SWEERTS, Michiel
(b. 1618, Bruxelles, d. 1664, Goa)

Boy with a Turban

Oil on canvas, 76 x 62 cm
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

This painting contains many reminiscences of Italian art, particularly in the idealization of the figure. It has been suggested that the painting is allegorical, the posy of flowers possibly referring to the sense of smell, in line with iconographical formulae for the five senses which became popular in the 17th century. The turban gives the sitter an exotic look, as does the melancholy gaze. Both elements contribute to the painting's enigmatic feel.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.