Two Small Portraits by Jan de Bray Acquired by the Fondation Custodia

3/4/12 - Acquisitions - Paris, Fondation Custodia - These two companion portraits (ill. 1 and 2), of a young man and a young woman, by Jan de Bray hung on the Bob Haboldt stand at the Maastricht Fair a few weeks ago. They have now entered the collection of the Fondation Custodia in Paris, and are being presented since 3 April at this establishment alongside the paintings from the exhibition Un univers intime (see article in French) where they join another Portrait of a Young Woman by the same artist.

1. Jan de Bray (1627-1697)
Portrait of a Young Man, probably Lambert Schatter, 1662
Oil on Panel - 27 x 19 cm
Paris, Fondation Custodia
Photo : Fondation Custodia

2. Jan de Bray (1627-1697)
Portrait of a Young Woman, probably Eva van Beresteyn, 1662
Oil on Panel - 27 x 19 cm
Paris, Fondation Custodia
Photo : Fondation Custodia

Born in Haarlem, Jan de Bray was the son of Salomon de Bray and probably also his student. His career was spent in his hometown where he was appointed Dean of the Saint Luke Guild several times, then he moved to Amsterdam in 1686. Although we know he produced mythological and religious paintings (he was Catholic), and that he was also an architect and engraver, he specialized mainly in portraits. His models were represented as Fable figures (a genre known under the name of "historic portraits") or in a more traditional manner as is the case for these two small paintings.
Although he was from Haarlem, he was never really influenced by Frans Hals’ style.

The two portraits acquired by the Fondation Custodia have not been unequivocally identified. However, it seems likely, given the inscriptions on the two watercolors by Cornelis van Noorde reproducing the same models and dated 1785, that this is Lambert Schatter (1640-1669) and Eva van Bereysteyn (1643-1665). In fact, their wedding was celebrated in 1662, the same year the paintings were executed.

Version française

Didier Rykner, mercredi 4 avril 2012

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