Dutch Portraits: A Brief Note
In 2007 an exhibition organised jointly by the London National Gallery and the Mauritshuis at The Hague sought to analyse and overview the evolution of Dutch painting during the seventeenth-century. Entitled Dutch Portraits: The Age of Rembrandt and Frans Hals, the show selected exemplary works from those two masters as well as lesser-known portrait painters as a contrast. If one were to construct a model of Dutch portraiture, it might be seen to contain the introspective portraits of Rembrandt at one pole, and the exuberant works of Hals at the other. Between these two masters, it could be argued, lie the various minor artists which given their lack of outstanding qualities like Rembrandt and Hals, might be seen as a “more reliable index of the average Dutch puritanical environment and social atmosphere which showed a taste for the homely and domestic even in the case of prominent patrons.” This middling state is what is mainly seen in the school of painters living or connected with The Hague, although to disrupt this comfortable scheme of portraiture there are artists who favoured external models such as the aristocratic Van Dyckian portrait from outside Holland which influenced Dutch minor masters like Miereveld and Hanneman. It may be not accidental that such artists though technically assured and masters of their craft, lack something of the spirit, especially in portraiture, which has contributed to the idea of Dutch painting as a portrait of its society.
The Hague School of Painting.
Jan de Baen, The Syndics. 1675. oil on canvas. 152 × 315 cm (59.8 × 124 in). Leiden, Museum De Lakenhal.
|Rembrandt van Rhyn, The Syndics, (Portrait of the Syndics of the Clothmakers’ Guild), 1662, oil on canvas, oil on canvas, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam|
|Frans Hals, Regents of the St Elizabeth Hospital of Haarlem, 1641, Oil on canvas, 153 x 252 cm, Frans Halsmuseum, Haarlem|
|Gerrit van Honthorst, 1647, William II, Prince of Orange, and His Consort Maria Stuart, oil on canvas, 302 x 194.3 cm, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.|
The Hague School owes its existence to the fact that the city became the seat of government after the assassination of William of Orange in 1584. Prince Maurits resided here, and later his successor Frederik Henry who were painted by artists like Miereveld and Honthorst, both of whom had solid professional connections with the English aristocracy. With the ascension of Maurits’ half-brother Frederik Henry, The Hague evolved into a court city, a tendency emphasised by the occasional visits of members of the English royal family as well as other dignitaries. Courtly culture afforded opportunities to painters keen to make their fortunes and reputations; but in addition to the royal family, there was also an upper-middle class/ burgher clientele which wanted its collective portrait painted: painters like van Jan van Ravensteyn and Adriaen Hanneman, the latter representing the link between Van Dyck and Hague portraiture. Other artists took full advantage of this flourishing portrait market which accounts for why The Hague School is predominantly known for its portraiture rather than other genres like animal painting (Paulus Potter's Bull), though pastoral subjects, mythologies, and allegories were executed for the House of Orange.
Photo of The Hague.
|Hendrik Ambrosius Pacx, The Princes of Orange and Their Families Riding Out from the Buitenhof, 1623-25, Oil on canvas, 145 x 214 cm, Mauritshuis, The Hague|
Michiel van Miereveld, Prince Maurits, Stadhouder, 1615-20, Oil on panel, 220 x 140 cm, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
|Adriaen Hanneman, Portrait of a Woman, c. 1653, Oil on canvas, 80 x 64 cm, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York|
|Jan van Ravensteyn, Portrait of a Woman, 1635, Oil on wood, 68 x 58 cm, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.|
|Paulus Potter, Young Bull, 1647, Oil on canvas, 236 x 339 cm, Mauritshuis, The Hague.|
Painting for the Stadholder
The name of the “Hague” Gravenhage means the count’s enclosure, and implies the rule of one man. There are a handful of painters who depicted the person who held the office of Stadholder and members of the court. From Delft, long before Vermeer’s era, came Michiel Jansz van Miereveld (1567-1641) who was mostly connected with the court. Ideally suited to portraying people of high office, not just because of his skill, but because he was willing to flatter his clients, Miereveld is said to have painted over 10,000 portraits! Miereveld’s portraits of Prince Maurits and Frederik Henry epitomise his style: high finish, meticulous execution, dry in manner, superficially alluring, slightly idiosyncratic, e.g., his dull sheen on armour. Miereveld’s pupil Paulus Moreelse (1571-1638) took his mentor’s style to Utrecht, though he had a freer and more relaxed style, and helped to inaugurate the pastoral and Arcadian portraits. After Miereveld, the next famous artist who also painted the Stadholder was Gerrit van Honthorst, a “fine-painter” skilled at giving the royals what they wanted. The first painter to be taken up by Frederik Henry, Honthorst was already established in a secure international career. Initially, Honthorst made his name as a Caravaggio-esque painter with his dramatically lit religious scenes, but he switched gears and turned to painting portraits and allegories in England and Holland, along with the minor artist Cornelis Poelenburgh who benefited from the patronage of Elizabeth of Bohemia. Other artists in Frederik Henry’s circle were the publisher-engraver Adriaen van de Venne (1589-1662) and the artist- scientist Jacques Gheyn II (1565- 1620). Then there is the odd man out- Rembrandt. According to Gary Schwartz, in 1632-33, Rembrandt painted “at least five portraits, two paintings of Christ’s Passion, and several mythologies for the court.” As noted by Perlove and Silver, doubts about Rembrandt’s own commitment to the Passion should be dispelled by the fact that the artist inserted his own features into these two paintings. Rembrandt puts himself within the Christian story as a witness and as “as part of an imagined re-creation, making the torments and death of Christ personal as well as universal.”
Michiel van Miereveld, Portrait of Frederick Hendrick, Prince of Orange-Nassau, c. 1610, Oil on panel, 110 x 84 cm, Gemeente Musea, Delft.
|Paulus Moreelse, Sophia Hedwig, Countess of Nassau Dietz, with her Three Sons, 1621, Oil on canvas, Rijksmuseum, Het Loo Palace, Appeldorn.|
Gerrit van Honthorst, Double Portrait of Frederik Hendrik and Amalia van Solms, 1637-8, oil on canvas, 213 x 202 cm, Royal Picture Gallery, Mauritshuis, The Hague.
Cornelis van Poelenburgh, Landscape with Diana and Callisto, Oil on panel, 54 x 82 cm,The Hermitage, St. Petersburg.
Rembrandt van Rhyn, The Descent from the Cross, c. 1633, Oil on canvas, 90 x 65 cm,Alte Pinakothek, Munich.
Adriaen Hanneman & the English Court in Exile.
Everybody knows about Honthorst and his connection with Charles I’s court, but only a handful of experts know about the elusive Hague portraitist Adriaen Hanneman. Documentation is scarce, but it is believed that Hanneman was born at The Hague in either 1601 or 1604, and that he died in his own city in 1671. Hanneman arrived in England about 1626, served Charles I, married Elizabeth Wilson in St Martins on June 6th, 1630, and dwelt in Holborn. He returned to The Hague about 1638-40, married Maria van Ravesteyn, the niece of his master, Jan van Ravesteyn. In The Hague, Hanneman would have found plenty of exalted sitters, particularly those fleeing from the turmoil of the English Civil Wars. By 1645 Hanneman was working for the Stadholder and Amalia van Solms, and commissions would have been helped by Constantine Huygens whose portrait with his children had been painted by the artist in 1639. It is clear that Hanneman’s style was strongly influenced by Van Dyck who is said to have shared lodges with the Dutchman, although in England he may have assisted Daniel Mitjens who painted for such patrons as the Earl of Arundel, and who before the arrival of Van Dyck in 1622, was considered the best portraitist in London. On occasion, Van Dyck’s portraits have been mistaken for Hanneman’s, as in the case of the double-portrait of William II of Orange and his bride Maria Stuart in the Rijksmuseum.  Though this work was executed by Van Dyck, Hanneman did paint several portraits of the Princess Maria Stuart, some of which are owned by the Queen. In addition to this, there are various portraits of other men and women scattered across English collections, the United States and Europe. Anthony van Dyck died in 1641, but Hanneman continued to prosper, rising to the heights of painting the portrait of Charles II (original lost) and thus he competed with the Anglo-Dutch artist Sir Peter Lely, the subject, along with other portraitists, of next week’s class.
