Jan van Ravesteyn was described as an outstanding portrait painter by Karel van Mander as early as 1604. After a possible apprenticeship with Michiel van Mierevelt in Delft, he moved to The Hague, where he became one of the leading portraitists of the upper classes for almost half a century.
Ravesteyn's portraits of local dignitaries, military leaders and groups are notable for their formal poses and meticulous rendering of costume details. In the present portraits of an unknown Dutch couple, the stylistic influence of Mierevelt is palpable, shaping Ravenstyn's work. In contrast to his teacher, Ravenstyn chooses a more elegant and idealised representation of his protagonists. The two portraits are comparable to a pair of portraits dated and signed 1637, offered at Sotheby's Amsterdam on 5th October 2005, lot 40 (see RKD, The Hague, picture number 135127).
Oil on panel, 69 x 57 cm