AACHEN, Hans von
(b. 1552, Köln, d. 1615, Praha)

Portrait of Painter Josef Heintz

Oil on canvas, 57 x 44 cm
Národní Galerie, Prague

This painting belongs to the group portraits in which Hans von Aachen represented a number of his fellow artists during his sojourn in Italy (1574-1587). The painter depicted his model slightly from below, with his head turned directly to the viewer. The expression of the young man is not confident, but rather melancholy. In its immediacy and in that it captures a fleeting moment, the painting approaches the spontaneous, genre-like 1580s portraits by Annibale Carracci, to whom it had also been attributed.

The portrayed person was identified as the painter Joseph Heintz the Elder (1564-1609), a native of Basel, later also active at Rudolf II’s court. The painting was created in the period of 1584-85, when the two artists stayed in Rome, and it proves their mutual contacts.