REMBRANDT Harmenszoon van Rijn
(b. 1606, Leiden, d. 1669, Amsterdam)
Portrait of Jacob Tripc. 1661
Oil on canvas, 131 x 97 cm
National Gallery, London
Catalogue number: Bredius 314.
Jacob Trip (1575-1661) was a Dordrecht manufacturer and merchant, founder of a dynasty together with his brother Elias. The Trips built the Trip House in Amsterdam and furnished it with paintings of their Swedish lands and portraits of themselves. Rembrandt's magisterial portraits of Jacob Trip and his wife Marguerite de Geer (1583-1672) were made for the Trip House.
Rembrandt was preceded to this rich source of patronage by two pupils, Ferdinand Bol and Nicolaes Maes, who came from Dordrecht where they were favoured by the Trips. Since Jacob and Marguerite lived in Dordrecht, Rembrandt presumably had to travel there to paint them.
Rembrandt endows the aged couple - even Jacob, who died around the time the portrait was painted - with striking forcefulness. They engage the viewer forthrightly, establishing a contact of equals.