Circle of Jacob van Spreeuwen (1609/10-c.1665) c.1650 Dutch (Leiden) School; "The Hermitage of St Jerome"; oil on panel; unsigned; 31.5 x 23.5cm (12.5 x 9.25ins) sight (visible painting) size (49.5 x 41cm (19.5 x 16.25ins) outside frame size)
Particular thanks to René Blekman of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam for his help in attributing this painting.
CONDITION: Very good; expertly cleaned; there are a couple of fairly faint lines running from top centre (6cm long) and another (2cm) a little further to the right. Our conservators tell us that these are not splits (they do not go through the panel) but are the result of slight separation in the surface wood-grain. Ultraviolet light reveals some very minor re-touching at the right-hand side above the lion.
JACOB VAN SPREEUWEN: Very little is known about the life of Jacob van Spreeuwen. He was born in Leiden in 1611, and in 1650 he married the widow of the painter Pieter Quast. Spreeuwen is influenced by Gerrit Dou, Quirijn van Brekelenkam, and certainly Rembrandt, however, whether or not he was a pupil or Rembrandt is unknkown. He died sometime after 1650.
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