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A Family Group with Children with Emblems of the Cardinal Virtues

possibly Pieter Thys (Antwerp 1624 - Antwerp 1677)

Category

Art / Oil paintings

Date

circa 1660 - circa 1670

Materials

Oil on canvas

Measurements

3150 x 3645 mm

Place of origin

Flanders (Belgium from 1830)

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Collection

Attingham Park, Shropshire (Accredited Museum)

NT 609012

Caption

The sitters in this portrait are shown with various devices, symbolic of the four Cardinal Virtues. The father stands to the right holding out a bit, the reins of which are taken by his small son (Temperance); his wife is seated next to him, and standing beside her is the elder daughter who holds a sceptre decorated with an eye and sun-rays (Wisdom); the second daughter stands at the right holding a column (Constancy); the eldest boy, in Roman dress, kneels before his mother, supporting a set-square (Justice). To the right, are books, musical instruments, and a globe, presumably representing the Arts and Sciences. It is not yet known who the family is. The picture was bought by Colonel William Noel-Hill, 6th Lord Berwick (1802-1882) as by Hendrick van Balen, but various other attributions have been suggested over time. The most plausible now seems to be the Flemish court artist from Antwerp, Pieter Thys.

Summary

Oil painting on canvas, A Family Group with Children with Emblems of the Cardinal Virtues, possibly Pieter Thys (Antwerp 1624 - Antwerp 1677), circa 1660-70. A man and his wife with their two sons and two daughters in a landscape, equipped with various devices symbolic of the four Cardinal Virtues. The father stands at the right holding out a bit, the reins of which are taken by his small son (Temperance); next to him his wife is seated, and standing beside her is the elder daughter who holds a sceptre decorated with an eye and sun-rays (Wisdom); the second daughter stands at the right holding a column (Constancy); the eldest boy, in Roman dress, kneels before his mother, supporting a set-square (?Justice). At the left are books, musical instrument, and a globe, presumably representing Arts and Sciences.

Provenance

Bought by 6th Lord Berwick, 1861 for £550 as 'Van Balen';1913 Inventory p.63 as Netscher; bequeathed to the National Trust with the estate, house and contents of Attingham by Thomas Henry Noel-Hill, 8th Baron Berwick (1877-1947) on 15th May 1953.

Credit line

Attingham Park, The Berwick Collection (National Trust)

Makers and roles

possibly Pieter Thys (Antwerp 1624 - Antwerp 1677) , artist Dutch School or Flemish School, artist Flemish School, artist previously catalogued as attributed to Jan Mytens (The Hague c.1614 – The Hague 1670), artist previously catalogued as attributed to Jacob Huysmans (Antwerp c.1630 – London 1696), artist previously catalogued as attributed to Nicolas Maes (Dordrecht 1634 – Amsterdam 1693), artist previously catalogued as attributed to Daniel Mytens the younger (The Hague 1644 – The Hague 1688), artist previously catalogued as attributed to Caspar Netscher (Heidelberg 1639 – The Hague 1684), artist previously catalogued as school of Sir Anthony Van Dyck (Antwerp 1599 - London 1641), artist previously catalogued as attributed to Hendrik van Balen the younger (Antwerp 1623 - Antwerp 1661), artist

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