12. Jan de Braij

Haarlem c. 1627 – 1697 Haarlem

Portrait of a Twelve-Year-Old Girl, 1663

A large proportion of the seventy-seven surviving drawings by Jan de Braij were made in 1663.1 These include some preliminary studies and copies after his own paintings – a practice Jan had learnt from his father Salomon de Bray (1597-1664). He also made six drawings of girls; five portraits and one study from life.2 Only two of the six sitters can be identified: the sisters Lucia and Margrieta van Teffelen, who in 1663 were eleven and thirteen years old respectively.3 To date no name has been ascribed to this twelve-year old girl. Her likeness to one of the other models has been remarked upon in the past, but it is unlikely that she is the same child.4

De Braij used red and black chalk for this little portrait, with fine lines and oblique hatching, a technique that was also popular with Leendert van der Cooghen (1632-1681), Cornelis Bega (1631/1632-1664) and Cornelis Visscher (1628/1629-1658), who likewise lived and worked in Haarlem. Jan used this style of drawing chiefly for portrait drawings and copies after his father’s paintings, whereas he usually used pen and brush in his preparatory studies. In this portrait he used red chalk only in the face, in the blush on her cheeks, for her lips, and for one or two subtle accents in the ribbons in her hair. His signature and the mention of the girl’s age suggest that De Braij was probably commissioned to make this drawing.

MvS

1Thirteen drawings were made in 1663, see Giltaij 2017, pp. 45-46.

2Giltaij 2017, nos. T54, T55, T56, T57, T58 and T59.

3British Museum, London, inv. nos. 1856,0712.16 and 1895,0915.1129; Lucia and Margrieta van Teffelen’s other sisters were not born until much later and are therefore too young be considered: Aeltjen (19 March 1654), Anna (5 June 1659), Aletta (23 May 1664), Anna (11 April 1665).

4Portrait of a Girl, black and red chalk, 119 × 94 mm, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, inv. no. RP-T-1883-A-275.