The Beeldsnijder family originally came from the eastern province of Gelderland, but in the 17th and 18th Century they were mainly active as merchants in Amsterdam. Both father and son in this painting occupied important positions, Johannes being bailiff of Diemen and alderman of Amsterdam and his son Gerard, lord of Voshol en Vrije Nes, was lieutenant of the National Guard, captain of the Civic Guard of Amsterdam and became a member of the Provinciale Staten, the provincial seat, of Utrecht in 1833, among other positions.
In this painting we see father and son sitting in a study which is richly decorated with portraits of their family and ancestors. The portrait of the lady hanging to the right below, is of Henriette Everdina Beeldsnijder (1771-1795), wife of Johannes and also painted by Adriaen de Lelie. The original is offered with the present lot. Portraits of her parents Wolfert Beeldsnijder (1740-1806) and Wilhelmina Françoise van Hoorn (1761-1817) are hanging above her and copies of these two portraits are offered with the present lot as well. Furthermore this lot is accompanied by individual portraits of Johannes, (a young and elderly version), of Gerard, of his wife Martina Adriana Maria van Toulon (1792-1880), and by a copy of the portrait in the far left corner, representing John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough. The two pairs of 17th Century portraits in the centre represent Jan Beeldsnijder (1605-1659) and his wife Geertruida Steenbergen and Wijer Beeldsnijder (1611-1693) and his second wife Maria Rotterdam (1628-1671). Both original pairs were sold in these Rooms, 22 May 1990, lots 41 and 42.
The two portraits on the far left represent the ancestors Gerard Beeldsnijder (1648-1720) and his wife Johanna de Penijn (1650-1717), of which the originals will be sold in the forthcoming Old Master Paintings sale in these Rooms on 11 November 2008.
This lot is furthermore offered with a drawing by Hendrik Bout, commemorating Gerard Beeldsnijder, the grandfather of the elderly sitter in the present work.
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