Shepherdess

Shepherdess
layer & technique: 

oil on canvas

dimensions: 

73,2 X 66,3 cm

literature: 

 A signed and dated 1652 replica in the "centraal museum "te Utrecht(Netherlands).

J.R.Judson, who didn't know this work, thought the Utrecht painting to date from the twenties(see Gerrit van Honthorst by Judson and Ekkart 1999 ). Altough the subject and composition are clearly "twenties/thirties", the Utrecht painting bears an undisputable date 1652(see restauration report dating from after publication of the Honthorst monograph by Judson and Ekkart)

Bringing the two works together in 2010 revealed the clear difference in time of origin between the two works. As the Utrecht painting is painted in a classicistic manner with a "softer" stroke and idealising beauty of the shepherdess (typical for the late Honthorst works), our painting is much more direct, and leans in its matter as well in the brushwork and the brightness of colors clearly to the works of the early sixteenthirties. An explanation would be that in the early fifties a commissioner asked Honthorst to make a replica of his "shepherdess" dating from the early thirties, a practice which was quite common in those days.

Due to the relining, the work has been shortened in every direction, which may explain the absence of a signature.