Temporality and the Seventeenth-Century Dutch Portrait

Thomas de Keyser,  Portrait of a Man holding a Therobo, and a Young, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, anonymous gift

A group of seventeenth-century Dutch portraits depict their subjects awkwardly hunched or bent over, many in the process of rising from a chair.  These appear to contradict the upright posture and graceful movement promoted by early modern conduct books.  They may be understood, however, in light of the pressures to more precisely measure time that were being promoted in commercial circles and the debates concerning the nature of time raging in academic ones.  This article argues that instead of awkwardness or lack of social grace, seventeenth-century viewers must have experienced the momentary quality of these portraits as intensifying the presence of the portrayed and reducing the psychological barrier created by the painted portrait as a physical object.

DOI: 10.5092/jhna.2013.5.2.15

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank Susan Donahue Kuretsky for inviting me to present this material as a lecture for the symposium “Time and Transformation in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Art,” held at Vassar College (May 2005); it was developed in presentations at Erasmus University, Rotterdam (June 2006), Arizona State University (March 2007), and the Early Modern Center, University of California at Santa Barbara (March 2008); parts were also presented in my introductory remarks to the session “The Presence of History, The Persistence of Time,” at the College Art Association Annual Meeting in 2007.

Thomas de Keyser,  Portrait of a Man holding a Therobo, and a Young,  The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, anonymous gift
Fig. 1 Thomas de Keyser, Portrait of a Man holding a Therobo, and a Young Girl, inscribed in monogram over door TdK 1629, oil on panel, cradled, 74.9 x 52.7 cm. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, anonymous gift, inv. no. 64.65.4 (artwork in the public domain)
Rembrandt van Rijn,  Portrait of a Man Rising from His Chair, inscrib,  Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati, bequest of Charles Phelps and Anna Sinton Taft
Fig. 2a Rembrandt van Rijn, Portrait of a Man Rising from His Chair, inscribed bottom right Rembrandt. f 1633, oil on canvas, lined, 124 x 98.5 cm. Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati, bequest of Charles Phelps and Anna Sinton Taft, inv. no. 1931.409 (artwork in the public domain)
Rembrandt van Rijn,  Portrait of a Woman with a Fan,  The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, anonymous gift, Gift of Helen Swift Nelson, 1943
Fig. 2b Rembrandt van Rijn, Portrait of a Woman with a Fan, oil on canvas, lined, 126.2 x 100.5 cm. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Helen Swift Nelson, 1943, inv. no. 43.125 (artwork in the public domain)
Bartholomeus van der Helst,  Portrait of an Unknown Man, perhaps a Preacher, ,  Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam
Fig. 3 Bartholomeus van der Helst, Portrait of an Unknown Man, perhaps a Preacher, inscribed upper left B. van der helst f. 1638, oil on canvas, 115 x 82.5 cm. Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, inv. no. 129 (OK) (artwork in the public domain)
Rembrandt van Rijn,  Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, inscribed u,  Royal Cabinet of Paintings, Mauritshuis, The Hague
Fig. 4 Rembrandt van Rijn, Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, inscribed upper center Rembrandt fe. 1632, oil on canvas, 169.5 x 216.5 cm. Royal Cabinet of Paintings, Mauritshuis, The Hague, inv. no. 146 (artwork in the public domain)
Rembrandt van Rijn,  The Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq, know,  Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Fig. 5 Rembrandt van Rijn, The Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq, known as The Nightwatch, inscribed Rembrandt f 1642, oil on canvas, 379.5 x 453.5 cm. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, inv. no. SK-C-5 (on loan from the city of Amsterdam [SA 7392]) (artwork in the public domain)
Govert Flinck,  Civic Guardsmen of the Company of Captain Joan H,  Amsterdam Museum
Fig. 6 Govert Flinck, Civic Guardsmen of the Company of Captain Joan Huydecoper and Lieutenant Frans van Waveren, inscribed lower left Flinck f. 1648, oil on canvas, 265 x 513 cm. Amsterdam Museum, inv. no. A 7318 (artwork in the public domain)
Rembrandt van Rijn,  Sampling Officials of the Drapers’ Guild, insc,  Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Fig. 7 Rembrandt van Rijn, Sampling Officials of the Drapers’ Guild, inscribed on the tablecloth Rembrandt F. 1662, oil on canvas, 191.5 x 279 cm. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, inv. no. SK-C-6 (on loan from the city of Amsterdam [SA 7393]) (artwork in the public domain)
Dirck Jacobsz,  Portrait of Pompeius Occo,  ca. 1531,  Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Fig. 8 Dirck Jacobsz, Portrait of Pompeius Occo, ca. 1531, oil on panel, 66.5 x 55.1 cm. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, inv. no. SK-A-3924 (on loan from the city of Amsterdam [SB 6412]) (artwork in the public domain)
Frans Hals,  Portrait of a Sixty-year-old Man Holding a Skull,  ca. 1611,  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham
Fig. 9 Frans Hals, Portrait of a Sixty-year-old Man Holding a Skull, inscribed . . . ITA MORI/ AETAT SVAE 60, ca. 1611, oil on panel, 94 x 72.5 cm. The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham (artwork in the public domain)
Gerard ter Borch and Gesina ter Borch,  Posthumous Portrait of Moses ter Borch, inscribe,  ca. 1667–69,  Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Fig. 10 Gerard ter Borch and Gesina ter Borch, Posthumous Portrait of Moses ter Borch, inscribed G. ter Borch, ca. 1667–69, oil on canvas, 76.2 x 56.5 cm. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, inv. no. SK-A-4908 (artwork in the public domain)
Dirck Jacobsz,  Men of the Harquebusier Militia, inscribed with ,  Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Fig. 11 Dirck Jacobsz, Men of the Harquebusier Militia, inscribed with date and monogram ANO DNI 1529 DI, oil on panel, 122 x 184 cm. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, inv. no. SK-C-402, on loan from the city of Amsterdam (SA 7341) (artwork in the public domain)
Nicolaes Eliasz Pickenoy,  Company of Captain Jan Claesz van Vlooswijck and ,  1642,  Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Fig. 12 Nicolaes Eliasz Pickenoy, Company of Captain Jan Claesz van Vlooswijck and Lieutenant Gerrit Hudde, 1642, oil on canvas, 340 x 527 cm. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, inv. no. SK-C-1177 (on loan from the city of Amsterdam [SA 7311]) (artwork in the public domain)
  1. 1. Saint Augustine, Confessions and Enchiridion, trans. A. C. Outler (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1955), 210 (11.25.31).

