More Portraits from the Met, + 1!

Man with Lace Collar
Juan De Pareja

Artist:  Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez (Spanish, 1599–1660)
Title:  Juan de Pareja (born about 1610, died 1670)
Date:  1650
Medium:  Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 32 x 27 1/2 in. (81.3 x 69.9 cm)
Classification:  Paintings
Credit Line:  Purchase, Fletcher and Rogers Funds, and Bequest of Miss Adelaide Milton de Groot (1876–1967), by exchange, supplemented by gifts from friends of the Museum, 1971
Accession Number:  1971.86

Collection: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Here’s a “flat” type of collar, with a lace edging.  Very nice-looking;  this type of collar was worn by both men and women, as was the ruff collar.

A wonderful portrait.

Metropolitan Museum of Art Reference Note:

Giles Knox. The Late Paintings of Velázquez: Theorizing Painterly Performance. Farnham, England, 2009, pp. 111, 113, fig. 4.6 (color), discusses the hierarchy of genres and Velázquez’s decision to present himself as a portrait rather than a history painter in his second visit to Rome; notes that portraits were seen as one notch above genre painting, since their subjects were so often of noble birth, but in the case of his portrait of Pareja, Velázquez “emphatically removed the nobility of the subject from the equation and thereby asserted the nobility of portraiture as portraiture,” a clear challenge to the accepted hierarchy.

Little Boy with Little Collar
Boy with a Black Spaniel

Artist:  François Hubert Drouais (French, 1727–1775)
Title:   Boy with a Black Spaniel
Medium:  Oil on canvas
Dimensions:  Oval, 25 3/8 x 21 in. (64.5 x 53.3 cm)
Classification:  Paintings
Credit Line:  The Jules Bache Collection, 1949
Accession Number:   49.7.48

Collection:  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

A little boy with a little collar (and cuffs).  So beautifully painted, so charming!  I had never heard of this artist, Drouais, but I like his work.  Did this kid really stand still long enough for the artist to finish his work? Impossible!

Also note this was painted on an oval canvas.  Some subject matter just lends itself to the oval.

Portrait of Woman with Large Collar
Portrait of a Woman

Artist:  Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn) (Dutch, 1606–1669)
Title: Portrait of a Woman, probably a Member of the Van Beresteyn Family
Date:  1632
Medium:  Oil on canvas
Dimensions:  44 x 35 in. (111.8 x 88.9 cm)
Classification:  Paintings
Credit Line:  H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929
Accession Number:  29.100.4

Collection:  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

I have to do some research on all these collars, to find out if the size of a collar had an important meaning.  If it did, this must have been one very important woman!

Was it difficult to eat while wearing this collar?  Maybe it was removed while eating.

She’s thoughtful in this portrait; maybe she was a teacher, or what we would call a “Principal” or a “Dean.”  Also, here again is a very high forehead.  I wonder if people in those days had a vitamin deficiency that caused balding, even in women.

My Grandfather with Collar
Rev. Jacob C. Herre

Photographer:  Unknown
Title: Rev. Jacob C. Herre, Lutheran Minister
Medium:  Photograph
Classification:  Photographs
Credit Line:    The Herre Family Collection

We’ve seen these collars from the 16th through the 18th centuries.  Here we have a man from the 20th century, my paternal grandfather, wearing the same type of collar.

Jacob Herre was active at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Berlin, New Hampshire, and at Bethany Lutheran Church in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, New York, where my 2 sisters and I grew up during the 1940’s and 1950’s.  I’m the oldest sister but I don’t have any memories of him – I guess I was too young.

I find it so interesting that the same type of collar was worn relatively recently, as opposed to such a long time ago.

I do wish I had known him.

One thought on “More Portraits from the Met, + 1!

  1. So that is what my maternal great-grandfather looked like. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen him (or if I did I was much, much younger and have forgotten). Handsome man. Very interesting collar. Thanks so much for sharing this with me! Keep them coming!

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