Quantcast

Portrait of Gerard de Lairesse

Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn) (Dutch, Leiden 1606–1669 Amsterdam)

Date:
mid-1660s
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
44 3/8 x 34 1/2 in. (112.7 x 87.6 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
1975.1.140
  • Description

    Gerard de Lairesse (1641–1711) was, in his day, a well-known painter, etcher, and art theorist. He suffered from congenital syphilis, which caused him to go blind about 1690; he subsequently focused his energies on art theory. By the time this portrait was painted, in 1665, the ravaging effects of the disease were visible in his swollen features and bulbous nose. Recording his unfortunate appearance with an uncompromising directness, Rembrandt invested his subject with an air of quiet dignity. Although the sitter's theories on the ideal in painting were antithetical to Rembrandt's style, which Lairesse disparagingly likened to "liquid mud on the canvas," the portrayal is a sympathetic one.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Inscribed (lower left): Rembrandt [the loop of the "R" clipped by the edge of canvas; not followed by an f]

  • Provenance

    Sale, Amsterdam, 16 June 1802, lot 144 (to Lafontaine for Fl 94); Lafontaine; his sale, Christie's, London 13 June 1807, lot 16; probably Lord Young, Edinburgh and Silverknowe, Midlothan, Scotland; his sale, Christie's, London, 29 February 1908, lot 66 (to Lewis and Simmons); [Lewis and Simmons, London]; Leopold Koppel, Berlin, by 1909 and still in 1935; [M. Knoedler and Co., New York], by 1944. Acquired by Robert Lehman from Knoedler in May 1945.

  • See also
    Who
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
459082

Close