|Adriaen Hanneman, Self-Portrait, 1656, Oil on panel. 82 x 64 cm, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.|
|Daniel Mitjens (I), Portrait of King Charles I, 1629, oil on canvas, 200 x 141 cm Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.|
Anthony van Dyck, William II and his Consort Maria Stuart, oil on canvas, 182.5 x 142 cm, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
|Adriaen Hanneman, Mary, Princess of Orange (The Amazon Portrait), 1655, oil on canvas, 120 x 98 cm, Royal Collection Trust|
|Adriaen Hanneman, Mary, Princess of Orange (1631-60), s/d 1660, oil on canvas, 138.5 cm x 101.4 cm, Royal Collection Trust|
|After Adriaen Hanneman, Charles II, oil on canvas, 127 x 102 cm, National Trust, Treasurer’s House, York, North Yorkshire.|
1) Photo of The Hague.
2) Bartholomeus van Bassen, Interior of the Great Hall at the Binnenhof in the Hague during the Great assembly of the States General in 1651, about 1651, oil on panel, 52 x 66 cm, Mauritshuis, The Hague, (on loan to Rijksmuseum).
3) Jan de Baen, The Syndics. 1675. oil on canvas. 152 × 315 cm (59.8 × 124 in). Leiden, Museum De Lakenhal.
4) Rembrandt van Rhyn, The Syndics, (Portrait of the Syndics of the Clothmakers’ Guild), 1662, oil on canvas, oil on canvas, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
5) Frans Hals, Regents of the St Elizabeth Hospital of Haarlem, 1641, Oil on canvas, 153 x 252 cm, Frans Halsmuseum, Haarlem.
6) Hendrik Ambrosius Pacx, The Princes of Orange and Their Families Riding Out from the Buitenhof, 1623-25, Oil on canvas, 145 x 214 cm, Mauritshuis, The Hague.
7) Michiel van Miereveld, Prince Maurits, Stadhouder, 1615-20, Oil on panel, 220 x 140 cm, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
8) Michiel van Miereveld, Portrait of Frederick Hendrick, Prince of Orange-Nassau, c. 1610, Oil on panel, 110 x 84 cm, Gemeente Musea, Delft.
9) Johannes Vermeer. The Little Street, Delft, 1657-58, Oil on canvas, 54,3 x 44 cm, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
10) Johannes Vermeer, Girl with a Pearl Earring, c. 1665, Oil on canvas, 46,5 x 40 cm, Mauritshuis, The Hague.
11) Paulus Moreelse, Sophia Hedwig, Countess of Nassau Dietz, with her Three Sons, 1621, Oil on canvas, Rijksmuseum, Het Loo Palace, Appeldorn.
12) Gerrit van Honthorst, Double Portrait of Frederik Hendrik and Amalia van Solms, 1637-8, oil on canvas, 213 x 202 cm, Royal Picture Gallery, Mauritshuis, The Hague.
13) Gerrit van Honthorst, Margareta Maria de Roodere and Her Parents, 1652, Oil on canvas, 140 x 170 cm, Centraal Museum, Utrecht.
14) Bartholomeus van der Helst, Portrait of Paulus Potter, 1654, oil on canvas, 99 x 80 cm, Mauritshuis, The Hague.
15) Paulus Potter, Young Bull, 1647, Oil on canvas, 236 x 339 cm, Mauritshuis, The Hague.
16) Anthony van Dyck, Double Portrait of the Painter Frans Snyders and his Wife, c. 1621, Oil on canvas, 83 x 110 cm, Staatliche Museen, Kassel.
