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Circle of Cornelis Ketel, 1548 (Gouda)-1616 (Amsterdam).

Portrait of a gentleman aged 29, dated 1591, possibly vice-admiral Pieter van der Does (1562-1599).

Oil on oak panel, 54 x 43.2 cms.

Original inscription upper right “Ao 1591 /AETATVIS 29”.

The sitter has a large and fairly recent scar over his right (proper) temple.  He may be a wealthy Dutch merchant or possibly a sailor or soldier. 

The inscription, in lead tin yellow, is most unusual in its use of the word “AETATVIS”.  The reason for this is not known.  If it is denotes “aeta tuis” [your age] it implies a degree of intimacy between painter and sitter. 

The dates of birth and death correspond with those of the vice-admiral of Holland Pieter van der Does (1562-1599).  We have only been able to find engraved likenesses of him and while these are consistent with the features of the sitter in the present portrait, they are not detailed enough to compare the likenesses with certainty.  Van der Does had been seriously wounded at the siege of Geertruidenberg.  

Thomas Bodley wrote to Lord Burghley on 1st April 1589 that van der Does had been seriously wounded in the arm.  Although there is no mention of a head wound, it is possible such an injury occurred at the same time and, if so, it would be consistent with the age of the scar in the 1591 portrait.  It remains an intriguing possibility that he might be depicted in this portrait.

Dimensions

54 x 43.2 cms

Price on application



Stock number

1591
Open by appointment and at fairs

The BADA Standard

  • Since 1918, BADA has been the leading association for the antiques and fine art trade
  • Members are elected for their knowledge, integrity and quality of stock
  • Our clients are protected by BADA’s code of conduct
  • Our dealers’ membership is reviewed and renewed annually
  • Bada.org is a non-profit site: clients deal directly with members and they pay no hidden fees
Click here for more information on the BADA Standard