About the dealer
About the object
This engaging portrait of a young man wearing fine silk robes, possibly a banyan, was almost certainly painted by a Dutch artist. Although the portrait was previously attributed to Jan Verkolje (1650-1693), stylistically it is more likely to belong to the circle of Constantijn Netscher (1668-1723). At this date (the latter half of the 17th century) it was common to be able to provide patrons with small oils on copper as well as large oils on canvas. As seen here, the size restriction of a portrait within a locket setting did not diminish the quality of the portrait – the slight smile on the sitter’s face brings a lifelike dimension to the work. The meticulous painting of the lace jabot and the sheen on the silk robes indicates a trained artist working in a professional sphere.
The survival of the portrait’s original sharkskin case, with the decoration of a heart pierced with arrows, suggests that the portrait’s purpose was a gift to a lover – representing the unrequited love of the sitter, who nonetheless shows his noble status in the form of a coronet.