17) Rembrandt van Rhyn, The Raising the Cross, c. 1633, Oil on canvas, 96 x 72 cm, Alte Pinakothek, Munich.
18) Rembrandt van Rhyn, The Descent from the Cross, c. 1633, Oil on canvas, 90 x 65 cm,Alte Pinakothek, Munich.
19) Rembrandt van Rhyn, Rape of Proserpina, 1631-32, Oil on oak, 85 x 80 cm, Staatliche Museen, Berlin.
20) Gianlorenzo Bernini, The Rape of Proserpina, 1621-22, Marble. height 295 cm, Galleria Borghese, Rome.
21) Cornelis van Poelenburgh, Landscape with Diana and Callisto, Oil on panel, 54 x 82 cm,The Hermitage, St. Petersburg.
22) Daniel Mitjens (I), Portrait of King Charles I, 1629, oil on canvas, 200 x 141 cm Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
23) Jan Mitjens, Govert van Slingelandt and Family, 1657, Oil on canvas, 100 x 87 cm, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
24) Jan Mitjens, Lady Playing the Lute, 1648, Oil on canvas, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin.
25) Adriaen Hanneman, Self-Portrait, 1656, Oil on panel. 82 x 64 cm, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
26) Adriaen Hannemann, Portrait of Henry, Duke of Gloucester, about 1653, oil on canvas, 105 x 87 cm, National Gallery of Art, Washington, (Mellon Coll.)
27) Jan van Ravesteyn, Portrait of Sir John Burroughs, 1620-23, Oil on canvas, 213 x 107 cm, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
28) Anthony van Dyck, William II and his Consort Maria Stuart, oil on canvas, 182.5 x 142 cm, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
29) Gerrit van Honthorst, 1647, William II, Prince of Orange, and His Consort Maria Stuart, oil on canvas, 302 x 194.3 cm, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
30) After Jan de Baen. Portrait of Johan de Witt (1625-1672), Grand Pensionary of Holland, 1643-1700, oil on canvas. 125 × 98 cm (49.2 × 38.6 in), Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.
31) Jan de Baen, The Apotheosis of Cornelis de Witt (1623-1672). Ca. 1670. Oil on canvas. 75.5 × 102 cm, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
32) Jan de Baen, Self-Portrait with His Wife, Maria de Kinderen, 1674, Oil on canvas, 101 x 93 cm, Museum Bredius, The Hague.
33) Adriaen Hanneman, Mary, Princess of Orange (The Amazon Portrait), 1655, oil on canvas, 120 x 98 cm, Royal Collection Trust.
34) Adriaen Hanneman, Mary, Princess of Orange (1631-60), s/d 1660, oil on canvas, 138.5 cm x 101.4 cm, Royal Collection Trust.
35) Adriaen Hanneman, Portrait of a Woman, c. 1653, Oil on canvas, 80 x 64 cm, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
36) Jan van Ravensteyn, Portrait of a Woman, 1635, Oil on wood, 68 x 58 cm, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
37) After Adriaen Hanneman, Charles II, oil on canvas, 127 x 102 cm, National Trust, Treasurer’s House, York, North Yorkshire.
 Rudi Ekkart and Quentin Buvelot (and others), Dutch Portraits: The Age of Rembrandt and Frans Hals (Royal Picture Gallery, Mauritshuis, The Hague; National Gallery, London, (2007-8).
 Jakob, Rosenberg, Seymour Slive, and E.H. Ter Kuile, Dutch Art and Architecture, 1600-1800, Pelican History of Art (Yale University Press, 1966, rep. 1977), 314.
 This idea is most famously advanced in the French painter Eugène Fromentin’s 1876 survey of Flemish and Dutch painting based on his visits to the Netherlands and Low Countries. Fromentin said that Holland had succeeded in “painting its own portrait,” Fromentin, The Masters of Past Time: Dutch and Flemish Painting from Van Eyck to Rembrandt, (Phaidon, 1948, rep. 1981, 97.
