portrait of a diamond merchant c1620 studio or circle of cornelis van der voort

Portrait of a Diamond Merchant c.1620; Studio or Circle of Cornelis van der Voort.



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Oil on panel, the back skilfully and expensively 'cradled', in an appropriate frame.
This is a superb portrait from the Dutch Golden Age of painting; fine quality and with a very real sense of the sitter's personality and strength of character.
The sitter, a diamond merchant, looks out with confidence...almost challengingly. His right hand, holding tweezers, rests on a table upon which sits a small collection of diamonds; he also wears a gold ring with a large stone set in it.
CORNELIS VAN DER VOORT or van der Voorde (Antwerp 1576 - Amsterdam 1624) flourished as a portrait painter in Amsterdam from around 1614 to his death in 1624.
This painting is an excellent example of his portraits popular with wealthy Dutch burghers and merchants. The sitter is soberly but richly dressed in a black garment trimmed with fashionable and expensive reticella lace and a starched millstone ruff, Clothes and accessories were of enormous importance. Often immense sums were spent on them, and sitters were justifiably proud and anxious to show them off. Their clothes and accessories also carried strong social connotations.
The artist invests the portrait with great dignity. He subtly evokes the textures of the costume, underlining their costliness: the translucent material of the ruff; the intricate lace; the complex pattern of flowers and leaves on the suit.
Black was the high fashion of that era and this portrait rises to the challenge of painting black on black to depict the floral pattern of the doublet. Standing solidly in space, beautifully moulded by light, the portrait has a lively human presence.Van de Voort's work was in great demand and held in high esteem. In 1619 Van der Voort was the head of the Guild of St. Luke. He had a strong influence on the early portraits of Rembrandt, as well as the work of Nicolaes Eliasz. Pickenoy and Thomas de Keyser. His own students included David Bailly, who copied his collection of paintings, Pieter Luyx, Dirk Harmensz. and probably Pieter Codde...all artists of note.
SIZE: 56.5 x 43.75 inches including frame.
PROVENANCE:* The Weiss Gallery, London.
* For the last 25 years in the collection of an aristocratic family in Sussex.
Internal Ref: 9059


Height = 143 cm (56")
Width = 111 cm (44")
Depth = 4 cm (2")

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