  2. 2. Walter Liedtke, Dutch Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2007), 1:x, 393, 400–403, no. 100, color pl. 100; 2:592.

  3. 3. 3. Bruyn et al., A Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings (The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1982–2010), 2:378–83, cat. A78. While he appears to wave at the viewer, when paired with his wife in the pendant painting (fig. 2b), his gesture directs our gaze toward her presence.

  4. 4. Judith van Gent, Bartholomeus van der Helst (ca. 1613–1670): Een studie naar zijn leven en werk (Zwolle: W Books, 2011), 59, 67 illus. 30, 151, cat. 2; Stephanie Dickey, Rembrandt: Portraits in Print (Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2004), 44, suggests an identification as Protestant minister Reynerus Wybma.

  5. 5. Bruyn, Corpus, 2:172–89, cat A51, noting that the pose of Hartman Hartmansz resembles that of the Portrait of a Man in Cleveland [cat. A78], while that of Frans van Loenen at the top of the pyramid is repeated in the former’s wife, the Portrait of the Woman with a Fan in New York [cat. A79], figs. 2a and 2b here.

  6. 6. Georges Vigarello, “The Upward Training of the Body from the Age of Chivalry to Courtly Civility,” in Fragments for a History of the Human Body, ed. Michel Feher (New York: Zone, 1989), 2:149–96. See also Ann Jensen Adams, “The Three-quarter-length Life-sized Portrait in 17th-century Holland: The Ideological Function of ‘Tranquillitas,’” in Looking at Seventeenth-Century Dutch Painting, ed. Wayne Franits (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 158–74, 234–38.

  7. 7. Herman Roodenburg, “‘Beweeglijkheid’ Embodied: On the Corporeal and Sensory Dimensions of a Famous Emotional Term,” in The Passions in the Arts of the Early Modern Netherlands, eds. Stephanie S. Dickey and Herman Roodenburg, Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek 60 (2010): 306–18, esp. 284–305.

  8. 8. Ann Jensen Adams, Public Faces and Private Identities in Seventeenth-Century Holland (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 93–112.

  9. 9. Samuel van Hoogstraeten, Inleyding tot de Hooghe Schoole der Schilderkonst (Rotterdam: Francois van Hoogstraeten, 1678), 176.

  10. 10. Alois Riegl, The Group Portraiture of Holland (Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute for the History of Art and the Humanities, 1999), 223. (Originally published as “Das Holländische Gruppenportrat,” Jahrbuch der Kunsthistorischen Sammlungen in Wien 23 [1902]: 71–278).

  11. 11. Riegl, Group Portraiture, 312.