 For the Arcadian tradition in Dutch art, Alison McNeil Kettering, The Dutch Arcadia: Pastoral Art and its Audience in the Golden Age, (Boydell Press, 1983).
 Joachim Sandaert as reported in Rosenberg et al, Dutch Art and Architecture, 315.
 Care should be taken in distinguishing between the patronage of the Stadholder whose collection consisted mainly of Dutch artists and the “Winter King” who was from Bohemia; his holdings would reflect that national divide.
 Gary Schwartz, The Rembrandt Book, 61. The paintings are: 1626-7, Hannah and Simeon in the Temple (Hamburg); 1629-30, Samson and Delilah (Berlin), Self-Portrait (Liverpool), Rembrandt’s Mother in a rich scarf (Windsor); 1631, Christ on the Cross, The Abduction of Proserpina (Berlin); 1632, Portrait of Amalia van Solms ( Paris, J-A), Minerva (Berlin); 1633, Raising of the Cross, Descent from the Cross (Munich);c. 1633, Portrait of the Marquis d’ Andelot, F-H’s great uncle (lost); 1636-39, The Ascension of Christ, The Entombment, The Resurrection, (Munich); 1646, The Adoration of the Shepherds, the Circumcision (lost, copy in Braunschweig).
 Perlove and Silver, Rembrandt’s Faith, 289.
 For Hanneman’s life and a list of his works, see Margaret R. Toynbee, “Adriaen Hanneman and the English Court in Exile,” Burlington Magazine, Vol. 92, No. 564 (Mar, 1950), 73-80.
 According to Lisa Jardine, Hanneman spoke fluent English and was fully integrated into London life, Going Dutch, 132.
 On Ravesteyn, Rosenberg and co, Dutch Art and Architecture, 314-315.
 Rosenberg and co, Dutch Art and Architecture, 315.
 Previously attributed to Lely and even Hanneman. Compare with Honthorst’s version of the royal double portrait of the couple, also in the Rijksmuseum. See Leo van Puyvelde, “Van Dyck and the Amsterdam Double Portrait,” Burlington Magazine, Vol. 83, No. 485 (Aug, 1943), 204-7.
 Dutch Portraits, no. 60.
 Dutch Portraits, no. 23.
 Left to right: Frederick V of Bohemia, the Winter King, and his Queen Elizabeth Stuart, daughter of James I; the Princes of Orange including Frederick Henry; possibly William Lodewijk, the first Frisian count of Nassau, and the count of the Palatine, (Schwartz, The Rembrant Book, 68).
 Dutch Portraits, no. 43.
 On Van der Helst and his use of motifs taken from Rembrandt and Hals, see Rosenberg and co, Dutch Art and Architecture, 318-320. Van der Helst had moved from Haarlem to Amsterdam by 1636.
 The English connoisseur John Smith stated in his 1834 catalogue raisonné of the works of the outstanding Dutch artists that such “is the magical illusion of this picture, that it may fairly be concluded, that the painter has approached as near perfection as the art will ever attain.” Cited in Rosenberg and co, Dutch Art and Architecture, 279-280, who note that Potter’s picture diminished in popularity in later centuries. Something of this can be seen in Eugene Fromentin’s 1876 critical appraisal of the composition which is odd, to say the least. To him the work was “equivocal.” Fromentin, The Masters of Past Time: Dutch and Flemish Painting from Van Eyck to Rembrandt, (Phaidon, 1948, rep. 1981, 117.
 From Met’s web site: “Charlotte C. Stopes. "Daniel Mytens in England." Burlington Magazine 17 (June 1910), p. 162, publishes three documents from the royal accounts that may relate to this picture: "£60 for his Majesty's picture at large with a prospect, and the Crown and the Sceptre, in a scarlet embroidered suit, and for charges in making that picture at Greenwich. . . . Signed Aprill 2nd 1630"; "£50 for his Majesty's picture at large, with a prospect and the Crown and Sceptre, in a scarlet embroidered suit, delivered by special command unto the Lord Bishop of London in April, 1631; £50 more for ye like picture delivered to ye Earl of Pembroke in May, 1631; £5 for making ye said pictures and attendance at Greenwich, Signed June 29th 1631"; noting that the third picture described is at Wilton [Earl of Pembroke].” Link
 Dutch Portraits, no. 28. Wrongly identified as William II of Orange.
