In the lexicon of todays art world “Old Master Paintings” deal with Western Art from the High Middle Ages (c.1300) until the early 19th century. They are the basis of our visual cultural heritage.
One of my all-time favorite paintings of these periods is Jan Lievens’, Portrait of a boy in Persian dress (Private Collection) of c. 1631. Lievens is less known than his contemporary Rembrandt, but can be equally accomplished. To think the artist was 24 years old when he created this painting is incredible enough! But then, when you sit with the image and you see the mastery of the artist in portraying the luminosity of the flesh tones in the face of the blue-eyed and rosy-cheeked young man, the chain across his chest and the Bird of Paradise feather on his turban you cannot help but to be gobsmacked.
Interestingly, this portrait transcends time unlike other Old Masters, and can equally sit comfortably in the company of Rembrandt or Cy Twombly and nobody would find him out of place.
What do you think?
photo credit © LG