CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Jacob I Van Oost (1603-1671): Case study: Portraits of Everard Tristram and his wife Wilhelmine Bezoete (1646)

Exhibition: 8 September - 15 December 2013

Information from the organizers, 26 April 2013

Both paintings are recorded whereabouts unknown in literature (e.g. Jean Luc Meulemeester, Jacob van Oost de Oudere en het zeventiende-eeuwse Brugge, Brugge, 1984, cat. B83-B84). They were exhibited in 1867 in Bruges (Tableaux de l’ancienne école néerlandaise exposés à Bruges dans la grande sale des halles); sold at Giroux in Brussels (1927) and finally in the Ivan Krenger gallery in Stockholm (1932). They reappeared only recently in Belgium.

Both are in perfect condition and will be presented for the first time on a public show since 1867 in the Keizerskapel in Antwerpen. They represent a couple (1646); identified thanks to the armorial bearings (see e.g. De Meulemeester) as Everard Tristram and his wife Wilhelmine Bezoete. Everard Tristram was born in 1592 (January 19) and married Wilhelmine Bezoete (also born 1592, December 3) in 1617 (January 18). They had four children. Tristram passed away in 1677 (July 2), only a few months after his wife (who died February 9).

Jean Luc Meulemeester points out that the author, Jacob I Van Oost, made a further step in the evolution of his portrait-oeuvre with these high-quality pendants. Certainly captivating is the yellowish background in contrast with the black costumes. Captivating also are the beautifully rendered tapestries/carpets. Indeed reminding us of the fact that Jacob I Van Oost restored Jan Van Eycks famous Virgin and Child with Canon Van der Paele (1436) in the former Church of Saint-Donaas (nowadays in the Groeningemuseum) in Bruges in 1632-33: see e.g. the inspiring carpet on that panel.

Jacob I Van Oost is well known for his portraits (on show in European and American museums). Many (most) of his altarpieces can be admired in Bruges. He also made copies after Van Dyck and Rubens.

The portraits of Everard Tristram and Wilhelmine Bezoete can be considered outstanding in Van Oost’s oeuvre.

The exhibition is open in weekends 1.00 – 6.00 p.m.