We are temporarily closed. Sign up to our emails for updates.
Willem van der Vliet has placed his sitter, Suitbertus Purmerent, in a heavy chair against a plain dark background, with heavy books on the table; one is held slightly open by the weight of a large crucifix. There’s the suggestion of a smile in Purmerent’s eyes and around his mouth (almost hidden under the luxuriant beard and moustache). The crucifix suggests he is a Catholic and his long black gown and the biretta, the black hat in his right hand, suggest that he is a priest.
The identification is confirmed by another portrait of him by the artist’s nephew, Hendrik Cornelisz. van der Vliet (now in the Bagijnhof, Delft). Willem’s portrait was probably painted to mark Purmerent’s appointment as archpriest of Delfland in February 1631. The Dutch Republic was a Protestant country, which meant that only Protestants could hold positions of power, but the Catholic faith was tolerated as long as it was practiced in private and places of worship preferably largely hidden from view.
Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.
License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.
This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.
Examples of non-commercial use are:
The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.
As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.
You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.