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Selbstdarstellung und Spezialistentum in der niederländischen Malerei des I7. Jahrhunderts - ein neuer Fund zur Biographie Hendrick van Steenwijcks d.J

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image of Oud Holland - Journal for Art of the Low Countries

An inscription in a painting of I636 depicting a church interior by the painter Hendrick van Steenwijck the Younger in the Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig (Maximilian Speck von Stern-burg Foundation, Inv.No. I62I) has not been read correctly until today. It deserves attention, since it turns out to be the artist's signature and the only surviving source of information about the place and date of Steenwijck the Younger's birth. It reads: H.V.S. nat(us). Ant(werpen).// Ao MDLXXX M(ens). Sept(embris). The inscription is part of an epitaph in which there is also a portrait of Steenwijck the Younger, resembling his portrait by Anton van Dyck in the portrait series of the "Iconographie" published around the same date. The article links this rare case of an artist's self-representation in a painting with the biographical situation of Steenwijck, who probably returned from London to The Hague in I638. An analysis of the painting shows how Steenwijck the Younger integrated this monumental self-representation with the painting and its decoration with altarpieces. The artist himself looks out of the painting, stimulating a direct contact with the viewer, who is furthermore encouraged by numerous minute and delicately painted details to look closely at the painting.


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