Willem Willemsz. van der Vliet (Delft circa 1584-1642) A soldier holding a pitcher and glass

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Lot 61
Willem Willemsz. van der Vliet
(Delft circa 1584-1642)
A soldier holding a pitcher and glass

Sold for £ 75,062 (US$ 93,776) inc. premium
Willem Willemsz. van der Vliet (Delft circa 1584-1642)
A soldier holding a pitcher and glass
signed and dated 'w.van der vliet fecit/ Ao 16*7' (centre right)
oil on canvas
91.7 x 71.2cm (36 1/8 x 28 1/16in).

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Private Collection, UK since the 1890s


    Little is known about Willem van der Vliet's life. Dirck van Bleyswijck wrote in his 1667 publication Beschryvinge der stadt Delft, that he began his career as a history painter and later became an accomplished portrait painter1. Van der Vliet studied with Michiel van Miereveldt and joined the Delft painters' guild in 1615.


    In van der Vliet's earlier paintings, for example, Portrait of Willem de Langue and Portrait of Maria Pynacker, dated 1626, offered at Sotheby's, Amsterdam on 5 May 2009, lot 38, the influence of Miereveldt is apparent. Over time van der Vliet's work becomes progressively softer, with the textures more distinguished, and changes to the tonal palette and use of light. Stylistically the present work comes closest to Old man with a bag of bones, signed and dated '1629', offered at Sotheby's, London on 9 April 1986, lot 107: in both works the artist's handling of light emphasizes both hands and faces. Additionally, the treatment of the hands in the present work is similar to those in van der Vliet's Portrait of Suithertus Purmerent, dated 1631, in The National Gallery, London. In van der Vliet's later portraits the influence of Haarlem and Utrecht artists is evident, for instance, Portrait of a man, dated 1636, now in the Musée du Louvre, Paris, in which the sitter adopts a similar pose to the soldier in the present work.

    Notes
    1D. E. van Bleyswijck, Beschryvinge der stadt Delft, Delft 1667, pp. 851-852
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