  12. 12. Henry van de Waal, “The Syndics and Their Legend,” in Henry van de Waal, Steps Towards Rembrandt (Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1974), 247–92.

  13. 13. For the changes, see Christopher Brown, Jan Kelch, and P. J. J. van Thiel, Rembrandt, the Master and His Workshop: Paintings (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1992), 278–83.

  14. 14. Jakob Rosenberg, Rembrandt: Life and Work, 3rd ed.  (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1948; New York: Phaidon, 1968), 56–57; see also Seymour Slive, Frans Hals (London: Phaidon, 1970), passim; and Christopher Atkins, The Signature Style of Frans Hals: Painting, Subjectivity, and the Market in Early Modernity 
    (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2012), esp. 38–39.

  15. 15. Linda Nochlin, Realism (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1971), 13–23.

  16. 16. Van de Waal, “Syndics,” 252.

  17. 17. Tony Roark, Aristotle on Time: A Study of the Physics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013).

  18. 18. Harry Berger Jr., “Fictions of the Pose: Facing the Gaze of Early Modern Portraiture,”
    Representations 46 (Spring 1994): 87–120. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2928780

  19. 19. Pieter Claesz, Vanitas Still Life, 1630, inscribed “C. AO. 1630”, oil on panel, 39.5 x 56 cm. Royal Cabinet of Paintings, Mauritshuis, The Hague, inv. no. 943.

  20. 20. Dava Sobel, Longitude (New York: Walker, 1995).

  21. 21. Carlo M. Cipolla, Clocks and Culture 1300–1700 (New York: Walker and Company, 1967), 111–14; and Christiaan Huygens, Horologium oscillatorium (Paris: F. Muguet, 1673).

  22. 22. Jan de Vries, Barges and Capitalism (Utrecht: HES, 1981), 97–120.

  23. 23. Benjamin Silliman, Journal of Travels in England, Holland, and Scotland (New Haven, Conn.: S. Converse, 1820), 2:293.

  24. 24. René Descartes, Oeuvres de Descartes, vol. 4, ed. C. Adam and P. Tannery (Paris: Leopold Cerf, 1901), 17–18, letter CCCXVII.

  25. 25. Constantijn Huygens, Journaal van de reis naar Venetië, trans. Frans R. E. Blom, with Judith Heijdra and Trudy Snijders-De Leeuw (Amsterdam: Prometheus/Bert Bakker, 2003), 43.

  26. 26. David Beck, Spiegel van mijn leven: Een Haags dagboek uit 1624, ed. S. E. Veldhuijzen (Hilversum: Verloren, 1993), 97.

  27. 27. Stuart Sherman, Telling Time: Clocks, Diaries, and English Diurnal Form, 1660–1785 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996), 21.

  28. 28. H. J. H. Knoester and A. Graafhuis, “Het kasboek van mr. Carel Martens 1602–1649,”Jaarboek OudUtrecht (1970): 196. I am currently completing a study of the works of art in this account book.

  29. 29. Franco Burgersdijk, Idea Philosophiae Moralis (Leiden: Elzeviriana, 1644), 25–27; Aristotle wrote that “time is the measure of motion, is not so exact, for we measure time by motion and not motion by time.” Aristotle, Physics, 4.12.220b32–221a1, cited in translation by Cornelis Hendrik Leijenhorst, The Mechanisation of AristotelianismThe Late Aristotelian Setting of Thomas Hobbes’ Natural Philosophy (Leiden: Brill, 2002), 134. Struggles with concepts of time remained part of philosophical debates throughout the century as, for example, in the thought of Thomas Hobbes; see Leijenhorst, The Mechanisation of Aristotelianism, passim. See also Stephen H. Daniel, “Seventeenth-Century Scholastic Treatments of Time,” Journal of the History of Ideas 42, no. 4 (1981): 587–606. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2709120

  30. 30. For an excellent analysis of the rhetorical roots of “liveliness” of emotional expression, see Thijs Weststeijn, “‘Passie, hartstocht:’ Painting and Evoking Emotions in Rembrandt’s Studio,” in Ad Fontes!: Niederländische Kunst des 17. Jahrhunderts in Quellen, eds. Claudia Fritzsche, Karin Leonhard, and Gregor J. M. Weber (Petersberg: Michael Imhof, 2012), 305–329.

  31. 31. Riegl, Group Portraiture, 101–11.

  32. 32. Egbert Haverkamp- Begemann, Rembrandt, the Nightwatch (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1982), 85–86. S. A. C. Dudok van Heel, “The Night Watch and the Entry of Marie de’ Medici: A New Interpretation of the Original Place and Significance of the Painting,” Rijksmuseum Bulletin 57 (2009): 25, observed that the flow of figures across the paintings among which the Nightwatch hung may also be described as creating a unified sequence.

