Karel van Mander III (1609-70), A Moor Wearing a Turban and Armour, acquired 1996

Karel van III Mander (1609-70), A Moor Wearing a Turban and Armour, acquired 1996. Oil on canvas. 137 x 108 cm. KMS7956.
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With his hand at his side and an attitude that accentuates the impression of arrogant superiority, this African gentleman is portrayed face on. He looks past us with his head held at a slight angle, accentuating the large pearl earrings and their vertical heft. Studded with gems and feathers, the white turban lights up the darkness, catching our eye. He wears armour and golden insignia reaffirming his status. An exotic dagger is held in place by a silk sash, while a rapier can be glimpsed at his side.

Inspired by Rembrandt
The painting is an example of Karel van Mander III’s Rembrandt-like studies of distinctive characters, a so-called tronie. The model, the turban and other exotic props also appear in other paintings by van Mander, including a series of paintings of motifs from the romantic novel Aithiopika by the ancient Greek writer Heliodorus.

Updated: 26.apr.2018
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