Self-portrait of Job Adriaensz. Berckheyde
Haarlem 1630 – 1693 Haarlem
W x H17 x 22cm
WorkThe presented painting belonged to Alexander Sergeyevich Stroganoff, which he collected during his trips to Paris as a Russian Ambassador during the 1870’s. He was a member of the Private Committee of Alexander I and assistant to the Minis- ter of the Interior, a longtime President of the Imperial Academy of Arts, director of the Russian Imperial Library and a member of the Russian Academy. In his collection there were two works by Anthony van Dyck, two by Rembrandt and the original ver- sion of the portrait of Desiderius Erasmus, painted by Quinten Massijs I, currently in the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica, Rome. Stroganoff had another painting he didn’t want everyone to see because of the depiction of erotic and nude scenes. For this reason he had a special golden framework made so it was hidden behind the violin player. Because of the inscription on the frame it is clear he believed the violin player was a self-portrait of Gerrit, brother of Job Berckheyde. The concealed painting behind it was Vulcan reveals the adultery of Mars and Venus to the Gods, 1604-1608 (fig 2) of Joachim Wtewael, now in the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles/Malibu. In the Metamorphoses, the Roman author Ovid tells the story about Venus, the goddess of love, who had an affair with the god of war, Mars. Her husband, the lame blacksmith Vulcan, caught them and exposed the adulterous couple to a gathering of amused gods. Mercury then offered to trade places with Mars. With his rendering of exaggerated musculature and distorted bodies, Wtewael was a leading representative of Dutch Mannerism. A second version made in 1601 is on view in The Mauritshuis, Den Hague, and a third version of 1610 is situated in The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. Oil on panel. Signed and dated 1672.