Jan van Bijlert was a prime exponent of the Utrecht school of painting in the seventeenth century. He had a predilection for simple, life-size half-figures and regularly painted both formal and allegorical portraits. However, the soldier’s theatrical pose, vigilant gaze and elaborate suit of armor argue against this being a portrait and in favor of its being a representation of a type of mythological personage, perhaps the god Mars. The elaborate sash and orange and blue feathers symbolize the forces of the United Netherlands and their fight against Spain during the Eighty Years’ War (1568–1648).
- Artist Name: Jan van Bijlert (Dutch, 1597/98-1671)
- Title: Man in Armour Holding a Pike
- Date: c. 1630
- Medium: Oil on canvas
- Dimensions: 33-1/2 x 27-1/2 in. (85.1 x 69.9 cm)
- Credit Line: Norton Simon Art Foundation
- Accession Number: M.1978.18.P
- Copyright: © Norton Simon Art Foundation
[Schaeffer Galleries, New York, stock no. 2826, sold 1977 to];
[Robert Noortman Gallery, London, sold 1978 to];
Norton Simon Art Foundation.
The Grand Gallery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
- New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1974-10-19 to 1975-01-05
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