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Portrait of three children - Bernhard Keil (1624-1687)
Portrait of three children - Bernhard Keil (1624-1687) - Paintings & Drawings Style
Ref : 110628
28 000 €
Period :
17th century
Artist :
Bernhard Keil (1624-1687)
Provenance :
German school
Medium :
Oil on canvas
Dimensions :
l. 38.19 inch X H. 28.74 inch
Jan Muller


+32 (0)4 96 26 33 24
Portrait of three children - Bernhard Keil (1624-1687)

“A portrait of three children, one of them holding a basket of grapes, while another plays the flute”

Oil on canvas

Housed in a blackened 17th-century frame.

We'd like to thank dr. Fred Meijer and dr. Guido Jansen for their advice.

Dimensions: 70 x 95 cm

Bernhard Keil (Eberhard Keilhau) was a Danish painter, he was the first painter from his country to enjoy more than a local reputation. Keil studied in Copenhagen and then with Rembrandt in Amsterdam, c. 1642-44. In 1651 he moved to Italy, where he lived for the rest of his life, settling in Rome in 1656.
Life-size genre pictures of a few figures were his speciality. His themes are often related to simple allegorical subjects such as the Five Senses, the Seasons, and the Four Elements, and as protagonists he favored dignified old people or children dressed in old clothes and rags. Keil provided Filippo Baldinucci with information about Rembrandt that he used in his book on engraving and etching (1686).
The innocence and joy of childhood comes alive as Keil skillfully captures the essence of three children in a moment of playful camaraderie. The scene unfolds with an intimate focus on their faces, allowing viewers to connect with the charming personalities depicted.
On the left side of the canvas, a girl graces the composition with her presence. Clutching an apple, she exudes a gentle blush, her kind eyes reflecting a sense of sweetness and simplicity. Her brown hair, elegantly arranged in a simple up-do, frames her visage. Adorned in pink and blue attire, she adds a touch of delicate femininity to the trio.
Seated beside her is a boy, perched on a chair and holding a basket of grapes. His face radiates warmth and kindness, mirroring the genuine innocence of childhood. Dressed in a hat, purple and blue clothing, and vibrant red pants, he introduces a playful contrast.
Completing the trio on the right side is another boy, wearing a hat and brown clothing. Engrossed in the melodic pursuit of playing the flute, his lips press against the instrument's head, creating a whimsical visual symphony. His focused expression and the dynamic posture suggest a moment frozen in time, capturing the fleeting joy of childhood pursuits.
Keil's mastery lies not only in the detailed rendering of each child but also in the collective narrative woven through their interactions. The close-up perspective ensures an intimate connection between the viewer and these youthful personalities, inviting contemplation on the universal themes of innocence, playfulness, and the timeless charm of childhood.

Delevery information :

After reception of payment we can box and ship our items all over the world. Estimates of this service can be provided.

Jan Muller


17th Century Oil Painting