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De portretten van Jan van Huysum door Arnold Boonen en anderen

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

The Ashmolcan Museum in Oxford owns a portrait of Jan van Huysum, thc famous painter of still lifes and landscapes, which has always been considered a self-portrait (fig. 1). Stylistic comparison, however, justifies the attribution of this portrait to Arnold Boonen. As early as the mid-eighteenth century the artist and writer Jan van Gool mentioned and illustrated a portrait of Van Huysum by Boonen (fig. 3). That picture can very probably be identified with a painting which was on the London art market in 1981, allegedly as a self-portrait of Jan's father, Justus van Huysum (fig.4). In an Amsterdam auction of 1773 a third, smaller, portrait of Van Huysum by Boonen came up for sale, and in recent decadcs a (studio) version of the Oxford painting has been on the market (fig. 5). From old catalogues it would appear that still more portraits of the painter by Boonen have existed. Printed portraits of Jan van Huysum, among them illustrations in biographical works, were apparently all derived, one way or another, from portraits by Boonen (figs, 3 , 6 and 8-10); even Kremer's romantic representation of the artist known only from a print- appears to be distantly related (fig. 12). The source for a nineteenth-century lithograph remains somewhat uncertain, although it, too, was probably inspired by Boonen (fig. 11). Clearly not a portrait of Jan van Huysum is Heroman van der Mijn's painting at Amsterdam (fig. 13), but a work at Quimper, now considered by the museum to be an anonymous French portrait of an unknown man, might be a fairly early effigy of Jan van Huysum after all (fig. 14).


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