Artist: Jan Thopas (Dutch, Arnhem 1625/27–before 1695 Assendelft (?))
Date: late 17th century
Medium: Black lead, grey and black wash, on two sheets of vellum
Dimensions: Sheet: 12 3/8 × 9 5/16 in. (31.5 × 23.7 cm)
Credit Line: Van Day Truex Fund, 2013
Accession Number: 2013.560
Jan Thopas was a 17th-century Dutch painter who was 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 give cause for the attribution to his hand to be doubted. The Auricular motifs were the principle reason for someone to reattribute 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 include similar cartouches are known.