soldportrait of a lady 1601 circle of gortzius geldorp

SOLD....Portrait of a Lady 1601; Circle of Gortzius Geldorp


Price

POA

Item Ref

8548

Description

Oil on panel in 'cassetta' frame.
The portrait is inscribed upper right "Ao 1.6.0.1. Stilo Veteri D. 11.7 bris. ADAMO Aet 23" The inscription translates: "In the year 1601, Old Style, on the 11th day of September, MY TRULY BELOVED aged 23".
(Protestants throughout Europe flatly refused to adopt the new Gregorian calendar introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582; it would still have been a sensitive issue in 1601. The inscription is all early modern Latin rather than Italian and the Protestant sitter, and her husband, wished to stress their relgious identity; hence the use of 'old style' as 'new style' was Catholic.)
The sitter is contained within a feigned stone oval with the spandrels painted as if carved.
This beautiful portrait was painted to commemorate the marriage of this young lady; she proudly holds her right hand in a prominent position so the viewer may admire her large diamond engagement ring and her gold marriage band. (At this time wedding rings were worn on any finger on either hand.) The pearls on the sitter's wrist signify purity and innocence.
Her hairline is fashionably plucked to increase the size of her forehead, this was considered to enhance female beauty.

This painting is an excellent example of the portraits popular with wealthy Dutch burghers.
The sitter is soberly but richly dressed in a cap trimmed with fashionable and expensive reticella lace, starched millstone ruff, richly silver embroidered sleeves, and a long black 'vlieger' overgown. The latter denotes that she is a married woman and was worn with great pride.

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 a joyous dignity, the beautifuly painted face seems to glow with life.
He subtly evokes the textures of her costume, underlining their costliness: the translucent material of the ruff; the intricate lace; the complex silver stitches which create the patterns on her sleeves.
Black was the high fashion of that era and the artist rises to the challenge of painting black on black to depict the subtleties of the garments.
Beautifully moulded by light and colour, this portrait has the lively human presence of a happy young woman that reaches across the four centuries since her marriage.
GORTZIUS GELDORP (1553-1616)
After training in Antwerp, first with Frans Francken and later with Frans Pourbus, he became court painter to Charles of Aragon, Duke of Terranova. In 1604 he went with the Duke to Cologne, where he remained for the rest of his life, working primarily as a portrait painter for the well-to-do. Most of his 70 works are painted on panel. Nine examples of his work are in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. The sitters were painted either three-quarter-length, half-length or head and shoulders, they are traditional in style but painted in a smoother manne than portraits by the old Cologne masters.
SIZE: 29 x 21 inches panel size
34.5 x 25.75 inches inc. frame
PROVENANCE: Private Collection, Huntingdon since c.1780.
Verso, pencil inscription 'Breakfast Room. No. 4'
Internal Ref: 8548



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