About this artwork
In the nascent Dutch Republic, portraits emphasized the prestige of the increasingly prosperous middle and upper classes. The hilt of the sword on the table suggests that this gentleman held a position in the military, perhaps one with an administrative or legal component, as indicated by the statue in the background of the Roman goddess Justitia, with her scales and sword. The man’s success is demonstrated not only by this large sculpture but also by the golden cloak he wears. Such luxury garments were imported from Japan at mid-century, but this fashionable, brocaded version was likely made domestically. Caspar Netscher, one of the great small-scale Dutch portraitists, would have made this painting for display in a home.
- Caspar Netscher
- Portrait of a Gentleman
- Holland (Artist's nationality:)
- Oil on canvas
- 47 × 38.1 cm (18 1/2 × 15 in.)
- Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection