Several of these friends of Montigny de Glarges also sat to Frans Hals (as well as one to Rembrandt), but while the pose of the present sitter reminds us of Hals, it is actually more extreme than in any of Hals' portraits, with the sitter's shoulder cocked elbow pointing straight out at the viewer, while his face is almost full-frontal. Although Verspronck was certainly influenced by his older townsman, his technique is entirely different and much more restrained, and his lighting more complex and theatrical. As Fox Hofrichter put it, '[t]he sharp lines and angles of the composition are gently offset by the sophisticated use of back lighting and by the soft, extravagant full lace collar which complements the subject's almost sensual face'.2 The swagger pose of the sitter here recalls what has become Verspronck's most famous painting, the half-length portrait of Andries Stilte as a standard-bearer, in Washington, although the mood of the two works is quite different.
Rudi Ekkart noted a disparity between the age of the sitter and the date of the painting, then read as 1646, but subsequently a cleaning revealed the date 1643, which corresponds with the age of the sitter, who was born in 1599 or 1600.
1. Preserved in The Royal Library, The Hague; see Fox Hofrichter under Literature.
2. See I. Bergström, Studier i Hollänskt Stillebenmåleri under 1600-talet, Gothenburg 1947. p. 167, reproduced fig. 135.
3. See Hofrichter, op. cit.
4. Washington, National Gallery of Art; see Q. Buvelot, in R.E.O. Ekkart & Q. Buvelot, Dutch Portraits. The Age of Rembrandt and Frans Hals, exhibition catalogue, Zwolle 2007, p. 220, no. 64, reproduced.
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