28 January 2009
Jan de Bray Haarlem c. 1627-1697
Portrait of a young girl, bust-length, in a black dress and pearl necklace
oil on panel
21 5/8 x 17½ in. 54.9 x 44.5 cm.
Anonymous sale; Woolley & Wallis, Salisbury, 7 April 2004, lot 300;
with David Koetser, Zurich, from where purchased by the late owner, 15 March 2005.
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Exhibition of Paintings by Old Masters, Brian L Koester Gallery, Exhibition catalogue, London, 1971, pp. 4-5, no. 2.
London, Brian L. Koetser Gallery, Exhibition of Paintings by Old Masters, 11 October-December 1971, no. 2.
Jan de Bray had a great talent for painting children, one not shared by many of the Dutch portraitists of his era. Although he often inscribed his portraits with the age of his subject, he almost never identified the sitter. The young girl represented here wears jewelry that identifies her as a Roman Catholic, like de Bray himself, but there is no inscription noting her age. As one of the foremost exponents of Dutch classicism, a style which fused naturalism with the ideals of antiquity, de Bray had established himself as a portraitist by 1650. For the next forty years, he painted portraits of his family and friends, often portraying them in the guise of figures from history.
We would like to thank Dr. Peter Biesboer for confirming the attribution to de Bray from photographs (written communication, 22 October 2008).
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