Thursday, August 3, 2017

Painted Portraits and Scenes from the 1660s

Anonymous artist
Hunting Portrait of Henrietta Adelaide of Savoy
and her husband Ferdinand Maria, Elector of Bavaria

ca. 1660
oil on canvas
La Venaria Reale, Turin

Jan Steen
Beware of Luxury
oil on canvas
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

                   Since first break of dawn the fiend,
Mere serpent in appearance, forth was come,
And on his quest, where likeliest he might find
The only two of mankind, but in them
The whole included race, his purposed prey.
In bower and field he sought, where any tuft
Of grove or garden-plot more pleasant lay,
Their tendance or plantation for delight,
By fountain or by shady rivulet
He sought them both, but wished his hap might find
Eve separate: he wished, but not with hope
Of what so seldom chanced, when to his wish,
Beyond his hope, Eve separate he spies,
Veiled in a cloud of fragrance, where she stood,
Half spied, so thick the roses bushing round
About her glowed –

– from book 9 of Paradise Lost (1667), by John Milton

Abraham Wuchters
Portrait of Queen Christina of Sweden
oil on canvas
Skokloster Castle, Sweden

Peter Lely
Portrait of James II when Duke of York
oil on canvas
National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh

Peter Lely
Portrait of Sir Ralph Bankes
ca. 1660
oil on canvas
Yale Center for British Art

Peter Lely
Portrait of Prince Rupert of the Rhine
ca. 1666-71
oil on canvas
Yale Center for British Art
      These, my best Lely, with so bold a spirit
And soft a grace, as if thou didst inherit
For that time all their greatness, and didst draw
With those brave eyes your royal sitters saw.
      Not as of old, when a rough hand did speak
A strong aspéct, and a fair face, a weak;
When only a black beard cried 'villain', and 
By hieroglyphics we could understand;
When crystal typified in a white spot,
And the bright ruby was but one red blot:
Thou dost the things orientally the same,
Not only paintst its colour, but its flame;
Thou sorrow canst design without a tear,
And, with the man, his very hope and fear,
So that th'amazèd world shall henceforth find
None but my Lely ever drew a mind.

–  from To My Worthy Friend Mr. Peter Lely (1649) by Richard Lovelace

Peter Lely
Portrait of a lady in blue, holding a flower
ca. 1660
oil on canvas
Dulwich Picture Gallery, London
Peter Lely
Portrait of a Lady with a blue drape
ca. 1660
oil on canvas
Dulwich Picture Gallery, London

Peter Lely
Portrait of Edward Montagu, 1st Earl of Sandwich
ca. 1660-65
oil on canvas
Yale Center for British Art

Peter Lely
Portrait of a man, thought to be George Booth, Lord Delamere
ca. 1660
oil on canvas
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide

Welcome, brave gallant, with those locks so fair.
It is a question who doth own that hair:
The owner, sure, is dead; but when, or how,
Or in what place he died, thou dost not know.
Perhaps he died at Bedlam: then take heed;
Those hairs mad fancies in thy head may breed.
Perchance sad Tyburn was the fatal place,
Where he did end his days for want of grace.
If it be so, they will infect thy brain,
And cause thee to delight in thievish gain.
If from some broken chambermaid they fell,
They'll move to lust, and modest thoughts expel.
Or, if they grew upon a drunken head,
Thou seldom wilt go sober to they bed.
But if they came from some bad statesman's ground,
A machiavellian knave thou mayst be found.
Thus these dead excrements, if thou them use,
Will but bad thoughts and qualities infuse.
Cast off those looser hairs, which every wind
Will fright away, and show thy vainer mind:
God numbers all our hairs; let no man scoff
At that which God doth take such notice of. 
Besides, it is a sinful, shameful part,
To slubber nature's work with sluttish art.

–  A Periwig by Rowland Watkyns (1662)

Portrait of a white-haired man
oil on canvas
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

Pietro da Cortona
before 1669
oil on canvas
Musée Fesch, Ajaccio, Corsica

Juan Bautista Martínez del Mazo
Portrait of Luis del Mazo
ca. 1660
oil on canvas
Dulwich Picture Gallery, London

Gerrit Dou
Young woman at a dressing table with her maid
oil on panel
Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam