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Hendrick van Steenwyck the Younger, The Courtyard of a Renaissance Palace

Key facts
Full title A Man kneels before a Woman in the Courtyard of a Renaissance Palace
Artist Hendrick van Steenwyck the Younger
Artist dates active by 1604; died 1649
Date made 1610
Medium and support Oil on copper
Dimensions 40.2 × 69.8 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit Bequeathed Lt-Col. J.H. Ollney, 1837
Inventory number NG141
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
The Courtyard of a Renaissance Palace
Hendrick van Steenwyck the Younger

In the courtyard of this vast and palatial complex of buildings, a woman stands with her young servants. The bright red of her dress and the dark blue of her attendants’ outfits are echoed in the feathers of the parrot that is perched on the pedestal to the right. Two men seemingly demonstrate their devotion to the woman: one kisses the front of her dress while the other, down on one knee, presses his hand to his heart.

Such images appealed to sophisticated collectors throughout Europe, who appreciated the minute detail, clever spatial illusion and knowledgeable use of classical architectural motifs. The figures here were probably not painted by Steenwyck. He often collaborated with other artists – they worked on the figures while he painted the architecture and landscape.

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