Huygh Voskuyl looks out at us with a frown, as if we have interrupted him at work. But in fact this is simply what the artist saw reflected in the mirror when he painted his self-portrait. His straggly hair, unshaven cheeks and unkempt moustache lend this self-portrait an air of informality unusual for portraits of the Dutch seventeenth century.
Equally unusual is the wooden wall in the background, which looks especially real with its fine grain. On it, Voskuyl has inscribed his signature and age: forty-six. Only a few paintings by this artist are known, making this self-portrait all the more exceptional.
rechtsonder: HP voskuijl / fe. Ao. 1638 / ÆTATIS / SVÆ 46 HP ineen
Edward Speelman Gallery, London; S. Nijstad Gallery, The Hague; purchased, 1963
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