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Portrait Of A Young Girl As A Shepherdess C.1670 - Circle Of Gerard Soest (1600-1681)

Portrait Of A Young Girl As A Shepherdess C.1670 - Circle Of Gerard Soest (1600-1681) sold

Description :

"Portrait Of A Young Girl As A Shepherdess C.1670 - Circle Of Gerard Soest (1600-1681)"
An atmospheric and fine quality 17th century British oil on canvas portrait of a young girl as a shepherdess. The attractive sitter is portrayed three-quarter-length standing at sunset within a hilly landscape. At her side a lamb perches upon a grassy hillock with its leg resting upon her cape. The girl grasps her dress with her left hand and in her right is a pole with a curved metal end. This implement, known as a 'spud', was used by shepherds to control their sheep.

After the Stuart monarchy was restored to the British throne in 1660, it became a fashionable for ladies (particularly those at court) to be portrayed in the role of a shepherdess. In this painting the illusion of pastoral simplicity is created by the outdoor setting, the lamb, the spud, and also by the sitter herself. She is a pale face beauty with natural blonde hair which tumbles naturalistically around her shoulders.

By contrast the sitters expensive costume is constructed of no less than four colours of costly satin, cream (or oyster-coloured) off white, pink and blue. It is further decorated by a natural pearl band and jewelled accents. It is worth noting that Soest always painted drapery in the same skilful, trademark manner, which creates the impression of fabric with an almost metallic and icy shimmer.

Gerard Soest (circa 1600 – 1681).
Soest was a portrait painter that was active in England during the late 17th century. He is most famous for his portraits of William Shakespeare and Samuel Butler, but painted many members of the English gentry.

The artist being Dutch by birth and training is thought to have come from Soest in Westphalia, which was also the birthplace of Sir Peter Lely. It is not clear when he arrived in London, but by 1698 he had already made a name for himself when William Sanderson mentions him in his book Graphice.
Tradition has it that he was personally awkward with ladies, which on occasion made him unwilling to paint them. However Soest also tends to stress the the human rather than social values of his sitters and it is these qualities that can be seen in this sensitively rendered and well characterised portrait.

This fine painting is in an excellent state of conservation and is ready to hang in a period carved and gilded ‘lely style’ frame.

Higher Resolution images on request.
Worldwide shipping available.

Canvas : 37" x 36" / 94cm x 91.5cm.
Frame: 43"x 42" / 109.5cm x 107cm.

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