Desipientia

¤ PORTRET EN DECORUM

Jaargang 15, nr. 2 (November 2008)

Voorwoord: Portret en Decorum
pp. 2-3.
Foreword: Portrait and Decorum

Erwin Pokorny
Portretten en cryptoportretten van Vlad Dracula
pp. 5-9
Portraits and cryptoportraits of Vlad Dracula
Vlad Dracula was a cruel ruler, nicknamed The Impaler, but he was never associated with vampirism before Bram Stoker’s novel ‘Dracula’ from 1897. The history of Dracula’s bad image as the most evil of tyrants started around 1460 with his war against the German cities in Transylvania and a campaign by the Hungarian king Matthias Corvinus in 1462. The atrocious tales of Dracole were spread over Europe, mainly in German broadsheets. Most of those incunabula include a woodcut portrait of Dracula. We also know Dracula’s appearance from a drawing, three miniatures, two paintings, several crypto-portraits, and a record by an eyewitness, who noted the long curly hair, the aquiline nose, and the grim look. Apart from the stern facial expression nearly all portraits of Dracula prove to be uninfluenced by his negative image, conforming instead to the type of a representative ruler portrait. The pen drawing from about 1470-1480 shows Dracula wearing an engagement wreath. The narrow facial type is similar to a miniature in Stuttgart from about 1600. Other early echoes of lost prototypes have survived in crypto portraits of late Gothic Austrian altar panels. The most impressive is a panel from about 1460-1465, which shows Pontius Pilate with the head of Dracula. However, this crypto portrait is perhaps the only example in which the painter knew about the identity of the head. The best-known portrait of Dracula is that in Ambrass Castle from about 1570-1590. Another somewhat later portrait is to be found in the album of Hieronymus Beck von Leopoldsdorf. This miniature was probably the model for the only full-length portrait of Dracula from about 1700, which is still part of the ancestral portrait gallery of the Esterházy.

Volker Manuth and Rudie van Leeuwen
Laat de kindertjes tot mij komen…
Franse vorsten geportretteerd op een onbekende miniatuur
pp. 10-15.
Let the Children come unto Me: French monarchs portrayed on an unknown miniature
This article identifies eleven portraits of the French kings and queens from the reigns of Henry II to Henry IV in a miniature depicting Christ Suffering the Little Children To Come unto Him. It was painted by an unknown French artist in the first decade of the 17th century. Remarkable is the exotic garb of the mothers, which is identified as the typical dress worn by gypsies and was thought at the time to be of Egyptian origin. As a consequence these clothes seemed appropriate for biblical scenes. Depicted as witnesses to the biblical event are Michel de l’Hospital, Gaspard de Coligny and Louis I Condé, who played an important role in the French Wars of Religion. The story of Christ blessing the little children, recounted in the three synoptic Gospels (Mt 19; Mk 10; Lk 18), has often been connected with the theological debate about infant baptism. Nevertheless, the subject is not only depicted by Protestants but by Catholics as well. In this particular case the grapes – if they are to be interpreted as a symbol of the Eucharist – possibly allude to a catholic commission. The inclusion of royal descendants in the Kingdom of God – represented by the ‘immediate adoption of the Lord’ by the children – makes it clear that their worldly and hereditary power was legitimate. The French monarchy was thus presented as an institution by the grace of God.

Lilian Ruhe
Christian Seybold (Neuenhain 1695-Wenen 1768) en zijn Bildnis eines blonden kleinen Mädchens
. Nieuwe inzichten omtrent leven en werk
pp. 16-29.
Christian Seybold (Neuenhain 1695-Wenen 1768) and his Portrait of a little blond girl. New insights regarding his life and work
The discovery of an entry in a church book has stopped speculations about Christian Seybold’s birthdate: the Viennese court painter was baptised on the 17th of March 1695 in Neuenhain, near Mainz. Seybold painted mainly self portraits and tronies of the elderly and children, as an expression of the two ages, a theme still common in Seybold’s time. One of these depictions of children at the Belvedere museum in Vienna stems from the early part of Seybold’s career. It is known as the Portrait of a little blond girl, but the gender of the sitter still has to be confirmed. This portrait of a half naked, tender aged child will serve as the starting point for the presentation of unknown, rediscovered, never published and newly attributed tronies of children. In these portraits Seybold cleverly used motifs and their moral connotations from 17th-century Dutch genre and portrait painting. Pastoral motives subtly underline the children’s innocence, while exemplary behaviour is exemplified in the girls embroidery. Towards 1740-45 Seybold changes the appearance of his children. They now are modelled after the contemporary French Rococo ideal and their flawless physiognomy seems to be interchangeable, even between the sexes. Their gender can only be distinguished by costume details and hairdo. Nevertheless, the child that modelled for figs. 1 and 15, both painted before 1730, can easily be recognized in the boy from figs. 8-11. Moreover, tradition and decorum still played a strong part in the iconography – the main reason that the current titles of figs. 1 and 15 should be revised. One of the arguments for this reconsideration is the visibility of the young child’s nipple, a characteristic it shares with Lievens’s recently recovered Tronie of a boy, a well-established composition scheme which rules out the possibility that in Seybold’s case a girl is depicted.

