GRAAT, Barent
(b. 1628, Amsterdam, d. 1709, Amsterdam)

Equestrian Portrait of a Gentleman

Oil on canvas, 89 x 78 cm
Private collection

The painting shows the equestrian portrait of a gentleman (aged 55 according to an inscription upper left) riding a bay horse, in the position of the levade, before classical ruins in an Italianate landscape.

The Netherlands does not have a long tradition of equestrian portraits as do other Northern European countries and Habsburg Spain. In these lands in the first half of the 17th century these are mainly portraits of kings, princes or military commanders, intended to impress. During the second half of the 17th century the equestrian portraits became less the sole preserve of rulers and military commanders: less official and less military. Affluent citizens and merchants were now also portrayed mounted, perhaps as they acquired rural estates.