on the walls of Denston until it was removed by his daughter when the property was sold 30 years ago. It was then kept in storage until now.
JACOB HUYSMANS (c.16331696) was a Flemish portrait painter. He moved to England during the reign of Charles II where he became one of the fashionable painters of the court. His chief portraits are those of Izaak Walton and Catherine of Braganza, Charles II's wife (both displayed in the National Portrait Gallery, London)
He was born into a family of artists in Antwerp. He was the uncle of Jan-Baptiste and Cornelis Huysmans. He learned to paint from Gilles Backereel and Frans Wouters and moved to England, where he later influenced David des Granges (16111675). His first works were pastiches of work from Anthony van Dyck. As a Roman Catholic he was favoured by Catharine of Braganza. When Samuel Pepys visited his workshop in Westminster on 26 August 1664, he described him as a 'picture-drawer ... which is said to exceed Lilly (Lely). Huysmans's most important portrait of Catharine of Braganza, Queen Catharine as a Shepherdess (c. 1664; Brit. Royal Col.), was one of the pictures Pepys saw on that occasion. Painting his female subjects as sheperdesses with clothing embellished with embroidery and jewellery were typical of his style.
Huysmans died in Jermyn Street, London, in 1696, and was buried in St. James's Church in Piccadilly.
SIZE: 37.25 x 32 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: By descent to The Manor House, Chatteris and thence to the Dunn Gardner Collection, Denston Hall in 1908 then by descent.
Old handwritten labels verso.
Internal Ref: 8795

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