Family Portrait

Family Portrait
Jacob Ochtervelt (Dutch, 1634-1682)
c. 1670-75
Oil on canvas 
36-1/8 x 31-1/8 in. (91.8 x 79.1 cm) 
Credit Line:
The Norton Simon Foundation 
Accession Number:
© The Norton Simon Foundation 
Not on View

Skillfully integrating genre painting and portraiture, Ochtervelt creates here a sumptuous image of formal elegance that reflects the aristocratic ideals and social ambitions of his patrician subjects. The family poses in the main room of an elegant home decorated in the classical style of the late seventeenth century. Wearing a quilted silk Japanese kimono, the father dominates this pyramidal composition, his garb a reminder of the Dutch presence in the east with the trading industry. The rich textures of his wife’s shimmering, white silk dress embroidered with silver thread, the red velvet chair, and the Anatolian carpet are striking against the warmer background shadows, an effect that Ochtervelt admired in the works of Johannes Vermeer and Gerard ter Borch. Flying ribbons on the young child’s dress suggest that she has just rushed in with her bounding spaniel, from whom she hides a biscuit. Her left hand reaches towards her mother and the orange that she holds. A popular reference to fertility, the orange is likely to refer in this case to the domestic tranquility of the scene, interrupted only by the bounding spaniel, which in family portraits is often used as a reference to learning.


Emile and Isaac Pereire, Paris (Paris, Charles Pillet, 6-8 March 1872, lot 167) to;
Charles Sedelmeyer Gallery, Vienna (sale Kunstlerhaus, Vienna, 20-21 December 1872, lot 128, bought-in).
[Ehrich Galleries, New York, 1913 to];
Mrs. Whitlaw Reid, Ophir Hall, Purchase, New York (American Art Association - Anderson Galleries, New York, 14-18 May 1935, lot 1175, to);
[Julius H. Weitzner, Inc., New York, sold 1936 to];
John H. McFadden, Jr., Philadelphia, gift 1951 to;
Philadelphia Museum of Art (sale Sotheby's, New York, 29 February 1956, lot 11).
Altona Company, Vaduz, by November, 1958, when consigned to;
[Kunsthandel P. de Boer, Amsterdam, returned after Summer 1959 to];
Altona Company, Vaduz.
Dr. H. Girardet, Ketting/Ruhr.
[Gebr. Douwes, Amsterdam, inv. no. 8320, in 1967].
[H. Schickman Gallery, New York, 1967-1969, to;]
The Norton Simon Foundation.

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