Thomas de Keyser

Thomas de Keyser
(1596/97 - Amsterdam - 1667)

Portrait of a Boy, circa 1625

Oil on oak panel, 30.5 x 24.3 cm

Private collection, England;
Christie's, London, 8 July 2016, lot 141.

Dr. Ann Jensen Adams will be including the portrait in her forthcoming monograph on the artist.






Thomas de Keyser was one of the most celebrated portraitists in Amsterdam at the time. Rembrandt was influenced by his work. De Keyser's portraiture is full of character and masterly in handling. Some of his portraits are life-size, but the artist generally preferred to keep them on a considerably smaller scale. With seven works the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has the largest collection of paintings by de Keyser. His work can also be seen, among others, at the Louvre in Paris, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg and the National Gallery in London.

The attribution of this masterfully painted and exceptionally well preserved portrait to de Keyser has been confirmed by Ann Jensen Adams, who will be including the portrait in her forthcoming monograph on the artist. She notes the treatment of the facial features are consistent with the signed Portrait of three Children and a Man of 1622 (Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, inv. no. SK-A-1545), and that the technique is comparable with Portrait of a Dark-Haired Man Aged 58 of 1631 (Amsterdam Museum, inv. no. SA-7355). She therefore concludes that this panel was executed between late 1622 and 1631. It is also well comparable to the boy on the left in the Group Portrait of Three Brothers, named Hendrick, Johannes and Simon of circa 1627-1632 (Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, inv. no. SK-A-4850).

A dendrochronological report by Ian Tyers provided an usage date of the panel after circa 1613 and probably before 1650.

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