Portraits from the Met

portrait of a man DP143188

Portrait of a Man

Artist:  Abraham de Vries (Dutch, born about 1590, died 1649/50)
Title:  Portrait of a Man
Date:  1643
Medium:  Oil on wood
Dimensions:  25 1/4 x 21 in. (64.1 x 53.3 cm)
Classification:  Paintings
Credit Line:    Purchase, 1871
Accession Number:  71.63

Collection:  Metropolitan Museum of Art

I like this portrait.  The sitter looks like he has a pleasant personality, instead of the stern faces we see on many of the old portraits.  I wonder what his name was.  His collar makes him look important, like an official of the court or a church.


ALSO SEE:  Rijksmuseum Amsterdam especially the Header.

Woman wearing a collar

Portrait of a Woman






Artist:  Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn) (Dutch, 1606–1669)
Title:   Portrait of a Woman
Date: 1633
Medium: Oil on wood
Dimensions: Oval, 26 3/4 x 19 3/4 in. (67.9 x 50.2 cm)
Classification: Paintings
Credit Line: Bequest of Benjamin Altman, 1913
Accession Number 14.40.625

Collection:  Metropolitan Museum of Art


I guess you would call this a “ruched” collar.  It’s also called a “ruff.”   There’s a neck in there somewhere.  I wonder what the collar was made of. It almost separates the head from the body.

This lady also has a pleasant look to her.  She has quite a high forehead.  In some paintings I’ve seen, the ladies’ foreheads are extremely high – a fashion of the day or their natural physical appearance?

Note that this is painted on an oval-shaped piece of wood.  (I love to do portraits on oval canvases, but it’s not always easy to frame them.)

And about this artist named “Rembrandt” – he’s pretty good!



2 thoughts on “Portraits from the Met

    • Hello Michelle!

      Interesting thought! I think there are many reasons for their appearing to be “subdued.” Life was very different in the 1600’s. I think people had more serious thoughts about religion and propriety than we do today – maybe even more fear when it came to religion. When I was growing up as a Lutheran, religious teachings could be a little scary!
      Also, even though the sitters’ faces look lively and intelligent, look at the clothing they wore. Lots of black, totally covered, “Buttoned-up.”
      But the portraits themselves are traditional fine art, which I generally like the best. You didn’t see double noses and 3 eyeballs on these paintings!

      P.S. Nice to “meet you,” Michelle.


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