PORTRAIT OF A LADY Attributed to Theodore Russel (London 1614 - 1689) 17th Century
17th Century
Attributed to Theodore Russel (London 1614 - 1689)
Oil on panel
11 ½ x 9 ½ inches, 29.2 x 24.1 cm
Inventory number: TR_001

In this present portrait of a lady, her tilted head rests on her folded right hand on an armchair.

Her youthful beautify is treated by radiating pearls on her hairpiece, earring on her left ear, necklace and an ornament attached by gold clips on the left side of her dress.

The hue of the pearls corresponds to her skin tone and especially her coral orange lips and rosy pink cheeks.

Framed by her curly hair on her forehead, the wavy hair is abundant yet only shown on her right shoulder.

Her left shoulder is bear, breeding the body part from the frame of the painting makes more lively, freer feeling of the subject compared to usual Renaissance portraits that a rigid, within-a-box composition.

Her left eye is half closed and the left edge of the lip is slightly pulled upward.

It makes some intimate gaze that she sends to the painter while she is modeling.

English painter Russel’s father, Nicasius, a goldsmith and jeweler, left Bruges for England about 1573 and settled in the parish of St Anne, Blackfriars, London; his second wife, Theodore’s mother, was the sister of Cornelis Jonson van Ceulen. The Russels were connected with the Gheeraerts, de Critz and Oliver families. Theodore’s son, Anthony Russel, who provided George Vertue with information concerning 17th-century artists, stated that Theodore had studied under Jonson for nine years and later spent a year working with Anthony van Dyck, had been employed by such patrons as the Earl of Essex and the Earl of Holland, by whom he probably meant the 3rd Earl of Essex and the 1st Earl of Holland, and ‘was a lover of ease & his Bottle’. Russel’s name has been associated, though without contemporary documentation, with small copies of heads from van Dyck’s portraits. Signed portraits by him are rare. He specialized in making reduced copies of larger compositions which, as seen here, typically displayed elegant brushwork and soft handling of the sitter’s composition.

RUSSEL, ROUSSEEL, or RUSSELL, THEODORE (1614 – 1689), English portrait-painter, born in London, was baptised at the Dutch church, Austin Friars, on 9 Oct. 1614.

Theodore Russel also known as: Marten Rijkaert, Marten Rijckaert, Martin Rykaert, Maerten Ryckaert, Martin Rikaert, Martinus Rykart, Ricard, Ryckaert, M. Ricard, Maarten Ryckaert, M. Ryckert, M. Ryckaert, Marten Ryckart, Martin Ryckaert.