Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait sketch of a young boy 1720c.

Hans Hysing 

Portrait sketch of a young boy, Hans Hysing
Oil on canvas
18th Century
11 x 8 inches 29.8 x 22.8 cm
Hans Huyssing is one of a number of Swedish artists working in London around the turn of the eighteenth century, the most prominent of whom is, of course, Michael Dahl. Huyssing worked in Dahl''s studio from the timeof his arrival in London in 1700 until at least 1715, although he would have executed independent works during that time. Distinction between the painting of Huyssing and Dahl is not always easy, (The Portrait of Lord Brooke and its companion Portrait of Lady Brooke, Warwick Castle, being a case in point, since they have been ascribed, at different times, to both painters). Stylistically Huyssing's work is similar to Dahl''s but can demonstrate greater delicacy and animation. Dated paintings by Huyssing cover the years up to 1739, when he may have retired. Among his pupils was Allan Ramsay.

This painting appears to bear some of the stylistic ''signature'' traits of Dahl - not least the crest of hair at the boy''s forehead, but the overall execution would suggest the pupil's work. The collar worn by this solemn child is unusual for day dress, and may well be part of a chorister's robes.
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