(b. ca. 1540, d. 1625, Paris)

Portrait of a Young Man

Oil on canvas, 32 x 19 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Pierre Dumonstier (Dumoustier) was a member of a large painter family working in the 16th-17th centuries. They carried on the tradition of the Clouets into the middle of the 17th century. About a dozen members of the family are recorded and several of them held court appointments.

In this portrait the artist used very soft brushstrokes, therefore the structure of the canvas can be seen through the paint. He demonstrates an astonishing freedom, preferring simplicity and faithfulness to the model over idealization, and makes no effort to conceal his rapid painting manner. The resulting impression of freshness and modernity is intensified by the audacious composition with its cut-off edges.