Attributed to Joseph Marinkel (Rotterdam 1732 – 1782 Amsterdam)
Miniature Portrait of a Gentleman in an Interior
Watercolour and bodycoulour on vellum, in the original frame, sight size 49 x 64 mm
Dated lower right ‘1757’
Private collection, Germany
Joseph Marinkel was born in Rotterdam on 10 May 1732 as the son of a saddlemaker who had been born in South Tyrol and moved to Rotterdam, where he had married Adriana van Speyck.1 As Joseph was particularly short of stature, he was not destined to follow in his father’s footsteps, as the saddlemaking profession requires strength. Joseph suitably became a painter of portrait miniatures, which became increasingly popular during the eighteenth century. It is not known where Marinkel was apprenticed. His earliest known portraits are dated 1755, so our miniature dates from quite early in the artist’s career.
Marinkel was praised for his ability to capture the likenesses of his sitters. He favoured the stippling technique, dotting rather than painting his miniatures – a technique that was widespread during the eighteenth century. In this charming miniature Marinkel depicted a fashionably dressed gentleman in a richly decorated interior with sumptuous curtains and walls upholstered in the same floral fabric, on which hangs a Rococo carved and gilded mirror. In the foreground an open and a closed book can be discerned. Most unusually the man is shown in the act of holding up the curtain, showing them off to the beholder. Although his identity has been lost, he is perhaps ikely to have been a wealthy cloth merchant.
Most of Marinkel’s surviving miniatures depict sitters without such references to their professions or occupations. Our miniature can however be compared to his portrait of an unknown gentleman in an interior with scientific instruments on a table and in a glazed case in the background, which is dated 1761 (see fig.).2 The pendant to this work shows a lady in an interior including a mirror and a clock, also comparable to our miniature (fig. 3).3
1. For the artist, see K.E. Schaffers-Bodenhausen, ‘Joseph Marinkelle (1732-1782): een aantal miniaturen uit zijn nalatenschap’, in: E. Buijsen, Ch. Dumas, V. Manuth (eds.), Face Book. Studies on Dutch and Flemish Portraiture of the 16th-18th Centuries. Liber Amicorum presented to Rudolf E.O. Ekkart on the occasion of his 65th Birthday, Leiden 2012, pp. 509-516.
2. Pencil, sight size 148 x 126 mm, signed ‘Marinkel inv.’ and dated ‘1761’, private collection, The Netherlands, B. Sliggers and M.H. Besselink, Het verdwenen museum: natuurhistorische verzamelingen 1750-1850, exh. cat. Haarlem (Teylers Museum) 2002, p. 52, repr.
3. Pencil, sight size 150 x 126 mm, signed ‘Marinkel inv.’ and dated ‘1762’, private collection, The Netherlands.Request more information »