Anneke Schulenberg
Tussen heden en verleden: verbeelding van gender en macht in Perilous Order van Shahzia Sikander
pp. 30-32.
Between past and present: imagination of gender and power in Perilous Order of Shahzia Sikander
In Perilous Order Shahzia Sikander brought together several images from various sources, cultures and religions to discuss issues around gender and power. The portrait of Sikander’s gay friend living in Pakistan where homosexuality is not tolerated, is mingled with the portrait of Aurangzeb, a Mughal emperor of India from 1658 to 1707. Aurangzeb was an enforcer of the Islamic orthodoxy in South Asia, although allegedly a homosexual. Sikander has surrounded this figure with gopis, Hindu nymphs and worshippers of Krishna, whose identity is defined in relation to Krishna, and are in a subordinate position with regard to Krishna. The only figure who is not dependent on other people, or institutional and religious legislation is the female figure with roots in place of feet who is self-nourishing.

Menno Jonker en Susanne Kensche
Een wambuis, keursbroek en een stelsel linten. Portret van een achtjarige jongen (1665) door Nicolaes Maes uit Nijmeegs gemeentelijk bezit
pp. 33-38.
A doublet, petticoat breeches and colourful ribbons. Portrait of an eight-year-old boy (1665) by Nicolaes Maes from Nijmegen municipal property
In 1937 the Verheijen van Estvelt bequest was donated to the city of Nijmegen. Apart from a large number of family portraits the collection included the 1665 Portrait of an eight-year-old boy by the Dordrecht painter Nicolaes Maes (1634-1693). The boy wears the typical fashion of those days: a doublet, petticoat breeches and colourful ribbons. The work was kept in the Belvoir villa and Nijmegen city hall respectively, but will be on show in Museum het Valkhof after its restoration. This article explores its history and restoration and analyses the boy’s costume.

Charlotte Huiskens
Een Nederlandse zeeheld als Romeins veldheer
pp. 39-41. 
A Dutch naval hero as a Roman general
The portrait of Cornelis Tromp in antique style deliberately deviates from the standard formula for naval heroes. It expresses his aspirations and ambitions to become lieutenant admiral general of the Dutch fleet at a time he did not yet command it. Dressed as a Roman officer he verges upon the limits of his rank’s decorum. The attribution of the painting to Abraham van Westerveld is questioned in this article. A more suitable candidate is Jan Mijtens who uses the same postures and costumes in other military portraits, which are also in antique style. Other stylistic similarities, such as the striae marks on the underarms, also point to Mijtens.

Jos Koldeweij
Recensie: Albert Châtelet, Jacques Paviot, Visages d’antan. Le receuil d’Arras (XIVe-XVIe s.)
pp. 42-43.
Recension: Albert Châtelet, Jacques Paviot, Visages d’antan. Le receuil d’Arras (XIVe-XVIe s.)

Suzanne Hilckmann
Korte Nijmeegse Bijdragen. De vele gezichten van het CKD: database De Portrettengalerij
pp. 44-45.
Short Nijmegen Contributions. The many faces of the CKD: The portrait gallery database
One of the projects undertaken by the Centre of Art historical Documentation (CKD) is the Portrait Gallery (Portrettengalerij). It contains about 11.000 descriptions of painted or sculpted persons known by name. And work on the Portrait Gallery still goes on. For more information look on the website (www.let.ru.nl/ckd/portret) or feel free to pay us a visit.

Samenvattingen van de lezingen ANDERMANS VEREN: Identificatie en rollenspel in het portrait historié. Studiedag 21 November 2008, Afdeling Kunstgeschiedenis, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
pp. 46-47.
Summaries of lectures "Andermans Veren" - Other people’s feathers: Identification and role play in the portrait historié. Symposium, November 21, 2008, Department of Art History, Radboud University Nijmegen



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