Portrait of a Lady by Pieter Claesz Soutman
Portrait of a Lady by Pieter Claesz Soutman Portrait of a Lady by Pieter Claesz Soutman Portrait of a Lady by Pieter Claesz Soutman Portrait of a Lady by Pieter Claesz Soutman Portrait of a Lady by Pieter Claesz Soutman Portrait of a Lady by Pieter Claesz Soutman Portrait of a Lady by Pieter Claesz Soutman Portrait of a Lady by Pieter Claesz Soutman Portrait of a Lady by Pieter Claesz Soutman Portrait of a Lady by Pieter Claesz Soutman Portrait of a Lady by Pieter Claesz Soutman
Portrait of a Lady by Pieter Claesz Soutman

Portrait of a Lady by Pieter Claesz Soutman

  • This impactful portrait was composed by the renowned Dutch portraitist Pieter Claesz Soutman
  • He captures his subject with his quintessential expressivity and high level of detail
  • Such highly elaborate costumes and luxurious fabrics were highly popular during his era
  • His mastery of this highly complex style placed him among the best artists of the Dutch Golden Age
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Item No. 30-6601
Price: Available upon request
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description
Pieter Claesz Soutman
1580/85-1657 | Dutch

Portrait of the Wife of Alexander van der Capellen

Inscribed and dated "AE t sve 23 / Anno 1626" (upper right)
Oil on panel

The artistic mastery of the great Pieter Claesz Soutman is fully on display in this highly significant and monumental portrait. The work is the mate to the Portrait of Alexander van der Capellen currently held in the Milwaukee Art Museum, and the pair were almost certainly a special commission to commemorate the couple's marriage in 1626. The portraits bring together the intricate detail, compelling naturalism, and dynamic brushwork of Soutman’s celebrated style, clearly displaying why he is regarded among the most respected portraitists of the Dutch Golden Age.

Soutman followed in the rich still life tradition of the great Flemish Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens. He had, in fact, trained with the master in Rubens’ workshop in Antwerp for a period, during which time Rubens’ distinctive style had a decisive and unmistakable influence on the young painter. Like Rubens, Soutman excelled at not only capturing his subjects with a technical perfection but also their inherent elegance and grace. Yet, his subject's sumptuous costume - the millstone ruff, richly embroidered stomacher, draping gold chain, and elegant diadem cap - is entirely Dutch in fashion. The work, thus, presents a stunning and distinctive mixture of the Haarlem and Antwerp styles of painting that make Soutman's portraits among the best of their kind.

Such elaborate and highly detailed costuming in portraiture was a popular way to show one's wealth in the 17th century, particularly among the emerging class of wealthy merchants. This proclivity also earned Soutman his success, as he soon emerged as a highly popular portraitist among the wealthy patrician class in both Antwerp and Haarlem. A special commission from Alexander van der Capellen, a wealthy and influential politician in the Dutch Republic, would certainly be in keeping with Soutman's elite clientele. His bride, Emilia van Zuylen van Nyevelt, is magnificently captured in the present work. Born into an important noble family in Rotterdam, Emilia's social status is on display here not only through her lavish costume, but also through the reputation and prestige of the Soutman name.

Though primarily remembered today for his portraits, Soutman was also a well-respected history painter, along with the celebrated Pieter Fransz de Grebber. Today, his works are found in important collections around the world, including the National Gallery of Art (Washington DC), Musée du Louvre (Paris), Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art and Saint Louis Art Museum, among others.

This important portrait is listed on page 148 of Pieter Soutman: Life and Ouevre, 2012, by K. Barrett.

Dated 1626

Panel: 49" high x 36 1/2" wide
Frame: 57 1/2" high x 45" wide

Provenance:
Matthew Anderson, Esq., 1851
The Sneyd Collection, Keele Hall, Straffordshire
Sale of the Sneyd Heirlooms, Christie's, June 27, 1924, lot 114
Legggat London, by 1926
Private collection, London
Private collection, Connecticut
M.S. Rau Antiques, New Orleans
specifications
Artist: Soutman, Pieter
Framed:45.0"W x 57.5"H
Unframed:36 1/2"W x 49"H
Period: Pre-18th Century
Origin:Netherlands
Subject:Portrait
Depth:4.0 Inches
Width:45.0 Inches
Height:57.5 Inches
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