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Abraham van den Tempel

Portrait of Odilia van Wassenaar


Abraham van den Tempel
Leeuwarden about 1622 – Amsterdam 1672


Portrait of Odilia van Wassenaar


About 1655


Oil on canvas


122.9 x 94.3 cm


Purchase, inv. 1953.1080


Western Art

Van den Tempel played a prominent role in Holland’s mid-century portraiture market. Although he also executed religious and allegorical subjects earlier in his career, his Amsterdam years were characterized by a successful career as a portraitist. His works reflect the influence of Van der Helst but in a more serious and sober mode, with less ostentatious brushwork or Van Dyckian flourishes. Nonetheless, Van den Tempel could take great effort in rendering surface effects of fine materials, as in the brilliantly attired figure seen here. Odilia had a sister, Philippa, and the two became the first lady regents of an almshouse in The Hague. This three-quarter-length portrait is almost certainly a pendant to one that has been lost, as evidenced by the directionality of the pose and the turn of the dog. Rather than a husband, the other subject could possibly have been the sitter’s sister, Philippa.

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