A fine 17th-century portrait of an older lady wearing a plain white collar with lace edging, black bonnet and white cuffs.
The identity of this formidable lady has been lost over time but her outfit aligns with the style of the mid-17th-century. Her simple black dress with large plain white collar is similar to the outfit worn by the subject of this portrait by Bartholomeus van der Helst (1613-1670).
Perhaps it also reminds us a little of the ‘Lady with an Ostrich-Feather Fan’ in Rembrandt van Rijn’s 1656/8 work. But in contrast to the gentle delicacy and soft lines of the lady with the fan, ours is comprised of strong angles and carries a monumental presence.
In the top right, an inscription reads ‘Aetatis svae 70, 1658’, which translates as ‘at the age of 70, 1658’. Working back from this date gives our subject a birth year of 1588 and to put that into context, that’s the time of the Spanish Armada.
On the reverse, a stamp from the studio of Curt Agthe (1862-1943) dates the painting’s restoration to 1916. It appears that it was relined at this point but the strainer bars look to be original.
Oil on canvas
Size including frame
35¾” x 30” / 91cm x 76cm
Year of creation
Berlin, Germany and Ohio, USA
Overall good. A few areas in the darker pigments where the paint has bituminised and some scattered in-painting following its restoration. A clean and revarnish could bring out the painting’s vibrancy or you may prefer it as it is. Frame with age-related wear.