ISAACK LUTTICHUYS (London 1616 - 1673 Haarlem)
Isaack Luttichuys (London 1616 – 1673 Amsterdam)
Portrait of a Gentleman
Signed lower right ‘J. Luttichuÿs. F’.
Oil on canvas, 128.3 x 101.8 cm (50.5 x 40.1 inch)
Bernd Ebert, Simon und Isaack Luttichuys. Monographie mit kritischem Werkverzeichnis, Berlin/Munich 2009, p. 258, fig. 184, cat. no. A-60, p. 559
Les Plus Belles Peintures des Collections Privées du Tarn du XVe au XVIIIe Siècle, Castres (Musée Goya), 1956, cat. no. 27 (as Bartholomeus van der Helst)
Private collection, France, 1956; anonymous sale, Sotheby’s, London, 3 July 1997, lot 168; anonymous sale, Christie’s, London,, 8 July 1998, lot 299
Baptised in London on 25th February 1616 in the Dutch Reformed Church Austin Friars, Isaack Luttichuys was the son of Bernard Luttichuys and the brother of the still-life painter Simon Luttichuys (1610–1662).1 At an unknown but probably early date, he moved to Amsterdam, where it is presumed he and his brother studied. In 1643 he married Elisabeth Adolfs Winck in Amsterdam and the couple had at least one child.
A lost drawing of the mother of the poet P.C. Hooft was dated 1638 and is Isaack’s earliest known work. Several early paintings suggest he started his career working in a Rembrandtesque manner, reminiscent of Samuel van Hoogstraten (1627–1678). In the early 1640s he also painted full-length outdoors portraits of well-to-do burghers. Following general trends in Amsterdam, his portraiture style shed its Rembrandtesque chiaroscuro around 1650 for a clearer, cooler light and a technique closer to that of Bartholomeus van der Helst (1613–1670).
Luttichuys was favoured as a portraitist by the wealthy Amsterdam elite. A group of no less than six portraits of members of the patrician Van Loon family and their relatives has surived in the Van Loon Museum in Amsterdam.2 Portraits by Luttichuys are preserved in some of the world’s leading museums, including the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
In this work, dated by Bernd Ebert around 1654, Luttichuys has depicted his dark-eyed subject with sentivity and grace, yet also with surprising nonchalance: the sitter is seated in a high-backed chair on a table covered with a Persian carpet, and turns towards the viewer, his hand casually leaning on the back of the chair. This sort of informality can also be observed in the artist’s portrait of Adriaan van Loon in the Museum van Loon, which is dated 1655 (fig.).3
This painting is entered in the databases of the RKD, artwork number 149684 (with full provenance details).
1. For the artist, see Bernd Ebert, Simon und Isaack Luttichuys. Monographie mit kritischem Werkverzeichnis, Berlin/Munich 2009, passim.
2. Ebert, op. cit., cat. nos. A31, A32, A51, A52, A83, A84.
3. Ebert, op. cit., cat no. A51.