Skip to main content
Portrait of Suitbertus Purmerent
Willem van der Vliet

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.

Key facts
Artist Willem van der Vliet
Artist dates 1583/4? - 1642
Full title Portrait of Suitbertus Purmerent
Date made 1631
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 113.5 x 85.4 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit Bought, 1884
Inventory number NG1168
Location in Gallery Not on display
Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download an 800px wide, 72dpi copy of this image.

License this image

License and download a high resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

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.

Yes, I'd like to donate
Or
Download low resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo