L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Willem van der Vliet - an allegory and two portraits

Only six allegorical paintings by van der Vliet are known to still exist. And like so many allegories, the meaning of this one continues to confound the experts. According to Sotheby's catalogue notes, various explanations have been offered - a philosopher rejecting the carnal advances of earthly love, or a depiction of learning, lust, and fraud - but none of these has proven entirely satisfying. The portrayal of the bearded scholar is quite particular and individualized, and Leonard J. Slatkes, professor of art history at Queens College of the City University of New York, has suggested the work might actually be a portrait historié, the subject a contemporary playwright surrounded by his characters.

A Scholar in his Study with Figures with Masks / An Allegory, 1627.


Maria Jorisdr. Pijnaecker (1599-1678), 1626. This painting and the next, its pendant, were completed when both subjects were 27.
Her coat of arms.


Willem Reyersz. de Langue (1599-1656), 1626.
His coat of arms.


Willem van der Vliet (circa 1584, Delft – 6 December 1642, Delft), Dutch Golden Age painter. He studied with Michiel van Miereveld and joined the Delft painter's guild in 1615. Although later better known as a portraitist, he began his career as a history painter, a designation that, at the time, included allegory, mythology, religious subjects, as well as historical scenes. Little is known of his life, but he was famous enough to be included in Dirck van Bleyswijck's Beschryvinge der stadt Delft (Description of the city of Delft), published twenty-five years after his death.

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