Anoniem (Adriaen van der Linde, Wybrand de Geest ?), A young boy
Lees volledige artikel
English | Nederlands
FRIESLAND SCHOOL, 1603
A young boy, aged 3, holding a colf club and ball
Oil on panel: 41½ x 31 in. (107.3 x 78.7 cm.)
Inscribed upper left: ‘ANNO 1603/ AETAT. SVAE. 3’
• Private collection, France;
• Christie's London, 8th July 2005
• with The Weiss Gallery, London, 2006
• Private collection, UK.
This charming portrait of a young boy aged three is one of the earliest examples of a portrait incorporating a colf club, used to hit a stuffed leather ball in the Dutch game of het colven. The popularity of this game is apparent from the number of paintings and drawings from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in which the game is depicted. The image of a child holding a kolf club and wearing formal dress became a particularly popular format in childrens’ portraiture during the seventeenth century. Whilst the game was played by adults, in child portraiture it featured as an accessory associated with masculine pursuits and therefore, primarily as an indication of the young child’s male gender. The earliest example of a boy holding a kolf club is known from a drawing after a lost original painting dated 1587, which features the four year old Hugo de Groot, followed next by a presumed portrait of Maurits de Heraugieres, aged two, painted in 1595.
Although there are no clues as to the identity of this young boy, every detail in this painting confirms his parents’ wealth and his status as a child from an aristocratic family. In particular, his costume is of the greatest luxury, inspired by the Spanish fashion of the late 16th century, and worn in Flanders from 1600 onwards. The execution of the portrait is particularly fine in its sensitive depiction of the young boy’s face. The artist’s technique displays a great love of detail, in particular in the replication of textile patterns and ornaments in the costume. The starched linen ruff cuffs are edged with a decorative lace detail, while the belt and attached purse are embroidered with a carefully conceived ornate gold design. The hilt of his sword, which can just be glimpsed, is an artistic device to emphasise the child’s masculinity, used regularly in portrait iconography. His dress consists of a black brocade coat, buttoned to the waist, with hanging sleeves and leading strings visible. The coat is worn over an embroidered yellow silk underskirt. His coral-coloured sleeves have decorative, diagonal slashes to match the coral bracelets on his wrists, as well as the coral silk lining on his black hat, which is also decorated with a sprig of laurel leaves and berries. Strings of coral were worn not only for decoration but also for their supposedly beneficial power to protect children against ‘fits and anxiety’. The inclusion of laurel berries may refer to the parents’ intention to educate their son to the highest degree; Greek scholars wore a wreath of laurel leaves to show academic achievement, hence the word ‘baccalaureate’, meaning laurel berries, and poet laureates were also crowned with bay leaves.
There are no clues as to the identity of the artist, however the costume suggests that the portrait was painted somewhere in the northern part of Holland or Friesland. Stylistically, the painting is close to the work of a Friesland artist, Adriaen van der Linde (1580 – 1630). Little is known about this artist except that he is recorded as being in Leeuwaarden as early as 1595. The painting is most likely to be by an artist working closely with and influenced by Adriaen van der Linde. One possibility is the artist Hans de Clercq, who was a pupil of Van der Linde in Leeuwaarden and married to his stepdaughter.
Onbekende jongeman met colfstok uit 1603.
Anoniem; Friese school, toegeschreven aan Adriaen van der Linde (misschien: Wybrand de Geest)
Olieverf op hout. 107,3 x 79 cm
Linksboven de tekst: ANNO 1603 | AETAT.SVAE. 3
Let op de bijzondere vorm van de slof.
• Christie's Londen, 8 juli 2005. Lot 26. £ 142.400
Bron: Do Smit, Robin Bargmann (Tefaf 2007, Tefaf 2012, Tefaf 2018)
• Colf Kolf Golf, Early Golf - Vroeg Golf door Do Smit en Michiel Eijkman, p. 23. ISBN 978-90-78920-27-4, 2016 (ws. Wybrand de Geest)