This remarkable pair of group portraits, once thought to depict a schoolmaster and schoolmistress and their pupils, instead portrays a large family yet to be identified. The enamel-like texture of the surfaces, precise rendering of details, subdued color harmonies, and strong modeling are typical of Bartholomäus Bruyn II's portraits. Imbued with familial warmth, the images show the children holding each other's hands, embraced protectively by their proud father and mother. At the right edge of each painting, depicted in somewhat grayish tones and shown slightly separated from the children in the foreground, are a young boy and a young girl, possibly siblings who had perished by the time the portraits were painted, but whose memories the surviving members of the family wished to preserve.
We are grateful to Dr. Kurt Löcher for confirming the attribution on the basis of photographs (private communication, 19 November 2013).