A dated 1648 portrait, attributed to Jacob Willemsz II DELFF (1619-1661)
Very beautiful portrait of a young man wearing a black waistcoat and wearing a large lace collar. In bust slightly three-quarter on a neutral background and in a feigned oval.
Oil on board of oak (three boards) of 73 cm by 58 cm.
Frame of 86 cm by 70 cm.
Possible other frame the black one (95 cm by 80 cm)
Jacob Willemsz DELFF also known as Jacobus Delfius II (1619-1661)
He was the pupil of his father the engraver Willem Jacobsz and of Michiel Janszoon Wan Mierevelt his grandfather. On the 15th of October, 1641, he entered the guild of Delft. In 1642 he married Annan Wan Hoogenhouck and was councilor and master of the port. Although there is still a fairly large number of works by this artist his life is almost totally unknown to us.
The painting is dated 1648; year of recognition by Spain of the independence of the seven provinces.
It was at the end of a long war of independence against Philip II's Spain that the mostly Protestant Northern Netherlands had freed themselves from a religious and political yoke. These seven provinces, federated in the Republic, are self-proclaimed independent in 1579, a fact which Spain will recognize in 1648.
From then on, the young Republic dominated by the powerful Holland develops its dynamism and autonomy in all fields and in that of the Arts, in the first place.
The traditional and centralized patronage of the Church and the Court has disappeared; in the cities jealous of their autonomy and their cultural peculiarities, it was the well-to-do merchants, the patricians and the bourgeoisie, who were the new sponsors. In an open art market, they now assert their personal tastes: a marked preference for a certain realism and for characteristic pictorial themes such as landscape, still life, genre scenes and portraiture. In the latter domain, urban culture and Protestant morality rapidly established a "law of the genre", a social ethic of portraiture, which resembled, and had no ostentation, the Dutch portrait was tinged with local traditions and triumphed in the sphere or in the circle of corporations and guilds.
Our picture is entirely in that spirit.
The situation is different in the southern Netherlands, which has remained in the heart of Catholic and monarchical Europe. The Church and the Court have retained their positions as patrons and imposed their criteria on a long-term basis. The most popular pictorial genres are still the religious altarpiece and the history painting. In this social and cultural context, the portrait tends to come closer to the noble genres and the reference model of the sponsors remains the portrait of the court. The Flemish portrait is readily eloquent, decorative and of large format.