During the first half of the 17th Century no portrait painter in the royal residence, The Hague, received as many commissions as Jan van Ravesteyn. He portrayed many of the most eminent persons of his age, among others Prince Frederik Hendrik and other members of court. His early work clearly shows the influence of Michiel van Mierevelt and already his earliest biographer Karel van Mander called him een seer goet Schilder en Conterfeyter [...] die een schoon en goede handelinghe heeft (a very good painter and portraitist [...] who's got a beautiful and good hand). The present paintings are fine examples of the somewhat livelier manner that Van Ravesteyn adapted later in life.
In the past, the coats-of-arms on the paintings have led to the belief that the sitters were Bartholomeus de Kies von Wiessen (1614-1679) and Eva de Kies von Wiessen, née van Kessel (1611-1669). Two portraits depicting the De Kies von Wiessen couple recorded at the Iconografisch Buro in The Hague (attributed to Van Ravesteyn) show no resemblance with the sitters in this pair of paintings. Also De Kies von Wiesen married Van Kessel in 1640 and it is unlikely that they would have portrayed themselves in 1637 (the date of the painting) as a couple out of wedlock. The coats-of-arms appear to have been added at a later date.
We are grateful to Mrs. K. Schaffers-Bodenhausen and Mrs. S. Giepmans of the Iconografisch Buro, The Hague, for their assistance in cataloguing this lot.