  33. 33. Scholars have noted  that the dramatic figural poses in Dutch history painting have their roots in classical rhetoric and observed parallels in seventeenth-century theater, see E. J. Sluijter, Rembrandt and the Female Nude (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2006), 99–111; Eric Jan Sluijter, “Rembrandt’s Portrayal of the Passions and Vondel’s ‘Staetveranderinge,’” in Dickey and Roodenburg, The Passions, 284–305; Thijs Weststeijn, “Between Mind and Body: Painting the Inner Movements According to Samuel van Hoogstraten and Franciscus Junius,” in Dickey and Roodenberg, The Passions, 262–83; for the viewer’s kinesthetic response, see Roodenburg, “‘Beweeglijkheid’ Embodied,” 306–18. http://dx.doi.org/10.5117/9789053568378

  34. 34. “Noch schilderij” dated 13 February 1656. Constantijn Huygens, Gedichten van Constantijn Huygens, ed. J. A. Worp, vol. 6 (Groningen: Wolters, 1896), 19, in English translation by Peter Davidson and Adriaan van der Weel, A Selection of the Poems of Sir Constantijn Huygens (1596-1687): A Parallel Text (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 1996), 168-169, no. 33.

  35. 35. Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Laocoon: An Essay upon the Limits of Poetry and Painting,trans. Ellen Frothingham (Boston, Mass.: Roberts Brothers, 1874), 91 (Originally published as Laokoon: Oder über die Grenzen der Malerie und Poesie [1766]).

Adams, Ann Jensen. “The Three-quarter-length Life-sized Portrait in 17th-century Holland: The Ideological Function of ‘Tranquillitas.’” In Looking at Seventeenth-Century Dutch Painting, edited by Wayne Franits, 158–74, 234–38. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997.

Adams, Ann Jensen. Public Faces and Private Identities in Seventeenth-Century Holland. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Aristotle. Aristotle’s Physics, Books III and IV. Edited by Edward Hussey. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1983.

Atkins, Christopher. The Signature Style of Frans Hals: Painting, Subjectivity, and the Market in Early Modernity. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2012.

Augustine, Saint. Confessions and Enchiridion. Translated by A. C. Outler. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1955.

Beck, David. Spiegel van mijn leven: Een Haags dagboek uit 1624. Edited by S. E. Veldhuijzen. Hilversum: Verloren, 1993.

Berger, Harry, Jr. “Fictions of the Pose: Facing the Gaze of Early Modern Portraiture.” Representations 46. (Spring 1994): 87–120. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2928780

Brown, Christopher, Jan Kelch, and P. J. J. van Thiel. Rembrandt, the Master and His Workshop: Paintings. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1992.

Bruyn, J., et al. A Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings. 5 vols. The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1982–2010.

Burgersdijk, Franco. Idea Philosophiae Moralis. Leiden: Elzeviriana, 1644.

Cipolla, Carlo M. Clocks and Culture 1300–1700. New York: Walker and Company, 1967.

Daniel, Stephen H. “Seventeenth-Century Scholastic Treatments of Time.”Journal of the History of Ideas 42, no. 4 (1981): 587–606. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2709120

Descartes, René. Oeuvres de Descartes. Vol. 4. Edited by C. Adam and P. Tannery. Paris: Leopold Cerf, 1901.

De Vries, Jan. Barges and Capitalism. Utrecht: HES, 1981.

Dickey, Stephanie. Rembrandt: Portraits in Print. Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2004.

Dudok van Heel, S. A. C. “The Night Watch and the Entry of Marie de’ Medici: A New Interpretation of the Original Place and Significance of the Painting.” Rijksmuseum Bulletin 57 (2009): 4–41.

Haverkamp-Begemann, Egbert. Rembrandt, the Nightwatch. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1982.

Huygens, Christiaan. Horologium oscillatorium. Paris: F. Muguet, 1673.

Huygens, Constantijn. Gedichten van Constantijn Huygens. Edited by J. A. Worp, vol. 6. Groningen: Wolters, 1896. In English translation by Peter Davidson and Adriaan van der Weel. A Selection of the Poems of Sir Constantijn Huygens (1596-1687): A Parallel Text. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 1996.

Huygens, Constantijn. Journaal van de reis naar Venetië. Translated by Frans R. E. Blom, with Judith Heijdra and Trudy Snijders-De Leeuw. Amsterdam: Prometheus/Bert Bakker, 2003.

