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Jan Lievens: 'Self Portrait'

This self portrait of Jan Lievens in a relaxed, self-assured pose, seated against a landscape background, shows the influence of Anthony van Dyck's elegant portrait style. Lievens’s voluminous padded silk gown – probably imported from Japan – and long, loose hair were the height of fashion in the early to mid-1650s.

Lievens came under the powerful influence of Van Dyck when he travelled to England in the early 1630s, and to Antwerp after about 1635. Although this portrait was painted some years after he returned to Amsterdam, it demonstrates the lasting impact of Van Dyck’s style for portraits that projected a seemingly casual aristocratic elegance.

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