 From Wikipedia: “Jan de Baen was born on 20 February 1633 in Haarlem, Holland, Dutch Republic. After his parents died, when he was a child, he lived with his uncle Hinderk Pyman (or Piemans) in Emden. Jan de Baen received his first painting lessons from his uncle, who was a painter himself. From 1645 to 1648 he lived in Amsterdam, where he was the pupil of painter Jacob Adriaensz Backer. After completing his training, he worked for the exiled court of Charles II of England, but upon the English Restoration of 1660 did not follow his patron, but moved to The Hague, where he worked as a portrait painter for the rest of his life. The Elector of Brandenburg asked him to work at his court in Berlin, but he refused this invitation. He was the teacher of his son, the painter Jacobus de Baen, and the pupils Johann Friedrich Bodecker, Denys Godijn, Hendrik van Limborch, Nicolaes van Ravesteyn, Petro van Rijs, Jan van Sweel, and Johannes Vollevens.He died in 1702 around his 69th birthday, and was buried in The Hague on 8 March 1702. In his biographical sketch of Jan de Baen, Houbraken claims that he taught his son Jacobus to paint, who died at 27.”
 From RC website: “The date of this Royal Collection portrait has not yet been established with certainty. It was perhaps painted to record the Princess's appearance at an entertainment in The Hague early in 1655, where she appeared 'very well dressed, like an Amazon'. However its quality suggests that this is not the primary version. Another version by Hanneman, now in the Mauritshuis, was produced as a posthumous portrait in 1664, apparently for Princess Mary's son. Other versions are known. Over her white satin bodice Mary, Princess of Orange wears a feathered cloak. She carries a riding switch and wears an elaborately feathered and jewelled turban. In the seventeenth century such cloaks were worn by Indians living in the North-East of Brazil, which was a Dutch colony between 1630-54, ruled by Johan Maurits of Nassau-Siegen. The feathers were probably imported into The Netherlands and made up into cloaks in Europe.” Link
 From RC website: “This portrait was presumably painted in The Hague before the Princess's arrival in London on 25th September 1660, where she was to die three months later. It was perhaps the last portrait of the Princess painted from life by Hanneman, although the head is similar to a portrait in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.” Link.
 From Met’s web site: “This unsigned portrait is certainly by Hanneman and has been dated convincingly to about 1653 (Kuile 1976). The work is one of several portraits of upper-middle-class women in which the painter slightly varied a standard compositional scheme. His Portrait of a Woman, dated 1653, in the Pushkin Museum, Moscow, is very similar in design and even in the sitter's appearance, costume, and jewelry, although she is clearly not the same person. Kuile conjectured that the Museum's picture might have had a male pendant, and he proposed the Portrait of a Man, signed and dated 1655, in the Dulwich Picture Gallery, London. That canvas is about the same size and has a similar tan background. The fact that the man appears closer and higher in the composition than the woman in the MMA painting would seem to speak against a pendant relationship were it not for the fact that the same disparity occurs in several approximately contemporary pair portraits by Hanneman. However, the relevant examples feature a complementary play of male and female hands, whereas no hands are included in the Dulwich picture. Furthermore, a number of male portraits by Hanneman must now be unknown or unidentified. The rather flat and mechanical description of the lace brings to mind passages in portraits from the workshop of Michiel van Miereveld and may indicate the use of an assistant for costume details. Link.
 Hanneman’s original is lost; it is known only through copies, engravings, attributed works. Charles II was painted by other Flemish and Dutch artists including Honthorst, Van der Hoeck, Diepenbeck, Nason, and Luttichuys, Toynbee, “Adriaen Hanneman and the English Court in Exile,” 75.