Portrait of a Clergyman ( Presumably Anthonius Triest)
Previously unknown, this portrait of a clergyman is a great addition to Pieter Thys’ oeuvre.
Originally from Antwerp and active during the Dutch Golden Age, Pieter Thijs led a successful career that enabled him to work for several prestigious patrons such as the Archduke Leopold William of Austria, Governor of the Spanish Netherlands, and the House of Orange-Nassau in The Hague as well as various religious institutions. He executed allegorical and mythological compositions for both courts and was also active as a portrait painter.
After 1644, he was registered at the Guild of Saint Luke in Antwerp and held senior positions such as treasurer, councillor, and coordinator of charities. Later in his career, Thijs concentrated mainly on religious compositions for Antwerp monasteries and numerous churches in smaller towns and villages in Brabant and East Flanders. In addition, he painted mythological scenes and portrait commissions for individuals and the art trade in Antwerp. In spite of this glorious past, art history has retained very little information about Thijs who was amongst the last pupils of Sir Anthony van Dyck. It is only seventy years after the painter's death that the art historian Jean-Baptiste Descamps brought the last laurels that the Flemish painter lacked, evoking his compositions as "a lot of spirit, his vibrant colours, and his lively manner".
Pieter Thijs executed this fine portrait in 1650, at the age of 26, where the stylistic imprint of his master Van Dyck is clearly visible. Wearing a black wool cassock and a biretta of the same colour, the sitter is directed to the left with a stoic look.
Signed and dated below left: Peer Thÿs fecit 1650
Oil on Canvas, 55 x44,5 cm