Portrait of William of Orensky, Adrian Kay

Portrait of William of Orensky, Adrian Kay
Portrait of William of Orensky, Adrian Kay - 1

  • Posted by Adrian Kay
  • Museum: Maurice
  • Year: Around 1580

Description of the picture :

Portrait of William of Orensky – Adrian Kay. Around 1580.
   A pectoral image of William I of the Prince of Orange, nicknamed Molchalov (1533-1584). This visionary and secretive politician, who led the rebellion of the Dutch against the Spanish crown, apparently had neither time nor desire to pose as painters. The lifetime portraits of it are very rare, so the portrait that moved to Mauricehuis from one of the palaces of the tax collectors is of particular interest. Performed by his Antwerp artist Adrian Tomassen Kay (approx. 1544 – after 1589) in the last years of the life of William the Silent.

   Comparison with the “Men Portrait” of Memling shows how much the idea of the human person has changed over the past century since then. Despite its small size, the portrait of Memling is characterized by a special fullness of the artistic language; it is in color and in magnificent face plastic, and in how proudly raised head stands out against the dark blue sky. Adrian Kay is a conscientious professional, not without talent, but he is far from Memling. His work could go unnoticed if the depicted person did not stop the look of “the person with a immense expression.”. Behind the usual restraint and isolation, we are a rare willpower and mind, a tense, turbulent inner life. And the external simplicity and internal significance of the portrait correspond to what we know about the extremely complex personality of William. The new psychological content comes not only and not so much from the artist as from the model, and yet important features of the artistic consciousness of the era affect it. No wonder a portrait of William the Silent was written at the end of the turbulent XVI century, when the future, the XVII century, was forged in the crucible of the Dutch revolution.