MEYTENS, Martin van, II
(b. 1695, Stockholm, d. 1770, Vienna)

Self-Portrait

c. 1741
Oil on canvas, 65 x 50 cm
Szépművészeti Múzeum, Budapest

Meytens's earliest self-portrait, a young painter's portrait with a turban, in the painters' gallery of Florences's Uffizi, was made during his Italian residence in 1727. This was followed in 1735 by a half-figure self-portrait, which can be found in two versions, in Sibiu's Muzeul Brukenthal, and in Ludwigsburg Gallery. The Budapest self-portrait belongs to a later period, and shows a slightly changed, somewhat more corpulent man. His face is still youthfully smooth, but already fattish, and he wears an Allonge-wig. His pose refers to his courtly position and special honours. A gold chain on his breast holds the medal he got in 1730 from Frederic, King of Sweden during his activity in Stockholm, and he ostentatiously shows with his right hand the medallion portrait of Empress Maria Theresia.

Another half-figure portrait, now kept in the Viennese Gemäldegalerie der Akademie der bildenden Künste, as well as a painting in a Stockholm private collection, show the master some years older and of even more authority. Compared to these portraits and to the one engraved by Johann Gottfried Haid in 1756, our painting can probably be ascribed to the beginning of the 1740s.