Knoester, H. J. H., and A. Graafhuis. “Het kasboek van mr. Carel Martens 1602–1649.” Jaarboek OudUtrecht (1970): 154–210.

Leijenhorst, Cornelis Hendrik. The Mechanisation of Aristotelianism: The Late Aristotelian Setting of Thomas Hobbes’ Natural Philosophy. Leiden: Brill, 2002.

Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim. Laocoon: An Essay upon the Limits of Poetry and Painting. Translated by Ellen Frothingham. Boston, Mass.: Roberts Brothers, 1874. Originally published as Laokoon: Oder über die Grenzen der Malerie und Poesie (1766).

Liedtke, Walter. Dutch Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2 vols. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2007.

Nochlin, Linda. Realism. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1971.

Riegl, Alois. The Group Portraiture of Holland. Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute for the History of Art and the Humanities, 1999. Originally published as “Das Holländische Gruppenportrat.” Jahrbuch der Kunsthistorischen Sammlungen in Wien 23 (1902): 71–278.

Roodenburg, Herman. “‘Beweeglijkheid’ Embodied: On the Corporeal and Sensory Dimensions of a Famous Emotional Term.” In The Passions in the Arts of the Early Modern Netherlands, edited by Stephanie S. Dickey and Herman Roodenburg, 306–18. Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek 60 (2010).

Roark, Tony. Aristotle on Time: A Study of the Physics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.

Rosenberg, Jakob. Rembrandt: Life and Work. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1948. 3rd ed. New York: Phaidon, 1968.

Sherman, Stuart. Telling Time: Clocks, Diaries, and English Diurnal Form, 1660–1785. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.

Silliman, Benjamin. Journal of Travels in England, Holland, and Scotland. 3 vols. New Haven, Conn.: S. Converse, 1820.

Slive, Seymour. Frans Hals. 3 vols. London: Phaidon, 1970-74.

Sluijter, Eric Jan. Rembrandt and the Female Nude. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2006. http://dx.doi.org/10.5117/9789053568378

Sluijter, Eric Jan. “Rembrandt’s Portrayal of the Passions and Vondel’s ‘Staetveranderinge.’” In The Passions in the Arts of the Early Modern Netherlands, edited by Stephanie S. Dickey and Herman Roodenburg, 284–305. Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek 60 (2010).

Sobel, Dava. Longitude. New York: Walker, 1995.

Van de Waal, Henry. “The Syndics and Their Legend.” In Steps Towards Rembrandt, 247–92. Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1974. Chapter originally published as “De Staalmeesters en hun legende.” Oud-Holland 71 (1956): 61-107.

Van Gent, Judith. Bartholomeus van der Helst (ca. 1613–1670): Een studie naar zijn leven en werk. Zwolle: W Books, 2011.

Van Hoogstraeten, Samuel. Inleyding tot de Hooghe Schoole der Schilderkonst. Rotterdam: Francois van Hoogstraeten, 1678.

Vigarello, Georges. “The Upward Training of the Body from the Age of Chivalry to Courtly Civility.” In Fragments for a History of the Human Body, edited by Michel Feher, 2:149–96. New York: Zone, 1989.

Weststeijn, Thijs. “Between Mind and Body: Painting the Inner Movements According to Samuel van Hoogstraten and Franciscus Junius.” In The Passions in the Arts of the Early Modern Netherlands, edited by Stephanie S. Dickey and Herman Roodenburg, 262–83. Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek 60 (2010).

Weststeijn, Thijs. “‘Passie, hartstocht:’ Painting and Evoking Emotions in Rembrandt’s Studio.” In Ad Fontes!: Niederländische Kunst des 17. Jahrhunderts in Quellen, edited by Claudia Fritzsche, Karin Leonhard, and Gregor J. M. Weber, 305–29. Petersberg: Michael Imhof, 2012.

