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Pride and Joy: Children's Portraits in The Netherlands 1500-1700
Sign In Sign Out. We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. Dressed in a white gown with plain flat collar, gold chain and lace cuffs, the child presents a pure, innocent and playful counterpoint to the adult, appropriately toying with a bunch of cherries.
De Vos includes fruit as symbolic attributes for his sitters in several other portraits, such as that of his two daughters in Berlin in which they hold up a peach and a bunch of cherries fig. In the Melbourne portrait De Vos gives heightened importance to the tender relationship between mother and child through the sensitive interlacing of hands. Instead of simply clutching hands as often depicted in contemporary portraits, this mother gently and protectively rests her right hand upon those of her child who is still able to freely play with the cherries.
It is an image of sheltering and nurturing rather than of control.
The work closely compares with several other depictions by De Vos, in particular the Portrait of a lady with her daughter fig. It is most likely that there was a companion piece for the Mother and child portrait which depicted the husband and father, as in the pair attributed to De Vos, c. While late-sixteenth-century portraits commonly depicted the extended family, the Melbourne work, with its focus on mother and child and an implied accompanying father, signals the increasingly independent status of the nuclear family in the first half of the seventeenth century.
More than this, though, it is a celebration of the material world to be enjoyed by all viewers through the power of art: the gleam of a pearl, the glint of gold thread, the delicacy of lace, the luxurious jewel-like depth of colour. But far richer than these is its celebration of its human subjects, who, despite their age difference, make equal claim on the viewer as candid, amused and perceptive individuals; whose relationship is protective and empathetic and who, from the point of view of almost four hundred years ago, remind us of the daily flourishing of civilized human behaviour and affection.
Selected further reading in addition to works already cited. Greindl, E.
Czobor, A. CIX, no. XXIII, , pp. Muls, J.
Cornelis de Vos: Schilder van Hulst, Antwerp, Van der Stighelen, Katlijne. V, , pp. Vlieghe, H. Jahrhundert, Brunswick, , pp. Language En Search Menu. Art Journal Tang Silver bowl Mae Anna Pang. Publications details for Art Bulletin of Victoria 49 Publications.
Photographic study of mother and child wins Zurich Portrait Prize
Historical context and provenance Cornelis de Vos was a leading portraitist in Antwerp in a milieu that included Anthony van Dyck and Peter Paul Rubens. Cornelis de Vos Self-portrait of the artist with his wife Suzanne Cock and their children c. Cornelis de Vos Portrait of the artist and his family oil on canvas Cornelis de Vos Portrait of a lady with her daughter c.