We know of four self-portraits by the Utrecht painter Moreelse. He painted this example in his early sixties. He wears a dark tabard and an exuberant pleated collar, both of which were already unfashionable by the 1630s.
Moreelse holds up a blank sheet of paper, symbolising the artist’s ability to conjure an artwork out of nothing. The sheet of paper also reveals something of the importance that Moreelse attached to drawing skills, which he believed to be an essential basis for a painter’s training.
François Henri Corneille, Baron van Heeckeren van Brandsenburg, Utrecht, 1869; dowager Christine Louise van Heeckeren van Brandsenburg, née Van Foreest van Heemse, Utrecht, 1869-1875; purchased by the State Advisory Board for Monuments of History and Art and transferred to the Mauritshuis, 1875
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