THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN
Pieter Merchijs (1583-1628), directly commissioned from the artist, 1622;
His son, Johannes Merchijs (dates unknown);
His son Andries Rijkaert (1636-1716), who remained unmarried;
His sister Suzanna Rijkaert-van Wisselt (1635-?);
By descent to Cornelia Roëll-Bailli;
Douaire Roëll-Collot d'Escury, The Hague, by 1905;
Roëll-Bierens de Haan, Utrecht (both the above according to labels on the reverse);
Collection De Geer-Roëll;
Thence by descent.
Pieter Merchijs, a merchant and grocer from Amsterdam, married his second wife Maria Florianus in 1621 and the following year husband and wife sat to Cornelis van der Voort for the present portraits. Although it is not known when or how Merchijs died, Maria Florianus is recorded as re-marrying in October 1628, providing a terminus ante quem for his date of passing. He had one child with Maria, a son, Florianus Merchijs, who was born in 1623, but died as a child.
With his first wife, Sara Berrewijns, who has previously been wrongly identified with the sitter in this work (as a label on the reverse attests), Merchijs had a daughter, Cornelia Merchijs (1614-1694). Cornelia married Johannes Rijckaert (1609-1679) in 1634 and had two children by him, Susanna Rijckaert (born 1635) and Andries Rijckaert (1636-1716), both of whom sat to Isaack Luttichuys whose subsequent portraits of them are offered as lot 57 in this sale.
This beautifully preserved pair of portraits were almost certainly painted to commemorate the marriage of Pieter Merchijs and Maria Florianus which had taken place the previous year in 1621. Their poses follow the traditional lines of formal portraiture of the first quarter of the 17th century, the wife to the right of the husband, each turned inwards but looking self-conciously out to the spectator and holding an unmoving, statuesque pose. In the following decade formal portraiture would undergo a distinct change, principally due to the genius of Rembrandt, when emphasis would be placed more on facial expression and a more human, less formulaic, pose.
Van der Voort was one of the most important portrait painters in Amsterdam until his untimely death at the age of 48 in 1624, just two years after executing these works. It is only relatively recently, towards the end of the 19th Century, that he was firmly identified as a portrait painter, much of his work having previously been attributed to, amongst others, Nicolaes Eliasz. Pickenoy and Thomas de Keyser; indeed, this pair of portraits was formerly attributed to the former. It seems Van der Voort belonged to a family of painters, as attested by a document recording the visit of an Utrecht lawyer, Arnold Buchelius, to the Amsterdam studio of Cornelis and Abraham van der Voort in 1620. In this studio he taught a number of students, including David Bailly, Pieter Luyx and Dirk Harmensz., while he himself appears to have made his studies under the Amsterdam painter Cornelis Ketel (1548-1616).
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Watch Live Sale