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The Artistic Heritage of Modena: At the Origin of the Galleria Estense


Portrait of a Seated Man

Gerard ter Borch the Younger (Dutch, Zwolle 1617–1681 Deventer)

late 1650s or early 1660s
Oil on wood
14 1/8 x 12 in. (35.9 x 30.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Marquand Collection, Gift of Henry G. Marquand, 1889
Accession Number:
  • Gallery Label

    Although Ter Borch was born in the comparatively provincial eastern Dutch town of Zwolle and made his career at nearby Deventer after 1654, he was intimately familiar with painting in Haarlem, Amsterdam, and The Hague. He also travelled internationally before 1650, most importantly to depict members of the Dutch and Spanish courts at the peace negotiations of 1646–48 at Munster. This experience and his refined style and perception of character made ter Borch a very successful portraitist in and around Deventer. This portrait was probably painted there in the late 1650s.

  • Catalogue Entry

    The first of seven paintings by Ter Borch to enter the Museum's collection, this anonymous portrait probably dates from the late 1650s or early 1660s. The patron was presumably one of the artist's numerous clients in and around Deventer. A good number of single male portraits by Ter Borch are known; many, like this one, include a hat resting on a table. To judge from the present figure's placement in the picture field, as compared with that of men in Ter Borch's pendant portraits, this work never had a mate.

    [2010; adapted from Liedtke 2007]

  • Provenance

    Henry G. Marquand, New York (bought in London; 1888–89)

  • Exhibition History

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Exhibition of 1888–89," 1888–89, no. 25 (as "Cabinet Portrait").

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 18, 2007–January 6, 2008, no catalogue.

  • References

    Charles H. Caffin. "Pictures at the Metropolitan Museum." Harper's Monthly Magazine 104 (January 1902), p. 274.

    C[ornelis]. Hofstede de Groot. A Catalogue Raisonné of the Works of the Most Eminent Dutch Painters of the Seventeenth Century. 5, London, 1913, p. 100, no. 317, as "Portrait of a Gentleman," acquired by Marquand in 1888 in London; mistakenly describes the figure as standing.

    S[turla]. J. Gudlaugsson. Gerard ter Borch. The Hague, 1959–60, vol. 1, p. 307, pl. 152; vol. 2, p. 164, no. 152, notes Hofstede de Groot's erroneous description of the figure as a standing man; dates it to the end of the 1650s.

    Walter Liedtke. "Dutch Paintings in America: The Collectors and Their Ideals." Great Dutch Paintings from America. Exh. cat., Mauritshuis, The Hague. Zwolle, The Netherlands, 1990, p. 36.

    Walter Liedtke. Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, vol. 1, pp. ix, 74–75, no. 16, colorpl. 16, dates it to the late 1650s or early 1660s.

  • See also
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History