Gerard ter Borch was one of the most compelling Dutch artists of the seventeenth century, recognized then as now for his handsome portraits and refined genre subjects. These splendid pendant portraits of Jan van Duren and his wife, Margaretha van Haexbergen (1975.1.141 and 1975.1.142), rank among the most important works by the artist in any American collection. Jan van Duren, a member of the elite ruling class of Deventer, poses in the rich attire of a prosperous regent, while his stately wife is no less suitably clad. Ter Borch presents his patrons in a setting devoid of detail: a simple velvet covered table and fringed velvet chair accompany the sitters. The restrained setting contrasts with and enhances Ter Borch's precisely painted subjects, dignified and ennobled by his sensitive brush.
Commissioned by Jan van Duren, Deventer; his son, Damiaan van Duren; his daughter, Elisabeth van Duren, who married Martinus van Doorninck in 1738; by descent to M. van Doorninck D Jzn., Deventer, by 1882 and still in 1897; P.W. van Doorninck, Bennekom and later Colmschate, at least 1901-1909; C. F. L. de Wild, The Hague; [F. Kleinberger Galleries, Paris and New York]; [Thomas Agnew and Sons, London]; [M. Knoedler and Co., London and New York], 1912. Acquired by Philip Lehman from Knoedler in February 1912.