(Antwerp 1639 - Paris 1700)
Portrait of a woman
Oil on canvas,
H. 66 cm; L. 57.5 cm
Provenance: Private collection, Paris
Son of a painter, Jacob Ferdinand Voet was born in the heart of a city dominated by painting in the 17th century: Antwerp. His apprenticeship remains unknown like a large part of his career, and that is why his first forty years are not mentioned in the main biography carried out of his time by Arnold Houbraken (painter and biographer). In 1679 he moved to Italy where he stayed for five years between Rome, Milan and Turin. He lives on site with the many artists of his generation, most of whom are considered bamboccianti, painters mostly from the northern and southern Netherlands. This community was found in Rome, in particular within a brotherhood sheltered by an inn where Voet painted on the whitewashed walls the portraits of its members.
In 1686, Jacob Ferdinand Voet moved to Paris where he produced his most famous portraits with costumes and a recognizable touch. His most famous paintings are obviously those representing the Mancini sisters, nieces of the great Cardinal Mazarin whom the latter will bring to the court of France. These Italian beauties and their rich costumes will make the fame of the painter who will be awarded numerous commissions until his death in the French capital in 1700.
Our portrait is certainly part of the Italian period of Voet, where his technique is raw, thick, in the manner of the masters of this country with which he tries to get closer. The ocher primer which is used to maintain the painting is a testimony to this since on his arrival in France his finishes change color to adopt the French fashion where the portraits can not have this dark tint emerging from the light glazes. This sumptuously adorned woman gives a glimpse of the Italy of the second half of the 17th century, much less well known than that of the Renaissance.