"Portrait Of Louise De Lévis-leran C.1662; Circle Of Abraham Van Der Tempel (c.1622-1672)"This large scale portrait depicting a young girl in an Arcadian setting is an exquisite example of mid-17th century portraiture. The sitter is Louise de Lévis and the artist has portrayed her wearing classical garments and placing her in an Italianate setting complete with dense woods and a fountain with a putto, thereby drawing from the tradition of pastoral literature, which by the time the portrait was painted was extremely popular. All educated individuals in the 17th century were familiar with Latin and Greek pastoral poetry, and the mythological world of Arcady was an idyll that the ladies and gentlemen of the Court could inhabit in the guise of shepherds and shepherdesses. The pastoral tradition in literature and plays had been embraced by an aristocratic class since classical times. Life in the country was perceived as peaceful, contemplative and free of worry of hardships, a time to pursue pleasure. To be painted in such a manner created a tangible expression of power and wealth. By the 1640’s familiarity with the pastoral was so ingrained that the mere inclusion of such elements as shimmering gowns, plumed hats, flower garlands, and antique buildings suggested Arcadia to the viewer. By painting the light to reflect sunset the suggestion of tranquility and the antique were heightened and in the present portrait the flowing drapery and sandals mirrors these ideals and demonstrates luxurious fantasy. Of course, the young sitter did not live in such a place and this masterful painting was a flight from chaos to a tranquil world. Artists during the 17th century increasingly employed simpler draped garments in pastel colours and white for these scenes. The advantage of this dress is that it imbued the sitters with a sense of timelessness. The hairstyle with the corkscrew curls on the sides is up to date. Pearls were immensely popular during this period. Not only indicative of wealth, pearls represented purity, innocence and femininity, as their pale iridescence was associated with the luminosity of the moon, the waters origin with fertility, and its period in the shell with miraculous birth.Held in a beautiful good quality gilt antique frame.Abraham van der Tempel was a Dutch Golden Age painter. He was born at Leeuwarden in 1622 or 1623 and received his training from his father, a respected Frisian painter and Mennonite minister, Lambert (c.1598-1636). After Lambert’s death Abraham moved to Amsterdam in 1636 and received further training from Jacob Backer (c.1642-6). He later moved to Leiden and married there in 1647. The following year he was one of the founders of the Leiden Saint Luke Guild and would later become Dean of the Guild. In 1660 he settled in Amsterdam, where he received many important consignments. The influence of Backer is evident in several of his early biblical and allegorical paintings. He later turned to portrait painting and these often show the influence of Bartholomeus van der Helst but also reflect his own style, with static poses and elegant execution of details. His work is also elaborate and very highly finished and he is among the best Dutch portraitists of the third quarter of the 17th century. Abraham taught Frans Mieris the Elder, Karel de Moor, Isaac Paling (fl.1664-1720) and Michael van Musscher. He died in Amsterdam in 1672.An old handwritten label on verso identifies the sitter as the daughter of Jean Claude de Lévis, Lord of Leran, and dates the portrait to 1662.
Provenance: Private collection France
Measurements: Height 144cm, Width 112cm framed (Height 56.5”, Width 44” framed)