Lot 9
  • 9

Dutch School, circa 1635

12,000 - 18,000 GBP
55,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Dutch School, circa 1635
  • Portrait of a boy with a horse, a landscape beyond
  • oil on oak panel
  • 42.5 x 27.7 cm.; 16 3/4  x 10 7/8  in.

Catalogue Note

This type of portrait was popularised in the first half of the seventeenth century in West Friesland, particularly in the city of Enkhuizen, where the present work must certainly have been executed. Jan Claesz. (circa 1570-1618/19) produced the earliest known example of such a work in 1609,1 but the present painting is surely by the same hand as that of the author of the Group portrait of an Enkhuizen family, held today in the Zuiderzeemuseum, Enkhuizen.Indeed, the boy in the middle of that group would appear to be the same model as the child depicted here with his horse.

The horse itself bears much similarity to that represented in another portrait of this genre, which was offered Amsterdam, Sotheby's, 14 November 1990, lot 31, bearing the signature: 'A Cuyp', though also now considered to be an anonymous work from West Friesland.3 The miniature horse most probably alludes to the perennial educational analogy between the taming of an animal and the rearing of a child. The boy here, holding his riding crop, is depicted as the tamer, disciplined and disciplining at an early age. 

We are grateful to Dr. Rudolf Ekkart for his help in the cataloguing of this lot.

1. Inv. no. 14, Collectie Portret van Enkhuizen, Stichting Verzameling Semeijns de Vries van Doesburgh; see J.B. Bedaux and R. Ekkart (eds), Pride and Joy. Children's portraits in the Netherlands 1500-1700, exhib. cat., Amsterdam 2000, p. 118, cat. no. 14, reproduced in colour p. 119.
2. Inv. no. B 1455; this painting was formerly attributed to Pieter Codde but is now attributed by the museum to Christiaan Coevershoff. Dr. Rudolf Ekkart disagrees with both these views, believing the group portrait to be by the same hand as the anonymous author of the Portrait of a Boy, dated 1628, in the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, inv. no. 98.3; see R. Ekkart, Old Masters' Gallery Catalogues. Szépmüvészeti Múzeum Budapest. Volume 1, Dutch and Flemish Portraits 1600-1800, Leiden and Budapest 2011, pp. 269-71.
3. Oil on panel, 101 x 83.5 cm.; notably, the majority of these portraits measure around 1m. tall.