Study of the Hands of a Lady of the Raphoen Family

black and white chalk drawing of female hands entwined with rings and pearl bracelet

Cornelis Jonson van Ceulen the Elder (1593–1661)
Study of the Hands of a Lady of the Raphoen Family, 1646 or before
Black and white chalk on blue paper
7 1/2 × 11 5/8 in. (19 × 29.5 cm)
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Although hands play a major part in enlivening and conveying expression in Van Dyck’s portraits, very few of his hand studies survive. This sheet is among a group of carefully worked-out drawings that were formerly thought to be by him but have now been reattributed to Cornelis Jonson van Ceulen, a Dutch portraitist who had a successful career in London until he was overshadowed in the 1630s by Van Dyck’s arrival. This drawing dates from after his return to Holland in 1643 and is preparatory to a painting of a member of the Raphoen family in Amsterdam, as the artist’s inscription in Dutch ("Miss Raphune") indicates.

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