SWEERTS, Michael (1618-64):

Portrait of a Gentleman or
“Man in rich Clothes”

Etching, c. 1643-61. Hollstein 20
Provenance: Unidentified paraphe in ink (not in Lugt); Paul Davidsohn (1839-1924) (Lugt 654), his sale C.G. Boerner, Leipzig, 26-29 April 1921, lot 1043 (“Brillanter früher Abdruck…”); J.F. Kroepelien (not in Lugt)

A brilliant, rich impression with thread margins, a very minor crease in the lower left inscription space, otherwise in excellent condition. 209 x 164mm.


In 1921 Boerner’s suggested the sitter was possibly Frederick William, Marquess of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia, known as the Great Elector, but paintings of him show little resemblance. The man’s costume is less indicative of nobility than of a very wealthy burger as well. Besides a self-portrait, Sweerts etched two other formal portraits that, like this one, have the appearance of special commissions. In a far more informal mood, he produced twelve small studies of heads of a wide range of people, old and young, male and female.