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Rembrandt, Portrait of Philips Lucasz.

Key facts
Full title Portrait of Philips Lucasz.
Artist Rembrandt
Artist dates 1606 - 1669
Date made 1635
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 79.5 × 58.9 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit Bought, 1871
Inventory number NG850
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
Portrait of Philips Lucasz.

When this portrait was made, Philips Lucasz. was in his thirties and an important official in the Dutch East India Company. He had been in charge of the company’s fleet, which had sailed home from the East Indies in December 1633 and was to leave Holland again on 2 May 1635, shortly after this picture was finished.

This portrait of Lucasz. was most likely made to hang alongside one of his wife, Petronella Buys (private collection). Although both are signed by Rembrandt himself, there is a clumsiness to the execution of this one which suggests that one or more of his assistants may have had a hand in it. The thick black line representing the shadow between the sitter’s lips is quite rudimentary, for example. But it’s also possible that Rembrandt was forced to finish the painting quickly, and that what we see here are simply signs of overhasty work.

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