PROPERTY FROM A EUROPEAN PRIVATE COLLECTION
This is a collaborative family portrait by Gillis van Tilborgh and Jan Siberechts, two artists of Flemish birth who both turned to England to further their careers. This portrait, however, undoubtedly represents a Netherlandish family (traditionally identified as the Van der Wittes, though on an unknown basis), the artists placing their subjects on an unlikely steep rise overlooking their large estate. Most noticeable are the extensive formal gardens that surround the castle.
Siberechts specialised in the depiction of important estates, and he usually employed an artificially high viewpoint (and thus an element of imagination) in his representations of them. In England he painted some of the most important country houses, including Longleat in 1678, Bayhall and Wollaton Park. Tilborgh is perhaps better known for his more informal scenes of everyday life in the style of David Teniers but, like Teniers himself, he occasionally ventured into more formal representations of patrician or rich mercantile families.
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