(b. 1571, Utrecht, d. 1638, Utrecht)
Sophia Hedwig, Countess of Nassau Dietz, with her Three Sons1621
Oil on canvas
Rijksmuseum, Het Loo Palace, Appeldorn
Moreelse practised his master's (Michiel van Miereveld) portrait style in Utrecht with equal dexterity, less severity, and greater versatility. He helped initiate the vogue for pastoral genre pictures and arcadian portraits.
His historiated portrait of Countess Sophia Hedwig shows her with her three sons in the role of Charity. Her bare breast and the accompanying children are traditional attributes of Charity, the virtue she is personifying. She is depicted wearing a quasioriental costume and jewelled headdress, her two eldest sons wear antique tunics, and her lightly draped youngest son wears the two strings of pearls which he was adorned when Morelsee portrayed him when he was twenty-nine weeks old. In the background there is a muse holding a baby thought to be Sophia's daughter born November 1620.