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Lievens, Jan
Portrait of Joost van den Vondel (1587-1679) Portrait of Joost van den Vondel (1587-1679)
around 1644 - 1650 around 1644 - 1650

The figure portrayed in this print is Joost van den Vondel (1587–1679), a man often identified as the most prominent Dutch poet and playwright of the seventeenth century. The artist and poet knew each other through mutual acquaintances, and Van den Vondel posed for Lievens on several occasions. A reduced copy of the current portrait served as the frontispiece for an edition of the author’s collected poems published in 1650. Lievens employed dark contour lines to make the figure stand out from the background. Foremost attention is given to Van den Vondel’s head and facial expression; he directly engages the viewer. Curvy lines delineate his hair, moustache and goatee. The scroll of paper Van den Vondel holds in his hands alludes to his vocation as a poet. Van den Vondel wrote the Latin quatrain below the portrait, under the pseudonym Prudenter, and it provides a short account of his life story. Beyond the figure’s proper right shoulder are several trees that Lievens reworked as he progressed through the different states of this print.

 
Lievens, Jan
Leiden, Netherlands 1607–Amsterdam, Netherlands 1674 Leiden, Netherlands 1607–Amsterdam, Netherlands 1674
Portrait of Joost van den Vondel (1587-1679) Portrait of Joost van den Vondel (1587-1679)
around 1644 - 1650 around 1644 - 1650
paper; etching and engraving paper; etching and engraving
plate: 32.2 cm x 24.6 cm; sheet: 33.9 cm x 24.9 cm
Purchase, Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation, 2008 Purchase, Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation, 2008
51-001.01

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