List of Illustrations

Thomas de Keyser,  Portrait of a Man holding a Therobo, and a Young,  The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, anonymous gift
Fig. 1 Thomas de Keyser, Portrait of a Man holding a Therobo, and a Young Girl, inscribed in monogram over door TdK 1629, oil on panel, cradled, 74.9 x 52.7 cm. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, anonymous gift, inv. no. 64.65.4 (artwork in the public domain)
Rembrandt van Rijn,  Portrait of a Man Rising from His Chair, inscrib,  Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati, bequest of Charles Phelps and Anna Sinton Taft
Fig. 2a Rembrandt van Rijn, Portrait of a Man Rising from His Chair, inscribed bottom right Rembrandt. f 1633, oil on canvas, lined, 124 x 98.5 cm. Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati, bequest of Charles Phelps and Anna Sinton Taft, inv. no. 1931.409 (artwork in the public domain)
Rembrandt van Rijn,  Portrait of a Woman with a Fan,  The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, anonymous gift, Gift of Helen Swift Nelson, 1943
Fig. 2b Rembrandt van Rijn, Portrait of a Woman with a Fan, oil on canvas, lined, 126.2 x 100.5 cm. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Helen Swift Nelson, 1943, inv. no. 43.125 (artwork in the public domain)
Bartholomeus van der Helst,  Portrait of an Unknown Man, perhaps a Preacher, ,  Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam
Fig. 3 Bartholomeus van der Helst, Portrait of an Unknown Man, perhaps a Preacher, inscribed upper left B. van der helst f. 1638, oil on canvas, 115 x 82.5 cm. Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, inv. no. 129 (OK) (artwork in the public domain)
Rembrandt van Rijn,  Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, inscribed u,  Royal Cabinet of Paintings, Mauritshuis, The Hague
Fig. 4 Rembrandt van Rijn, Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, inscribed upper center Rembrandt fe. 1632, oil on canvas, 169.5 x 216.5 cm. Royal Cabinet of Paintings, Mauritshuis, The Hague, inv. no. 146 (artwork in the public domain)
Rembrandt van Rijn,  The Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq, know,  Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Fig. 5 Rembrandt van Rijn, The Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq, known as The Nightwatch, inscribed Rembrandt f 1642, oil on canvas, 379.5 x 453.5 cm. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, inv. no. SK-C-5 (on loan from the city of Amsterdam [SA 7392]) (artwork in the public domain)
Govert Flinck,  Civic Guardsmen of the Company of Captain Joan H,  Amsterdam Museum
Fig. 6 Govert Flinck, Civic Guardsmen of the Company of Captain Joan Huydecoper and Lieutenant Frans van Waveren, inscribed lower left Flinck f. 1648, oil on canvas, 265 x 513 cm. Amsterdam Museum, inv. no. A 7318 (artwork in the public domain)
Rembrandt van Rijn,  Sampling Officials of the Drapers’ Guild, insc,  Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Fig. 7 Rembrandt van Rijn, Sampling Officials of the Drapers’ Guild, inscribed on the tablecloth Rembrandt F. 1662, oil on canvas, 191.5 x 279 cm. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, inv. no. SK-C-6 (on loan from the city of Amsterdam [SA 7393]) (artwork in the public domain)
Dirck Jacobsz,  Portrait of Pompeius Occo,  ca. 1531,  Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Fig. 8 Dirck Jacobsz, Portrait of Pompeius Occo, ca. 1531, oil on panel, 66.5 x 55.1 cm. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, inv. no. SK-A-3924 (on loan from the city of Amsterdam [SB 6412]) (artwork in the public domain)
Frans Hals,  Portrait of a Sixty-year-old Man Holding a Skull,  ca. 1611,  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham
Fig. 9 Frans Hals, Portrait of a Sixty-year-old Man Holding a Skull, inscribed . . . ITA MORI/ AETAT SVAE 60, ca. 1611, oil on panel, 94 x 72.5 cm. The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham (artwork in the public domain)
Gerard ter Borch and Gesina ter Borch,  Posthumous Portrait of Moses ter Borch, inscribe,  ca. 1667–69,  Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Fig. 10 Gerard ter Borch and Gesina ter Borch, Posthumous Portrait of Moses ter Borch, inscribed G. ter Borch, ca. 1667–69, oil on canvas, 76.2 x 56.5 cm. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, inv. no. SK-A-4908 (artwork in the public domain)
Dirck Jacobsz,  Men of the Harquebusier Militia, inscribed with ,  Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Fig. 11 Dirck Jacobsz, Men of the Harquebusier Militia, inscribed with date and monogram ANO DNI 1529 DI, oil on panel, 122 x 184 cm. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, inv. no. SK-C-402, on loan from the city of Amsterdam (SA 7341) (artwork in the public domain)
Nicolaes Eliasz Pickenoy,  Company of Captain Jan Claesz van Vlooswijck and ,  1642,  Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Fig. 12 Nicolaes Eliasz Pickenoy, Company of Captain Jan Claesz van Vlooswijck and Lieutenant Gerrit Hudde, 1642, oil on canvas, 340 x 527 cm. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, inv. no. SK-C-1177 (on loan from the city of Amsterdam [SA 7311]) (artwork in the public domain)

Footnotes

  1. 1. Saint Augustine, Confessions and Enchiridion, trans. A. C. Outler (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1955), 210 (11.25.31).

