Jan Thopas (Dutch, 1625/27–before 1695)
Black lead, gray and black wash, on two sheets of vellum
sheet 12 3/8 x 9 5/16 in. (31.5 x 23.7 cm)
Van Day Truex Fund, 2013 (2013.560)
Jan Thopas was a seventeenth-century Dutch painter mainly known for his portraits. This drawing of the German merchant Kerckrinck was done posthumously and most likely based on a painting by Govert Flinck. Where Flinck's portrait is rather subdued, Thopas added various details, such as the chain around his neck and the gloves in his hand, to bring the portrait to life. The cartouche is also his own addition, although this would later place the attribution to his hand in doubt. The Auricular motifs were the principle reason for a reattribution of the drawing to Johannes Lutma the Elder. There is no reason to do so, however, since we know many more artists used the organic vocabulary of shapes in their works and, in fact, several portraits by Thopas that include similar cartouches are known.