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Portrait of a Dutch Commander (?)

We don‘t know who painted this picture, nor do we know who the sitter is, but his upright stance and direct gaze and the immaculate points of his handsome moustache suggest a man used to authority. The commander’s baton in his right hand confirms his likely rank in the Dutch army.

The picture has been much darkened by age and coats of varnish, but it is possible to see the white lace of his collar and cuffs and the wide sash over his shoulder that holds the sheath of his sword suspended behind him. He supports the pommel of the sword with his left hand.

The building in the background appears to be the Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome. Perhaps this was the Commander’s choice to remind him of a visit to the city, since it’s unlikely that it was painted when he was actually there.

Key facts
Artist Dutch
Full title Portrait of a Dutch Commander (?)
Date made probably 1651
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 120 x 86.5 cm
Acquisition credit Presented by an anonymous donor, 1918
Inventory number NG3315
Location in Gallery Not on display
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