by Simon van der Does (1652 - 1718)
Datable ca. 1709
Oil on panel
This rare modello of heads and busts of children offers a fascinating peek into the studio practice of Simon van der Does, a painter of pastoral scenes set in Italianate landscapes. Models such as the present constituted precious studio assets and artists used them in preparation of finished works for the market or for particular clients. Although evidence suggests they were valued from early on for their intrinsic artistic merits as well, few have survived. Similar attractive oil studies of isolated, worked-out motifs are known by Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck and Peter Boel. Several children’s heads on our canvas appear in several independent paintings by Simon van der Does. Van der Does’ oil study stands out for its crisp handling and captivating charm.
Inscribed on the stretcher with pencil: “Jacob van der Does”
Size: 45.6 x 54.4 cm
Provenance: The Netherlands, private collection