|Artist||Jan Weissenbruch after Gerard Dou|
|Dimensions||Image 80 x 65 mm, Plate 85 x 70 mm, Sheet 88 x 74 mm|
A miniature, oval shaped, portrait of an elderly woman holding a nautilus cup. She is seated by a table and is wearing fur-lined cloak and a headscarf with a small necklace tied around it.
Cups made from gilded nautilus shells were ornamental objects presented in cabinets of curiosities or "Wunderkamers" during the Renaissance. The shells can be found in the Western Pacific, and were first introduced in Europe during the Age of Exploration, were they quickly became collector's items. They were often decorated to look like ships (as "nautilus is the Greek word for ship or sailor) and with sea-creatures, such as the mermaid depicted on top of the shell here.
Gerard Dou, or Gerrit Dou (1613-1675) was a Dutch painter from Leiden. He trained with Bartholomeus Dolendo as a draftsman, learned glass painting from Kouwenhorn and worked in his father's workshop as a glass engraver. In 1628 however, he started studying under Rembrandt and eventually became a master of the Leiden artist's guild in 1631. Dou's produced many small and meticulously detailed pictures on a variety of subjects. He was greatly influenced by Rembrandt, which is especially noticeable in his portraits. Dou's technique inspired his followers in the Leiden school of 'fine' painters, which continued to exist into the nineteenth century, as well as his pupils, most remarkably Jacob Toorenvliet, Pieter van Slingelandt and Godfried Schalcken.
Jan Weissenbruch (1822-1880) was a Dutch printmaker, painter and collector from The Hague.
Condition: Good impression. Slight wear to the plate. Laid to album page.