Flemish School Late 17th century
Portrait of an Eastern European Nobleman, possibly Tsar Peter the Great of Russia
Oil on canvas (relined). 71.5 x 62 cm.
This impressive portrait of a man in a red, fur-trimmed coat looking directly out towards the viewer raises numerous questions. Traditionally, the sitter was thought to be Tsar Peter the Great of Russia. This interpretation is quite plausible. Although the man appears to be in his forties, and compared to the few portraits and engravings that show the Tsar at around 30 years of age, the man in our picture looks a little more aged and portly, the similarities are striking.
Tsar Peter (1672-1725) travelled to Europe (Germany, Holland, England, France, but also Antwerp) at least twice: in 1697 and 1716-17. He was particularly interested in shipbuilding and the operation of military equipment. He had his portrait painted several times during these journeys, among others by Carel De Moor in The Hague, Michiel van Musscher in Amsterdam (1698), Gottfried Kneller in London (1698) and Jean-Baptise Nattier in Paris (1717). However, there is no stylistic correspondence with the works of these artists in the present painting. An attribution of the work to Wallerant Vailland has been suggested.
Belgian private ownership.