Portrait of a Man

Bartholomeus van der Helst Dutch

Not on view

In 1872 Henry James described this picture as "the perfect prose of portraiture" . . . in van der Helst's "unmitigated verity you detect no faintest throb of invention blossoming into style and straggling across the line which separates a fine likeness from a fine portrait." The American aesthete's backhanded praise passes over such considerations as the placement of the figure within the picture field and the sitter's expression, both of which contribute to an impression of quiet authority.

Portrait of a Man, Bartholomeus van der Helst (Dutch, Haarlem, born ca. 1612–15, died 1670 Amsterdam), Oil on wood

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