|'Study Of An Old Man' (c. 1629) by Jan Lievens; Private Collection|
There were two Dutch painters to choose from today. Jan Lievens, who was born on 24 October 1607, and Gabriël Metsu, buried on the 24th of October, 1667. They were even contemporaries. I just read their biographies online and found out that they were both born in Leiden. Lievens died in Amsterdam and Metsu was buried there (there's no information on the date or location of his death). As much as I like Metsu and in particular this painting of a Man Writing a Letter, I choose Jan Lievens for this post. If you follow this blog, you get a sense of what paintings I like and lots of times those are of beautiful women. But I also love paintings of old men, in the way that Ribera and Rembrandt have painted them. Of course Rembrandt was the master in painting old men (I love this painting) but today's painter Lievens comes very close. You will notice similarities between Lievens and Rembrandt and this is not surprising since Lievens was a student of Pieter Lastman who was Rembrandt's teacher. Lastman paid a lot of attention to painting features like hands, feet and faces, and these are also very apparent in the paintings of Lievens and Rembrandt. Lievens shared a studio with Rembrandt from about 1626 till 1631 in Leiden and they became friends. I have visited the exhibition on Jan Lievens at the Museum Het Rembrandthuis in Amsterdam in 2009, and it was actually the first time that I got introduced to his work. Today's painting of a study of an old man, he probably painted in 1629, when he and Rembrandt were making studies on old age. I think it is beautiful. It was put up for auction at Sotheby's in London in 2010, together with a painting by Frans Hals. The estimated price for both paintings was between 2,25 and 3,37 million euros.