Portrait of a Man

Black chalk drawing of a man with wavy hair and a mustache

Jan Lievens (Leiden 1607–1674 Amsterdam)
Portrait of a Man, 1640s
Black chalk on cream laid paper
8 1/2 × 7 13/16 in. (216 × 198.4 mm)
Promised Gift from the Collection of Elizabeth and Jean-Marie Eveillard
Photo Joseph Coscia Jr.


As a young artist, Lievens worked alongside Rembrandt in his native Leiden before traveling to London, Antwerp, The Hague, Berlin, and other cities. Lievens was a painter, draftsman, and printmaker, and his work is characterized by a wide range of styles and subject matter. This sheet is part of a group of graphic portraits he produced over many years, inspired by Anthony van Dyck’s Iconographie, the celebrated printed series of portraits of cultural figures (including Lievens himself). Lievens’s drawing evokes a sense of informality both in its depiction of the sitter, with curly hair slightly disheveled, and in the sense of levity in the application of the black chalk lines. No related print or painting is known, and the unidentified sitter may have been among Lievens’s friends in Amsterdam. This drawing may have been made in the process of developing a more formal portrait; however, since Lievens signed his initials at left, it also serves as an independent work of art.

  253 — (1) Spoken Label and (2) Curator's Personal Reflection
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