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  • Family Portrait

    Artist:
    Ovens, Jurgen (Juriaen). 1623-1678
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    114х158 cm

Ovens, Jurgen (Juriaen). 1623-1678

Family Portrait

Germany, 17th century

Seated in the centre of the painting are the parents of the family, dressed in the costume of wealthy burghers, their faces full of serious dignity. The woman’s hand lies on top of the man’s gloved hand. Grouped symmetrically around the husband and wife are their smartly dressed children. Particularly engaging are the pretty teenage girl wearing a fantastical bright headdress of red and pink feathers standing by her mother’s right shoulder and the expressive face of the younger daughter with a doll that is leaning against her father’s arm. Behind her stands a handsome youth, evidently the only son. The personages’ gazes are directed in different directions and do not intersect, but they do give a certain dynamism to this rigid, patently posing group. The parents’ arms, joining just below the centre of the picture, bring this family composition together. The painting is executed in warm yellow, red and pink hues, which invests it with a mood of calm friendliness and solidarity, and atmosphere of trust and stable prosperity, affirming the stability of family values. The apple (a symbol of the biblical Fall) in the mother’s hand is here evidently an indicator of piety and godliness. In style, this work is reminiscent of 17th-century Dutch multi-figure portraits. The artist is known to have been a pupil of the famous Dutch portraitist and history painter Jan Lievens from 1635. Ovens picked up from his teacher a truthful approach to the depiction of his subjects, facial features and details of clothing, which found full expression in the Hermitage’s Family Portrait.

Title:

Family Portrait

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

114х158 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1823; purchased from a private persone

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-715

Category:

Collection: