Attributed to Hendrick Martensz. Sorgh
(Rotterdam 1609/11-1670 Rotterdam)
Portrait of a woman holding embroidery (?)
Panel, 12.5 x 9 cm
Gift of Louise Thurkow-van Huffel, The Hague, 1978; inv. 1978-s.1
The mise en scène
of this fine little portrait is unusual: a lady shows the viewer a piece of fabric – her own embroidery? – with an enigmatic image. In view of its small size it is hard to make out, but it appears to be a human figure, raising its arms to heaven in panic and with a lion lying at its feet. The name of the maker is just as baffling. The current attribution to the Rotterdam painter Hendrick Martensz. Sorgh is hardly satisfactory: the style of painting bears some resemblance to the figures in his genre works, but not to those in his portraits. Judging by the woman’s clothes, the work must have been created around 1660.