  2. 2. Walter Liedtke, Dutch Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2007), 1:x, 393, 400–403, no. 100, color pl. 100; 2:592.

  3. 3. 3. Bruyn et al., A Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings (The Hague: M. Nijhoff, 1982–2010), 2:378–83, cat. A78. While he appears to wave at the viewer, when paired with his wife in the pendant painting (fig. 2b), his gesture directs our gaze toward her presence.

  4. 4. Judith van Gent, Bartholomeus van der Helst (ca. 1613–1670): Een studie naar zijn leven en werk (Zwolle: W Books, 2011), 59, 67 illus. 30, 151, cat. 2; Stephanie Dickey, Rembrandt: Portraits in Print (Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2004), 44, suggests an identification as Protestant minister Reynerus Wybma.

  5. 5. Bruyn, Corpus, 2:172–89, cat A51, noting that the pose of Hartman Hartmansz resembles that of the Portrait of a Man in Cleveland [cat. A78], while that of Frans van Loenen at the top of the pyramid is repeated in the former’s wife, the Portrait of the Woman with a Fan in New York [cat. A79], figs. 2a and 2b here.

  6. 6. Georges Vigarello, “The Upward Training of the Body from the Age of Chivalry to Courtly Civility,” in Fragments for a History of the Human Body, ed. Michel Feher (New York: Zone, 1989), 2:149–96. See also Ann Jensen Adams, “The Three-quarter-length Life-sized Portrait in 17th-century Holland: The Ideological Function of ‘Tranquillitas,’” in Looking at Seventeenth-Century Dutch Painting, ed. Wayne Franits (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 158–74, 234–38.

  7. 7. Herman Roodenburg, “‘Beweeglijkheid’ Embodied: On the Corporeal and Sensory Dimensions of a Famous Emotional Term,” in The Passions in the Arts of the Early Modern Netherlands, eds. Stephanie S. Dickey and Herman Roodenburg, Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek 60 (2010): 306–18, esp. 284–305.

  8. 8. Ann Jensen Adams, Public Faces and Private Identities in Seventeenth-Century Holland (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 93–112.

  9. 9. Samuel van Hoogstraeten, Inleyding tot de Hooghe Schoole der Schilderkonst (Rotterdam: Francois van Hoogstraeten, 1678), 176.

  10. 10. Alois Riegl, The Group Portraiture of Holland (Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute for the History of Art and the Humanities, 1999), 223. (Originally published as “Das Holländische Gruppenportrat,” Jahrbuch der Kunsthistorischen Sammlungen in Wien 23 [1902]: 71–278).

  11. 11. Riegl, Group Portraiture, 312.

  12. 12. Henry van de Waal, “The Syndics and Their Legend,” in Henry van de Waal, Steps Towards Rembrandt (Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1974), 247–92.

  13. 13. For the changes, see Christopher Brown, Jan Kelch, and P. J. J. van Thiel, Rembrandt, the Master and His Workshop: Paintings (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1992), 278–83.

  14. 14. Jakob Rosenberg, Rembrandt: Life and Work, 3rd ed.  (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1948; New York: Phaidon, 1968), 56–57; see also Seymour Slive, Frans Hals (London: Phaidon, 1970), passim; and Christopher Atkins, The Signature Style of Frans Hals: Painting, Subjectivity, and the Market in Early Modernity 
    (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2012), esp. 38–39.

  15. 15. Linda Nochlin, Realism (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1971), 13–23.

  16. 16. Van de Waal, “Syndics,” 252.

  17. 17. Tony Roark, Aristotle on Time: A Study of the Physics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013).

  18. 18. Harry Berger Jr., “Fictions of the Pose: Facing the Gaze of Early Modern Portraiture,”
    Representations 46 (Spring 1994): 87–120. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2928780

  19. 19. Pieter Claesz, Vanitas Still Life, 1630, inscribed “C. AO. 1630”, oil on panel, 39.5 x 56 cm. Royal Cabinet of Paintings, Mauritshuis, The Hague, inv. no. 943.

  20. 20. Dava Sobel, Longitude (New York: Walker, 1995).

  21. 21. Carlo M. Cipolla, Clocks and Culture 1300–1700 (New York: Walker and Company, 1967), 111–14; and Christiaan Huygens, Horologium oscillatorium (Paris: F. Muguet, 1673).

  22. 22. Jan de Vries, Barges and Capitalism (Utrecht: HES, 1981), 97–120.

  23. 23. Benjamin Silliman, Journal of Travels in England, Holland, and Scotland (New Haven, Conn.: S. Converse, 1820), 2:293.

