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Group Portrait
Gerbrand van den Eeckhout

This group portrait shows the officers of the Coopers‘ and Wine-rackers’ guild of Amsterdam, which included men who made barrels for the wine imported into the city and those who sampled and bottled it. The name of the guild is written on the seal which hangs over the edge of the table, while in the background is a painting of Saint Matthias, patron saint of coopers, holding an axe.

The sitters are named on the document lying on the table: Philips van der Neer, Jan van den Eeckhout, Tomas Hendrick and Jan Hendrick. Group pictures like this – representing the leading figures of trade guilds and military companies, and the trustees or governors of schools, orphanages and hospitals – were very common in seventeenth-century Dutch art. They represented a formal record of those who held office at that moment and would hang on the walls of the guild’s hall or offices.

Key facts
Artist Gerbrand van den Eeckhout
Artist dates 1621 - 1674
Full title Four Officers of the Amsterdam Coopers' and Wine-rackers' Guild
Date made 1657
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 163 x 197 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated and inscribed
Acquisition credit Bought, 1895
Inventory number NG1459
Location in Gallery Room 23
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