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Lievens, Jan
Portrait of Jacob Junius Portrait of Jacob Junius
around 1658 around 1658

This impressive, gripping portrait stands out among Jan Lievens’s later works. The bleak gaze and down turned mouth suggests a mood of weary perseverance. Lievens painted Junius in a rough style, with open strokes of dragged impasto that evoke the sitter’s ravaged skin and the heavily expressive lines of his face. Most of the works painted after the artist’s return to the northern Netherlands in 1644 show a smooth finish, with strong local colours set against a cool black background tone. However, several later works dating from the 1650s reveal that he sometimes adopted a looser, more painterly style recalling Van Dyck, whose work he had observed in Antwerp. Lievens’s sympathetic and attentive depiction of old age had been an innovative strength of his early career in Leiden, during the 1620s. After this period, it was a penchant that would reemerge only occasionally.

 
Lievens, Jan
Leiden, Netherlands 1607–Amsterdam, Netherlands 1674 Leiden, Netherlands 1607–Amsterdam, Netherlands 1674
Portrait of Jacob Junius Portrait of Jacob Junius
around 1658 around 1658
Oil on canvas Oil on canvas
overall: 79 cm x 53 cm
Gift of Alfred and Isabel Bader, 2009 Gift of Alfred and Isabel Bader, 2009
52-009

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