  24. 24. René Descartes, Oeuvres de Descartes, vol. 4, ed. C. Adam and P. Tannery (Paris: Leopold Cerf, 1901), 17–18, letter CCCXVII.

  25. 25. Constantijn Huygens, Journaal van de reis naar Venetië, trans. Frans R. E. Blom, with Judith Heijdra and Trudy Snijders-De Leeuw (Amsterdam: Prometheus/Bert Bakker, 2003), 43.

  26. 26. David Beck, Spiegel van mijn leven: Een Haags dagboek uit 1624, ed. S. E. Veldhuijzen (Hilversum: Verloren, 1993), 97.

  27. 27. Stuart Sherman, Telling Time: Clocks, Diaries, and English Diurnal Form, 1660–1785 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996), 21.

  28. 28. H. J. H. Knoester and A. Graafhuis, “Het kasboek van mr. Carel Martens 1602–1649,”Jaarboek OudUtrecht (1970): 196. I am currently completing a study of the works of art in this account book.

  29. 29. Franco Burgersdijk, Idea Philosophiae Moralis (Leiden: Elzeviriana, 1644), 25–27; Aristotle wrote that “time is the measure of motion, is not so exact, for we measure time by motion and not motion by time.” Aristotle, Physics, 4.12.220b32–221a1, cited in translation by Cornelis Hendrik Leijenhorst, The Mechanisation of AristotelianismThe Late Aristotelian Setting of Thomas Hobbes’ Natural Philosophy (Leiden: Brill, 2002), 134. Struggles with concepts of time remained part of philosophical debates throughout the century as, for example, in the thought of Thomas Hobbes; see Leijenhorst, The Mechanisation of Aristotelianism, passim. See also Stephen H. Daniel, “Seventeenth-Century Scholastic Treatments of Time,” Journal of the History of Ideas 42, no. 4 (1981): 587–606. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2709120

  30. 30. For an excellent analysis of the rhetorical roots of “liveliness” of emotional expression, see Thijs Weststeijn, “‘Passie, hartstocht:’ Painting and Evoking Emotions in Rembrandt’s Studio,” in Ad Fontes!: Niederländische Kunst des 17. Jahrhunderts in Quellen, eds. Claudia Fritzsche, Karin Leonhard, and Gregor J. M. Weber (Petersberg: Michael Imhof, 2012), 305–329.

  31. 31. Riegl, Group Portraiture, 101–11.

  32. 32. Egbert Haverkamp- Begemann, Rembrandt, the Nightwatch (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1982), 85–86. S. A. C. Dudok van Heel, “The Night Watch and the Entry of Marie de’ Medici: A New Interpretation of the Original Place and Significance of the Painting,” Rijksmuseum Bulletin 57 (2009): 25, observed that the flow of figures across the paintings among which the Nightwatch hung may also be described as creating a unified sequence.

  33. 33. Scholars have noted  that the dramatic figural poses in Dutch history painting have their roots in classical rhetoric and observed parallels in seventeenth-century theater, see E. J. Sluijter, Rembrandt and the Female Nude (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2006), 99–111; Eric Jan Sluijter, “Rembrandt’s Portrayal of the Passions and Vondel’s ‘Staetveranderinge,’” in Dickey and Roodenburg, The Passions, 284–305; Thijs Weststeijn, “Between Mind and Body: Painting the Inner Movements According to Samuel van Hoogstraten and Franciscus Junius,” in Dickey and Roodenberg, The Passions, 262–83; for the viewer’s kinesthetic response, see Roodenburg, “‘Beweeglijkheid’ Embodied,” 306–18. http://dx.doi.org/10.5117/9789053568378

  34. 34. “Noch schilderij” dated 13 February 1656. Constantijn Huygens, Gedichten van Constantijn Huygens, ed. J. A. Worp, vol. 6 (Groningen: Wolters, 1896), 19, in English translation by Peter Davidson and Adriaan van der Weel, A Selection of the Poems of Sir Constantijn Huygens (1596-1687): A Parallel Text (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 1996), 168-169, no. 33.

  35. 35. Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Laocoon: An Essay upon the Limits of Poetry and Painting,trans. Ellen Frothingham (Boston, Mass.: Roberts Brothers, 1874), 91 (Originally published as Laokoon: Oder über die Grenzen der Malerie und Poesie [1766]).

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DOI: 10.5092/jhna.2013.5.2.15
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Ann Jensen Adams, "Temporality and the Seventeenth-Century Dutch Portrait," Journal of Historians of Netherlandish Art 5:2 (Summer 2013) DOI: 10.5092/jhna.2013.5.2.15